Shots, eggs, embryos and a big dose of hope
"Is that all right with you, Whitney?" David asked.

Her voice cracked. "Yeah," she whispered. "That's fine."

The doctor gave her instructions, told Chad and David to set up an appointment, then apologized twice more.

Whitney started to tear up.

"Hey, listen," David said, "it's certainly not your fault."

"I'm going to cry," she said.

"No, don't cry," said Chad, his own face puffy.

"It's a roll of the dice and we'll just keep going," David said.

Whitney began sniffling. "I'm sorry," she sobbed.

"Don't be sorry, Whitney," David said. "It has nothing to do … it's just … you know … it's sad for all of us but we'll try to do it again."

They thanked her for all she had done, walked her to her car and hugged her goodbye. Both men dug their hands in their front pockets as she backed out of the driveway.

Chad and David started making calls — their mothers, their friends, Chad's sister, who was seven months pregnant with her second child.

"It's just one of those things," David told his mother. "You know, everything happens for a reason."

It was a family motto, and Chad and David had made it the guiding tenet of their Christian faith. God always had a purpose, though it might not reveal itself immediately. Perhaps the point here was to bring them closer to Whitney, David mused.

During the two-week wait, Chad had sent an e-mail to friends and family members informing them of the surrogacy project. As he followed up with a note that afternoon, he could not believe how arrogant they had been to assume it would take the first time.

"Please know that we have great faith that this will work and we will one day have a baby," he wrote. "It's just a matter of when…. God is teaching us about patience."

Playing the odds

SUHEIL Muasher felt terrible for the guys, as he liked to call them. It was the first time he had treated two men as patients, and he'd badly wanted it to work.

"You wish you could call everybody with good news," he said the next day, "especially with cases that you work the hardest on. And in this case, we had to coordinate things with multiple people."

Born in Amman, Jordan, the doctor came from a prominent family; his brother, a one-time ambassador to the United States, was then deputy prime minister.