Saturday, June 22, 2013


Anderson Haskell
9 pounds  or 4.06 Kilos of pure love
21inches or 53 centimeters of sunshine
June 21, 2013
New Delhi, India

We arrived in India - no surprise, it was hot. We met with the doctor, and were excited about the prospect of attending an ultrasound in a few days. But little Anderson heard his parents were in town, and couldn't wait to meet us. We hadn't slept in 36 hours so we went back to the hotel. The phone rang -

"This is Nabanita - did you get my email?"
I am not sure what I said exactly but I think it was something like "Uhugha...?"
"Your baby will be delivered via Cesarean in 30 minutes"
"Really?"Boy am I awake now!
"Yes, maam really"
She gave us the details to the hospital, and quickly we got dressed. My husband, who thought he was dreaming, was still talking about walking our dog who my mother is generously watching in Oklahoma.

We raced downstairs and the valet secured us a taxi. We didn't think we had time to call Rahul from Rahul's Western Taxi (fabulous service by the way- HIGHLY recommend them). Big mistake - our taxi smelled like urine, the taxi driver didn't speak English, and had no idea where he was going.  The nodding to the valet was just ceremonial. We would have arrived at the hospital much sooner if we would have just simply waited for one of Rahul's drivers.

But we made it, and just in the nick of time. We had time to have a drink of water,say a prayer for our surrogate mother and the baby, and then washed our hands before we heard the most beautiful words ever spoken in the English language:

"Would you like to meet your son?"

I looked back at my husband with tears forming in my eyes. He kissed my forehead and said "We have a son" ... I repeated "We have a son". We hugged and raced back to the nursery, took off our shoes, and put on the gowns provided.

And we finally saw the most incredible and beautiful little boy.
I was speechless, which is really a rare and uncommon event in itself. I am in complete awe that I have the privilege to be his mother.

He is stunning, perfectly pink (no signs of jaundice), and has lungs that shake the walls. He is much larger than the other babies in the nursery, and I suppose the size gives him an audible advantage. His cry is endearing. I wanted to scoop him in my arms, and never let him go. Medically, it is better for him to be observed and monitored - not handed off to walking foggy zombie like people.

We snapped pictures and left him to his monitoring.

I enquired as to how our surrogate mother was doing, and with God's great blessings she is also doing well.   We went back to the hotel, and admired our photos as if they were an original Kandinsky....

We love him so...

Mr. Wonka: "Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted."
Charlie Bucket: "What happened?"
Mr. Wonka: "He lived happily ever after.” Roald Dahl

Thank you to all at SCI, Dr. Shivani, and our amazing and beautiful surrogate mother for helping us to achieve our very own happily ever after......


Wednesday, June 19, 2013


...on a jet plane

Don't know when I'll be back again....
Feelings: happy, excited, happy, anxious, happy, nervous, happy, scared, happy, amazed, grateful, and HAPPY
If our life was a movie, the soundtrack would be:

