Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Last Day in India

Just when I got into the swing of things and pretty much adjusted to the 10.5 hour time difference, it was time to pack my bags. Woke up to a cloudy day and to our car arriving an hour and a half early to go to the doc. Suppose early is better than late, but we told them we’d see them at 10:30, not 9, and we headed to breakfast. On our way down, we ran into the Virginia couple who also had an appointment today, at 11.

Over breakfast Donor and I talked about what an experience we’ve had so far and how we’ll be bonded for life. Ok, it wasn’t that emotional and dramatic, but we did talk about how unique this has all been. Donor finished up her spicy Indian breakfast (her usual) and I had my usual made-to-order omelet.

We made our way to the clinic, today dodging more goats than we had in days past. It’s funny because we have goats at home, no big deal, but for some reason every time we see them here, we get excited and want to take pictures. Maybe because they aren’t roaming a big green pasture and instead are hanging out in the street like stray dogs?

Dr. Samit and team were waiting for us when we got to the clinic. They decided to play it safe and get one more sample from me. Now they have plenty to do the job. Donor went in and did her scan. Her follicles were about 14cm, which meant there was probably still a few days to go before they give her a “trigger” shot. Once the trigger is given the retrieval will take place exactly 36 hours after. Dr. Kiran will be the person who does the retrieval and she is estimating that it will happen on Wednesday morning, first thing. We’ll know more on Monday when they do the scan again.

We had asked for a tour of the facility and they happily agreed to show us around. The couple from Virginia joined us on the tour. Our first stop was the roof top of the three-story building, which is the surrogate quarters. They have been so busy that they are building an additional mega-room to house another 10 surrogates.

I have to say, this was one of the coolest parts of the trip. As soon as we came up onto the roof, the surrogates all came peeking out, with huge smiles on their faces. Some looking like their belly was going to burst at any second. There were about 5 or 6 in each big room, with their own kitchen and a big roof-top patio. These women were so friendly and happy to see us. They were excited to take pictures with us and were jockeying for the position right next to me and Donor. Not only were they living within the support system of each other, but the clinic’s selection process is done so well that they were truly happy and excited to be doing this and you could tell that after nine months, their lives were going to change significantly for the better thanks to this experience.

Next stop was the second floor. This is where both Dr. Samit and Dr. Kiran have their offices, the surgery room is, and Dr. Samit’s embryo lab sits. I had asked to meet Dr. Kiran who couldn’t have been more friendly and intelligent. I had a million questions, of course, but one stood out with hope. I had asked how long the retrieval would take and she smiled and almost laughed and said that normally it takes about 5 or 6 minutes per side but that Donor has so many follicles that it will probably take her closer to 15 minutes per side. Wooo hooo! Super Donor. Fingers crossed.

We took a ride up to the big temple in Hyderabad that sits atop a hill and is made purely of marble. The couple from Virginia rode with us and were excited to see a bit of the “real Hyderabad” outside the confines of the Golkonda Hotel.

Once we got back, I finished up packing. And with bittersweet emotions began to say goodbye to Donor. I was very happy to be heading home, was very bummed I had to leave Donor there to finish solo though. We had talked about this before we went... She had said she would rather me fly with her to India than stay for the end, as she had never traveled so far in her life – totally her choice but still a bit bummed. Good news was the couple from Virginia couldn’t have been nicer in offering to stay with her during the retrieval.

I’m now on my plane from Dubai to Washington DC and I have to say, what Donor has done for us is amazing. There aren’t words to describe how cool she has been through the process, how willing she has been to just roll with things over the past few months, and how open-minded she’s been during our stay in India. We really do owe her all the thanks in the world because without her, this wouldn’t be happening.

It was my last day in India but could very well have been the first day of a totally new life.

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