Tag Archives: high commission of canada

feeling much better


so, in reality, i wasn’t even close to being better at last post, my body faked me out and i thought i felt better, but i wasn’t.  now i am feeling quite a bit better and am going to be able to start doing what needs to be done to get ready for the trip.  i can’t believe we fly out in 2.5 days, it’s come up so fast!!!

our first appointment with the clinic is booked for the first day we arrive, so i can get the first ultrasound and i would imagine the first shots.

we are very excited and nervous; i guess this visit to India is going to finally answer whether we can have a baby or not…. so the next few weeks are key.

good luck to all the other couples out there who are going through the same thing at the same time.  i know of at least four others on very similar timing, and whether we ever meet any of you or not, it’s nice to know there are others in a similar boat, on a similar journey.  if you are reading this in the future and are about to go through this journey, i would recommend you do whatever you can to talk to others who are going through it to, it’s just comforting is all.

anyways, lots of preparation work to do, so signing off for now.

sick, sick, sick


i have been sooooo sick the last 48 hours or so, i guess i had some sort of a stomach bug, and it’s been so bad i haven’t been able to read, watch tv, do anything much on the computer (the screen movement makes me nauseated).  doing simple tasks has made me so weak i have actually laid down on the floor… pathetic i tell you!!!

i think i have turned a corner though, i am feeling a bit better, though still really weak, as i didn’t eat anything that whole time except two bananas and some gatorade.  i think i will try some chicken noodle soup today, get my strength back.

i cannot tell you how happy i am that this happened now instead of on travel day, because i can honestly tell you that i was so sick i would have cancelled the trip; there is NO WAY i could have traveled that way.  none, zero, zippo, zilch.  ok, maybe if they had a bed on the plane that was right next to the bathroom… but even that would have been pushing it.

oh well, moving forward! five days til we are in the air.  let’s just cross our fingers that hubby doesn’t get it… send those vibes again for him folks, they seem to have been very successful so far whenever i have asked!

a week today!


we are flying out a week today.  this time our flight is almost identical, EXCEPT the ridiculous 7.5 hour layover in Seattle… this time we don’t have that, so it’s going to be much better.

i am hoping i can sleep on the plane this time; i won’t be pulling an all-nighter the night before, as it clearly did not help with the sleeping.  i will try to get a normal night sleep so that at least i am well-rested at the start of the journey, unlike last time.

how does one pack for a three week trip?  it’s been awhile.  we are so bad at packing, we always pack too much, but i can’t imagine packing too much for three weeks.  i guess we just have to focus on only bringing stuff we know we will wear.  i hate having a item still folded nicely when i return home, knowing i didn’t even pull that thing out of my suitcase the whole time.  waste of space!

the hotel has a laundry service, so maybe we will just use that so we can pack less.

i am already thinking of missing my cats.  it’s been a long time since the older boys have missed us for three weeks, and the younger boy never has had us go away for very long at all, and since he was abandoned outside before we found him, i hope he doesn’t think we are leaving him as well.  at least they have a familiar face to look in on them a few times a day and keep them to their routine.  thankful for good friends during this journey…. that’s for sure!!!

gathering together the loose ends of stuff we need to take with us, will start making a packing list tonight, and we both have the weekend and Monday off before we leave, so we will have some time to get organized and spend quality time with “the boys”.

oh yeah, i also found out we didn’t ever get our third shot of Twinrix, so we will have to go get it on Thursday.  another expense, but better than having hepatitis…

we got our mosquito spray with DEET and our anti-malaria pills… sunscreen is probably readily available over there… or maybe it will just rain the whole time… what else? what else?  i guess that’s what the list will be for… making sure we have thought of everything.

signing off for now!



i just wanted to note the fact that we will be in Mumbai during this year’s monsoon season.  apparently they start almost like clockwork, and this year they started a few days early, just a few days ago.  judging how hot it was when we were there early in May, and also by the various blog posts i have found describing the first rains this year, new life is springing forth everywhere and people’s moods have changed with the freshness.   apparently people do get grumpy because the rains cause train delays and traffic jams, but it’s a better temperature and it’s not so dusty and overwhelmingly hot.  i have got my phone set to show me the weather in a few places, including Mumbai, and i have happily noticed that thunder and lightening storms are often predicted (three days this week!!!!).  living in the Lower Mainland we rarely get any of these, and i am EXTREMELY excited about this!

anyone who knows me, knows i love the rain, and especially when it’s warm outside and i get ridiculously excited about storms.  i ensured that we got hubby a rain coat and that both of us will bring some sort of plastic shoes.

