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Dads-to-be Expecting Their Post-Pandemic Baby Soon

Very early in Michael and Ryan’s relationship, they knew they wanted to be dads. But they decided that for the next few years their careers would take precedence. Until everything changed in 2020.

“When the pandemic hit, our perspective substantially changed,” said Michael. “We both work in healthcare and saw first-hand the toll the pandemic caused. I lost my father to the disease.”

This loss made the husbands realize that life was too short, and they wanted to make sure they had every opportunity to love the family they created. They put their focus into work and getting through the pandemic with the idea that they would start their family shortly thereafter.

Ryan (left) and Michael
Ryan (left) and Michael

The couple, who live in Great Neck, N.Y., were originally open to all paths to parenthood, but when Ryan’s sister volunteered to be their egg donor, the couple decided upon surrogacy and IVF. Ryan and his sister are 13 months apart and grew up “attached at the hip,” so it was an incredible gift. Following that, a cousin offered to be their gestational carrier so it felt like everything was falling into place.

In the summer of 2021, they began their journey to create embryos. When it was discovered that Ryan’s sister had an older gestational age than expected, it was unclear how many eggs would be retrieved.

“Our reproductive endocrinologist at the time gave us a 30% chance of having a live birth,” said Michael.

Ryan’s sister underwent her retrieval in June of 2022, and they ended up with 7 eggs, which became 3 eggs that survived to be fertilized. Those 3 eggs all underwent PGT testing and came back euploid (“normal” in layman’s terms). Needless to say, their reproductive endocrinologist was thrilled.

Sadly, their gestational carrier did not work out so the dads began the search for an agency and surrogate.

Michael and Ryan started their search like most folks do, on Google. (Of course, we recommend starting with GWK Academy!) The had a few virtual interviews, and while some all-inclusive options made them feel secure, they began to feel like a number in the system.

“When we met with Brownstone Surrogacy, they were a fairly new organization. Jarret made us feel as though the experience would be personalized, that we would have strong communication and that we would be cared for as individuals instead of as a number.”

The husbands were convinced that this was the right agency for them.

“Throughout our journey, as any journey we have had ups and downs, though we were always able to communicate effectively with Jarret. He was very transparent about financial obligations as they arose, and listened to any concerns we may have had, or confusion we came upon. It was easy to talk to Jarret knowing he had gone through the same process.” (Jarret, the owner and founder of Brownstone Surrogacy, is a dad twice through surrogacy.)

Within 3 months, the couple were matched with their first surrogate through Brownstone’s service, but unfortunately her medical clearance was denied. A little over a month later, it proved third time’s the charm when they were matched with their current surrogate.

“All went amazing and we got to match with our perfect surrogate and her family.”

In July 2023, they were successful on their first transfer and are expecting a baby boy in fewer than 6 weeks!

Ryan and Michael with their surrogate at their 32-week appointment
Ryan and Michael with their surrogate at their 32-week appointment

“We are forever grateful for our surrogate and have such a strong relationship with her and her whole family. We plan to stay in communication after our baby is born and remain in each other’s lives.”

While the soon-to-be dads say the road has been long and scary, the advice they offer others is to “keep going.”

“It only takes one embryo to stick and to make your whole world change. Don’t give up hope and cherish every moment along the way. Looking back, our journey starting back in summer of 2021 has now gone by in the blink of an eye. Every moment is worth what is to come.”

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