Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weighing out the options...

Well we are still taking time to grieve but trying to look towards our future. Its certainly not easy with so many disappointments, but we are determined not to give up on having a child of our own.

We talked to both the Docs tonight. It was so wonderful to hear their voices and and with all 4 of us on the phone it felt like we were all just sitting chatting and laughing back in Mumbai. We really miss them. It is truly amazing how you can be 1/2 a world away and create such a special friendship with others. They really are much more then just our Doctors, they are like family to us. We feel blessed to have had them come into our lives.

We talked about our options and discussed what comes next. Gerry is currently in a 6 month active duty program with the Fire Dept. on the Air Force base here in AZ, so...that means we are not going to be doing any traveling for a while. Dr. Yash suggested I could come on my own as we still have Gerry's frozen sample in Mumbai. But he quickly responded with, "Yah right, like I am going to let her go and have all the fun without me!" I think its more about us being separated and so far away. We both find it very hard to be apart. Someone actually heard us on the phone the other day and asked Gerry if we were newlyweds. Too funny, after 10 years!!! It actually made me feel really great. I am a lucky woman to have such a wonderful man in my life and I can't and don't want to ever take that for granted.

Okay so enough of all that mushy stuff. So here we stand with some of our options:

1. Go back to India and try again with my eggs (but we need to decide soon as a women's hormones change every 3 months and at my age we can't afford to wait too long).

2. Use an egg donor (either Caucasian or Indian)with Gerry's frozen sample.

3. Possibly do both(1 and 2)in one cycle.

4. Start looking again into adoption much more seriously and determine first if we are even eligible.

5. Continue to try the old fashion way and see what happens. (The Docs here say there is no reason that I am not getting pregnant, just that there is a good chance I will be high risk if that happens) We got pregnant once before and implantation was good...so who knows???

6. Maybe try an IUI since its a lot cheaper then options 1 thru 4 and may just work!

We decided, for now we will definitely take some time to mull it all over and certainly work on option #5 until then.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Noah's Ark lands in India.

Gerry charming the Cobra...

video

Well that feels better...

I got it off my chest! Mom called and I had a good cry and a huge pity party. She said I shouldn't be upset with others just trying to help and most of all not to blame myself.

I am not upset at others trying to help or not knowing what else to say. I just get frustrated when adoption is all someone has to give as an answer but seems to have little compassion of what we are going through. For the most part everyone is incredible I guess it only takes one comment of, 'Sorry, have you thought of adoption?' to set a person off...and yes that person set off was me.

If I hurt anyone's feeling again, that was not my intentions. It helps to pour out my feelings. Good, bad or indifferent that is what this is, our story of fun, pain, hurt, emotions and hopefully success...someday.

Thanks for listening and hopefully understanding.

Sharing the road with elephants in Jaipur.

video

Much harder then I thought...

This is SO much harder then I thought it would be. Being the second time, I thought it would be easier to deal with, but it is so much more difficult. I am keeping it all bottled up inside and know that I need a really good cry, just haven't yet. I took yesterday off of work to regroup and Gerry had to drag me out of bed to at least have something to eat. Today I went into work, but only lasted a half a day before breaking down. Everyone there knows and they just look at me with such pity. I know they all mean well, but it is so hard to concentrate on something other then NOT being pregnant. I so feel like I have disappointed SO many people especially my husband. Maybe if he had know that I couldn't have his child his choice would have been different? Why did I have to be born with these reproductive abnormalities? What did I do so bad to be punished by God to never, ever have my prayers answered?

Everyone has been so supportive. I am just really frustrated when people start offering their opinions like we haven't already thought of every single one of their ideas. People who have not cared to ask about why we chose surrogacy or really cared to follow in our journey at all. People who I am sure feel that we made the wrong decision or that its not 'normal' to do surrogacy. I have read hateful and mean posts on forums of people saying its, 'disgusting' and 'selfish'. It really hurts when you don't know someones whole story to make such comments about others.

ADOPTION!!!! If one more person tells me to adopt, I think I am going to scream. Like that wasn't our first choice and we haven't completely looked into both domestic and international adoption. When they can give us the $30-40,000 AND guarantee that the birth mother won't change her mind while we are waiting at the hospital elated to take our baby home and have to leave heartbroken and empty handed, OR have to send her letters and photos every single year we celebrate OUR babies birthday OR have a nosy social worker come into our home and pick apart every little thing about our health, finances, etc. OR have to wait years and years before we may be eligible to get a toddler OR have to struggle with the foster system. NOW, who wants to mention ADOPTION again to us????? I am truly sorry to those who have offered their opinions and don't mean to sound hateful or ungrateful, just sometimes its nice for someone to just say 'sorry' and they are here if you need them. Opinions and ideas are the very last thing we need right now. I know EVERYONE means well, but for lack of better words, unless you have walked a mile in someone else's shoes you don't know how they feel or what they are going through.