8 days today is our planned trip, and judging by how i am feeling today, this is just the start of my excitement.

i will let you all know when i have our visas in hand.

i am pretty sure we have everything this time…


so i am going to submit our applications again this morning.  i so hope it’s all in order, because our trip is booked for us to leave on June 18th, so that doesn’t leave much time.  i am preparing myself for a constant state of anxiety while waiting…. sigh.

let the good vibage commence!!

a few things were missing…


ok folks, the BLS office (visa submission office) said that our packages were nearly perfect.  the only two things that were missing were a list of the costs associated with the surrogacy (which is no problem to provide) and then hubby and i were missing one other piece of important information, but it’s not going to be relevant to any of you, so i won’t mention it.  this will prove a little harder to get, but i am HOPING to have it in the next two days, so i can resubmit on Thursday or Friday.

apparently it takes “a fortnight” to process, which is two weeks, so we are really cutting it close here, because we really need to leave in three weeks, or wait til a new cycle.

i am going to need all your good vibes sent our way in the next few days, and then also in the weeks for processing.  i am happy to trade good vibes for others of you who need vibage for your surrogacy or any other ole thing… just let me know!!!

medical visa application stuff


finally we have gathered all the stuff we need for the medical visa application packages, and we are ready to submit them tomorrow.  what a lot of stuff.  i wanted to share the list of what we included, because the checklist in the “Useful Information” section on the right is only for a general medical visa (could be for any medical procedure), and the medical visa for surrogacy is much more complicated.  so here’s the list, NOT in order:

  1. the CHECKLIST – you have to sign it when you drop off the package, because they review your package with you to make sure you have everything, or they will write down what is missing (hopefully nothing)
  2. application form – signed with an appropriately sized picture pasted to it
  3. surrogacy letter for perspective parents – from the High Commission of Canada (or your country’s) in New Delhi
  4. surrogacy contract – signed by all parties and notarized
  5. letter stating we will support the child(ren) after born
    1. we included the notice of assessment from our 2012 tax returns to show our income
  6. proof you will be able to pay for the surrogacy and related expenses (bank account print out)
  7. letter from our doctor in Canada explaining why we need surrogacy
  8. letter from clinic in India explaining when we need to be in India for surrogacy and where the procedures will be performed and how long we need to be there
  9. information to show the clinic is an ART clinic registered by the Indian Council of Medical Research
  10. marriage certificate (holy crap, i thought i knew EXACTLY where our certificate was – in a file folder called “wedding” in the filing cabinet – so i didn’t worry about it.  then this afternoon i looked and it wasn’t there, so we had to tear through every single paper in our house.  eventually, we found an old box full of paper, and hubby said “oh, that just looks like garbage”, but i had been through everything else.  sure enough, there it was, in the exact blue plastic sleeve i had in my mind’s eye…. if we hadn’t found it, it takes something like $150 and 7 business days to get a replacement… close call!!!  now it’s in the “wedding” folder in the filing cabinet, where it belongs.)

so, hopefully that’s everything.  i will let you all know how it goes tomorrow morning.  fingers crossed, ‘kay?

