Monday, June 28, 2010

Say Goodbye to Bollywood!

I am sitting here in our hotel room, get ready to pack up our things in order to leave this evening. We have tried and tried to change our flight with no avail, so we will be on the late night-16 hour-get me back to the US-so we can see our little man- flight. I am a big believer that things happen for a reason and feel that we are supposed to be here for the transfer today. We did not stay for the transfer last year because at that point we were away 11 days and we were really home sick. But today has just marked a week in Mumbai and although we are home sick, it has been much easier to manage.

Being a believer in signs and things like that, I just want to add that I did see two butterflies while I was here. The first was a few days ago while we were driving back from the doctor's office. The second was on my egg pick up day. The day before EPU, I watched The Secret. This is a way of life for some and I have tried to adopt these beliefs as much as possible. Stephen is following, slowly. Anyway, I used the visualization technique and kept visualizing positive results, a pregnant Ms. S, and good egg numbers. Like I said, all week, we were told I had only 8-9, but I kept saying in my mind there would be more. I also asked for a sign to suggest my prayers/thoughts were being heard. Fast foward to 7am on EPU day. SI sent a representative to help "navigate" the admission process. She was a lovely young woman who did speak some to us, but not much. While I was talking to her, on her finger, she wore a butterfly ring. At that precise moment, I knew that everything was going to go smoothly and things were lining up for us. I know I am going out on a stretch here, this is typically a taboo subject, but I am a believer of the "secret", of God's intervention, of the stars aligning in the universe for us.

Anyway, shifting gears, in a few hours we will be off to Lilavati Hospital to meet Ms. S again and tell her how much we appreciate her doing this for us. Ms. S is a beautiful, young mother of one. Her husband is very genuine and caring. They are very much in love and still giddy. Mr. S carries a world load of problems upon his shoulders and feels the pressure of the economy daily. He is doing the best to support his family and knows that this will help ensure his daughter has a great education which will hopefully perpetuate some success for their family. With that being said, our meeting was sincere and sweet. We told them how we longed for another baby or two. They told us how they wish better for their family. We were both very grateful to each other for different reasons. That is what I love about surrogacy in India. The families are so appreciative and humbled at the same time. They feel like we are doing them the greatest service, when we, IP's, feel the exact opposite. I would never be able to tell Ms. S enough what this means to us.

During our meeting, we spoke back and forth about careers, family, and hobbies. She is a stay at home mom now and cares for their daughter. It seemed as though we hit it off right away and we couldn't have asked for a better match. Ms. S told me that she "would take care of our baby" and I just lost it. I teared up through most of the meeting and it really warmed my heart when she said that. She is going to be a great surrogate and I am looking forward to seeing her again this afternoon.

Otherwise, we'd like to report that this has been a welcome adventure as always. We enjoyed our time here in Mumbai and at the Novotel Hotel. We especially enjoyed watching the waves pound into the beach from our room and also from the lounge. It is amazing how soothing the sound of the crashing waves can be. Stephen has faired very well on this trip. He has been very relaxed. It seems that it is time to come home because we are starting to dream and talk about the food we want when we get home. I know that most people are not as crazy as us when it comes to trying the food here, but we both had a horrific time last year after sampling food at the hotel restaurant. We, especially me, like to stay with safe foods while traveling abroad. Call me a wimp, but I like to feel good when I am away from home.

Finally, we would like to take this time to tell all you readers how much we appreciate and are grateful for your love, support, help, and wonder about our lives. We have always tried to share and be real about what is going on in our lives when it comes to India and our baby mission. Some people receive it very well, some not so well. But, again, a big thanks to you all. We love you and will talk to you again when we are back in the States!!!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Baker's Dozen

Today could not have gone any better! We arrived at Lilavati Hospital on time and got into a room in a rather timely manner for India time standards. Right at 10 am, they took me to the OR to get ready for egg pick up. The procedure takes longer to prepare and recover from than the actual egg pick up. All week, my scans were showing 8-9 eggs, but today they retrieved 13 eggs!!! I was in shock when I woke up and Dr. Yash told me. I started crying and looking at Stephen in disbelief. Thirteen beats my number last year and far surpassed our expectations for this attempt. Since I am another year older, had a cyst, showed smaller numbers in the scans, this was a welcome surprise.

