Monday, July 30, 2012

Getting Closer

I'm getting closer and closer to leaving for India.  After my passport came in the mail, I applied for and received my ten year visa to India.  I thought going for the visa in person was a good idea, so I made an appointment at the agency that handles visas for India.  I went there on a Wednesday and by that Friday I got an e-mail that my visa was ready.  Aside from hitting some traffic in Washington D.C everything went smoothly.  I know I could have applied by mail, but I'm happy with the outcome. 

Getting my airline ticket did not go quite as smoothly.  I started looking about a month ahead of time, but then I waited a week and prices went higher.  I knew I was cutting it close, but I've never booked and international ticket.  Looking into airlines and booking a good international flight is time consuming!  Also, dealing with some of the airlines was much more pleasant than dealing with others, and that's putting it nicely!  In the end I booked my ticket through an online travel agent and my itinerary included more than one airline.  I canceled a trip to the beach so I'd save some money and feel better about the cost of the ticket - lol:)  

Hopefully I'll go back to India for baby pick up next year.  I've noted that I need to look for some important things when booking my next flight.  Things like which airlines have bassinet seats for the baby or babies, and which airlines allow for last minute flight changes without high fees are important.  If anyone has any Ideas, please let me know.  

I also got a new credit card with some great international benefits.  For example, I can use it in India to charge in rupees with no conversion fee to U.S. dollars, so it's just like using a credit card in the United States.

I booked a stay at India Luxury Homes Bed & Breakfast for the week I'm in India.  This place sounds great and has all of the amenities (and more) that I was looking for.  Rachna, who works for SCI, was a big help when I was deciding where to stay.  She sent me a list of recommended accommodations, and then answered all of my questions so that I was able to make the right choice.  I ended up booking a reservation to the B&B online and got a nice discounted rate:)  Rachna also set up a driver to pick me up at the airport and drop me off at the lodging.  

Now I just have a few odds and ends to take care of before I leave, like pack and exchange some American dollars for rupees so I'll have a little cash when I arrive.  

My little buddy Cody is staying with my cousins when I go to India.  I wish I could bring him with me, but I think he's going to have to stay in the United States:)  I thought it was about time I started including a few pictures in my blog.  Of course I don't have any baby pictures (yet), so below is a puppy picture of Cody.  I also included a more recent picture.  He's a great little guy.

                                                               Always smiling for the camera!

                    A picture doesn't lie.  Cody started to change colors at about a year old.                           He's still smiling, wearing his sporty jacket that he got as a gift from my sister's family.                            Sure he's a little spoiled, but isn't that how it's meant to be? 
Cody absolutely loves kids.  Hopefully he will be in for a big surprise in the not so distant future!!!   

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Making Progress/ Why Dr. Shivani & Surrogacy Center India

It's been a while since my last post, so I guess I've been a bad blogger.  But on the surrogacy front there has been a lot of progress.  I've had all of my necessary medical tests done in the United States and sent them to India.  They were immediately reviewed by Dr. Shivani and everything was fine.

I've also chosen an egg donor that I'm really happy with.  Choosing my donor was a very important step for me.  After all she will be the biological mother of my child or children, so finding her was very meaningful.  Actually, back in 2011 when I was still looking into a few different clinics, SCI had sent me some donor profiles.  I wasn't ready to choose a donor then, but all these months later one of the women was still fixed in my mind.  I still had her profile and sent it to Meg and Margarida.  Meg told me that she was no longer on their books, but Dr. Shivani had asked her to donate especially for me and she had agreed.  I was very happy because she was my first choice donor back in 2011, as well as from the list of current donors that Meg and Margarida had sent me.  Next, I was able to speak with Dr. Shivani over the phone about the donor, along with a few other questions that I had.  I have to admit that I was a little nervous about speaking to her because she happens to be one of the main reasons why I chose to work with SCI.  I had read and heard so much about Dr. Shivani that she seemed like some sort of a celebrity to me, but when I actually talked to her I immediately felt at ease.  I asked a number of questions which were all answered to my satisfaction.  The Doctor was kind and caring, and made me feel special even though I knew that she had many other patients.  Dr. Shivani thought that it was wise that I had chosen a proven donor and thought that she was an excellent choice.   

Aside from the necessary tests and the donor, I have been clearly guided through the initial steps of the surrogacy process by SCI.  All of my questions have been answered promptly, and I've been amazed at times by the speed in which some of the information has been returned to me.  Kudos to Meg and Margarida.  I still don't understand when these two ladies sleep, but they have been a wonderful resource for me.  I've continued to be impressed and sometimes amazed with the communication between myself and the people working for SCI Healthcare.

I could go into a lot more details about what has happened over the last couple of months, but I will spare everyone and just say that in the end I've set a date in August to go to India!  I'm excited about the trip, but I have to admit I'm a bit nervous too.  Even though I've let my nerves get the best of me a few times, I'm even more optimistic now than I was back in May about pursuing surrogacy in India.  Working with Dr. Shivani, and all of the people surrounding her at Surrogacy Center India over the last couple of months has had a lot to do with it.  I just can't wait to get to India and begin a very important part of my own journey.