Monthly Archives: June 2013

Not this time

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The news is bad. There will be no egg retrieval for us at this time. It’s a combination of things: my severe illness messed up my cycle and my right ovary cannot be visualized, no matter how hard they try, plus my blood pressure was going up from just a few injections, and the IVF clinic isn’t totally equipped to deal with issues other than IVF specific ones.

Before we came, we purchased additional travel medical insurance, as everyone should do when they travel our of province or country, in spite of the fact that one of the main clauses states that there will be exclusions or reductions in coverage if you travel for the purposes of medical treatment. We took this to mean that things related to the medical treatment would be covered, but perhaps if we were hit by a motorbike, we could be covered. Therefore, BP rising due to meds would most certainly not be covered, especially since high BP is a preexisting condition, so we are not prepared or covered for that risk.
As far as my right ovary is concerned, I am fairly pissed off that this wasn’t fully clarified in Canada. While the OB/GYN did see on the report that it couldn’t be visualized, it was thought that when push came to shove, they would be able to move the fat, organs, intestines, or whatever out of the way to see the ovary. The two docs in India here tried to ultrasound via both internal and external methods, and could not view it no matter how much they tried. They state there are massive (or massive amounts of) fibroids blocking all views. Obviously I will need to check this out back home. I it is possible that the fibroids grew when I was on estrogen pills for that month, after the Canada ultrasound…. Who knows.

I was pretty distraught when we found out and only vaguely discussed further options with the clinic, so we have made an appointment for tomorrow afternoon to discuss what we can do going forward. Some of the options in my mind are:

1. Leave a sperm sample here for use with an egg that we send from Canada, IF we can get one/some

2. Send embryos from Canada, IF we can get eggs with which to make embryos

3. Leave a sperm sample here for use with an egg donor here

There are many aspects to discuss together, things to consider, not the least of which is cost. But we need to know the options and costs associated before we can really delve into the talks. We also need to know how much refund we can get, based on the minimal amount of work that was done here.

Hubby is the best, he has said all the right things to me, cuddled me, talked with me, been my usual rock. I am so thankful I have this man at my side for this journey, he makes me feel so much better just being in my space, as always.

Please don’t feel bad for us, this was always a major possibility, maybe even a probability, and we will just move forward from here.

To those of you that are having success, please don’t stop telling me about it, as I will be happy for you and it won’t make me feel bad. I am still interested and pleased to hear other stories.

For those about to embark, you are not me, your bodies are different than mine, and this should not make you worried. We all have different risks that have brought us here, and so our outcomes will all be different based on our particular bodies. Best of luck and my good vibes are headed your way.

Our journey isn’t over by a long shot, so stay tuned! There’s even still some time left in India for me to tell you about!

Still here

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We are feeling a lot better, probably about 80% for me and over 90% better for hubby. We did venture out to a grocery store yesterday, but nowhere interesting today.

I have to say, the clinic visits are not that promising at present. My blood pressure goes up with the injections and blood work has been drawn to determine if things are moving forward. I have an ultrasound tomorrow to see how things are progressing too, though after being so ill and having whacky periods, I dunno. I think the near faint in the clinic freaked everyone out.

Unless the scales here are lying (which I don’t doubt), I have lost somewhere between 20-30 lbs between my last illness at home and this one. On my current big girl frame that’s not too much, but in such a short time, it’s a fair bit I think… No wonder my body is in a bit of a tail spin.

In other news, there have been beautiful monsoons many of the days, though no thunder or lightening to speak of. I open the door to our balcony when it monsoons and just enjoy the torrential spectacle…. It’s amazing!

The grocery store was ummmm… Wow. Not much there. It was one of the fancier ones in Mumbai, from what I can gather, and we still didn’t find much. We are so scared of the food here after the horrible illness, we are living off Campbells soup and toast and juice. It’s romantic though, hubby cooks the soup always, and now his new name is Soup Walla (the old men who walk around India selling Chai from vats they carry on their head or shoulders are called Chai Wallas here).

We still haven’t found any laundry detergent or dish washing liquid, so that will be the next step. We did get laundry done once, but it was fairly expensive, and to be honest, we didn’t feel comfy sending our undies out… So we are getting low. I guess shower gel would work in a pinch. Housekeeping does our dishes, but there aren’t very many, so we would like to be able to wash some as needed.

Funny thing too… I was silly and brought a purse that is woven from strips of recycled paper (lined with fabric), and while it’s holding up well so far, I haven’t been out in the rain much. I noticed that there were some bag vendors next to the grocery store and saw a bag that was ok (not great, but acceptable) and asked how much it was. The vendor said it was 1500 INR (about $26 CAD) and there was no freaking way it was worth that. So I pretty much got offended and walked away. So he said to name a price, but I didn’t even want to bargain at that point, so I kept walking. He kept stating prices, 1000, 900, 500, all the way down to 300 INR ($5.00).

