Michael and Rudy met ten years ago browsing an online dating website. After typing back and forth with each other for a while, Rudy asked, “Hey do you want to call me.” Michael claims to be able to get a vibe from a voice. He got a good vibe from Rudy’s voice. The two met at a little café one day and they’ve been together every day since.
It turns out they lived just down the street from each other in a “husband and wife” suburb area, as Michael describes it. They started a business together and life flourished for them. But they both always wanted to have a family.
So in 2008 they began their journey to find a surrogate. It was a very rocky start. They joined an online group that had classifieds for both surrogates and Intended Parents looking to match. They found a woman who seemed very nice and together they decided on the home insemination method, using her eggs and their sperm. She was a proven surrogate and had three kids of her own. They sent her five or six home insemination samples, but none of them stuck. They eventually all agreed to go their separate ways and the guys began their search for another surrogate.
They matched with a woman in Michigan and had a seemingly, great relationship with her. They shipped her the first round of sperm, but after a few strange issues arose, they discovered that the woman was taking their money and was not who she claimed to be. Lawyers got involved and it was found that she was fraudulent and the money was paid back to Michael and Rudy.
Feeling discouraged, the couple decided they wanted to move away from traditional surrogacy. A friend knew of an egg donor who wanted to stay anonymous so they contacted her. It was all set up that she would donate once they found a surrogate. In the meantime, Rudy and Michael made their commitment to each other official in 2010 when they got married.
They found Jennifer, who lived in California, just three hours from them. They hit it off immediately and 60 days from the day the started chatting with Jen, they were doing a fresh transfer. Everything went great, but they were far from being at the end of the bumpy road. At six weeks pregnant, Jennifer started bleeding. They assumed the worse – that she was having a miscarriage. The ultrasound at the hospital showed a blood clot by the egg sac. They held their breath. Once back at the fertility clinic with their doctor, they were told the blood clot had disappeared and everything looked normal. And it looked like finally they were having some good luck.
The rest of the pregnancy progressed as it should. At 39 weeks, Jennifer was induced. The labour and delivery was a party with people everywhere, waiting to welcome the new baby. There were 10 or more people, plus nurses and doctors, all grinning and waiting their turn to hold the beautiful baby girl, Shi’a, that Jennifer brought into the world on June 1, 2011.
“I remember Rudy cut the umbilical cord and I looked over and Jen was eating a turkey sandwich,” Michael laughs. He bragged about how Jen was such a calm and cool person and was amazing during the birth. They still keep in touch with Jennifer often and Michael says he still gets emotional when he sees her. “She is an incredible woman.”
Years later, the men are trying to have another child, but have had some setbacks. Jennifer offered to be their surrogate again, but the first transfer failed. Blood tests showed that Jennifer was positive for Antibody E and her doctor didn’t recommend she carry a baby again for the guys. Since then, they matched with two different people and had two more failed transfers. They are now weighing out different options for the future. Michael says, “I feel like I have thicker skin now and am not afraid of moving forward.”