Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Feelings of inadequacy, home at long last and the dreaded 2ww

Hello blogland, 

I've been rotten with updates, sorry about that.  

The Friday after our last post was spent mostly roaming around near Connaught Place and then a nice dinner out, after meeting the very nice lawyer Dr. S uses and getting contracts signed.  Saturday before egg collection we stuck close to home, just wandering around M block and N block markets.

The process of egg collection went smoothly - no need for abdominal collection which was a bit of a relief.  The not so good news is that of the paltry 6-pack of follicles, 4 shot blanks and Dr. S was only able to find 2 eggs.  So disappointing!  I'm not sure how I can feel guilty over something I have no control over, since feeling that way is completely irrational, but I still feel somehow inadequate.  Just something I have to work through, I guess, but it wasn't the result we were hoping for.

The highlight had to be coming out of anesthetic, and laying cuddled under a fuzzy blanket while some sweet nurse stood there and petted my head.  Seriously, she was the best head-petter ever!  Much much different from my experience with nurses at home, haha.

Saturday evening was spent in our room, and we made the decision to move our flights up from Feb 1 to Jan 30 - so we'd be leaving at 3 am Monday morning.  In hindsight, that maybe wasn't the smartest move - it only gave me just over 24 hrs to recover - and dumb move #2 was spending Sunday at Dilli Haat madly trying to find all the gifts for family we had put off shopping for.  Oops!  Too much time on my feet, I think, and then 24 hrs or so in transit to Vancouver resulted in my not feeling all that hot on the recovery end of things.  We also did a 6.5 hr drive to my mum's as soon as the plane landed, to pick up our dog, and then 4 hrs home today.  Home sure feels nice!!  Maybe a quiet day off my feet tomorrow will help the cause, it would be nice to have the sore, bloaty tummy go away.   Maybe there was a bit of ovarian over-stimulation or something, but I'll give it another day or so to see if it settles down.

We had no internet basically from about midnight Sunday when we headed to the airport until we landed in Vancouver yesterday afternoon... so we were quite anxious to hear from Dr. S about the results of fertilization.  I madly fired up the old iphone as soon as we were off the tarmac, and good news!  She had emailed saying fertilization went very well and we ended up with both eggs as grade one embryos - the best she said, so that was a relief.  She also said that egg transfer went very well with the embryos at 4 cells each, and the scans looked good, so that was more good news.  At Dr. S's suggestion we transferred 1 egg each into 2 surrogates; she said that was our best shot at success.  Oh, and she did end up picking the surrogates for us - we had picked two but Friday midday Dr. S emailed us saying that after doing testing of the surrogates' uterine linings, she had 2 different surrogates she thought would be better - so we were more than happy to take her advice.

Now the dreaded 2 week wait!  We're both trying to keep our hopes in check as we know with only 2 eggs the stats aren't in our favor.  All we can do is cross our fingers and wait!!  And right now we're both really fried from the mad travels the last few days, and are gravitating towards a very welcoming bed :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Decisions, decisions

The time sure has been flying, we've been in India now for 10 days and continue to become more comfortable with navigating Delhi.  Today is Republic Day and I have never seen the streets so empty!  A pedestrian's dream, this.. haha :)

Yesterday was amazing, it was our trip to the Taj Mahal and we were blown away by it.  The beauty and attention to detail were staggering.  Totally worth the long day and crazy traffic; it's definitely the highlight so far.

Today I have another scan in an hour or so.  My scan on Tuesday was abdominal which showed my ovaries (well, one of them) much better.  5 follicles, one at 15mm (overachiever) and the rest at 12mm.  My other ovary continues to be shy and was hiding (behind god knows what).  She could only see 1 follicle at about 12mm.  She mentioned tentative collection for Sunday, so that's creeping up quickly!!

Today is also the day I think we need to choose our surrogates.  We've gotten profiles for 6 lovely ladies, and wow it's tough to decide!  I mean, how does one pick - in a typically Canadian fashion I already feel guilty about the ones we don't pick, if you know what I mean.  But at the end of the day, our goal is a successful pregnancy with the side benefit of helping a family here so I just have to keep that in mind.  Kerrie noted at one point in her blog that they look at when the potential surrogate last had a child, which was a helpful point.  It does feel judgmental to be influenced by pictures, but it is nice to be able to put a face to the name.  A couple of them have such a sweet, gentle look about them, but they all look like very healthy, happy mums.  Clearly they're all very generous to be taking this path.  Anyway, it's a tough process and we'll ask Dr. S some questions when I have my scan today. 

And yes, Kerrie, it is indeed HMG I'm getting now (along with something to stop me ovulating) and they're not my favorite shots in the world!!!  Although all nurses are not created equally - some of these shots hurt far worse than others but my husband is quick to remind me that "giving birth probably hurts much more" when I snivel... hmmm.  Yes, ok, good point.  