We feel very confident with our surrogate and the transfer will take place on Monday. Because Continental doesn't have "M" class tickets (a code for a coach seat at a certain price point), we will be here for the transfer. We are both anxious to get home to our little man, but it is ok that we will have to wait. I am glad that we can be here for the transfer and see our lovely surrogate again.

Please keep us in your prayers, as this is the time when we need them most. We have done all that we can possibly do to increase our chances, the rest is out of our hands. Tomorrow will be a relaxing day for us and we are looking forward to it. I didn't post yesterday, because we slept all day. Literally. We came back from breakfast with another SI couple here around 11 and slept until 8 pm or so. We did sleep through most of the night, but were disturbed by a 2:30 am knock at our door from the laundry man (?!?). We told him to go away and had a hard time getting back to bed.

We have been eating pizza every night for dinner. Breakfast is usually at the buffet downstairs. The eggs are made to order and we grab a ton of fresh fruit. Lunch is usually a microwave meal that we brought with us. We are out of ravoli, so it looks like tomorrow is macaroni and cheese. Yum!! While we were waiting to be discharged this afternoon, we started talking about the meals we want when we get home. Stephen wants a big juicy porterhouse steak and I want some chicken. It has been almost a week since we have had meat. It is starting to affect our thoughts! :) haha.

Thanks for all your support and comments. We have received a ton of emails and facebook comments also. We try to get back to you all, but the internet is in and out at the hotel. We love and miss you all. Can't wait to see you when we get back to the US. Stevie told us this morning as we skyped, three days left!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sweetest Day

Today is going to be a sweet day because we get to meet our new surrogate!! We did a last minute switch upon the doctor's advice. The first surrogate we picked was on the smaller size, so they suggested someone a little taller. We were fine with that and had two women to chose from that will be ready for egg implant on Monday. Yay! Fingers crossed!!

Stephen went for a massage today at the spa. He said he really enjoyed it. He came back smelling like a satchel of spices. It was pretty funny. The room stills smells of the scent because it is on his clothes. He is asleep now and snoring a bit. Haha!

Good news on the egg retrieval, but bad news from Continental. We tried yesterday to change our flights to Saturday night, but they don't have the same class ticket in inventory. So, if we wanted to fly Saturday night, it would cost us a fare difference and change fee. That was over $3000!!! So unless "m" class seats become available, we are hanging in Mumbai until Monday night. We are going to keep calling Continental, hoping for a miracle to happen!!

I'll post more when we get back from meeting our surrogate!! :) :) :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Good News!

Good news!! Good news!! Egg pick up is on Saturday!! Yay!! That means tomorrow is my last day of injections. Tomorrow night is my trigger shot and then it's off to Lilavanti hospital Saturday morning. Woohoo!! We are happy with our egg count prediction and our odds of success!

We had a last minute change in our surrogate selection. Dr. Yash suggested a different surrogate because our first pick is a very, very tiny woman. She suggested someone (who is still tiny) but a little larger than they first in height and weight. We will meet her tomorrow when we head off to the doctors' office.

If everything goes well, we will try to head out Saturday night on the late flight and arrive home in the US on Sunday morning. Stevie will be so excited!! We are both drained, so we are taking a late afternoon nap. I am starting to feel some discomfort from my ovaries being so full. I hope a good nap will dull the aching for a while.

Thanks for reading... more later :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Easy Day :)

What an easy day today has been so far! We had an appointment for blood work this morning at the doctors' clinic. We were in and out relatively fast. Also, the rickshaws are on strike today because of rising gas prices, so there was no traffic! It took very little time to get back and forth to the hotel. And now, the rest of the day is ours to relax and catch up on sleep.