And just for the record, because I have 2 small uteri we cannot do IVF treatments on me for fear of multiples as I am at high risk in the first place for pre-term labor with just a single birth. So...that is not an option either.

So, for the last time...YES we have thoroughly looked into adoption and other options and when and if it is something we can or choose to do we will happily do so.

Its not all about having our own child, its about having a family of our own, raising a child or our own and growing old remembering all the wonderful family times we have had together(like I so dearly cherish about my own childhood). Yes, part of me does want to look at my baby and see my squinty little eyes or Grandpa's double chin or Daddy's beautiful smile. Who doesn't want their own child, for others to say, "Oh, they look just like you or Daddy."

Unless you have never struggled with infertility you have NO IDEA!!! I guess that's why my support group buddies are so near and dear to me, they know not to give opinions just love, support and words of condolence.

Thank you truly to EVERYONE for their heartfelt support and love. I know you all mean well. I hope I didn't hurt anyone's feelings(that was not my intentions), but just think about what you say before you say it. I suppose that sometimes things are better left unsaid.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another negative result...

I am starting to believe I will never know what it will feel like to be a mother. I don't know where to turn or what to do. I don't know if I can bear never being a mother. It is all I want in the world and can't imagine never knowing what it will be like to hold my baby in my arms. I love my husband but I can't comprehend growing old just the 2 of us.
thank you all for your love, prayers and support. Sorry to disappoint everyone once again with bad news.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I think we might burst holding our breath...


So glad you are all enjoying Gerry's posts. He truly is my better half and I am so lucky to have him in my life!

We are going crazy with anticipation of our results. Last night we spoke with the Docs and they said all the Surrogates are at the clinic doing well, keeping busy chatting and knitting and watching T.V. It sounds like one big slumber party. It makes us so happy to know they are all staying positive and being taken such great care of. Our surrogate had her blood test yesterday morning(Monday a.m India time). So we are down to the count as the blood is sent away to a lab and they will receive the results in approximately 2 days time. We both admit it is much harder waiting this time then last as we are together and driving each other nuts and everyone else is calling and asking almost every moment of the day so we can't even forget or take our mind off of it for even a minute. My Mom said this is harder then waiting for me to have the baby myself. I got in trouble yesterday for not having the phone next to me when she called in case I heard something by now. We truly want this more then we both have wanted anything else in our lives. It is hard to really describe the feelings. We are just continuing to pray and I am reading my book on staying positive. Please continue to think positive and send all your good vibes to India while the blood is being tested for a positive pregnancy result!

This is me with Gerry's Mumbai Indian's (cricket team)shirt that was bought for him, but didn't fit, so I go it...sorry Honey, I do look good though!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Some food for thought



































 Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write comments on my posts, I am glad that they are proving to be a bit helpful to some of you. I am actually enjoying writing, as I think of points to write about and look through all of the wonderful pictures that we have taken, I get to think back to all of the great times Rhonda and I have shared during our visits to India. A few of you have asked questions concerning the food in Mumbai. This is definitely an important aspect of the trip, hey, everybody has to eat!!! For Rhonda and I, we are at opposite ends of the food spectrum, I like food to be spicy, Rhonda doesn't. I like to try new and different foods, Rhonda plays it pretty safe. A definite recommendation prior to your trip is to find an Indian restaurant and try some of the different foods. Rhonda and I, luckily enough, have an awesome couple as our good friends, who are from India and are living in Phoenix. Melanie is from Mumbai and her husband Brijesh is from Bangalore which is in the south of India. They took us to two different Indian restaurants, one was vegetarian and the other was non-vegetarian. They ordered a bunch of different dishes and we were able to try a good sampling of what food India had to offer. I enjoyed the non-veg (they serve meat) restaurant a bit more. The hotel we stayed in had an incredible breakfast buffet with both Indian and western foods to chose from. Since we had gone and eaten at Indian restaurants prior to traveling to Mumbai, we were comfortable in knowing what foods we liked and what we didn't like. When making your hotel bookings it's a good idea to check to see if they have a breakfast buffet. It is definitely a great way to start the day. At most hotels and restaurants it is safe to drink the water including juices and milkshakes. Ice in the hotels and restaurants is OK as well. We drank bottled water mostly since we could get it cold. Most Indians do not have ice in their drinks since it is not readily available. When purchasing water always check that there is a seal prior to opening it. At your hotel and restaurants they will make a point of showing you that there is a seal prior to opening it. Street food no matter how good it smells, and believe me it smells great! DO NOT eat it, the process of handling, cooking and serving it is not as hygienic as in your hotel and restaurants. As for different restaurants, the great thing about going with Surrogacy India is that Dr.Sudhir and Dr. Yash know all of the good restaurants. My favorite was a place in Bandra called BBQ Nation. Your table has a small grill in the center of it and all throughout your meal, the servers are constantly bringing you skewers of chicken, fish, prawns, potatoes, vegetables and paneer (Indian cheese) They also bring you different types of chicken, mutton, fish and vegetables and put a bit on everyones plate. But remember to save room since there is a full buffet complete with dessert and something that you definitely have to try, Gulab jamun, which are small, hot balls of pastry in a sweet syrup and best when eaten over ice cream, Yummy!!! There are a couple of great Chinese restaurants that we tried, Mainland China in Andeheri was very authentic having the rice cooked in clay pots, and the other was in the Peninsula hotel and was very good as well. At both restaurants the service was fantastic, they made you feel like you were a VIP. A fun restaurant to go to is Tator Pops. they are a chain and are like a fun family restaurant where you can kick back and have finger foods or full meals and enjoy some drinks during happy hour (which runs all day). This one you will get a laugh from. Believe it or not, I think that the best pizza Rhonda and I have eaten was from Pizza Hut in Mumbai. I mean it, the cheese and the pepperoni tasted incredible. The menu has quite a bit of variety in the choices of toppings, with western style such as pepperoni or Hawaiian or Indian such as Chicken Tikka (spiced chicken cooked in a clay oven). Another place we tried was good old KFC, and in India don't call it Kentucky Fried Chicken, they won't know what you are talking about. If you are venturing over to Juhu Beach area, there are two great spots to try while over there. The first is one of the best seafood restaurants in Mumbai. It's called Mahesh Lunch Home. Great place to have fresh seafood and I mean fresh, they actually bring it to your table alive to show you. I recommend the lobster and the prawn biryani (rice cooked with prawns). The second restaurant is called DelItalia, a small and quaint hole in the wall with authentic Italian cuisine and great garlic bread, Rhonda's favorite. We are not fancy, and Mumbai has a mix of people from different walks of life. If you want to dress up and go to a 5 star restaurant you can and if you want to go in your shorts and t-shirt, like I do, then you can do that as well. When it comes to tipping, ensure that you check the bill, the tip may be already included in the total, it will come under the hearing of service charge. If it is not included, you normally take 10% of the total and that is the tip in Rupees. They are not like the US and expect 15 or 20% tip, and the service is far superior. If you want to add more, feel free but it is not necessary. If anyone is interested, our friend Brijesh made us a food cheat sheet complete with pictures and descriptions of different Indian food. We found it quite useful to identify foods. We can email this to anyone that requests it. Once again email Rhonda at frankiewile@cox.net. Well once again I hope this was helpful. It sure is helping to keep my mind occupied while we are waiting on pins and needles for our results.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just me again, with more pointers




It's me again, Gerry, I hope I didn't scare any of our loyal followers away with my last post. I feel that there is a lot of useful information to be passed on and if it helps just one person then it was worth it.

Well I guess I will continue where I left off. Internet access is something that we definitely take for granted. Our hotel had free wireless internet when we first travelled to Mumbai in April. All we had to do was connect to the hotels network and we were able to get on to the internet. It was slow but manageable. When we recently travelled to Mumbai, and again stayed at the same hotel, and coincidentally, the same room, we had to get a password to allow us access to the hotels network. It took several calls to the front desk and the internet staff, but eventually we were able to get on the internet. It was very slow and we were unable to access several sites, the most important one being our blog. We were told that it was free and so we left it on for hours at a time with hopes that it would connect to the sites that we wanted. Upon checkout we were shocked when reviewing our bill, there was a charge for the "free" internet. A pretty hefty charge of over 13000 Rupees which is over $300 US. After pointing this out to the manager and telling him that we were told that the internet was free, the charges were removed. The moral is that we take free hotel internet access for granted, make sure that you find out if there will be any charges for internet usage before logging on.

Money is always a subject that is important. Carrying US dollars to Mumbai and then exchanging them in Mumbai will give you the best exchange rate. Travellers checks proved to be a great big hassle. The rate is lower than dollars,and it is difficult to find a money exchange that won't charge a fee to exchange them for rupees. It is very safe to carry US dollars to Mumbai, and use the hotels in-room safe to keep them secure. Exchange as much as you need and keep an eye on the exchange rate as it changes daily. Rupee bills come in denominations of 1000, 500, 50, 20 and 10. There are also rupee coins that come in 5, 2, 1 and 50 paise. Try to keep some small rupee bills for taxis and tips, 10 or 20's will work for this. Credit cards are accepted at most restaurants and larger department type stores. The street vendors will deal only with rupees and remember to haggle. Rhonda even got into haggling, and picked herself up 2 beautiful Punjabi suits and a nice pair of hand made leather shoes at half price.

