Thursday, 29 March 2012

Bye Bye Pink City

I am sad to have left Jaipur. It has left a lasting impression on me that I find difficult to explain. Maybe that is India to a tee. I saw a Palm Reader in Jaipur yesterday who is also a healer and he now resides in Canada. What he told me about my past was so incredibly accurate and he did most of the talking. I dont know how he knew what I was in India for but he nailed it. He told me that my infertility pain started at the age of 23 when I had a miscarriage and then went on to describe the ups and downs that have been experienced.

He told me we would have 2 children and big changes would be occurring from July 2012 onwards. He told me to embrace it and to not be afraid of the fear of disappointment. Everything he told me was so reassuring and I am still processing the detail of what he read in my palm today.

For those fellow surro families planning to see Jaipur here are a few tips:

Good Eating Places:
Peacock Rooftop Restaurant at Hotel Pearl Palace - great views
Little Italy (also is Little Indian as well)
Umaid Rooftop Fort Restaurant at Hotel Umaid Bhawna (near Bani Park behind Collectorate, Off Main Road)

Some other things - dont get sucked into going to elephant sanctuary that claims to have tigers and lions. There are precisely 6 tigers and 1 lion. They are also cruel to the animals as they poke them to come out for the tourists.

It is worth doing a short elephant ride up to Amber Fort - one way will cost 900 rupee for 2 people.

Basically if you go anywhere and you dont get a receipt for entry into palaces, temples etc then you are likely to be getting ripped off!

Signing off from the beautiful Agra - cant wait to see the Taj tomorrow.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Jaipur - The Pink City

Well after 26 hours combined air travel and transit between Australia and India we arrived in India on Thursday night and after one night in Delhi we travelled to the wonderful city of Jaipur. We have done so much in just a short number of days from riding elephants, seeing AMber Fort, City Palace, viewing magical and very colourful street processions for the Gangaur festival (to celebrate women - although no women actually in the parade!). We have also already seen a tailor and got ourselves a fabulous deal of suits and shirts etc for ourselves/ And shoes - yay I love shoes but am stopping at buying just two pairs for myself!

We met some wonderful people from North Hampshire and I think we have made some lifetime friends there. We went out with them racing Tuk Tuk's to and from the Peacock Rooftop Restaurant at Pearl Palace Hotel. So much fun!

I have found myself incredibly emotional on this journey. I am not one to cry at the drop of a hat. I find India an amazing land of contradiction. Family is very important to them. However then you see many aspects where life does not seem to be treated as precious with some children deliberately maimed to become professional beggers.My hubby and  I hold out much hope when we return to Delhi to start our surrogacy treatment. This will be in full swing from 2 April.

I will upload some photos when my phone is recharged.

Anyone wanting to stay in Jaipur, a great 3 star hotel that we are staying in is called the Hotel Umaid Bhawna (near Bani Park). It is very ornate and you can choose from a deluxe room with a canopy bed or a royal suite. Only about $40 - $50 AUD per day including breakfast and wifi)

All the best. Namaste!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Andrew's mother called us up again yesterday, and even after a few days of letting the news sink in we are still hearing all the negativity in the world from her. Yesterday this is the summary of comments from her about our surrogacy journey:

"It sounds like a rip off scam from India;
You will get caught up in legal problems trying to bring baby home and you will expect me to bail you out;
The surrogate mums are from slum areas and you are exploiting them;
You two are really too old to do this as raising children takes 40 years;
How can Mel take time off work to raise children?;"

There were a litany of other unsavoury comments. Hubby got angry with his mother and told her in no uncertain terms that she either got on the bus and supported us or she is not to discuss it again. I chose to write her a letter and attached heaps of information so she could at least be better informed. I dont think it will make a difference as I do think this is an age thing with an inability to deal with massive change. It is also something she cannot control and she really dislikes not having some sort of control.

We leave for Delhi early Thursday morning ( less than 2 days now) so I am sooooooooooo excited ! It's 35 degrees celsius in Delhi so I am also looking forward to warm weather.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Phew...we managed to update our wills

With the excitement of our very imminent surrogacy journey, I almost forgot to update our wills.....I am very very pleased to advise though that they are now updated leaving my two lovely sisters as guardians of any children born through surrogacy, if the unthinkable happens to us.

We had our updated wills witnessed by 2 nice Police Constables. One of them was absolutely fascinated when we told them why we had updated our wills to be modified in line with the surrogacy plans. Judging by the amount of questions they asked I think they were more enthusiastic than my mother in law! They also thought it was archaic that Australia had not made surrogacy legal.

Anyway now that our legal paperwork is sorted and my "important documents" folder is fully complete for my sister who will be Executor should anything unfortunate happen, I feel alot better. My sister has a full copy of our travel itinerary, our travel insurance policy, our superannuation fund policies, copy of our passports and birth and marriage certificates , house titles as well as all our financial arrangements including the details regarding payment to SCI and the program itself. It's probably overkill but better to be organised so that any children born to us are well and truly provided for.

Anybody else updating their wills etc?

Thursday, 15 March 2012

So we told his Mum.......

For those of you who have been following my blog, I have previously said that we have made deliberate decisions to limit our surrogacy journey news to family. Both my parents have passed away and Andrew's Mum has been widowed for 6 years.