Funny comment about the pizza. In fact, we did have pizza yesterday for lunch. The pizza is from Pizza Hut and is pretty comparable to US Pizza Hut. Plus, it's cheap and they deliver. We got a pizza, bread sticks, and two cokes for under $10. Last night at dinner, we paid $15 for a bowl of plain bow-tie pasta. Tonight we are probably going to eat one of the meals we brought with us.

We are staying at the Novotel at Juhu Beach. We did stay here last year for a day and then switched to a different hotel. It had just opened when we arrived last year and they were still working out the kinks. It has been a pleasurable stay so far. There are a few restaurants open now and a outside lounge that overlooks the beach. We sat out by the pool/lounge area last night and enjoyed the breeze off the sea. It was very enjoyable. There is a spa on the second floor and we are going to look into their services today. Stephen has a weak spot for massages. He's already mentioned that he thought we should "test out" the spa. I'll keep ya posted!

Tomorrow, we are headed back to the hospital for another scan and the freezing of Stephen's swimmers. We are still hopeful for a Saturday egg pick-up and departure shortly after that. We are anxious to get home and see our little man. We discovered yesterday that he reacted better to us calling first thing in the morning instead of at night. He was running a fever, but that is gone. Philly took him to the doctor to test for Strep, since his cousins came down with it. They spent all last week together, so maybe that was the reason for the fever. He told us that he has been playing golf with his Pops. We can't wait to see him on the course "playing" golf.

Keep your fingers crossed for a good scan tomorrow. Hopefully my eggs will have increased a good amount in size. We have taken a few photos and hope to get them up in the next day or so.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cool and calm

First, I'd like to thank you all for the comments and support. We are very blessed to have such wonderful family and friends who make this trip a lot easier. We are encouraged every time we read your comments. They are like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

We were able to fall asleep for a few hours before the doctors were calling to set up our first appointment. We met them at the Lilavanti Hospital for my scan. So far, so good. I've got about the same number of eggs as last summer. So, I will continue my injections and let them grow to the desirable size needed. Dr. Yash commented that my egg pick up could be Saturday or Monday. We will just have to wait a few more days to check them again. We met another couple from Australia at the hospital that were going through the same process as us. They are a few days ahead of us, nearing the end of their time in India. I hope we will see them again before they leave. If not, we suggested we all meet back up in 9 months. That's the mantra around here, believe it will happen and it will. We believe that this will be a success again and we will be back in 9 months for baby pick up.

It feels like a different trip this time. We knew what to expect from last year. Stephen is much more calm and relaxed, which makes it easy for me to stay calm and relaxed. We are not as nervous about being here or what we need to do. Things seems very familiar to us this trip and we recognized and remembered a lot of places and things from last year. We are back in the original hotel we stayed in last summer. It was just opening last year and a lot of things had to be ironed out. We have been assured that the wrinkles have been smoothed and we are looking forward to our stay here. We are on the beach and look forward to spending sometime walking up and down the shore.

We spoke with Stevie this morning. He did much better this time with the conversation. We were almost hesitant to call because he has been getting so upset. Stephen's parents are taking great care of him and keeping his as busy as a bee. Although it is tough to be away from him, we realize it is a short time in the grand scheme of our lives and will provide us with the family we want.

It is almost dinner time here, but we are on such a delayed schedule, that we hardly noticed. Having a layover in Germany was tougher than we thought. It's really hard to grasp the concept of time when you cross so many time zones and are in certain places for meal times. Luckily, we brought an entire suitcase of food with us and our travel coordinator, Amit, set a microwave up in our room. We will be able to eat a lot of the food we brought for our meals and keep our appetites in order. We had a hard time last year with the food agreeing with us, that we came prepared.

It was nice to chat and we will update again tomorrow. :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Touch down in Mumbai!

After almost 24 hours of travel, we have arrived in Mumbai. We had a lay over this morning in Frankfurt, Germany. Germany was very interesting. I noticed two things immediately about Germany: 1. the people are very tall there and 2. they drink beer with breakfast. I couldn't get over watching men and women eat their breakfast and down a beer. It was hysterical. Even on the flight to Mumbai, they offered (for free, in coach) beer, wine, Bailey's, and something else I can't seem to remember right now.

