Friday, July 29, 2011

Lessons Learned

We have been in Delhi for two days now, and Douglas has our whole house in order. The bags are unpacked, the moving boxes are emptied, and our new place feels like home already... with little help from me.

I hit the ground running yesterday with a 4:00am jet-lag alarm clock and I was flipping pancakes at 4:45am. I went to work and left Douglas to organize and decorate. I did great until lunch time and then the wave of exhaustion that neither tea nor coke could fight swept through my office. I forced myself to keep going, but by the time I made it home all I could do was curl up with my big fluffy Tibetan blanket. Meanwhile Douglas is still going strong. I probably mumbled under my breath for him to take it easy and call it a day.

It feels so good to be back in Delhi. Primarily because it is much cooler here than it was back in Indiana (how often can you say that?). It has been great to reunite with a few of our friends and the rest of the bunch should be arriving over the next two days. I hope no one has as much trouble getting here as we did.

Here is the long story of our travel chaos:

Our original itinerary was to leave Indianapolis at 4pm and have a two hour layover in Newark before flying non-stop to Delhi. So after loading the car and heading to lunch we got an email telling us the flight had been delayed by 45 min. No biggy... Then another delay email. Still no biggy... Then another... See a pattern? So I got on the phone. The nice lady moved us to a 2pm flight which had been delayed until 3pm which gave us enough time to rush across town to get checked in. Breezed through security. One delay after another and five hours later, just 15 minutes before the pilots were out of flight hours we are finally on our way. It was going to be a tight connection, but we figured since everything coming and going from Newark was delayed we would be OK. As we landed we checked online for the status of the Delhi flight and sank down in our seats when the message was "left gate... taxiing to runway". Had it been daylight I am sure I would have seen our plane pass us.

Two hours later the folks behind the counter had us re-routed on another flight through Toronto the following afternoon. We spent Monday night in a hotel outside the airport. Tuesday morning I had a feeling that our luggage would not be re-routed as easily as we were so we rescued it from Newark Airport luggage jail and took it to check it in for our new flight. Breezed through security. Delayed, delayed, delayed... feeling defeated and starting to get worried we arrived in Toronto with one hour until our next flight departs. We ran from the plane to immigration, ran down through baggage claim, ran up to check-in only to find out it was too late and the flight was closed. The look of terror, exhaustion, and my begging and pleading they agreed to let us on the flight, but told us we would have to run to the gate. We rushed through security, sprinted for what felt like 20 miles to gate 171. We made it to the gate and they were still boarding! We found our seats and collapsed. I send out a blanket apology to anyone we nearly trampled in Toronto.

We have never been so happy to be on the flight to Delhi, and were very happy to see our luggage come out first in baggage claim. The trip was a challenge but we remained positive the whole time; however we did learn that what we did would be impossible with a little Fabian and Lakshmi in tow.


Their Story, Our Stories

One of the most unexpected, and beautiful aspects of our surrogacy journey is the community relationship that we have come to feel a part of as a result of this and other blogs. Chad tells me that Jeni posted about this incredible story a few weeks ago, but somehow I must have missed it. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could tell their story to an even wider audience?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We Are Back!

Back in India, that is. After 36 hours of delayed flights and missed connections, we are back in the motherland. I'll tell the whole story later. There are some lessons to be learned for IPs with travel problems.

Meanwhile, Jyoti is very happy to see us!


Monday, July 25, 2011

G-diapers and packing

Ready to head back to India today. Here's a picture of
Chad and our supply of gdiapers before they were packed away (the diapers were packed away, not Chad). The tiny gdiaper size looks like it will be perfect for small babies. Can't wait to see them in action!


The Latest Pictures

Here are pics from our 19-week scan. It looks to me like things are getting more crowded in there. The babies seem to be a little scrunched up!

For those who are interested in the details and numbers, I left the statistics on the side of the pictures. You can google all of the abbreviations. We did, obviously. But, let me save you the time and just tell you that everything is normal.

We will be headed back to Delhi in about 24 hours. I can't believe that this is my fourth year teaching in India. Time flies.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

So Much To Say

It's funny how sometimes you can go from having nothing to say at all to having so much to say that you don't know where to begin.

Let's see if I can hit all the high points and manage to keep your attention:

While we were on vacation last week, we got news that the 19-week scan had been completed and everything is looking great. During our 12-week scan, the doctor said that our babies were fat and fatter. Well, evidently that trend is continuing as our babies are already 9 and 1/2 ounces. Good to hear! Love me some fat babies!!

Then, when we got back to Indianapolis we made plans with my mom to go shopping. We felt like we needed someone to point out the things that were really and truly necessary and help us avoid things that you just don't need. Of course, grandma pitched in a little at the check-out counter, which was greatly appreciated. She figured that she'd get more bang for her buck sending presents for her grandchildren over to India with us rather than through the mail.

