Thursday, May 26, 2011

First Trimester - Check

We are very excited to be at week twelve. Everything is progressing as it should be. We can't wait to attend the ultrasound on Monday. We have also requested a cd with the images and we will post them as soon as we can.

Almost everything is packed and ready for our big move. We only have a few clothes and dishes left. The past couple of weeks have been a mad rush to finish everything on our lists. I am exhausted and the proof was today's Jyoti walk didn't start until six-thirty! p.s. She didn't mind as much as Douglas.

The next few days include:

Tonight: Graduation
Friday: Goodbye lunch, get my staff started on summer projects, finish packing
Saturday: Supervising the paint/cleaning crew at the new apartment
Sunday: More painting and mani-pedi-hour massage appointments for each
Monday: Moving day, ultrasound, catch the night flight to America
Tuesday: Arrive in Indianapolis after 20 hours of travel (worth it)


Monday, May 23, 2011


We just crossed below 200 days until our due date (which is still unofficial). That gives me chills!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our Baby List (please comment!!)

Chad and I hit up every Baby store in Delhi yesterday. Well, not every one, but most of them. Thank god the weather was cooler than usual. This past week has seen temperatures as high as 114. Yesterday only made it up to 90. We could have worn sweaters!

Our shopping goal was to get a better idea of how much things cost in Delhi and what is available. The great answer is there is SO MUCH that is available. Case in point: our friends at work who got pregnant in the Fall and just had their baby a few weeks ago have not been to the US at all this year, and feel totally comfortable with the availability of baby products in Delhi. The only thing we didn't find was a really solid twin stroller. There are a few side-by-side models available, but no tandem strollers, and the side-by-sides that are available feel flimsy. So, we are waiting until we get to the US to purchase a stroller. Then, when we get back in Delhi in late July/early August, we'll get what we need here.

Our list has been edited by 3 ex-pat parents who had kids here in Delhi, and 1 soon-to-be parent also in Delhi, and one parent whose son is graduating high school this week. She's lived all over the world. Then, I sent the list to my mom and sister (both expert parents), and then I am including some Indian prices and store availability (MC is MotherCare, M&M is Mommy and Me and W is Wieners - we went to M&M and MC at Select City Walk and Wieners at GK II's M-block market ).

Absolutely necessary
Diaper Bag - We want more choices, so we'll probably buy in the US
Changing Pad to carry with you (Rs. 1000 at MC)
Pack and play (Rs. 5000 at MC)
Receiving blankets (lots of choices and prices at all stores)
Carseat (Rs. 11000 at MC - maxicosi brand)
Kid's sunblock - US
Natural mosquito repellant - US
Infrared thermometer (Rs. 3400 at M&M)
Baby asperin - US
Sheets for the crib - If we get the crib at MC, will get sheets here too. Size is peculiar.
Breathable pee pad - (Rs. 500 at M&M)
Elastic mosquito net - (Rs. 800 at MC)
Bottles, orthodontic nipples (many choices available, mostly Avent, but NO orthodontic nipples - will buy in the US)
Pacifier - (many choices available, mostly Avent, but NO orthodontic nipples - will buy in the US)
Rice Cereal - (Rs. 425 Gerber brand available at W)
Onesies - (Many available, including premie baby size at MC)
Cloth burping diapers - Will get a pack of these in the US
Mylicon gas drops - US
Baby wash cloths - available at MC
Bottle brush - (Rs. 300 at MC)
Swaddlers with velcro (available at different costs at MC)
Diaper rash cream (4oz desatin Rs. 425 at MC)
Baby nail trimmers (many available at all stores)
booties/socks (many available at all stores)
Mits ( many available at MC)
Soft towel (many available at all stores)
Baby monitor (Rs. 3499 at W)
Natural baby lotion/cream/oil/soap (if natural is desired, get in US, Johnsons is widely available in India)
Electric baby swing (Rs. 3800 at W)

Liked it and used it, but not totally necessary
Baby carrier front and back (Rs. 2500 at MC - Bjorn Organic also available at M&M for Rs. 5500)
Exersaucer (Rs. 3400 at M&M)
Boppy Pillow (Rs. 1000 at M&M)
Bouncy seat (Rs. 3800 at W)
Mobile (Rs. 1000 at MC)