So I'm off to guzzle a litre of water and do the potty dance until I get my scan.  Fingers crossed everything is on track!  And thanks everyone, again, for your comments and support as we take this journey.  It is sure a huge help, as is reading the wonderful blogs of those who have taken & are taking the same journey.  Once we're back home again we'll have more time to read your stories and follow along :)

***** update - Just came from my scan, I have 5 follicles at 19mm (??!!) and one at 14mm.  Trigger shot tomorrow at 6 am, egg collection Saturday at 3:30pm... holy smokes!

Monday, January 23, 2012

An update from India, finally!

Well, I had all these wonderful intentions of bright, interesting blog updates regularly from India.  I have failed miserably on that, I can't believe we've been here since the 16th!  And nary an update to be seen.

Things have been very busy - it really did take us 2 - 3 days to get over the jet lag and adjust to the culture shock that is Delhi.  Our plane was over an hour late but Rahul lives up to the good reviews he's received and his very patient driver was still waiting for us.  Yay!  A slight blip with accommodations - we arrived at India Luxury Homes Bed and Breakfast, only to find that Rajesh didn't have room yet for us.  He moved us to one of his apartments, which was very nice however after almost 48 hrs of very little sleep, and Delhi being the amazing chaos it is, we were a tad disconcerted to find ourselves installed in a completely different area than we had planned on; we didn't know where the nearest market was, how to get around, or really anything and we were so tired and hungry it was all a bit overwhelming (plus the internet wasn't working).  Thankfully, Rajesh ended up finding room for us after all, about 2 hours later, and returned us to the BnB where we have been happily installed ever since.  :)

The BnB is in a good location, really just right across the street from M Block market (which is huge) and a very short and cheap (20 - 40 rupee) autorickshaw ride from the clinic.  The room is very clean and comfortable, has a fridge, a big tv and a shower straight from the starship Enterprise.  

Autorickshaws are definitely the way to get around, once you get a bit numb to the traffic system.  Why do they paint lines on the roads?  Everyone just makes their own lanes and a road with 3 lanes often contains twice that many actual lanes of vehicles, haha!  It also becomes abundantly clear that everyone in India with a vehicle knows the exact dimensions of that vehicle, to within half a millimeter.  It never ceases to amaze me that with the absolute chaotic mess on the roads that there aren't more accidents!  And I won't even talk about crossing the roads as a pedestrian.  My husband loves it, but having been hit by a car in my childhood I find the experience absolutely nervewracking, every single time.  Erg!

We've been to ISIS hospital daily since the 17th, and continue to be impressed at Dr. Shivani's organization.  Her hospital is clean and seems to be very well run, staff are very sweet and we're very happy to receive the little cups of chai offered every time.  Dr. Shivani is very professional, and once she toured us through the admin offices and talked us through the paperwork, my comfort level increased a hundredfold.  She is certainly dotting all the i's and it's a very big relief. 

Not such good news on the ol' follicle front though, my body is being obstinate and seems to have generated only 6 (possibly) follicles.  One of my ovaries is hard to see so that is just a guess on Dr. S's part, but tomorrow I have both internal and abdominal scans so hopefully we'll get a better idea.  I was just taking the standard 300 units of gonal F but yesterday was bumped up to 600 units of a different type of hormone (I'll have to dig out the paperwork, as I can't remember what it is).  Wow, those shots sure pack a punch - my tummy muscles are so sore from the shot yesterday I can hardly sit up without squeaking like a mouse.  I'm guessing the other side will feel the same way tomorrow, hrm.  But I could be wimpier than normal right now, since I've also managed to catch a really crappy head cold and am feeling rather wretched and pathetic, haha.  My suggestion to anyone coming for the first time, who has cranky sinuses like myself, bring your neti pot!  If I had mine here I likely could have headed this off - it's likely just a reaction to the pollution which is unreal.  

As for sights, with daily visits to the clinic we've been somewhat tied close to home but have hit all sorts of markets - M Block, Kailash Colony, Dilli Haat (a must see!), and Chandni Chowk.  We've also been to the Baha'i Lotus temple, Qutub Minar, India Gate (unfortunately closed as they are prepping for the Republic Day ceremonies on Thurs), Red Fort (ditto), Humayun's Tomb, Hauz Khas, Jama Masjid, the National Museum (wow!) and old Delhi.  I'm probably missing stuff on that list.  So far we've done all this happily with autorickshaws, and in old Delhi we hired a bike rickshaw to see the sights & Chandni Chowk which was definitely a good idea.  Holy cow!  Old Delhi is something else.  We're getting set up to use Rahul for a trip to Agra on Wednesday to see the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort.  

I think that's it for now, and so far we're really enjoying the experience.  The culture and history are amazing, the people seem to be unfailingly warm and polite, and even the poor ratty dogs have sweaters on (it's definitely winter here - brr!).  