During our shopping trip we came to some decisions on things. After much research, lots of reading and many recommendations, we chose gdiapers as our cloth diaper we are going to use from the beginning (here is a brief intro to gdiapers written by my friend Lauren). They have a nice "new baby" package with diapers that we feel will be small enough to fit newborn twins. Also, they are not as pricey as some other cloth diapers. Who knows how successful we will be with our cloth diapering adventure, but we've made our initial choice, which just makes me all the more anxious to have our babies safe and sound and in our arms.

We also decided to take back a large supply of Dr. Brown's Natural Flow bottles. We bought two of the starter sets, an additional three bottles and then some caps, cleaners and other bottle accoutrements. This brand is not available in India. Avent and Playtex and a few local brands are widely available in Indian stores. So, we figure we'd start with these bottles and then if the kids don't like them, we'll have choices in India.

We also scored some gently used Baby Bjorn carriers at about 1/3 retail price! That was super exciting.

All in all, we feel we got what we needed. The things we don't have (or aren't able to fit in our luggage), we will be able to buy in India. In general, prices in the US are 30-50% LESS expensive than prices in India for the same brands. For example, a tube of Decetin in India costs Rs. 1000 (about $12). The same size bottle in the US is about $4. Yikes!! So, if you are an IP going to India to pick up your baby(ies), just know that many, many things are available. But, you will pay for them, unless they are made in India.

A few more housekeeping items, and then you will be caught up.

Happy birthday to:
Zoe and Ruby (very belated)
and Beau

We are headed back to India on MONDAY! So, the countdown has officially begun.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Back Home Again In Indiana

The great road trip is over. Yesterday was a long haul. We left Albany around 2pm and drove for eight hours only stopping one time. We made it to south of Cleveland as the sun was setting and had to call it a night. We slept in late today and had brunch before starting the final leg to Indy. Today's drive was cake at only 300 miles. We had a great time, and can't wait until we can make a trip like that with our twins!

Final stats:

3,300 miles (5,310 km)
15 days
7 US states
2 CA provinces
Tons of fun
Heading back to Delhi next Monday. Looking forward to getting back to the grind, seeing our puppy, and sharing summer stories with all of our friends.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

In the Moment

Sometimes our minds take temporary leave from our bodies and drift off to Never Never Land. We do this, I believe, because many reasons: habit, boredom, self preservation or distraction can lead us away from the moment in which we live.

Sometimes those moments we are escaping are painful, and these flights of consciousness help keep us safe and sane from what would surely be overwhelming madness if dealt with immediately. Sometimes we just need to breathe and dream to make it through difficult moments. We return to reality as we are able. Sooner, hopefully, rather than later.

Chad and I are thinking about our friends in the blogosphere who are dealing with sad news this week.

Sometimes, though, staying in the moment is difficult because of intense joy or happiness. The bliss can be red-hot, too much to handle. So, we back off and let our minds drift. We are thinking today of our blog friends who are achieving their dreams this week too.

We all interact with the world in our own time and in our own ways. Our connection to life is tenuous at best, but ever so precious.

I hope you all can stay in the moment.

Here is a poem for your enjoyment and your thought:

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

-A.E. Housman (1859-1936)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Whirlwind Tour Continues

Since the last post we ventured back across the border. I have to say that the homeland security guys do not give a good first impression of America. We headed over to Maine and camped at a great place on Sebago lake. Douglas got a fire started during the rain one night. We stayed there for two nights before heading over to Vermont for a wedding. We had booked a campsite which turned out to be much too far away so after one night we ditched the tent and crashed at a unique hotel around the corner from the wedding. The entire north east is a very beautiful area.

We have been in Cape Cod for two days now, and today we explored Provincetown. It is one of the cutest places we have been... even though it is Bear Week! We have amazing friends that are letting us use their house. I wonder if they will extend the invitation after the twins arrive? We went out in the boat yesterday and lounged on the beach a little today. The weather has been perfect. Off to Boston tomorrow.

On the baby front we are expecting an ultrasound report on Friday. Everything is going great and Seema is happy and healthy.

2,100 miles down... about 1,200 more to go! Here is a look at our journey so far.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Trip Update

We made it to Montreal on Monday and have been enjoying every minute of it. Douglas is having a blast using his French, and I am having a grand time people watching. It feels like we are in Europe, yet so close to America that it feels odd. Why have I not been here before?! Our hotel is great and the weather is perfect for exploring the city.

On Sunday we went to Niagara Falls and it was amazing. It would be an easy long weekend trip for anyone from the midwest. I was afraid it was going to be like the Taj Mahal, and I would leave unimpressed... but I totally recommend checking it out.

Tomorrow we are heading down into Maine. It should be a beautiful drive all day. Have I told anyone lately how much I love my life?


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Camping Time

Today has been a great day. We hit the road out of Indianapolis around 9am and had great weather, traffic, and travel time. Tonight we are camping outside Buffalo New York. We pulled into our camp set everything up like professionals and grilled dinner. Now we are sitting by our campfire. He had much more patience getting the fire started than I did, so I gathered the twigs and such to keep it going.

Camping is pretty easy with free wireless internet!

480 miles down... countless more to go...