Wait and get it later (well be back in the US when the kids are 6-7 months old)
High chair (Rs. 6000 at W)
Jolly jumper seat (buy in US)
Sippy cups (widely available in India)
Plastic plates (widely available in India)
Swimming diapers (widely available in India)
Swimming shirt (widely available in India)
Plastic bib (widely available in India)
Oral gel (available at the US commissary in India)
Baby toothbrush (widely available in India)
Baby proofing stuff (widely available in India)
Robeexs soft shoes (buy in US)
Bumbo seat (my sister used this instead of a high chair)

So, what do you think of my list? We'll most definitely buy everything from the absolutely necessary list. We will be weighing the higher cost in India of some of these items versus the inconvenience and baggage allowance of flying and decide what to buy here and what to bring from the US. Keep in mind that the current exchange rate from US$ to INR is 1 to 44.5. Not good.
Obviously, big things like cribs and a changing table we will be buying in India. But, like I said, I was disappointed by the twin stroller options here. And on that matter I need any advice you have (tandem? side by side? brand?).

We've got one more week in India and then we're out of here for 2 months.
Cheers and Happy Post-Rapture Sunday!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Silence Is Deafening

The blogging world has been extremely quiet this weekend. I kept hitting the "next" button just so I could have something to read tonight. More than anything, this speaks to my lack of motivation to get off the couch in 110 degree weather.

We just received a note from our doctor. Seema came in for a routine checkup today and everything is looking great. She has gained 2kg (4.4lbs) from her pre-pregnancy weight. I expected more weight gain... but she is probably thankful I am clueless. Our next ultrasound will be two weeks from today which coincidently is the day we leave India for the summer. We are looking forward to cooling down and reenergizing ourselves in the West!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ten Weeks

Our babies' fingers and toes have separated and their nails are starting to grow. They no longer have tails and are looking more and more human like everyday. Taste buds and tooth buds are starting to form, and the brain is developing at an amazing rate of 250,000 neurons per minute.

We are very excited that everything is progressing normal with our pregnancy. We hope that everything continues to be smooth for everyone involved. It is officially hot in Delhi. Hopefully not too many people have plans to come here until the monsoons start. We are easily reaching 44 deg C or 110 deg F. The 6am dog walk is the pleasant time of the day and it is 85 degrees by that time. Did I really just say that the morning dog walk was pleasant? Yikes, I just set myself up!

Full steam ahead for the end of the school year. Wheels up and out of Delhi in 18 days. We are excited to get to America and see our friends and family. When we return at the end of July we will be in our new house. We have chosen our paint colors and have purchased a new hutch. I have to admit I am starting to get excited to move. I am looking forward to a place where the electrical work is reliable and I can sneak home to hug the babies on my tea break.

We saw the eight week ultrasound pictures, but when we scanned them nothing of value was visible. The good news is we were able to see both babies and they were on track and healthy. We have another ultrasound in two weeks to round out the first trimester. We have been promised digital pictures to share with everyone.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Make A Wish For The Infertile

Here's an interesting story about a non-profit that is offering infertility scholarships to couples who can't afford ART on their own.

This is also the laziest blog post I've done yet!

Monday, May 9, 2011

'S Wonderful

I heard what I needed to hear tonight.

I love my job, and I don't think of myself as having a high-stress profession (although with 50% of teachers leaving the profession in the first five years of teaching, you have to wonder... but I digress!). But, today was not a great day. In fact, I was pretty much in a funk by the time I got home. It wasn't any one thing that sent me over the edge. It was the five-and-a-half hour meeting today, followed by another meeting. I didn't get to teach my kids at all today, and then I had to deal with grumpy grownups. Then, by 5:00, I was one of those grumpy grownups.

Chad and I make it our nightly practice to walk our dog. During the weekday we are very consistent at stopping what we're doing, and strolling and talking while we walk together. But, tonight, I needed to go on our dog walk by myself. I debated whether or not to walk and just listen to the sounds around me; but, let's face it, Delhi doesn't have the most beautiful sounds around. So, I grabbed my iPod and my headphones, and found a good podcast to listent to while walking.