So if you come here, bring your astute bargaining skills, or you will get ripped off. I didn’t buy the bag, it wasn’t worth going back for… But when I do venture out next, I will be ready. I don’t want to take food off a vendor’s plate, but I don’t want to pay quadruple for a piece of crap either.

Alright, I just wanted to poke my nose up to say we are here….

Sick again, and a scare

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So I am sick again, the seems like the same illness I had before we left on our trip, so either hubby passed it back to me or its just similar. I have been in bed for the better part of two days, and been unable to eat anything. Hopefully this will end soon.

I still haven’t gotten my periods yet, and the doctor was very worried yesterday because it was wholly possible that when I was sick a few weeks ago, the progesterone I was taking did not absorb into my body, thus my periods weren’t coming, and we could have missed our opportunity for this try. This scared the hell out of me and I was having some tears and lots of “what if” thought processes.

The doctor had some blood drawn yesterday and we went back for the results today, and she said it seems that the test results were promising (estradiol levels) and we got started on the first hormone injection today. So, it seems that disaster has been averted and we are in the right track.

Again, I have to note how thankful I am to hubby, because he said all the right things to me while I was so worried, and did his best to look on the bright side and make me feel better.

Ok, typing makes me want to vomit, so hopefully I will be better soon.

Hubby.

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I freaking love my hubby. There is nobody I would rather be with, anywhere, especially in India, partaking of this journey. I just want to squosh him up. Good thing he’s fairly big and sturdy because sometimes I just want to hug him so hard that it could break a less sturdy guy. He is my favourite person in the whole wide world.

Sorry, I just had to share my mega affection wave… I get them sometimes and feel like I will burst.

Also, World War Z was ok; not the best, not the worst.

And, Mad About Donuts has terrible donuts. Don’t get any.

Additionally, I am not feeling the best today. Had some chills, sore feeling a bit. I am hoping I am not getting sick, I have my fingers crossed that it may be the periods coming.

It’s 7:30 pm and I am in bed, though I had black tea, so am awake… It would probably be dumb to go to sleep this early, it wouldn’t do my 4 am waking up any good. Awake I shall stay, until a “decent” bed time.

I wonder if we will be able to see the Super Moon….

Tuk Tuk? Yes please!

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So hubby got over his apprehension at taking Tuk Tuks and now they will likely be our most common mode of transportation here. They are faster, cheaper and much more fun than the taxis, and we didn’t feel unsafe at all. They really know what they are doing. Hubby agrees that we will take them more often.

Sooooooooo….. We highly recommended them if you ever come to India!

On the surrogacy front, I have still not started my “periods”, so my estradiol level is too high to start the hormone treatment yet. We MAY have to stay a few days longer if things in the nether region don’t hurry up and start moving right along. As soon as I start my periods, I can have my baseline ultrasound and start the hormones.

The clinic is closed tomorrow, so there won’t be any update about the actual surrogacy.

We attempted to go grocery shopping today as well and had no real luck. The grocery store we found in a mall had only really strange stuff. The milk was all in tetra packs, there was no cheese other than processed cubes and slices, no bread to speak of, no q-tips, one small package of facial tissues… We did get lots of juice though, so we have beverages. We will try to find a better store in the next few days.

We did encounter a few beggars today, one old gentleman with no hands and a couple of kids we just wanted to hug up, but that’s about it.

Last night, we went to the MIL’s hotel and had dinner and there was an ultra-rad Mumbai band called The Funky Kurtas, they played electric sitar and drums, etc. Look them up, they are excellent.

Well, signing off to have my afternoon cafe latte… We have yet to find Chai…. Strange, eh? Well, we have seen a Chai walla but he was at a distance.

More blood work

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Ok, so anyone who knows me, knows I hate having my blood drawn. I am ok with injections for the most part, but anything going into a vein is probably my cryptonite.

I called the clinic to see when they wanted me back and I had to go back immediately for an additional test, so we went, and the anesthesiologist wasn’t there, so the nurse was going to try for the butterfly in my other hand, but didn’t seem to easily find a juicy vein, so I just suggested she use my arm. She did a great job and found one the first try, so while I was all yucky and sick feeling, I was soooo happy she didn’t have to do multiple pokes or dig around much. Yay!

For all you health care providers back in Canada, while the nurses were wearing pretty pink scrubs, they did not wear gloves at any time, and in most cases were in flip flops or bare feet. Of note, is that my blood drops from earlier in the day were still there, except they were mushed around a bit. It’s just different here, I still felt safe and that I was in no time danger of contamination, and i am a bit of a germaphobe, so that’s saying something.

In other news, we saw our surrogate by fluke in the street. She was with her wee daughter. We greeted each other, but when you don’t speak each others’ languages, there isnt much more else to say or do. It was awkward, and i still wish there was more connection…. We shall see.

