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Friday, May 1, 2009

What a truly perfect vacation.

So much to tell.

We had a jam-packed week full of fun. Mid-week we ventured out on our own since we are getting to be old pro's at getting around Mumbai by now. We took a cab close to where KT lives and J met us to direct us down a long dirt road to their home. It was truly a scene from a movie when their eldest son (7 year old H) yelled with excitement to see our cab and ran along the path of the sidewall that separated us from their community. J told us the 'whole colony is awaiting our arrival.' What a wonderful welcome it was.

KT has 3 younger sisters who were all at her home welcoming us with open arms. The next oldest to her speaks English very well and was able to help to translate for us. She was waiting with her henna tubes in hand, ready to decorate my arm and hand. First KT had to serve us the food she had prepared. Of course she didn't listen and cooked way too much! It was a traditional meal of curry chicken (that she didn't spice up too much for very sweet) with rice, parathas (small round bread) and finished up with a delicious mango desert. Every time Gerry's plate got near empty one of the girls would come out of no where to place more food on it. The meal was truly amazing.

We met KT's Mom and Dad, and we could see how very proud they are of their daughter. I told her Mom she has a very special daughter and she replied that she was there to take great care of her daughter. It was apparent the entire family was there to lend support and that made us so very happy.

Their home was a one room loft with a separate bathroom. SI requires all surrogate homes to have electricity, running water and a separate bathroom. KT and J decided on this place as it was close to her family. Each surrogate has the ability to find their own place or have SI arrange one for them.

We felt very special to have been invited to their home. It was truly an unexpected honor and for us to experience it on our own was a great bonding experience for both families.

A couple days later, KT and family came back over to our hotel for the boys to enjoy the swimming pool. We found out that it was their first time ever in a pool. The kids squealed with delight as Gerry joined them in the pool.

KT's sister came along, which we were grateful for, as it helped us to really communicate. We had lunch and chatted for what seemed like hours. She asked if we have servants and Gerry jokingly said, 'yep I am her servant.' We learned so much about each other. KT loves clothes and jewelry. Her and J had an arranged marriage where they met on their wedding day, but fell in love. She smiled and asked, 'yours was a love marriage?'

She has been feeling great so far in the pregnancy. She has been 'just a little bit sick', and craving 'spicy foods.' When Gerry offered her apple juice she politely refused telling us that she had prayed to the prophet (a Muslim belief) that you give up something you really like for your dreams to come true. She sacraficed apples, as she loves them, until her dreams of the baby being born and having her home come true.

The kids enjoyed riding up and down with Gerry in the glass elevator. The hotel staff was so wonderful and accommodating. Both boys held our hands when walking to the pool and even gave us kisses good-bye. We were so touched.

We purchased a fold out mattress and 2 fluffy pillows for KT to sleep on at home (it is quite common in India to sleep on just a rug on the floor). We told her we wanted her and the baby to be comfortable, and I'm sure that the boys will snuggle up on it as well. It was quite the scene earlier in the day to see us on the Rickshaw returning to the hotel with a mattress and pillows and bags jammed in between the two of us.

We spent more time then we had ever dreamed of with KT and her family. They were so wonderful and wanted to spend as much time as possible with us as well. This was one of the main reasons that we decided to stay the entire time in Mumbai this trip and not venture off for a few days. She wanted to see us off at the airport but when the Docs called her, her husband said she was sleeping. I guess that mattress came in handy after all, and we probably wore her out from all the visiting during the week. It was definitely more important for her to rest.

We took a day trip to Elephanta Island, finally after 3 visits to India, and it was well worth it. Its only 375 INR (less than $8.00 US) per person and a really nice time.

We are back home and almost a week has already passed. We knew that when we got back from our trip, time would fly. Tomorrow our little angel is already 21 weeks.

Your Baby at 21 weeks:

Chances are KT is feeling someone performing a round-off back handspring in her uterus by now. Is there any other feeling this cool?

Other highlights this week:

By now your baby looks like a mini-version of what she'll look like when she's born. All her facial features are formed and hair is growing on her head. She's even acting like a baby and will occasionally suck her thumb or yawn. Aww ...

Baby's heartbeat is getting stronger and can be heard using a good old-fashioned stethoscope. Ask for a listen at your next prenatal visit! By 21 weeks, fetal bone marrow starts making blood cells—previously done by the liver and spleen. This may not sound that exciting, but it's good news.

The amniotic fluid that has been cushioning your little bean now serves another purpose: Your baby uses it to "practice" chowing down. Yes, it sounds gross (as many aspects of pregnancy do), but it's an important step for your baby toward being able to chow down in the real world. Your baby has been swallowing amniotic fluid for a while now, but now the intestines are finally developed enough that she's absorbing small amounts of sugars from it. And let's face it, being able to effectively digest sugar is important at every stage of life.

Your baby now weighs between 10 and 11 ounces and is approximately 7 inches long—the size of a delicious, cold, frothy bottle of root beer. Float anyone?

Pics of our trip...