I'll get some pics posted when I feel a bit more chipper :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Counting down sleeps

4 more sleeps until we get on the plane, Delhi bound... and only 3 until we head to Vancouver!  I'm getting very excited indeed, although there still seems to be so much to do before we're ready to go.  I'll be heading four hours north tomorrow, to drop our baby #1 off at my mum's... poor mum.  But we will certainly miss our little terror!  A couple pics...

Zorba, looking unnaturally calm and demure:

And a more typical scenario..

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Wow, thanks!

Thanks so much to everyone, for reading my drivel and leaving such warm, encouraging and helpful comments!  I really appreciate it and it helps so much :)

And thankfully, all I seem to be focused on right now - seriously - is looking like the nerd in the herd.  Is that a girl thing?  But it certainly keeps the other, scarier fears locked happily in the closet where they belong.  I figure if I'm worried about how I look, I'm doing ok so far.  The less stress the better at this point, and I'm not really stressed about it, it's just something fun to worry about.  Frankly, at this point, I'd go naked, I just want to go!!  Ok, I guess I wouldn't - scaring the cows is frowned upon. 

Speaking of which, we found a lovely picture from Mr. B's gran's time in India, so thought I'd share.  10 days until we go!  I'm getting so stoked...

Monday, January 02, 2012

OMG moments so far

  1. We're going to try to have a baby!
  2. I know nothing about babies.
  3. We're going to India!
  4. I know nothing about India.
  5. We're leaving in less than 2 weeks!
  6. I've nothing to wear.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

websites/contact info I found helpful...

Here are some links I've found helpful along the way, so far.  I'll update this post if I find more relevant info, or please let me know of any sites you've found helpful!  My research was primarily from a Canadian perspective, however.

Canadians applying for visas: http://in.vfsglobal.ca/

SCI's website: http://surrogacycentreindia.com/

General information & forums on India (a VERY good site): http://www.indiamike.com/india/

Surrogacy in Canada Online: http://www.surrogacy.ca/

Gov't of Canada - Living/traveling in India: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/india-inde/consular_services_consulaires/index.aspx?lang=eng&menu_id=21&view=d#

Canadian High Consulate in Delhi (email): delhi.consular@international.gc.ca

FAQ on the Canadian High Consulate section on the Gov't of Canada - specific blurb re a child born through surrogacy in India and requirements for returning to Canada with the child: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/india-inde/citizenship-frequently-asked-questions.aspx?view=d

Canada's travel report on India: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/report_rapport-eng.asp?id=128000

Surrogacy support forum: http://ind-surrogacysupport.forumotion.net/

A very full timeline so far

Mid-November 2011 - decide to pursue fertility options
Dec 2, 2011 - apptmt with Dr. Beth Taylor at Genesis Fertility Clinic in Vancouver, BC, Canada
Dec 6, 2011 - my first round of blood tests... 10 vials!
Dec 6, 2011 - first time I caught an LH spike with a home kit - finally know when I'm ovulating!  Whoohoo
Dec 9, 2011 - DH (now referred to as Mr. B) must provide "sample" for testing.  Much trauma for Mr. B, lol
Dec 10, 2011 - start sending out inquiries to clinics in India
Dec 14, 2011 - start communicating with Surrogacy Centre India
Dec 15, 2011 - ponder frozen vs fresh transfer, general consensus fresh is better given our ages etc.
Dec 16, 2011 - find out from SCI we can arrive either Dec 23/11 (!!) or Jan 16/12 for fresh transfer.  No visa yet, so we'll try for the 16th
Dec 17, 2011 - Visa stress!  New blurb on consular websites all over, noting one must have the correct visa for surrogacy purposes.  No-one seems to know what this is!  Drive everyone crazy trying to figure this out
Dec 18, 2011 - email from Canada consulate in Delhi going over procedure for bringing a child back into Canada 
Dec 19, 2011 - great phone conversation with Kerrie; her & her DH just brought their baby home from SCI this fall :)
Dec 20, 2011 - after much work by Margarida & the legal dept of SCI, it's decided the tourist visa is appropriate.  Complete online & submit initial required online application.  Decide to drive to Vancouver (5+ hrs one way) to submit in person, as mail-in applications will not be processed in time
Dec 21, 2011 - flying trip to Van, so far so good!
Dec 23, 2011 - online status of visa says processed & to courier for delivery Dec 29!
Dec 23, 2011 - drive 4 hrs north to spend xmas with my family
Dec 26, 2011 - drive home
Dec 29, 2011 - visas arrive!  Cancel the cruise we booked months ago
Dec 30, 2011 - local GP apptmt to get copies of all blood test results, do first wire payment to SCI, then drive 2 hrs to visit one of Mr. B's brothers
Dec 31, 2011 - home again, book flights, scan blood test results to Dr. Shivani @ SCI, send flight itinerary to concierge @ SCI so we can get accommodation arranged, send acctg dept @ SCI copy of wire transfer.  Collapse on the couch and ring in the new year quietly with Mr. B!