Tonight's episode was entitled What We Nurture from the public radio broadcast On Being. I will spare you the rundown of the salient details. But I would like to share this poem that the speaker imparted in the closing moments of the interview:

"Keeping Quiet"
by Pablo Naruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never undestanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Suffice it t say that I needed to hear the words of the Jewish, Buddhist psychotherapist who was the special guest on the program. As I am neither Jewish, nor am I Buddhist, it came as a bit of a surprise that this resonated so much with me this evening. If you have a moment, listen to it.

And if you have fewer moments available to you, listen to this, which also made me smile:

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Weekend Blogging

I love traveling. That's part of the reason I jumped at the chance to move to India a few years ago. Otherwise, Chad and I were living in Indianapolis, which is a great town, but the prospects of getting anywhere exotic quickly from the midwest are slim to none. Last weekend in Thailand was amazing. It's great to be able to hop on a 3-hour flight and be in a different country and in an actual city (as opposed to Delhi).

But, I have to say that it is good to be home this weekend. It was an amazingly busy week at work. Speaking of work, it is winding down for this school year now. And although I'll still be spending at least part of this gorgeous Saturday in my classroom, this will be a chilled out weekend. To get things started this morning we made breakfast and have spent some quality time catching up with other surrogacy blogs. So many things are happening:

Congratulation to Paula and Justin on the arrival of their twins! I can't imagine having two and still waiting for a third!

TwoDadFamily has posted a great list of things to do before the birth of your kiddos.

Towleroad has this video of what our dog Jyoti will be doing when our twinnies arrive:

And Chaibabies have the cutest bath-in-a-bucket pictures ever!

Whatever you find yourself doing this weekend, I hope you enjoy it.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nine Weeks

It is hard to believe we found out we were pregnant one month ago today. So much has happened and our little guys or gals are growing like crazy. The most fascinating development this week is finger prints. They are waving hello to everyone through the amniotic fluid, and that creates their own little identity.

For whatever reason, Package did not arrange for us to receive copies of the latest scans. Apparently he assumed that we would only want the detailed report but had no interest in looking at our babies. This kind of lack of communication has not been typical of our experience, and we will be expressing our expectations in a clearer fashion very soon. Meanwhile, there is one copy of the ultrasound that must stay with our doctor, but we will get to take a look at the pictures next week. It might not be possible to post them on the blog as there are no digital copies to obtain.

Our relationship with Package is unique. I understand that most--if not all--of his clients are based out of India. We are here, and we're both used to dealing with Indians, so this kind of miscommunication is something that we expect to happen. I definitely don't think he is used to having westerners in his time zone; and it is possible our expectations are higher than others.

Even though we have a long way to go I am starting to get the parenting jitters. I am beginning to think about my childhood and what I hope to avoid in my parenting style. I also wonder how the world will change and how our children will be accepted and perceived. A random thought came to me when calling the bank yesterday. The agent asked me my mother's maiden name. How will our children respond? Will that question be irrelevant when they are older?

My mind is racing... everything will be fine.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Update From The Womb

Today we received the detailed report of our eight week ultrasound. We are working through some miscommunication and hope to be getting the scanned images soon.

Twin A:
Gestational age: 8 weeks 5 days
Yolk sac: 5 mm
CRL: 21.4 mm
FHR: 160 bpm

Twin B:
Gestational age: 8 weeks 1 day
Yolk sac: 4 mm
CRL: 17.5 mm
FHR: 176 bpm

Everyone is normal and healthy today!
Happy Birthday to me!


Happy Buttery Birthday

Today is Chad's birthday. If you haven't celebrated already, you really should. We went to the Italian Embassy tonight, which, not surprisingly, has the best Italian food in New Delhi. Good food. Good wine.

Then, we came back to our apartment with friends for some Kentucky butter cake. I thought I'd share the recipe with you in case you feel like clogging an artery or two.

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, 2 cups sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Blend in buttermilk, 1 cup of butter, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 4 eggs. Beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Prick holes in the still warm cake. Slowly pour sauce over cake. Let cake cool before removing from pan.
  4. To Make Butter Sauce: In a saucepan combine the remaining 3/4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and the water. Cook over medium heat, until fully melted and combined, but do not boil.
The only thing I'd change in the recipe is the bake time. Maybe my oven runs hot, but it only took my cake 35 minutes to bake. So, know your oven; and, watch out!

In the meantime, happy birthday, Love!