Daddy to Sarah-Taran

February 20, 2013 – April 23, 2013

Nashua, New Hampshire & Paharganj, New Delhi, India

For two Dads-to-be, Gestational Surrogacy in India was our only option. Sarah-Taran Katherine was our first child together, born through a Gestational Surrogate-Mother. Sarah entered the world 9 weeks too early. Alone, in an Indian Hospital, she waited for me as I rushed from Boston Logan International Airport to Indira Ghandi International Airport in New Delhi, India. Twenty-seven hours by plane, three hours by auto, another 20 minutes to make my way through the sea of people, stopped by each and every security guard for appearing “out of place.” I guess that is the reality for a 6’2” 185 lb Eastern European blonde, blue-eyed 34-year-old in the company of so many people whose faces where covered. I wished I could have covered my face without looking even more inconspicuous than I already did.

In the NICU, I could not believe how many babies were residing along with you!? Thirty-two! I was afraid that I would not know who you where, but as I entered and before I could say a word, you did. I felt like time was moving slowly, music was playing as if this were a movie scene. People would have cried to see the only man in this foreign hospital weeping over your tiny body. Right as I stepped into your space, you opened your eyes, looked into mine (I knew you were our baby, you looked identical to your Auntie Katherine as a baby).

We still had not settled on a name, but I felt a “pang” in my head ring loud and clear… I knew your name just by our making eye-contact. You made it through the night; that meant you were gonna make it!

Fast-forward [to having] 63 days with you, my baby girl. Never able to hold you, never able to be alone, always watched as if I were a thief. “Men do not handle the babies,” I kept hearing. God, if I could turn the clock back. Daddy was so afraid to make waves as we were already guests and I was so terrified I’d make things worse for you if I did. With every obstacle, you met the challenge and fought your way through! You made me so proud and I knew you were a strong girl when we met. As you grew and started to “get better”, hope began to shine! You made it past your actual due date, and according to everything Daddy could find, you were home free! One final hurdle, to get you home we needed to make sure you where able to make that long plane ride. I was ready, thirty 4oz bottles with Neocate, one scoop ready, 8 sterilized thermos’ of water, and a special carrier I chose just so I could hold you close to my skin. I didn’t care about the little things and the hoops we faced when we landed. I just wanted to get you in my arms.

I knew when I made the exit interview appointment at the US Embassy that day, something was not right. When the phone rang at 2:35 p.m., it was Dr. N, letting me know that you were ready for surgery and cleared by all specialties. I was wrong, that annoying feeling inside must have been from all that stuff Dada sent me that fermented in transit!

Then, as I stood up to leave, and my iphone began to play Wide Awake, I felt a pain inside, and my anxiety shot through the roof. The phone rang…. By the grace of God I made it to the hospital with only a few moments to spare… I got to hold you for the first time, and as we made eye contact, I knew that it was not only our first intimate meeting, but our last for a very long time. I held you close, crying so hard that the MD cleared the NICU of all parents. I never wanted to let you go.

Our time had only just begun? You slipped away? I dream about you during the day, at night, while I’m awake, while I’m asleep… I hear the alarming sound of a familiar NICU buzzer go off, and then a cry. But I cannot find you? I am here. I promised you I would never leave, and I didn’t, not once.

Then as reality slowly rolls back into my cloudy brain, and tears start to drip like a heavy downpour… I remember, you’re with God now. I love you so much, miss you so much and what I would not give for one moment longer to look into your eyes, feel your grasp on my finger. Daddy loves you so much Sarah, my angel. I never felt such a love and such a loss at the same time. It’s so confusing. I feel myself spinning, and nothing…

Your brother and sister love you so much and talk about you as if you are here with us. I know there is this strange feeling people get around me, wondering, the Dad, SIDS, but he didn’t even….

You are forever my baby girl, and we will meet again, by the swings like we said. I don’t care what others think. I know that although you did not grow under my heart, you grew in it. You are my baby regardless of where your spent the initial stages of your short life. I weep for you. I’m your Daddy always and I miss you and wish you were here! Please watch over Cy as he grows, he was an amazing surprise– thank you for helping him find his way to us through Tracy.

I am sorry I did not protect you better. I thought you were in good hands the whole time, please forgive me. Nice touch Sarah, a red thread certainly does connect us all. Thirty-five weeks to go [at time of writing], and I don’t think Ill take a breath until he is 5 years old. I am so afraid. Thank you for bringing his life into reality with God’s help. You are his guardian angel always…

Oh, and I was right about you, so yes, it is Cyrus who we are anxiously waiting for now…. I know it. My daughter, I love you always, you are never far from my thoughts or my heart. Thank you for the 63 days we spent together. I look forward to meeting and playing in Heaven. I love you.

Rich and Dustin’s rainbow baby was born April 10, 2014. Katy weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces and was 18 inches long at birth. A very special thank you was given to “T”, their surrogate who brought Katy into the world. Katy is the sister of the late Sarah Taran Katherine, who passed away on April 23, 2013 in Patparganj, New Delhi, India.

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