Saturday, June 15, 2013


We have been packing, packing, packing, and then repacking. Hubby was a sweetheart and grabbed some uber-decadent Cheesecake Factory for dinner. We took a break and watched The Hunger Games while eating our cheesecake. I am not exactly sure what that says about us, but I don't think it's good. Anyways -  GREAT movie...I feel like the last person on earth to see it, but on the plus side I don't have to wait that long for the sequel.  
What am I going to take....(baby-wise, my knickers are not of interest)
 276 to be exact, all size newborn. If there is one thing I found impossible to track down while I was on a reconnaissance mission for baby goods in India, it was newborn size diapers. I found Size 1 at a store in the M block. But newborn diapers were nowhere...
This is tough - with so many choices, it is hard to nail down what to use. I went with Enfamil Premium Newborn but really only because it was what my pediatrician recommended, and I got loads of free samples.
We're taking 1 case of the 2oz nursettes and half a dozen 8oz powder canisters. I think this seems like a lot, but I would rather have too much than too little. If you haven't already registered with the formula companies, you can do it online and I highly recommend it.  I do know that some IPs have purchased and used the formula in India with great success. We just didn't want to have to switch when we got home.
3. Bottles
 Playtex drop-ins -  these are fanfabulafrickingtastic <- not in the dictionary don't look it up.
If you live in a place that sells these, run (don't walk) and purchase them for India. So you drop in a liner, then insert a nipple, screw on a ring and voila. As a bonus, the liners are disposable. Now for the best part: the bag mechanism of it all keeps air out of baby's tummy.
So why are parents of the world not tossing regular bottles, and all bowing to the royal greatness that is Playtex drop-ins. Because, my friends, when our sweet little dears get older they throw things and their ammunition of choice is the bottle. And Playtex drop-ins make a crazy mess when tossed. But for India it's not a problem since newborns don't play toss yet. 
We are also bringing a dozen of the disposable Enfamil nipples for the nursettes. They say they are disposable, but you can wash and reuse them a few times. I have not seen these sold in stores, but are available online for roughly $1.00 (USD) a piece.
4. Clothing
 0-3 mo. sizes  - my baby outgrew newborn sizes at 35 weeks :)
10  onesies
8 sleep gowns
8 footed sleepers  
5 pants
12 pair of socks
4 bows (we still don't know if it is a  girl or not and a girl can not be without her bow)
6 gender neutral hats
5 bibs
6 Halo swaddle sleep sacks (this is possibly overboard, but I have been given them as hand-me- downs from friends who swear by them)
5. Cleaning
Medela sanitizing bags - I used these when I was pumping; they are fantastic and take up no room in the suitcase
Munchkin pacifier wipes
Organic hand sanitizer
Box of zip-lock bags
Trash bags that supposedly block scent - some hotels don't  provide bags in the bins and with diapers need I say more...
I will buy the soaps and what not when in India
6. Misc.
Grooming kit with aspirator, small tweezers etc.
4 blankets (I plan to purchase a few more while in India)
1 diaper bag
5 burp cloths
2 bath towels
6 baby wash cloths
1 Phil and Ted's cocoon, I got a red one :)
And a partridge in a pear tree....
Disclaimer: The disposable items (diapers, liners, and nipples) are not very good for the environment. But given the constraints of a hotel room, one must balance responsibility to the earth with responsibility to sanitation. We definitely plan to limit the use of these uber-convenient items once we return home.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I left my heart in New Delhi

This month we leave for India...
This month we may get to meet our baby...
The time went so fast. It seems like yesterday I was undergoing egg retrieval, and meeting our surrogate mother. Celebrating the end of the first trimester, viability, and then 32 weeks.
This is such an exciting adventure. It will be my husband's first time in India, and more important we get to meet our baby.
Now we begin Operation Exit.
Our exit manual is underway. We printed out  the forms that we could in advance and filled them out, and are simply waiting to fill in names, birth dates, etc. We decided to go sans lawyer and do the paperwork ourselves. Having a binder where (most) of the forms are printed (so no worries about power outages, computers stalling, printing problems, etc.)  has gone a looooong way in helping us relax about the process. As in anything you do in life, starting is the hardest part.
Filling it out early gave us time to gather the info and ask the embassy our questions. For the most part, the Department of State forms are pretty straightforward. The U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad ("CRBA") asks you to document all time spent in the United States, which was a little difficult for me because I spent a great deal of my youth living out of the U.S., but couldn't find my childhood passports so documenting vacations spent visiting granny in the States was hard to nail down. But once we figured it all out (thanks Mom!), the rest of the paperwork seemed rather straightforward. And it was much less painful than I expected.
The manual also includes instructions from FRRO and U.S. embassy, as well as printed blog post from fellow bloggers:
First FRRO visit (Thanks Andy from Dancing in the Rain)
Second FRRO visit (Thanks John and Michael from Our Gemini Dragons)
US embassy visit (Thanks Aaron and Eddy from Starting our family)
Huge thanks to all the bloggers. Every tip and insight has helped us so much.
I feel now that I have a game plan for exit.
 And a coach to help call the plays
80's costume party? Or just how we roll on Saturday night?