Well I will give one more pointer for this post so as to not totally bore you to death. Something that both Rhonda and I feel is very important to ensure that you have an enjoyable trip to Mumbai is to go with an open mind. Now this is something that you have to work on constantly. Upon arrival, you will immediately be bombarded with so many things that your senses will be overwhelmed. The sights are amazing, you will not be able to take in everything all at once. There is so much beauty, from the architecture of the buildings, and the different and at times contrasting colors of everything, and if you are fortunate enough to travel during a festival time, be prepared to be amazed. Mixed in with this beauty are the slums, which are everywhere. Mostly metal or wooden walls with a blue tarp roof. The overwhelming number of people at any given time is mind boggling, and with this comes the beautiful and intricate designs of the woman's sari's and other forms of clothing. And again, you will also see the slum dwellers and their tattered clothing or at times lack of clothing. The street noise is at times very overpowering. With so many vehicles on the road (I was told that there are 15000 more vehicles on the each day, Wow!!) and they all use their horn constantly, you can just imagine the noise. I can't leave out the smells. Each day you will encounter the beautiful smells of fresh flowers to the overpowering odor of garbage, and everything in between. Now this is where you have to have an open mind. The beauty can be obscured by the dirt and the filth and the poverty, but look through all of this and enjoy it. The people are incredible. We have never encountered anyone who was not friendly or helpful or happy to interact with a "foreigner" Even the slum dwellers seem happy. A good point to remember as well is to not give any money to the beggars. It's hard to do, but you must ignore them or give them a simple "no thank you" and they will go away.

Well, again this is enough for now. I really think that I am enjoying this. Don't worry, my beautiful wife will continue to write her posts. If anyone has any particular questions, please feel free to email us at frankiewile@cox.net.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Now It's My Turn




Well here goes. Tonight I thought that I would give my beautiful wife a break from updating our blog, since she is busy answering the multitude of emails she receives each day and also the questions on the support group forum. Before I start, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you that have blessed us with well wishes, prayers and words of encouragement. When Rhonda started the blog, it was to allow others to see that they are not alone when dealing with infertility. Each day, as we check the visits to the blog, we are amazed to see that there are so many people following our journey, and from all over the world. It is very humbling. We are just a plain couple, no one special, that wants to have a baby more than anything else.

As a husband sharing in this amazing journey, I can definitely see how having the blog and the support group has made my Rhonda more positive. It allows her to express her feelings, be them good or bad, positive or negative. The journey to having a baby is not an easy one, but in the end when we are looking into the eyes of a tiny little "us" then it will all be worth it. So my point is, that if you are dreaming of having a baby, but can't, Surrogacy might be the answer that you are looking for and joining the support group may give you the answers to questions you might have or at least allow you to make informed decisions. Well enough of that.

Prior to starting out on our journey half way around the world to have a baby, I made it a point to do as much research as possible into IVF, surrogacy, India and Mumbai. So I would like to share some tips and pointers for your upcoming trip to Mumbai.

My grandfather always said that there are lots of ways to skin a cat (sorry cat lovers!), which means that just because we did it a particular way, you don't have to. You may find a better way, and if you do, please share it.

For our flights, we used Delta. We booked and purchased directly from delta.com which I found to be the best price and the best choice for flight times. They have a direct flight from JFK to Mumbai, and both times it has been an hour early which is a bonus. The aircraft they use is the brand new Boeing 777. An amazing aircraft, lots of room, very comfortable, great meals and free movies on your own portable built in video player. I managed to watch 6 movies from JFK to Mumbai, see if anyone can top that!! Try to get some sleep on the flight so that you are not totally exhausted. It doesn't take long to get through immigration, and by the time you do your bags are ready for pickup and you will need some energy to get through it all, since it may be a while until you are checked in and in bed.

Mumbai Airport in my opinion is not bad. It is definitely changing rapidly, and for the better. On our return trip home from Mumbai, the airport drastically changed in just a matter of 2 weeks. On arrival, like I mentioned earlier, you have to clear immigration first. You get your passport stamped and turn in the customs form to the inspector. The inspector will return your passports to you and also give you the bottom portion of the customs form, don't lose this!! It is pretty non eventful for US Citizens and Canadians, it is more of a hassle for returning Indian Citizens. On to get your bags. The carousels are clearly marked. They even provide carts and guess what, they are free!!! Definitely take advantage of the carts since it is a long haul through the airport to the exit and where you can get picked up. Once you have your bags then it is off to customs. Just follow the crowd since everyone has to go through. All it involves is putting all of your bags on a conveyor belt and they go through an xray machine and out the other side where you put them back on your cart and head for the exit. Remember the bottom part of your customs form that you didn't lose? You have to turn it in to one of the military looking guys in order to exit. Follow the crowd until you come to the exit. You will know it when you see it, it is when you will be smacked right in the face with your first glimpse of Mumbai and everything that makes it unique. The noise, the smells, the activity and all of the people, did I mention lots and lots of people? This is where you will catch a taxi to get to your hotel or if you have a hotel that has an airport shuttle, then look for their sign among the 100's that are there waiting for you.

