Monthly Archives: January 2013

realistic movie about surrogacy in India

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i just wanted to quickly post that my brother gave me the names of a couple of movies that deal with the concept of surrogacy in India.  i am happy that he is interested and did a bit of research into it, and shared his findings.

the two movies are “Half the Sky“, which is a movie/documentary/movement about women around the world, and looks to turning “oppression into opportunity”.  while i am VERY interested in this movie, i can’t seem to find it online.  it purports to be on Netflix, but only the American site so far, so i haven’t been able to find it.  i have found many clips and trailers on Youtube, but not the whole movie anywhere.  this movie seems to have much celebrity involvement, and seems to be quite controlled as far as distribution, which i think is a little odd for a movie that seems to want to get a word out about a cause.  i am a little suspicious, but still really, really, really want to see it, so will continue my search (perhaps it’s time to renew that library card).

the second movie is called Google Baby.  while this movie was also hard to find, a dear, computer savvy friend has (and please excuse my lack of a good description of this) taken a bunch of pieces of the movie from YouTube, and pasted them together, very smoothly i might add, and therefore i have watched it.  Google Baby is a pretty raw vision of surrogacy in India, and surrogacy on the whole, but it’s nothing i didn’t expect.  it was very interesting and very blatant, but i am very happy i saw it, and it hasn’t changed anything for us.

we are very open to any information anyone has to share; any bits of information are useful and helpful, so i must thank my brother for providing the names of these movies.

contact…

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it’s been a little while since i have written, so i thought i would just give a bit of an update.

one of the things that has happened in the last few weeks is that my step-sister knew a guy, who knew a guy, who did the surrogacy in India journey about three years ago, with a successful result of a beautiful baby.  she asked her guy, to ask his guy if we could be introduced via email and perhaps he could share some info with me.  the second guy kindly agreed, and we have been in touch.  let’s call him Matt.

so, Matt and his wife underwent the surrogacy procedure three years ago, so he is quite sure times have changed (so am i, due to my research).  at that point, there wasn’t as much attention paid to the whole “industry”, and Matt and his wife had to muddle their way through, just learning as they went.  additionally, Matt’s wife had a medical condition that made it important for them to have her go through the IVF at a regular hospital, where they could properly monitor her condition, and therefore didn’t do the IVF and surrogacy through a designated IVF/surrogacy hospital.  had they done it through a designated IVF/surrogacy hospital, they might have received a bit more guidance.

also, Matt and his wife are from the USA, so much of the paperwork and passport/visa information is probably different, so we didn’t delve into that.  he said it was a bit of a nightmare, but maybe that’s just because it’s America? hehe!

from Matt however, i got to see a few of his blog entries from when he returned from India, and learned some things about the food, the culture, what hotels were like, and the fact that internet connectivity was nearly impossible to find there.  i am hoping this last detail has changed a bit in the last three years.  Matt said he never felt worried about crime, and the people were all very nice, though the language and cultural barriers made things very difficult.  they did their procedures in Mumbai, so it was incredibly populated and bustling.  as we have heard from others, the traffic is crazy, but Matt said that while it was crazy and incredible, in the six weeks he was there, he never saw one accident or aftermath of an accident, so i felt encouraged by this.  he also said that the food was wonderful!

some of the other details Matt gave me that were of interest were:

  • even the hotel that he was in, which was $100/night, had cockroaches and bugs everywhere (this does not particularly freak me out)
  • it’s important to try to get a hotel very close to the clinic, transportation is a bit freaky, so if you have to do less, it’s better
  • almost all medical procedures had to be paid in cash
  • Matt and his wife had very little contact with their surrogate
  • they had very little communication from anyone throughout the process.  he found this very difficult, but surmises that this is because it wasn’t a designated surrogacy clinic, and that these days things are probably very different
  • they felt that the medical team and care was very thorough and good in every way
  • they made two trips – the first was for two weeks to do the sperm deposit, IVF and embryo transfer, the second was for six weeks
  • you don’t need to bring a car seat for the baby, it’s just not done there (aaaack, that freaks me out)
  • bring formula – just to be sure you get the best kind, which may not (and probably isn’t) available there
  • you don’t need anything special on the plane
  • make sure there is a car seat in the car that picks you up from the airport when you go home

those are some of the more salient points in our communication so far, but we are not done yet.  i just keep asking him questions and he answers.  i must say it’s really awesome to have some real contact with someone who has gone through this, and his son is beautiful and healthy!