***ADDED JUNE 4th*** – please ensure you include information or proof from your clinic that they are a registered ART clinic.  while we just included this info in amongst the information in the letter of intent to support the babies that are the result of this surrogacy, I would recommend that you get a letter directly from your clinic, or at the very least, print the 20 page list of ART clinics (in the Useful Information section of this blog) and highlight your clinic.  it will just be more clear than what i provided, and while the gentleman i spoke to at our consulate office was lovely, you might not be as lucky, so have your package as straight forward as possible.

air travel


so, there are many lessons learned from this trip, in terms of things to make air travel smoother and nicer when going on such a long flight. i will list them here:

  1. try to get seats near the front, they are last on, and first off,  making your time on the plane less.  bear in mind that babies are usually in the front rows, because that’s where they can hook up bassinettes.  while we may all be on this quest for our own bundles of joy, it’s not always charming to hear someone else’s bundle cry/scream for 11 hours.  a couple of rows back makes it more tolerable and you can just peek in on the cuteness.
  2. pack as small a carry on bag as possible, take only what you will need on the plane.  we noticed that people’s carry-ons are getting much bigger, and we really don’t understand why they allow this, so there isn’t often lots of room in the overhead bins and it’s best if your bag can fit under the seat in front of you, as it’s easy to get at, and easy to keep your eye on
  3. check if your plane has any plug-ins so you can charge your electronics.  some of our Korean Air flights had USB chargers, but they charged fairly slowly; it still kept our stuff usable
  4. check the movies ahead of time, because if there is nothing of interest, you should make sure you bring your ipad or tablet with movies and a good book.  you can do this on most airline websites
  5. make sure all your electronics are charged.  we had done this, but for some reason my Kindle had charged all night before we left, but hadn’t actually charged.  we didn’t bring the charger because had it charged, it would have been fine, so i was without my books the whole time.  must have been user error, because i charged it when i got home and it’s totally fine.  most airports also have charging stations with all sorts of plug-ins, so you can charge stuff during your layovers as well
  6. ear plugs and eye mask, need i say more?
  7. get up and walk on the plane, it helps your muscles and also helps you to not get traveler’s thrombosis
  8. check if you need an airplane adapter for your earphones; the airplane earphones suck.  hubby insists upon sound isolating headphones, but i took my earbuds which are not noise isolating, and i was fine.  this is all a moot point if you forget an adapter and your plane needs one (ours did not)
  9. be careful if you have a food allergy.  Korean Air still serves peanuts (they were delicious and honey coated), and also a lot of their food was seafood.  i have a crustacean allergy, and i couldn’t read the ingredients on much of the packaging.  on the last flight, porridge was an optional breakfast, so i ordered it thinking it would be oat meal, but it was really rice porridge with seafood stuff to mix in.  good thing it had a big picture of a shrimp on the package, or i would potentially be dead now.  on this note, make sure you bring your epi-pen, or multiple epi-pens, but make sure you have one on the plane with you too.
  10. pack all your medication with you in the cabin; can you imagine losing your luggage with all your medications?   plus, if you are travelling as long as we did, you will need some doses along the way.
  11. lotion and chap-stick – the plane is majorly dehydrating, so make sure you can moisturize yourself, but make sure they are all under 100 mls and fit into your little plastic bag
  12. yes, you need to be able to pack all your “liquids” that you wish to carry on, into a little plastic bag.  here is the best description i could find, it’s from the UK, but most others use american standards, and when shopping for little plastic bags, it leaves you shaking your head. i would take a few extra of these bags, in case yours breaks before your return trip.
  13. travel insurance – i cannot stress this enough.  i work in health care, and i cannot tell you how many people don’t get travel insurance and then end up screwed on the other side of the planet.  sure, health care is inexpensive in India, but if you need medical transport back to Canada, that is NOT COVERED by your provincial or government health care, so you will be stuck with a bill for a medical transport, which often includes ambulances, medical staff, medical equipment and sometimes a private plane(s).  this could be up to six figures, and they often won’t fly you until it’s paid or guaranteed.  make sure your travel insurance covers “repatriation” to your home country.  considering for our six day trip, this cost us a whopping $32 for both of us, it’s well worth it.  you can check with your credit cards to see if this is included on one of your credit cards as a benefit, but sometimes it’s only included if you paid for your trip with that particular card, so read the fine print. also, banks also have packages, or your extended coverage through work may have a discount or plan for you.
  14. comfy shoes or sandals – i wore closed toed (open backed) shoes on the way to India, and my feet were too hot, even on the plane, and definitely when we got off the plane.  feet also swell when flying, so it’s nice to have something really flexible and cool.  you can take socks if you want to add warmth at any time.  i wore birkenstock sandles on the way home, and was much happier.  i think, actually, that i will not take anything but my birks next time we go, period.
  15. they have blankets and wee pillows on the plane, so bringing your own may not be necessary or may be.  we have Lug travel pillows, which have blankets enclosed, and we are always happy we have them (the pillows on board the plane leave a lot to be desired, though the blankets are nice)
  16. make sure you have your hotel’s WHOLE ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER with you on the plane.  many of the customs or immigration forms you fill out for security require this information , plus your passport number and passport information.
  17. hand sanitizer – put some in your wee plastic bag, travelling to foreign countries can be gross, especially for the germaphobe.  i have never traveled with so many coughing, sneezing, wheezing, snotty people in my life.  maybe it’s just the season, but holy crap.  make sure you have extra for Mumbai (or whatever city you happen to be in).
  18. kleenex packets are a nice-to-have, they have kleenex in the lavatories, but it’s just nice to have your own
  19. when you sit down on the plane, you will notice they have a HUGE PACK of magazines (mostly selling in flight duty free) in the pocket with your barf bag.  they discourage this i believe, but we put all the magazines in the overhead bin above us, because then you can use that pocket for your own stuff, like water bottle, book, iPad, blanket, whatever.  we didn’t use the overhead bins for luggage, so we figured we were entitled to use a bit of room to clear space for our own comfort.  nobody said anything, but then again, nobody saw us 😛