We discussed telling his Mum and have been worried about it and her negativity towards our news. It's unfortunate that we have to be concerned about this but past behaviour does predict the future.......she has been very non complimentary about India as a country when we told her we were travelling there and has questioned why we would go there. Today Andrew cautiously told her our real reasons for travelling there. She questioned Andrew about our plans, about what babies would be produced (and I think I heard the term a mung child slung in there). Needless to say I wasn't happy with her reaction and disgusted and disappointed with her is how I feel right now. She has so graciously told Andrew that "she needs to think about how she feels about it". Frankly I dont care how she feels about it. All she has to do is be a grandmother. 

I am sugar coating her reaction for publication in this blog. Andrew tells me she will come around but I am not so sure. He needed to use some very strong language in his discussion with her pointing out that we didnt require her approval and just wanted her to know and be happy for us. Her primary worry seems to be that a baby might impact negatively on her in someway. 

We will see how she responds over the next few days before we fly out for Delhi. Anybody else had such negative reactions from family? My sisters were over the moon with our decision so I find his mother's reaction strange to say the least (I think she is racist)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

I Just Couldn't Resist..........

Well I was out having lunch at a beautiful garden nursery with a friend of mine and in the gift shop they had some Easter decorations etc. They just happened to have these 2 toy bunny rabbits. These rabbits are a boy and a girl and are dressed in grey's and whites. I had to buy them. Why? Well they are a fairly safe colour and after all it is Easter soon, so I justified buying them as Easter decorations, knowing in the back of my mind how beautiful these bunnies will look in a baby's nursery one day. Here's a pic of them. I really like them as they remind me of that famous children's author Beatrix Potter. I love Beatrix Potter and her whimsical writing about not only Peter Rabbit but all the other characters including Jemima Duck and Mrs. Tittlemouse. My Mum used to read these stories to me and I really enjoyed the beautiful illustrations. So it's likely I will plan to have a Beatrix Potter themed Nursery if we are so blessed with bubs. I think that is also fairly safe considering not being able to know what the gender is of any babies being born through surrogacy. How have other people planned around their nursery themes? I would love to hear from other IP's and parents as to how they handled this. I cant help myself I am a born planner and need to do lots of thinking and research before I leap!

It's less than 2 weeks (11 days) before we fly out to India and I am so excited! We have arranged a good deal with Rahul (associated with SCI) for a driver and a car to be with us for 9 days as we explore the sights of Agra and Jaipur. We will be doing most of our sightseeing before we travel back to Delhi. We are staying in Apartment 18 in Delhi for a little over a week to start our very hopeful surrogacy journey. 

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Well I'm ready to go!

After a little snag with our visas (they rejected our first application because the photos we used to get our Australian passports were not good enough for the Indian Visa!!), our visas have now been approved. Our fur children back at home will be very well cared for by our gorgeous niece let's call her "R", who will be moving in during our Indian Odyssey. I even think our 2 dogalogs and pusscat will end up being spoiled by her!

I do so hope and pray we are successful. We haven't told many people about our baby plans apart from very close family. They are excited for us including "R" and her sister "A" with so many offers already to babysit as well as lots of question about how it all happens. I cant help but be excited as well but the high step I am on at the moment means there is pain on the fall of disappointment. I have almost convinced myself that it wont happen on our first attempt (there is that wall that I am clinging onto so I dont fall from that high excitement perch). I am so glad we can share our feelings on here. There is an awesome amount of support and I thank you for all your well wishes and comments.

Finally, I was in the chemist yesterday and they had a sale on very cute stuffed toys for only $5 (AUD) each. They had a green crocodile/alligator with different coloured swirls and shapes and they also had an orange crocodile/alligator (similar to picture). I was so tempted to buy them but I held back as my superstition set in that I should not jinx the process. I am sure many of us are chomping at the bit (aussie saying which means  eager) to make small little purchases like these. Anyone been tempted lately to buy baby goods?

Thursday, 1 March 2012

3 weeks to Delhi - Woooohoooooo!!!!

Can you tell by the title of my post how excited we are? We are really looking forward to this trip. Our brother in law who was born in the Punjab had to fly back to India this week as his father who still lives in India has become ill. We will probably catch up with him when we are in India to see how he  is doing but we are hoping and praying for the best for his Dad. Our brother in law gave us some great contacts for accommodation in Agra and Jaipur (family and friends of his) so we got some good discounts. Personally I find it unbelievable that we are paying under $50 per night for a gorgeous looking hotel (complete with pool) in Jaipur including buffet breakfast each day. It is clearly very expensive to live in Australia when you compare our hotel prices to that.

We are trying to travel light during our trip so not taking the laptop and I will have to cope with 3 pairs of shoes only. Those who know me know how I love my shoes so to be able to keep my shoe selection down to 3 will be a challenge. However, our lonely planet guide book has already shown to me the locations of some reputable leather and shoe shops. I think I will end up coping!

So we are treating this like a real holiday as the first 8 days will just be sightseeing in Agra and Jaipur for us and then we come back to Delhi for the treatment appointments and legal meetings. We both cant wait to meet Dr Shivani and the SCI team and to watch them create some magic in their miracle baby making.