my darling has reminded me that i shouldn’t make my blog entries so long, so i will sign off now… and he says hi!

traffic

Keeping cord blood for the future

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it a baby has an issue in the future and needs a transfusion or .  i am not very well-educated about cord blood, only that it can be very beneficial in the future, here it is in a nutshell:

Cord blood is increasingly replacing bone marrow as the go-to source for stem cells, which are transplanted to help regenerate the body’s blood system with healthy cells. Leukemias, immune and blood disorders are among the diseases treated with stem cells and scientists are working hard to expand the list.”

based on the little i know, i think it would be a very good idea, so i am going to look into it more.  at a glance, there is some controversy about it, as there seems to be with almost everything these days, but i am going to try to find out what i need to know, and will share it with you here.

so far, there seem to be many companies in Canada that will provide you with a collection kit to collect the cord blood when the baby is born, and then pick it up and store it for you, but i haven’t yet found out if it can be sent from India to Canada for storage.  i did find one website that says they can send it to anywhere if you need it in the future, so it would seem that it could be sent from India, it’s just that i would have to figure out how to arrange that.  however, one foot in front of the other, i guess i should find out realistically if it’s a good idea to do it, and make the inquiries into arranging for collection and storage after that decision has been made.

as always, will keep you posted.

a place for baby :)

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we really want to move apartments before we bring a baby home…. our current apartment is right on a main street, which also happens to be  truck and dangerous goods route, and has a bus stop right out front.  we noticed, that with our patio garden down for the winter, so less watering and cleaning activities on the deck, everything is coated with a thick layer of fine black mud, which seems to come from the exhaust of all these vehicles, and the dust that they kick up.  this apartment also gets soooooooo much dust, and we can just imagine what it’s all doing to our lungs, much less what they would do to a tiny, wee baby’s lungs.

we don’t love this apartment anyways, and while we can tolerate it, and have been tolerating it, having a baby might give us the impetus to actually find something better.  in doing so, we could also perhaps find some of the features that would make life with a wee one easier, like in suite laundry and a dishwasher.

it would be kind of nice to find a place that we want to stay in for a long time, maybe a place the baby could have for the beginning of their life, in a nice neighbourhood with nice places to play and walk.  this neighbourhood has those, and we would be very happy to live in this neighbourhood, if we weren’t located directly on this main street.  if we weren’t in this exact location, but had this exact apartment, we would probably even want to stay, but the dust, dirt, noise, and pollution of this place are just getting to us, and we wouldn’t want the baby to be here.

so, that’s something to really think about pretty fast, because we can’t imagine moving WITH a small baby, so we would like to do it ahead of time.  we have to decide what areas we would be wanting to live in, and what type of dwelling we would like to be in.  while we have thought of renting a detached house, it’s probably financially unrealistic in the Lower Mainland, because of cost.  second choice would be some sort of condo or townhouse, but to get that, we would probably have to move out to a farther suburb, which we aren’t opposed to, but would have to think about in terms of commute for both of us, etc.

anyways, along with everything else, we would like a nice place for baby, so it’s on our mind 🙂

touching base…

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not much to report at this point, just biding our time til the chems leave my body and i can go have the testing to get things started.

a couple of days ago, i was searching in WordPress for other peoples’ blogs to do with surrogacy in general, and had put “surrogacy” into the search bar.  after leafing through some of the blogs (many are just advertising from clinics), i came upon one woman totally blasting the concept of surrogacy, making huge generalizations, and also going off about several other topics that are close to my heart, like same sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose.  clearly you will understand what team she was playing for, though i am not going to name the team directly.  as an aside, she was going on and on and on and on about how a the relationship between a child and their biological mother is TOTALLY SUPERIOR to any other relationship that child will ever have, and that nobody can ever care for a child like the biological mother because of some cellular bond (not quoting here) that cannot be understood by anyone but a biological mother, and even went on a bit about how her husband was a pretty good father, but even his relationship with their children was inferior because he is not the biological mother and can’t possibly have the same bond. i am not quite sure how she claims to understand the bond between any two people of which she isn’t one, but whatever.  the thing that pissed me off so greatly, was that she was saying that people who go through with surrogacy are basically ripping off the child (even if it is their own genetic child, carried in a surrogates womb) of the essential relationship with the woman who carried the child.  she basically said that the child really belongs with the surrogate, and that the surrogate and that the child and surrogate will be damaged by their separation.