I guess now is a good time to talk about taxi's. There are 3 types: A/C cab, Non-A/C cab and my favorite, the auto-rickshaw. A/C cabs are the most expensive, then Non-A/C cabs are somewhat cheaper and then auto rickshaws are very inexpensive and fun!! I went online to the Mumbai traffic police website and printed copies of the taxi tariff cards. These are the cards that have the rate they will charge you. All of the taxis have meters but since it is not still 1960 they haven't been updated and thus they need a conversion card for the current rate. Having a copy of these helps to alleviate the possibility of being ripped off due to you being a "rich foreigner" The tariff cards show the meter reading and the appropriate amount in rupees that you have to pay. It is up to you to add a few Rupees for a tip if the service was good, and don't forget to tip anyone who helps with your luggage. 10 or 20 rupees will do. There are also prepaid cabs available from the airport and most hotels. They will tell you how much it will cost to go to your destination and that is what you will pay when you arrive. Again this helps to alleviate any possibility of being taken advantage of. I want to make it clear that in all of our dealings with taxis we were never taken advantage of, so don't be worried, just be aware. The auto rickshaws are 3 wheeled enclosed motorcycles. On a nice day or evening it is a great way to experience all that is Mumbai. Be aware that it is a bit noisy and you do every now and then get a whiff of car exhaust, but hey isn't that what's it all about? But talk about fun. They zip in and out of traffic and at times you are mere inches from other vehicles. Maybe not for everyone, but give it a try! These are very inexpensive and they are literally everywhere. Whatever the meter reads, subtract 1 from it and that is what you pay in Rupees. An example would be if the meter reads 7.6 then you would pay 75 Rupees, got the idea? Again if you want to give a tip a couple of rupees would suffice.

Well, Rhonda is telling me that I am writing too much and no one wants to go through so much information. Maybe she has a point there, but I just wanted to give what I thought was useful information. I will continue with this in a later post, let me know if it is useful to you. Gerry Out!

While we wait...

Just a quick hello to let you know we are back in the swing of things here in AZ. Gerry has been pretty jet lagged falling asleep on the couch for the last few nights. Poor dear! Tonight we had a date night with supper and a movie. Went to see Wanted with Angelina Jolie. We enjoyed it! Gerry just got off the phone with the Docs. They were at the clinic and they put our surrogate on the phone. She said, 'hi', and 'thank you.' They said she was embarrassed. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that they are there watching over her. I am sure they are all having one big party, just like we all were when we were in Mumbai. There are 5 other surrogates there just from our little group, and probably a few others that were there already. We told the Docs we missed them and Mumbai, and Dr. Yashodhara said, 'Well you will be back in 9 months!' It was nice to hear.

I picked up a book tonight that a few of the girls on the support group recommended. Its called The Secret, and it is supposed to help with positive energy. Boy do I need that!!!!

Another week or so and counting. Gosh this is tough...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Street Life in Mumbai

Place cursor over picture for description.

FUN - FUN - FUN!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Home again, home again jiggity jig!



BACK HOME SWEET HOME!!! Although we are missing Mumbai and our wonderful friends we are very happy to be home. Our Frankie girl was so happy to see us and trust me the feelings were mutual. She hasn't left our sides since being home. We arrived home Saturday around 4:30pm. Called Mom and Dad to say we got home safe, unpacked a little and had a shower. Gerry was in the shower when I crawled into bed to snuggle with Frankie at 5:00pm. That was the last thing I remember. Fast forward 14 hours later (yes that was 14 hours!) when I finally awoke. Apparently the phone had rang, Gerry tried to wake me for supper, he came to bed, he woke up and still I slept!!! I suppose the 32 plus hours of flying and airport time over the last few days caught up to me.

We will receive our results of the surrogates pregnancy test around 15 days from the date of the embryo transfer, so we are back once again where we were last May, waiting and praying and sitting on pins and needles.

We had another fabulous trip to India. No complaints, nothing negative to report! All in all, India is amazing, the Docs and the entire team with Surrogacy India are superb.

I know I probably sound like a broken record but we can't express enough how thankful and grateful we are for all the love and support we have received from everyone. In the two weeks we were away in India we received over 1200 visits to our blog. That seems completely surreal to us both as neither of us ever thought what began as our personal little journey would grow into a story for others to share. The Surrogacy Support Group and its members have been outstanding, our family, friends and co-workers are terrific. We could not have imagined this type of support and are overwhelmed and so appreciative of everyone.

I will compile all the photos and video taken now that we are home and have uninterrupted computer service and post a bunch from our grand adventures.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sad tears!



