Monthly Archives: April 2013

getting ready.

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we spent much of the weekend preparing for the trip.  we picked up our rupees, which we had ordered last Monday from the bank, because banks give a better exchange rate.  we wish we had requested smaller bills, because they gave us only 500 and 1,000 rupee bills, which isn’t really what you want to flash around when paying for taxis, etc.  i think we will see if the hotel will swap us for some smaller bills once we check in.  we also (on my MIL’s suggestion) made a wee little chart for each of us, so we could easily see the conversion (it just lists how much 1, 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 rupees are in CAD at a glance); we will carry these around so we can figure out if something is a good price.  the other thing we always do when travelling, is split the money in half and each carry half, in case one of our pockets get picked (this was a major worry in Italy), then at least we have half left.

the funny thing about the trip, is that we are packing almost more for the travelling time than for the Mumbai time.  i don’t mean more in space or weight, but we need more things for the travelling, because we will be on the plane or in transit more than we will actually be in Mumbai i think.  so we need some things to entertain ourselves and some comforts.  in actuality, we are only taking one suitcase between the two of us, and then each a carry on bag of necessities.  this worries me a little bit, because normally when we travel we take two suitcases, and split our stuff into each, so in case one of our suitcases gets lost, we still each have half of our clothing.  we thought of this on a cruise, when we saw these funny sets of basic clothing for sale in the gift shop, for people who’s luggage had gotten lost and not found before the cruise embarked.  for about $100/US you got a pair of socks, pants, a shirt, and a pair of underwear and a pair of shoes.  they were all black and white, so you would look like a waiter, but still, at least you weren’t nekkid.  my nightmare is losing our luggage; so far, so good… knocking on wood now!

we have the cats all set up to live without us for the week, with their “uncle” to come take care of them a couple of times per day, so that’s good.  tomorrow after work i will do things like order the taxi (we leave pretty much in the middle of the night tomorrow, so it’s good to have it booked), do online check-in (i tried already, but it’s too early), and do the final packing.

this may (or may not) be the last post before we leave…

 

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Beggars

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In preparation for our trip, I have talked to as many people as possible who I know have been in India to see what their experiences have been. While everyone has said in their own words that India is amazing and beautiful and wonderous, they have also all said in their own ways how raw it is. One of the main things that has come up has been the abundance of beggars of all sorts, and how shocking and hard it is to see all these people in their various stages of dishevlement and how bad one feels not knowing what to do. I know that here in Vancouver we have a “fairly high” number of homeless folks who also ask for money, and I have learned my own way of dealing with them as they approach me, but in a land where there are hundreds of thousands I was wondering what the best approach was. Therefore, I did some research.

In my reading, I found this wonderful blog post, and reading it, along with the many responses it got, made me feel a little more prepared (though I am sure it’s still going to be very, very, very difficult to see so many people with so much need).

Still no word from the clinic, but full steam ahead with the preparation for the trip. T-50 hours to go.

Also, I have not lost my mind and started using proper capitalization, I am posting from my tablet, which insists upon correcting me.

the trip is getting close

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well, it’s Friday night, and we are leaving on Monday night, so really only three days til we leave.

i have to say i am a bit worried that we haven’t yet received a surrogate profile from the clinic.  i wrote to them eight days ago to see how it was going, and they responded a few days later saying they would “send us a profile soon”.  we haven’t heard back from them yet, even though i wrote a follow up email about 36 hours ago to let them know we were a bit worried and if they didn’t have a complete profile available or ready, we would just be happy to know that they had selected a surrogate and if they could provide us a bit of information, that would be great.

for me, it’s just a little strange, because the clinic has always been good at responding to emails in a timely fashion, and we would have been satisfied even if they had responded to say that someone had not yet been selected, but would be before we arrive.  i guess i feel that a clinic of this calibre would not allow their clients to be worried about such things so close to the time of the first visit, and i hope it’s not a sign of things to come.

i also know that we are dealing with a different country, and they do things differently, but since i have worked in healthcare in Canada for almost 20 years, i guess i have certain ingrained expectations of healthcare professionals, and it’s hard for me to expect or accept anything different.  i am going to try to remain positive and be relaxed until our meeting with the clinic (and surrogate, hopefully) a week from today, but i cannot express how upset i would be if we arrived for our appointment and there wasn’t a surrogate available to sign the contract.

at this point, our airfare and hotel have been about $4,000 (CAD), plus this trip includes almost two days of travel on either side of the two day visit to Mumbai, and both hubby and i are using time off work.  additionally, hubby’s Mom is meeting us there, so it’s her time, airfare and hotel, so it’s a fairly huge amount of money and effort.

did i mention how upset i would be?

i will post as soon as we get a profile or info, and/or make sure to update before we leave or somewhere along the way.  there is free wi-fi in the Mumbai hotel room, so i should be able to make some brief postings from there as well.

fingers crossed.

a week tonight

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so, we will be leaving to go to the airport in a week from tonight.  our flight leaves at around 06:00, so we will have to be there a couple of hours before that… so it’s creeping up there.  i guess we better start to think about what to pack.  while we will be gone for five days, most of it will be on the plane, so not too much will be needed.  this will be a minimalist trip, whereas trip two will need more stuff, because it’s going to be much longer.