i was just so offended that she would presume to know about other peoples’ ability to parent or to have a relationship with a child.  i know that there is a bond between a baby and the woman who’s womb they grow in, and i am not going to minimize that, but she was basically just saying that everyone who gives up a child for adoption, adopts a child, participates in surrogacy, fosters, same sex parents, step-parenting, and even single fathers (or married fathers) will provide inferior parenting to the birth mother of a baby.

so, being how i am, i had to post to her, because i can’t resist defending things that i care about…. so we went back and forth a bit, and i finally just cut it short by telling her that there was no way we would ever complete the debate, so there really wasn’t any point in going back and forth.

i guess i wasn’t offended for myself, because (believe it or not), i have zero doubts about my ability to parent or my husbands ability to parent.  i mean, i have thoughts about what would be best, what direction we will go in different areas, how our child will turn out, etc., but they aren’t doubts, they are just the regular thoughts any person planning parenthood would have.  i know that nobody is perfect, and i know that my darling and i will be closer on the scale to perfect parents than to shitty parents, so i am not worried.

she also went on and on about the “commodification of  women in India” and likened it to the recent gang-raping and killing of the young woman on the bus in India.  how fucking moronic (sorry, i think that was my first F-bomb on my blog, i have been letting you all off easy).  she felt that all instances of surrogacy just use women in India, and that they are totally being taken advantage of and that people are terrible for partaking in this practice.  i was pretty offended, after reading many stories of Indian women who feel as though they are not only giving a gift to a childless couple, but being able to provide for their families in ways that they could only dream about.  i guess i was pissed off that she made it look like these women are brainless and have no choice.  i believe she used the word “chattels”.  sigh, i think she doesn’t have a very good opinion of women, other than their ability to bear children… which also meant to me, that she felt women who can’t bear children are basically useless.

i guess i was pissed off because in my reading of other peoples’ blogs, i have seen so many people that have doubts, that if they run across that idiot’s blog, they may really feel sad, or persecuted, and i hate that!!!  oh well, i am done with her, and won’t go back to her blog, because it’s just so much shit.

so, though this may seem like a bit of a rant, it actually isn’t.  having this “conversation” with this woman only made me think things through even more, and realize that we will be such better parents than some that preach judgment and hate to their kids, and have no respect for others…. it made me happy for who i am and who my darling is, because i think our world is a happier one than that of those who are so afraid of the way others do things, that they think it threatens their ideals.

maybe i should preface every post with whether or not it will contain valuable information about the process of surrogacy in India… the blog initially was to assist others in the process, but there has been (and will continue to be) such a huge gap in “movement” that i am filling the space and time with my personal thoughts.  meh, i guess if people are interested, they will find the valuable nuggets that are meaningful to them in their journey, and for those who are not on the same journey, i guess it’s a window into my/our thoughts for these months.

 

A couple of happy stories : )

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For today, here are a few of the happy stories i have found online that don’t smack of being sponsored (though they may be).  i have to say that there are far more happy stories about surrogacy in India than there are negative ones or scary ones, but i try not to read too much into them.  i just wanted to pick a few to share that have some of my ideal concepts in them.

of course it’s not ideal to have a baby that doesn’t make it, or a baby who ends up in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit, for those acronym impaired), but the surrogate experiences and the eventual outcomes are good in these two stories.

interestingly, even though i found them doing random searches on very different dates, both of these stories involve the same doctor (and likely clinic), who wasn’t on the list of those that i was considering at this time.  i wonder if that’s a coincidence or if this doctor/clinic seeks out the documentation of these happy stories? (ever the cynic)

g’night (it’s after midnight here, and i am yawning)

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/having-twins-with-a-surrogate-in-india/

http://todayhealth.today.com/_news/2012/05/28/11883566-a-baby-made-in-india-a-couples-dream-comes-true?lite

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on a lighter note

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ok, this hilarious video was on Facebook today, so I nabbed it.  It’s a pity none of my Facebook friends know about this journey, or i could really go to town on there…

 

information overload… seriously.