We are wrapping up here in India and preparing for our trip back home. We are very sad to leave our home away from home. We have had busy, long days and are exhausted but wish we could stay longer.

Today we visited with our dear friends Henry and Lorna (Mel's parents). They feel like family to us and it was wonderful to catch up and enjoy Christine's amazing Indian cooking and not too spicy for me!!!

After the Doctors surprised us with a visit to Rekha's home. She had been hesitant about having the photographer and journalist there with it being such a tiny community, but she opened her home to Gerry and I. It was truly amazing to see her home and meet her mother and son. They went and bought us soda's as a gesture of kindness and to welcome us. She was resting and looked well and her son was waiting on her hand and foot. He was such a doll. Big smile and so hospitable. He showed us his new drawings in the sketch book we had given to him and it touched our hearts. We saw family photos and talked about her growing up in the town. It was like a small village and it felt like we had left Mumbai. Small winding roads with homes lining them and everyone looking out and smiling at us, and lots of green, beautiful trees everywhere. I am sure we were the talk of the town. Her Mother and son took us for a hike up to a beautiful temple that overlooked all of Mumbai. It was magnificent and Gerry is still laughing at the loads of photos I took of dogs, goats and pigs, lots of pigs! We felt so welcomed and honored to share in the experience of meeting her family and seeing her home. It will help us to imagine her surroundings of love and happiness while her belly grows.

We have spent over 30 days in India now in the last 6 months and we have seen more kindness and beauty then we could have ever imagined. Yes there is poverty, and yes there is dirt, and yes it's crowded, but we see through it all and are amazed at ever single thing and every single person we come in contact with, but we embrace it all to the fullest.

We love spending time with our new family, Dr. Yash and Dr. Sudhir. We no longer consider them our Doctors but true and dear friends. A friendship that goes beyond making a baby, a true connection and one that will definitely last a lifetime whatever our results.

We leave tomorrow late night to be at the airport for 9:00pm and depart 12:20am Saturday. We should be home with our darling Frankie Saturday around 4:00pm. I can't wait to see her and be greeted with lots of doggie kisses!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy tears!


A wonderful day, but emotionally exhausting. Our day started at 7:00 am and we were scheduled to arrive at the IVF center for 8:30. We arrived right at 8:30 and rushed up to the 2nd floor, and fortunately we got there just in time for our embryo transfer, Whew!!! Dr. Yashodhara met us and called us in to the door of the lab where Dr. Pai was laser hatching our embryos. We got to see them on the screen. How amazing that was! What stories we will be able to tell our child, we saw them as an embryo! We then consulted with both Dr. Pai and Dr. Yash as to our results. We had 4 embryos for transfer. 3 grade A and 1 grade B and the other 2 have been left to divide some more, for a possible 5 day sequential transfer, we will keep you updated on that, just continue to send good wishes and prayers our way.

I encouraged Gerry to go in for the transfer this time as I had the opportunity last time. He was overwhelmed by emotions when Rekha said she would be fine with him going in with her. He was able to hold her hand and stroke her head and she looked up at him and said, 'I am strong.' We both had lots of tears of joy and happiness. When her husband saw us he said not to cry, 'no tension, only smile, God will take care.' We got to visit some after the transfer and noticed that Rekha was wearing the necklace we had brought for her as a gift. She told us, 'My friends gave it to me.' Of course again some more tears!

We got to have lunch with all the clients and a lawyer visiting from Canada who is here to learn all about the process and about surrogacy in general. It was a fun time, as we are now waiting, tomorrow is CK and MK's egg pick up and then SB and RB. We had so much sharing and talking about it all.

Now the hard part! We wait and must realize it is all in God's hands and we have done all that we can to make our dream come true to in the end have a beautiful little angel (or 2) to join our family.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ready for transfer...



Tomorrow is another big day. Transfer of our embryos into our surrogate. We are scheduled for 8:30 am. So it will be another early morning and full day ahead. We won't find out anything about our embryos until we arrive tomorrow. So we are saying our prayers and hoping for 6, but will take what ever we can get! As everyone says...'it only takes one!'

We are excited to see our spunky, sweet surrogate Rekha again and to share in the transfer of our embryo's to her. It is all very emotional. She speaks some English and so we are able to converse with her. At one point the other day during our signing of the agreements, Gerry was videoing and she said, 'Mr. Gerry come and sit!' He even got it on tape. We are still laughing about it. She is absolutely wonderful. Full of life, smiling, laughing and what a sense of humor. She told me she knows it is going to work for us and she is going to do everything to make it happen now I just have to do my part too. Stay positive and upbeat and it will happen. She kept thanking us for this and we were so humbled as we are the ones who were thanking her over and over for her sacrifice she is making. She is truly an amazing woman. This will be her second time being a surrogate and she shared with us about how supportive her children and husband are not even letting her get up for a glass of water. Her husband even cooked and cleaned for 7 months during her last surrogate pregnancy as they take very special care with the very important package she is carrying. It brought tears to my eyes to hear her speak such amazing things.