also, i emailed the clinic to see if they had chosen our surrogate, and they responded that they would send us a profile soon.  i hope soon means really soon, we are so curious to know who our surrogate will be.  i will keep ya posted.

two weeks until contract signing…

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tomorrow marks the beginning of the two week count-down until we meet our doctor, our surrogate, check out the clinic, and sign the contract.

we are getting very excited for the trip… it’s going to be a whirlwind, but it will kind of seem like the “real” beginning of this whole process.  all the work til now has been research and getting ready for this trip; it’s amazing, but it’s taken almost five and a half months to do the research, get all our testing done, and choose a clinic.  i think for others, it might take less time, because of the methotrexate and mirena issues at the start of our journey, but still, it’s been a lot to think about and do, and this trip marks a semi-culmination of the effort.

the count-down is on!  (i feel like i have said that before in other posts, but don’t want to go check.  maybe i am marking myself as a count-down lover… oh well, there are worse things to be)

babies

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i just wanted to pass along information about a great documentary i watched called “babies“.  it’s a wonderful film following four babies; one each from Japan, Africa, Mongolia, and America from birth to approximately 1  or 1.5 years of age.  it made me feel less worried about being a first time parent, because it really shows how resilient babies are, and in what kind of different conditions they can survive and thrive.  just thought i would share.

letter from Canada

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so yesterday evening, after the police fiasco, i managed to call the woman at the High Commission of Canada office in New Delhi.   she was very helpful, walking me through their website to the page that specifically describes the process for Canadians undertaking surrogacy in India.  she let me know that the letter of support is not something that needs to be written for the couple specifically, it’s a letter that has already been written and is just printed so you can include it in your package to apply for the medical visa.  unfortunately, the “letter of support” link on the page is broken at present, so she emailed the letter to me.  likely this will be fixed soon.  otherwise, you can always call the High Commission’s New Delhi office; the number is here.

so, now we have the letter, so one more thing off our list.  we will get the contract when we go to Mumbai in a few weeks, then there are a few other things on the list, and hopefully everything will go smoothly.

the FAQ page that the High Commission woman directed me to has some really good information, including what “Katie” was talking about when she commented on this blog to say that she has to go to New Dehli and has to now stay for three months.  what the page actually says is a bit less scary, but who knows what reality will be like.  it describes the process for getting citizenship papers for your baby, the passport process, and that an exit visa will be necessary.  it also describes the DNA test situation.  so, it does seem that there will be a fairly long wait in India when the baby is born, but not necessarily three months.  it does mention that some paperwork must be done in Dehli, but does not clear up whether it can be couriered or if it needs to be done in person.

i don’t want to delve too much into this, as it’s likely about a year away, and things can change, but it’s very valuable to have the website now, where i can find the information clearly laid out.

15 days til trip #1

important lesson

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when someone gives you a number to call in India, like +91114178####, make SURE, like DOUBLE, TRIPLE, POSITIVE SURE… that you add 011 to the beginning of it.  i did not, and it turned out that i called 9-1-1 (in Canada, this is the police/fire/ambulance emergency number).  when they answered, i panicked, apologized, and hung up… apparently that’s not right either, because if you hang up (especially if you are a woman), they have to call you back.  no problem, you apologize again… HOWEVER, for the safety of all involved, they have to attend.  so, tonight, we had a lovely Burnaby RCMP officer pay us a visit to make sure i didn’t have a lurking culprit in our home who was endangering me…. 

i very, very, very much understand the reasoning behind this, and really appreciate the thoroughness of our emergency services, but i surely do wish i hadn’t wasted their time 😦   so embarrassing!!!!

anyways, it’s late, so i will write about my conversation with the nice lady at the High Commission of Canada office in New Delhi tomorrow.

the “Full Circle” post below

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hi everyone –

the “Full Circle” post below is a re-blog from a wonderful blog i found about the surrogacy journey; it shows an alternative arrangement that could really work well for potential IPs and surrogate mothers.  it shows that you can be creative and ethical when undertaking surrogacy in India, or potentially any other country.

This is the best surrogacy blog I have found to date (but i didn’t find it until six months into our journey), so felt compelled to share it for others to find through our blog.

Full circle

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I really feel that this is a wonderful blog about the surrogacy journey; it shows an alternative arrangement that could really work well for potential IPs and surrogate mothers. This is the best surrogacy blog I have found, so feel compelled to share.

Our Surrogacy

Well it feels a little as though we have come full circle.  We are back to where we started from.  The test result on Tuesday (not Monday – we ended up having to wait an additional excruciating 24 hours…) was negative.   No baby or babies this year.

I have been through a range of feelings over the past few days.  Initially it was raw grief and despair.  It felt as though all the unfairness and sadness and loss was flooding back into my life and I couldn’t stop it.  I had wanted this so much and knew just how perfect it could have been for all of us.  My son was in bed fast asleep when we received the news; I was glad.  The last thing he had said before going to bed was that he had wanted to find out The Result.  In the morning I told him…

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