It rained for all of thirty seconds while we were out. Warm and light, no monsoons yet.

Also, lastly, I have started feeding the India crows on our balcony. I need some sort of animal interaction in the absence of our three boys, so since I love crows in Canada, I am adopting some here.

Blood work

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So we had our first blood work here this morning and it was somewhat different than in Canada. For one, the woman didn’t know how to use a butterfly, which is generally the only way anyone can draw blood from me (in the back of my hand) as I am big and also my veins roll away from the needles. Luckily, the anesthesiologist was sitting right there and he knew how to do it. Second they had a much better setup for tourniquets, it was velcro, so not a rubber tied off thinger, so it found it more effective. Third, they draw all your blood into one syringe, then insert the syringe into the vials to fill them, rather than attaching the vials to the syringe directly. Therefore, there was a bit of stray blood on the floor and desk. I have seen stray blood in Canada too, so no big deal. Other than that, they still used clean procedures, and we felt safe, and they got it on the first try, which is always important to me as I despise getting my blood drawn or IVs.

I spoke to the anesthesiologist about my previous intubation issues (past troubles during surgeries) just so he is aware, and he says I won’t need to be intubated unless there is an emergency, which is highly unlikely, as the procedure is very short. He was very reassuring. I like to be in contact with the various folks on the medical team, so they are aware of any of my concerns. Communication is key, so make sure you let them know if you have ever had any medical problems.

Another nice breakfast at the hotel (breakfast buffet included every day) and now we are relaxing for awhile. We are probably going on an ethical tour of the slums today, where 80% goes to improvement and services for those who live there and then later this week a market tour. Also, going to go see World War Z when it’s released, and maybe Monster University later this week.

Mumbai again…

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Here we are…. Have been here for nearly a whole day, but have been sleeping and out mostly so this is my first chance to write.

So far it’s been fairly uneventful. It was so humid stepping off the plane that my glasses fogged up completely. Then a bit of confusion at the airport as there is a special line for folks with medical visas (in our case it was line 4, though it may move… But if you ever go on a medical visa, don’t go through the the regular immigration line like we did, only to be told to go somewhere else).

Our taxi, while air conditioned, was too small for our luggage, so our suitcases were tied to the roof with some old rope. The roads are so bumpy and crazy that we were never sure if our luggage was still there, until I realized I could see the shadow of the taxi, complete with luggage lump shadows, everything we passed by a streetlight. We all made it to the hotel in one piece, and didn’t even get lost. Have I mentioned that whenever you go to Mumbai, there aren’t really street addresses, so you have to tell the taxi a) the area, like Bandra West or East, b) a main street nearby c) the closest intersection of streets and then hopefully something close by like a popular bookstore or restaurant. Ask your clinic and/or hotel for close landmarks or “taxi hints” to give to your driver.

Our hotel is great so far! We really, really like it. We weren’t sure, as it’s a boutique hotel and has no stars because it doesn’t have enough rooms to qualify for stars, but it was a good choice. If the whole visit is good, I will give them a plug at the end of the stay (for those not Canadian, a “plug” means a good review or recommendation).

First appointment at the clinic was also uneventful, I just provided some previous test results and will have some more tests tomorrow. I think the first ultrasound tomorrow as well; I though it would be today, but apparently not quite yet.

Off to bed now, as our clinic appointment is early tomorrow… But we got here safe and sound and no rash from the airplane bug spray, so it was probably from something else last time.

Oh yeah, no rain yet, no storms….

Over half way there…

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We have safely made it to Seoul, N. Korea. Hubby feels like crap but is being a major trooper. Twelve hours down, another nine or so to go. Then we can have a sleep and shower at the hotel before the first appointment.

Wow, this much flying is not high on our list of favourites, but we are managing. It will just be really nice to be able to settle in at our hotel after the flights.

I have to say that bibimbap is delicious….

sleep…

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wee update before i go to sleep (if i can sleep with all the excitement).

we are flying out tomorrow, everything is ready (pretty much).

unfortunately, hubby has gotten the sickness that i had last week, so he’s feeling totally crappy.  when i said we would have to cancel the trip if i felt that bad, i am glad that he’s stronger than me in that way (so far), but maybe he’s not hit the worst of it yet.  i have my fingers crossed that he will feel ok tomorrow, and i am sooooooooooooo happy that he can sleep on planes.  i am hoping he will just sleep through the worst of it (he’s sleeping now).

anyways, the next post will probably be from Korea or Mumbai…. our real journey (the important part) starts tomorrow!

i feel like i should close like a letter here… like “talk soon” or “talk to you later” or “bye for now”… but i guess i will be taking the blog with me on the road, so yeah…. i think i always have a bit of an awkward moment trying to close a blog post; it’s like an email without an easy ending… wow, this one is dragging out  a bit… clearly i am overtired.

ciao y’all!