Today we did some shopping and the photographer followed us about. She says she got some great shots of us bartering with the store keepers and just being ourselves. I picked up a few more bangles to go with my set back at home, two punjabi suits (salwar kameez), some shoes, a sari and other souvenirs for others back home. They draped me in the sari at the store even though we told them it was not for me. We were able to finally decide upon one after they showed us what seemed like a million colors and patterns to choose from. It was quite the event as we learned you need to purchase a top and petticoats to go with it as well. All new to me!

We had a good laugh at hearing the young men refer to Gerry as a WWE wrestler. So far he has been referred to as John Cena, The Undertaker and Batista. One of our rickshaw drivers even asked for his autograph today!

Well off to bed as we have a BIG day tomorrow and need to be rested.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mother Hen lays her eggs!


It was a long day at Lilavati Hospital yesterday. Arrived at 6:00 am and returned back to the hotel around 6:30 pm. My egg pick up went well. We retrieved 5 follicles from my right side (the other 2 were my small cysts)and Dr. Shaunak went in and found 4 on the left. 1 big follicle and 3 smaller ones not advanced. So in total we ended up with 6 follicles. Gerry was anxiously awaiting the results and Dr. Shaunak came right out to tell him. Before we went in, we waited for a short time in the waiting area for patients, a girl came and asked Gerry to wait outside and he said, 'No, I am staying with my wife.' It was kind of funny as the girl didn't really know what to say, I giggled and felt good that I have such a caring, loving husband.

I am feeling more sore this time around as they had to poke around some on the left side to get to that one lone follicle. Dr. Yash explained that due to my '2 of everything' the left horn covers the ovary and it is hard to locate. Yeh, for me!!! We came directly back to the hotel and since it was so late in the day, Dr. Yash personally drove us back, she was so wonderful, taking care as to not go over all the bumps in the rode, while the cars behind us just honked away. I rested most of the evening and Gerry even treated me with Pizza Hut delivery for supper.

Today we met with the journalist and the photographer and are going to do some shopping. They want lots of photos of us just doing stuff! We will see how long I last today, as I am still pretty exhausted from everything yesterday. We are also scheduled to go to our surrogates home today. We are truly honored that she has invited us and we can't wait to be a part of this bonding experience.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Countdown to Egg Pick Up!














Tomorrow is the big day! We have to arrive at Lilavati Hospital at 6:00 am to register and get a bed for me. We will be admitted to a room and await our procedure at around 10:15 am. We will spend most of the day at the hospital and should be discharged around 4 pm. Our day 3 transfer of embryos to our surrogate will be Wednesday and then a sequential blastocyst transfer will be done on Friday pending the number of embryos we make. We will also be sharing the clinic with a couple from Nepal and another from Hong Kong who will be doing their transfers. Should meet up with the other girls from the support group who will be doing their ultrasounds to determine their egg pick up date. So its going to be a busy day at the IVF center!

We had a wonderful tour of Hiranandani (where the baby(s) will be born) with the other folks today. Dr. Anita Soni once again out did herself with a grand tour and really pumped us up with positive energy. She is so upbeat and informative it just makes the whole process come together. We even saw a little baby through the NICU window and it brought tears of joy to our eyes that in 9 short months we will all hopefully be back here for our own babies. We all went for lunch at the nearby Pizza Hut and of course I had to stop and pet the cows out front, everyone was staring at me like I was a crazy woman, but you know me and animals!?

We met with the journalist on a couple of occasions and she is busy piecing together the article for Chatelaine magazine. She had the opportunity to meet and interview our surrogate and we were graciously invited to visit her home. We are just waiting for the photographer to arrive from Delhi so we can get some wonderful photos. The article should run sometime hopefully in December of this year.

Still having lots of computer issues so we will definitely try to get you caught up with everything and keep trying to connect daily.

Off for a bite to eat by the pool as I have to fast tonight. Please say a little prayer for us for great results tomorrow with lots of healthy embryos.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

PARTY IN MUMBAI!!!


We are all here and having a blast! CK (hubby MK will be arriving in a few days) RB and SB from Corpus Cristi, TX another couple from Hong Kong and one more from Nepal arriving shortly.

It has been a wonderful experience sharing, laughing and doing all of our ultrasounds, pre-op testing and traveling together. We have all decided we will meet back in Mumbai in 9 months time!

We have been having very long days with all this baby stuff going on and finding time to enjoy in between. Today is cycle day 11 ultrasound for us and we are hoping for lots of big juicy follicles. As well, we are all very excited as we are meeting up with our surrogates at the Lawyers office to sign our contracts, so it really is going to be a PARTY!