ok, enough for now, i will add if i think of more, my brain is still not 100%… hope this helps!

home again, home again…


we are finally home after what seemed like the most air travel we have ever done (wait, i think it was the longest air travel we have ever done!). for me, it was also the worst air travel, because i was basically unable to sleep on any of the flights, which is unusual for me.  maybe i was stressed or had too much on my mind, but i just couldn’t sleep, so it just dragged on and on.  we got home yesterday, and i promptly took a lovely shower and had a six hour nap, so while not perfectly recovered, i am feeling somewhat better.

we are still digesting the trip; it was such a strange trip, so much to think about and because it happened so fast, there was no time to think while it was happening.  the whole time, i had no idea what day it was either in Mumbai or in Vancouver here.  i kept having too google “what time is it in Mumbai?”

there are so many lessons learned from this trip and so many things to talk about, i think i will break them up into littler posts, so people can focus on what they find important or interesting.  so, there will be a bunch of small posts to follow this one.

Touch down


So we have safely arrived in Mumbai, after a veeeeery long trip. We has a seven jour layover in Seattle, then an 11.5 hour flight to Seoul, then a very short layover there, then 8.5 hours to Mumbai.

Even though it’s not full summer quite yet, the humidity blasts you as soon as you are in the ramp from the plane. With it, a foreign smell you can’t quite figure out; bodies, food, mildew, lack of clean, I dunno, it was mostly the airport, but there are still smells everywhere. I have a terrible sense of smell, so I am probably not getting most of it.

You need to get a prepaid taxi so you don’t get ripped off, and you can get them with a/c or not. When we said we didn’t need the a/c, he laughed/snickered. As soon as we stepped out, we understood why. The air hits you physically; it’s damp, thick, and cloying. HOWEVER, once our taxi was moving and the windows were open, we were fine.

The taxi was some seriously old Russian jalopy with no seat belts or shocks or side mirrors or anything, and our taxi driver had no clue where we were going. He did know the neighbourhood, if you can call it that. After asking several people along the way, we found the hotel. As with lots if big hotels in countries with risk to tourists, we had security guards scan our suitcases and bods and the underside of the taxi for bombs. We are all safe and sound now, and super tired.
One more thing…. Holy crap, I have never seen so many street dogs. They are EVERYWHERE. We have yet to encounter a beggar, not even one so far, but it is very late….

So far I love it, and I am not sure why, but that’s how I feel at this instant.