We are exhausted to say the least. We did not sleep much on the first flight, but we did catch up on sleep on the second flight. We arrived here in the middle of the night and it was humid and damp out. The car driver said the monsoons have been pretty bad so far, let's hope the rain stays away while we are here.

We contacted our parents and told them we were here safely. We talked with Stevie and he cried for the second time since we've been away. That has been the hardest on us so far. He makes me just want to get on a plane and turn right around and go home. Please keep us and our families in your prayers this week as it is going to be hard to be away from each other. Thanks and talk more tomorrow!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Packing Our Bags

Here we are, in NJ, getting ready to leave on our big trip to India tomorrow. We have so much to do before we get on the plane, I'm exhausted even thinking about it. We spent most of today unpacking what we brought with us and then had a lovely dinner with friends and family.

We have already skyped with Stephen and we miss him tons already. I would love to write more, but I am exhausted and need to get to bed. Just really wanted to say....


Sunday, June 6, 2010


We are in the 2WW as in.... getting to India. This time, two weeks from now, we will be landing in Mumbai. It is crazy to think of how fast it has come again. We are praying for a wonderfully successful trip. As many of you know, there is a lot of planning involved in a trip like this. It consumes your life as you scrutinize the blogs and forums for more information on your docs, friends, and results. It is also very emotionally taxing. We are gearing up for our journey and starting to get all the little details in order.

Tomorrow, we close on our house. We will be "homeless" technically. We will also be without the general monthly expenses. That sounds nice, even if it is just for a month or so.

I have been watching the news tonight and am happy to see that Joran van der Sloot has been captured and is resting comfortably in jail tonight in Peru. I hope they nail his ass to the wall. I always followed the Natalie Holloway case and wondered how they let that guy go free. I hope that he gets what he has coming and these two families can have some peace in their life, knowing that justice has been served. Now, if you know me, I never speak about things like this, but I can't hold it in. Every dog has its day!

We've got a lot going on this week. This is my last week of school with students. It is kinda sad because I am going to miss them. I always miss my students. Also, because I will not see them again for a while. I'm sure when I visit, I will stop by school to say hi to all my friends. I have a small procedure happening Tuesday. So keep your fingers crossed for me. Nothing big, just necessary to help out with our results in India.

Stephen made it through his surgery just fine. I did break down and cry when they wheeled him away to the OR. My hubby comforted me just as he should. Before we knew it, the doctors were coming out telling us that he was out of the OR and in the Recovery Room. After one good vomit, he felt much better. By noon, he was riding his bike and jumping on his trampoline.

Well all my blog friends, it is time to say goodnight. Hope you all have a good week and talk soon!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New places, new faces

Ohmygosh!! Life has been beyond crazy for us these past weeks, but more specifically this weekend. We moved out of our house and have relocated into my in-law's house. They have graciously invited us (me, Stephen, Stevie, Buddy, and Max) into their home. We are calling this home for a little while and Stevie doesn't understand why we can't go to our "home". It's time for new places, my son.

Buddy has already fallen into the pool. He tried to walk across the cover and realized his mistake very quickly. Thankfully, Stephen was there to the rescue. We are the only couple with a lab who does NOT like to swim or even get wet! Other than that, we have been lucky moving in.

We leave for India in just over two weeks. We are very excited, nervous, anxious, basically a whole gamete of emotions. We have our flights booked, working on the hotel, and I have all my meds.

Before I close this post, I would like to ask for you to say a special prayer for our son, Stephen. He is having a minor surgical procedure tomorrow to open his tear ducts and to have his adenoids taken out. It does not take long for both surgeries (the eye dr. and e.n.t. dr. are working together so it is only one procedure). He will only be under for about an hour, but I'm sure it will feel like the longest hour EVER!!! Thanks for the prayers and positive thoughts. :)