Thursday, December 27, 2012

FAQ we get about surrogacy in India

We wanted to tell our family about our surrogacy plans in person, and have made an effort to do this. But Mother Nature and American Airlines had different plans. We ended up playing the “delay-then-cancel” game trying to get out of town.  Maybe part of it was our fault for trying to fly out on Christmas Day. We ended up celebrating Christmas at home. But after spending a week in the Caribbean with the intention to fly out again after one day at home. We had no real food in the house and of course no stores were open. So I turned our Christmas dinner into a Top Chef competition where we had to make dishes out of the random ingredients we had in the kitchen. The winning dish: a can of corn that I did nothing to but reheat. Ta Da! Ok, so we had some really bad food and any aspirations  for joining the cast of Top Chef were squashed as fast as a “quick-fire challenge”.  The following day gave us more of the “delay-then-cancel” game. This time AA didn’t win any fans with me – maybe it was the multiple times spent standing in lines for hours trying to get any information. We found out that we couldn’t fly out for another 2 days, and it was unlikely we would get to the same city as our already-checked luggage. With so many cancellations, the remaining flights just didn’t have any more open seats. My poor husband was sorely disappointed, and I drug him home all Eeyore’d up.  

So now we must tell them over the phone. Having a baby is exciting and fantastic and that doesn’t change just because the news is coming over the phone, but it would have been nice to be able to celebrate in person with the rest of our family.  After we tell them, I plan to send them a link to this blog. I hope that it can clarify and answer any questions anyone has.  We have been beside ourselves with the amount of support we have received and are very fortunate to have such loving friends and family.

Most Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it surrogacy in India safe?  We did a great amount of research before this undertaking. Our clinic is Surrogacy Centre India, and it is a very good clinic with a world-renowned reputation and a very dedicated staff. Our doctor (Dr. Shivani) was trained at Hammersmith College in London. She is very talented, but also compassionate. I have both the utmost respect for her abilities and the dedication she has to her work. Because of our history, it is very important that there is a Level 3 NICU.  This type of NICU has the ability to host even the most severe cases.  It’s kind of like an insurance policy - you hope you don’t have to use it, but if you do… you want it there.  

When I thanked our surrogate for protecting our child, she put one hand on her heart and one on her stomach. It was a gesture that transcended any language barrier, and I feel she is very committed to keeping the baby safe.  To be perfectly honest, I thought once I returned home I would worry about the baby being safe, but I have no such regret.  And after seeing the operation and meeting the woman protecting our child I can answer the question, “is it safe” with a very confident yes.

Surrogacy is legal in Texas, so why are you going overseas? This is an honest blog, so to be absolutely crude it boils down mostly to the cost.  The entire undertaking from IVF to delivery will be a little more than the legal/agency costs alone here at home.

Will you do it again? Honestly, I don’t know if we will do it again. We are discussing it as an option, but haven’t made up our minds. I can tell you that if we decide to grow our family further, then the answer is yes.

This seems private - why are you blogging? Ok, I understand this question and anyone who knows me knows I am the last person they would suspect of having a blog. A - I am not on “the Facebook” and B – wait for it - I don’t carry a cell phone.  I used to have one; I got it when a kid at the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh made me feel like a dinosaur for not having one. I think his exact words went something to the effect of “YOU don’t have a cell phone?!?!” But after my son passed, people would call the cell while I was out doing XYZ with beautiful well wishes and sentiments. While I appreciated their calls, it could make doing XYZ after the conversation really difficult. So I lost the phone for a while and then found the sense of freedom from not having one overrode its convenience factor. To make a long story short, I’m not the tech-savvy person you suspect a blogger to be.  I am blogging because there are a lot of unknowns about undertaking surrogacy in a foreign country. I don’t know anyone who has done this. There are not a lot of books on the subject. The people who have started blogs and gone through this process have really helped me chip away at some of those unknowns. I felt a sense of responsibility to pay it forward.  It is a way to document our story for our child. And since a lot of our family does not live near us I thought it is a way that they could follow along as well if they want. I try to keep the blog centrally focused around this journey of IVF, Surrogacy, Pregnancy, and All Things Baby.

We have gotten an array of other questions, but it seems in most conversations these 4 in some variation or other seem to pop up. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Bienvenidos Second Trimester - with everything looking great on the horizon!

The Nuchal Translucency test came back at 1.1 which is oh-so-very-normal. I was a little worried about this test coming back abnormal because of the initial high beta at 16dpo. The Nuchal Translucency is the first test indicator for Down’s Syndrome.  I have an uncle with Down’s, and when I was very young I thought he was one of the coolest people on the planet.  In fact, I still think he is pretty cool, and one of my favorite relatives on my father’s side.  But I have seen the trials that Down’s has played on his personal life.  

We had genetic screening done on ourselves before starting IVF.  The test is expensive, but we were fortunate that our insurance covered the cost.  (If you’re thinking about having it done, check your insurance- pleasantly surprised in my case). However, I learned from the screening report that Down’s is not genetic and that none of the chromosomal disorders are. So even if you have the test it will let you know if you are in the clear  for  genetic disorders, but chromosomally speaking you’re still in a worry world for a little while.  But like Mark Twain once said - “I have had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”  And I am fortunate to file that one in the never happened category.

We got back yesterday from our #Birthday #Babymoon #End of Year Vacation #Celebrate Mayan Calendar Ending in Mayan Country # Let’s Give a Trip as Many Hashtags as We Can trip.  We had a really great time. The Caribbean is incredibly beautiful and the diving was great.  I figure it might be awhile before we get the chance to go diving again… unless someone wants to come along – yeah, I’m looking at you, Grandma!

Season’s Greetings!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

10 weeks

The scan looks great with both baby and surrogate doing really well, and baby has graduated from embryo to fetus....