Wednesday we traveled to South Mumbai and met up with Dr. Shaunak again. It was great to see him and catch up. My left side was being a stinker once again (bowel was obstructing the view some)and so he had a little difficulty viewing specifics of the follicles on that side, BUT they are there! Right side had 6 wonderful little fellas and we even had to start on Anatagon injections so they don't burst! So...that means more shots for me on a daily basis. My poor belly is full of bruises and not a pretty sight, but, I am being a trooper and looking at the end prize so we both know its ALL worth it. I am still feeling great but really bloated, once again like a hen ready to lay her eggs. Also, having a little bit more 'crankiness' these last few days (that's a nice way to put it! Sorry Honey.)

Just so much to tell and it seems whenever I am able to get logged on to the site I am pressed for time. So, unfortunately this will be all for now on this post. We are off to try and make it through the maze of traffic as we are in the midst of the Ganesha festival and its Ganpati's, drums and dancing as far as the eyes can see.

Till next time...sending love to all.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We are on a roll...

Now you will never get rid of me!!!!

Just got wonderful news. One of the Docs UK clients just got a positive pregnancy result. Must be related to the start of the Ganesh festival. Hopefully this is a good omen for us and CK!

Get it while the gettin's good!

We are logged on...YEH! At the hotel computer for now, so hoping our laptop will work as well.

We got back late last night from Jaipur and hit the bed. But not before checking a few emails (thanks for making me cry with your sentimental email Mom...must be the hormones!) and making a few phone calls home to family and check on our baby furgirl Frankie. We were exhausted from all of the activity. Yesterday, we went on another elephant ride (had to get as many in as we could as this is probably the only time in our life we will do this). The driver let me get on up around the elephants neck with him so Gerry could take a photo. At one point we stood next to our elephant and his ears flapped and knocked us both over. AMAZING creatures.

Driving back to the airport after a fun filled day the driver didn't want us to be late for the plane, We zoomed in and out of traffic like a race car. We saw camel after camel sharing the road with us, wild pigs, goats, cows, and even wild monkeys. It was fascinating. So much stimulation all at once it is so hard to take it all in.

Early in the morning I went for a full body massage with sauna treatment. WOW it was incredible and SO relaxing. Later our driver took us to a textile mill where we saw them make and design the cloth and materials that are exported all over the world. We bought pillow cases and when we picked out material for curtains, they made them while we waited and had them delivered to our hotel room. Now that is service. We paid next to nothing for the beautiful material and we will be able to see it everyday. We then went to a gem store and saw where they cut and polished precious gem stones and we even got me a few little gifts to bring home. Gerry says I am spoiled! We will try and add some photos too...hopefully.

Today we are headed back to the clinic for our cycle day 9 ultrasound so we are hoping and praying for more numbers and bigger sizes of follicles. CK our fellow support group member arrived on Tuesday and so we will be going for our ultrasounds together. What fun to share in this wonderful experience. We hear the horns and the drums out on the streets as we type this as today is the start of the 11 day Ganesh festival. Rain or shine these people never stop to celebrate. Should make for some more exciting sights as we venture out into Mumbai (the city of dreams).

Thanks again to all of you who are following and so supportive in our journey.

Our Trip to Jaipur.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Finally...



We are here safe and sound and believe it or not this is the first we have been able to access the blog. We are in Jaipur, outside under the moonlight trying to get a wireless connection. The internet in our hotel in Mumbai wouldn't work, so this may be our last entry till we return to the States. Hopefully not, but just in case we don't come back on to share with you, you will all know why.

We are having a FABULOUS vacation get-away in the North East of India. We have done so much in 2 days it is unbelievable. Rode on elephants, camels and saw a snake charmer. We have sightseen, shopped, swam, eaten authentic Rajasthan food and so much more. We had a slight change of plans as Dr. Sudhir wanted to surprise us and instead of the palace we are now staying at Chokhi Dhani, a 5 star ethnic village resort in Jaipur. It is more then we could have ever imagined.

Our first scan on Sunday with Dr.Yashodhara went very well with many follicles. More on the left side and less on the right, but she said we are right on track for cycle day 6. We increased my dose to 750 units of Gonal F and I am doing GREAT! We saw Dr. Yash's clinic and were able to meet and visit with our surrogate and her family and meet 2 other surrogates awaiting their pregnancy results (which just so happen to be 2 of our fellow support group members). I even got a henna tattoo (Mehendi) on my hand from one of the surrogates and it was wonderful to be welcomed and treated so special.

Once again our trip to India is more then we could ever imagine and we have only just begun. After our little get-away here in Jaipur we are completely rested and full steam ahead for the rest of our baby making journey.

Lots of pictures and videos are to come. Please keep us in your hearts and prayers and keep your fingers crossed that we will be back here to update very soon.