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i guess i am in a pretty unique position because i am working towards a surrogacy without years of infertility issues and attempts at having a baby.  so, i think this puts me at a bit of a disadvantage because i am now looking at all kinds of message boards, forums, blogs and websites and i don’t share experiences with the writers or community, and i certainly don’t know the lingo.  i go to these sites and see people identify themselves like this (and this is one of the shorter, less acronym-rich IDs):

Age – Both- 33
Severe Male Factor
Me – Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
TTC since 2008
1st treatment – IVF-ICSI November 2012
November 3 – started bravelle and menopur
November 15 – ER – 5 eggs – 4 mature – 3 fertilized with ICSI – 2 survivors
November 18 – 3dt of 2 embryo’s (grade 2 and grade 3)
Dec 3 – Beta 492!! 
Dec 19 – First u/s One little bean, 4 mm 122hb
EDD August 8

i don’t even know what half of those abbreviations and acronyms mean.  so i find that when i am trying to find out something, i need to do a bunch of research to find out what the hell people are talking about, before i can just get the answer to my question.  for example, today i googled “how long does an IVF cycle take?” (luckily i know what IVF means), and in the first answer it said “2ww from an IUI“… well, wtf does that mean?  for those who are just curious, that means two week wait from an intrauterine implantation…. but i had to do two searches on 2ww and IUI before i could understand the first sentence of the page i was looking at.

no offence to the infertility community, but if i am confused, and i have been working in the medical field for nearly 20 years, and am used to researching online and feel comfortable doing so, this must really suck for someone who is new to the infertility community, having tons of stress about their own situation, and just wants some support and help.  it’s very hard to feel a part of a community when you can’t understand what you are reading.  ack, i feel like my brain is trying to wrap my head around the sociology of the community, but that i don’t even really belong to the community because i haven’t seen even one person in my exact situation, and i just basically want some information so i know what to expect.

i also am feeling a bit disjointed because i am not in the same position as anyone i have seen, and i feel really uncomfortable talking about my exact situation in a forum, because i feel there will be judgement… as a matter of fact, i KNOW there will be judgement.  i feel comfortable with people who know me knowing my situation, but i have even gotten some judgey comments from the doctor at one of the clinics i have contacted, so ugh… i am so used to just putting it all out there, and F$%& what anyone thinks, and this situation of not wanting to be judged is different for me…. i don’t like it.

anyways, i feel like sometimes i come blog here and it’s all kind of negative, but i guess it’s just reflective of the things that are freaking me out on this journey.

on the whole, we are extremely excited, and talk a lot about the good things and plans we have for the future.  we have had conversations about baby names and schooling and teenagers and food and health and friends and childcare and family and pets and home and clothing and parenting styles and money and holidays and education and everything else people talk about when they are planning to have a child.  it’s wonderful to think about, and great to plan, and filled with its own stresses and fears, but wonderful overall, and exciting.  i could go on for hours about all the fun things, and perhaps i will closer to the time of the impending baby’s arrival, but for now i am sticking to this portion of the story, which for me, provides lots of things to worry about.

so, sorry reader, for the seemingly negative posts, but since most of you probably know me, you will maybe understand the things i worry about, and just read along.  and those of you who don’t know me, i will assume you are here to find information specific to the surrogacy in India journey, and will continue to provide information as i find it.  i don’t think i will include much information about IVF, because holy crap, there is a TON of info out there already, you just have to learn a new language to understand it, and create an identity for yourself based solely on information surrounding the reasons why you can’t procreate in the usual fashion (and my feelings on that are another story).

so, did you know the human egg is the largest cell in the female human’s body, and is 20 times the size of a sperm, because it’s got to supply the sustenance for the embryos first week of life?

here’s one now (i wonder why it’s purple, but i like it):

human-egg