December 26, 2014

India Update {part 1}

Hey, Everybody!

{warning:super long post!} So, we're in India. It's hard to believe that we started our trip a week ago! I wanted to drop in to say hi and also to keep track of what we are doing here! Our brains have pretty much turned into mush after the amount of stimulation and information we've taken in over the last few days. If I don't write it down, I'm afraid I'll forget something!

Thankfully, our flights went very smoothly. We connected in Paris and had enough time to stretch our legs, grab a croissant and cafe au lait, and jump on our flight to Mumbai. We did sit on the runway for two hours before leaving, so that made a long flight feel even longer. We arrived in Mumbai around 1:00 am. The airport is very nice and clean and we had no idea what was going to happen when we walked outside. Luckily, we saw our driver in a massive crowd of people holding up signs with our name on it. He took us to our hotel, where we finally arrived after 2:30 am. We fell asleep around 4 am and knew we had the next day to get ourselves situated before things got hectic. We've been really pleased with how comfortable our hotel is and the people we've met have all be lovely.

Day 1: We only let ourselves sleep until 9:30, but we could have gone all day. We had breakfast at the hotel then decided to wander around 'our' neighborhood. We are staying in Powai, which is basically a suburb of Mumbai. It's safe and there are a lot of nice restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries around.  Without much hesitation, we took ourselves to a Starbucks across the street and did some people watching while trying to gather our bearings. We then walked around the neighborhood, stopping in markets and little shops.

Our late lunch ended up being a buffet at Yellow Chili and it was delicious. Aside from the fact that we had little idea what we were doing or eating, it was quite an experience. Buffets are not usually our favorite thing, but this was a Sunday brunch style and we didn't have a choice, so we went with it.

I began to hit a wall around 4 pm and just wanted to go to bed, we went back to the hotel for a rest but tried not to sleep. We received flowers from our doctors, which was the sweetest thing. We face timed with my parents and then went to a Christmas Festival in town. .

We decided to have a low key dinner at our hotel and then went to bed shortly after. It was quite a day!

Day 2: We were rested and up and at 'em early to head to the hospital. It's within walking distance of the hotel, so we headed there to meet someone from the agency and have the first ultrasound to check and see how I was responding to the meds. We had a good first impression of the hospital itself, and it is similar to what we might find at home, which is a good thing, of course.

We later went to the agency for the first time, and met our doctors and team. Everyone is wonderful and we went through some more paperwork and prepared FRRO documents, which is where we will go to register our stay with the government. We also met a couple from Colorado who is on our similar time frame. It was nice to be able to chat with them and compare experiences so far.

We spent the day afterwards driving through different parts of the city, where we saw a little more of what we imagined when we thought of Mumbai.
Our driver, Ajit, is so sweet and had planned itineraries for each day. Today, he took us shopping for some traditional Indian clothing. We went to a shop that was totally unique and the experience was, too. We were sat down and shown anything and everything we wanted to see, and then some. I was looking for some tunics I could wear here and also at home, but ended up trying some beautiful sarees that were for fancier occasions. The colors were just stunning and I felt like a princess, but we just didn't think I would get the use out of such an ensemble. We did end up buying a {less fancy} saree that I can wear here and use the fabric for something else at home later. I love all of the beautiful colors and fabrics here.

Day 3: On Tuesday, we headed to FRRO, which is further south in Mumbai. While that was a little intimidating, we made it through the process smoothly. After, we drove around through some other parts of town and did a little pashmina shopping. 


Day 4: Christmas Eve. We had another scan at the hospital and met another doctor we'll be working with. We learned that I'm responding very well to the medications and that we can expect to have the retrieval probably on Monday. This is response is similar {seems to be, at least} to how I responded when we did our last IVF in Charlotte. Praying it keeps up and they have lots of quality options at the retrieval!
Ajit then took us to a temple, where we met the Baba (Holy Man) and received a blessing. It was amazing to see and learn more about Hinduism.
After, we went with Ajit to design a custom suit for TJ (textiles, textiles!) We then drove through a national park where we took a 'safari' to spot lions and tigers.
 We then drove through the largest slums in Mumbai, the ones the movie Slum Dog Millionaire is based on, and it was like nothing I've ever seen. There is such an extreme of wealth and poverty here. It's truly eye opening.
For dinner, we channeled our inner Christmas Story and went to a Chinese restaurant. It was pretty good, the waiters wore Santa hats and even Santa himself (with a not-so-flattering mask on) made his appearance.
Day 5: Christmas Day! We spent this day mainly resting, which was necessary after staying pretty busy the first few days! We spent the morning and early afternoon reading by the pool, then we went to lunch (pizza) and stopped at roof top restaurant/bar for some city views. Christmas dinner was spent at Le Pain Quotidien, which happens to be a restaurant found in NYC. It's right next to our hotel and we wanted something more on the traditional side, so this worked out well. We had a delicious meal and left with full bellies. We really did miss our family and friends and it was an adjustment not having a typical Christmas, but we reminded ourselves how blessed we are to be here in India together doing what we're here to do. We're truly thankful.
Day 6: Today we went back to the hospital for  a scan and to complete the "anesthesia fitness" in preparation for the egg retrieval. We scheduled the ET for Monday, so that's great. My last night of injections is tonight, then I will take the trigger shot tomorrow evening. We had high tea/lunch at the hotel and are heading to an Indian restaurant for dinner tonight.

Tomorrow is a big day because it's the day we meet our surrogate! It's already real, but meeting her tomorrow will take this thing to another level of real. We're feeling so hopeful and positive and thank you all so much for lifting us from afar with your positive thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement! We love ya'll!

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