The Today Show

Somewhere along the lines, surrogacy in India became a hot topic. And many news outlets were contacting Planet Hospital for comment. They were directed to Lisa and I as we had just come back and had been through the process.

We get asked if Mara Schiavacampo, from NBC, can come to San Antonio and interview us. We’d love to have her, come on down. And she does. She interviews us, gets all her questions answered, runs some background on how we got to this point. And she’s done. Very simple, very respectful, we love Mara!

It runs on the web, rather than on the NBC Nightly News. And then we find out why..

As my wife and her mother would say..”Are you ready for this?”

The Today Show wants us to go to NY and be interviewed live, on the air.  Will we do it? Yes, for two reasons only.

1. To let other infertile couples know there is another avenue, that it is much more affordable, and very possible.

2. Lisa loves NY.

Some have said we are verging on becoming media whores because of the web piece, The Today Show, several newspaper articles, and now both People Magazine and 60 Minutes would like to speak with us. In fact, 60 Minutes wants Katie Couric to travel to India with us when we get to hold our children for the first time. We consider this to give hope to all the people who think there is no hope for them to start a family. To show them that it can be done, and given the determination and direction, anyone can do it. We want People Magazine to interview another couple that Lisa helped to go to India. They are now pregnant as well. And we couldn’t be happier for them!

See the right sidebar for the Today Show link.

Oh Dear God…

(Or “You have got to be kidding me!!)

So we get back home from Gulfport, happy and content that a baby is on its’ way. We will be parents. Boy, Girl, doesn’t matter..We have a baby.. or do we?

 

What the hell do you mean twins?????? That was my first thought when Lisa received that email. My actual first words were, “Wait, What?” And Lisa was Flubber, emotionally bouncing off the walls with elation. Me? I was terrified. Scared to death. Pertified. Cata-freakin-tonic in a closet.

But now..I am elated as well. 2 for 1 special, order up! I was dreading twins. I knew it was a possiblilty, but really, what are the odds.. Pretty damn good, looking back on it now.

And the closer we get to the due date, the more anxious and nervous I become. But I can’t wait. At all.

 

Did it work???

So, we get home after 7 days in India, 2 days of travel and endless blue streaks of cursing about customs and immigration hassles changing planes in New Joisey. It’s now Nov. 15th and we are making plans to go to my hometown of Gulfport, MS for Thanksgiving.

So we pack up the car with suitcases and dogs and we are on our way.  Both my brother and sister will be there. Mom gets all her children back home for a holiday. Good Times! It is here that Lisa and I are intoduced to Nintendo Wii..and we are hooked. We bought one 2 days later!

So the day comes around that we should be finding out if we are pregnant or not. And Lisa is checking her gmail account like a madwoman. I swear the refresh button doesn’t have text on it anymore. Rubbed it right off..lol..

So I convince her to settle down, it’ll get here and she proceeds to play the Wii. A bit later I check her mail and there it is… so I mark it as unread, close the laptop and go get my video camera for my Dad to film this event..and event 20 years in the making. That’s about how long Lisa has been wanting children..so here we go..

I tell Lisa is almost dinner time, so she should check her mail and come give me a hand…

So she does…and she erupts into a fit of joy, tears of happiness and breathes of relief.. We have our baby. We are pregnant!!!!!!!!!

We call her Mom first and by her reaction, which was priceless, you’d have thought we won the billion dollar lottery. It was greatness!

So, now we are pregnant, and all is looking up for us in terms of starting our family..  

The Waiting Game…

So, we’re all done with the procedure, and are awaiting the creation of the embryo’s. We are anxious to know how many embryo’s can/will be made. To take our mind off of it, we go explore for a while. Just a quick walk around, but in that heat and humidity, it didn’t last long.

Turns out we got 15 embryos and 5 were implanted into our surrogate. That is amazing.

(edited: Lisa informed me I was wrong about the number of transferred embryos. My bad. :p)

So, we are done, the only thing left to do is sight-see and shop. We did both in spades.

We went to the Hare Krishna main temple in Juhu Beach. Beautiful! The art work and statues are a sight to behold.


We walked from there to the JW Marriot Hotel, where surprisingly, you cannot take pictures of the building. Take pictures of all the horrors of poverty all you want, but no, not of the hotel. Just as well, they wanted $3.50 for a can of Dr. Pepper.

We went back to the Taj Hotel, bought some souvenirs for friends and family.

Enjoyed a bit more Indian tv, watched some cricket matches, and realized that it’s a silly game. With scores like 325 to 217, can you really get excited? Is there any suspense as to the outcome?

So, now, we’re ready to go home.  Good Lord, am I ready to come home. My own bed, my own food, my motorcycle, my dogs, etc..

 

 

 

A quick word about Indian Healthcare

Before I get too far past it to come back, we did take a little sidetrip to a clinic in Mumbai. It seems the US based fertility clinic that did a blood workup for Lisa, failed to send it to India. We needed that bloodwork, so we were referred to a clinic to have it done in India. This was a spur on the moment, last minute thing. So we get there, walk in and the clinic is beautiful. Marble floors, well lit, beautiful artwork on the walls. And we have no appointment. No matter, we were seen in less than 10 minutes. Lisa was to get blood drawn, an xray, and an EKG. She was done with all of that in 20 minutes and the cost?? The equivalent of $20 U.S.

Can you dig it? $20! And the equipment used was identical to what we use in the States. Unbelievable!

Now, here’s the funny/somber part.  At some point, the fertility clinic here in the States decided to get off thier asses and take a look at what bloodwork they did do. So, it’s 3am in Mumbai and we get a cell phone call from the Dr. here in the States. He demands to speak with me, will not speak with Lisa. He asks me a few questions, and I answer No to all of them. Now, keep in mind, I’m and out cold from Ambien, so I just want to go back to sleep. So when he tells me that I have tested positive for the HIV virus, I tell him his test is wrong and hang up. I tell Lisa what he said and fall back asleep. Lisa wigs the hell out. She knows I’m useless to speak to, what with Ambien, and the fact we haven’t slept well yet. So she freaks all night until I wake up and give her more details. We have another test done in India..Negative. But right before we get the reults, I am a wreck. I’m sure I’m ok, but there is always that little bit of doubt. No one should ever have that happen to them. I wanted to speak to the Dr. here in the States, to let him know we didn’t appreciate the news when it was unwarranted. I say that because he based his results on some elevated white cell counts. all the flags were negative across the board but the elevated WC’s gave him pause. Turns out, I was getting over a cold. Fun to be me, right? Well, the US tests for anti-bodies, your bodies celles that fight off a particualar invader. In India, they test for the antigen, the invader itself. Much more reliable. Bless India, really…

Break for Commentary

Ok, so here are some tidbits I may have left out or forgotten.

The hotel: in Bandra West, decent area, but the poorest of the poor will live next door to what would be considered wealthy. Strange to us that are used to the haves living in one section of town away from the have nots.

The poverty: Heartbreaking. Truly, makes your heart ache. But here’s the kicker. They are tirelessy on the move, doing whatever work needs to be done. Impressive work ethic.

The population & traffic: Oh My God. Mumbai is about the size of Ft. Lauderdale, or San Diego. Imagine 16 million people in one of those cities. And traffic..so close together you can reach out your car window and honk the horn of the car next to you. It takes 75 minutes to get 8 miles. Don’t ever, ever complain about traffic in the States. We have A/C  in our cars. They do not, for the most part. And pedestrians. NYC has people on a leisurely stroll compared to these folks.

 

 

 

The Procedure

or Lisa is a freakin Trooper!!!

The day of the procedure came and we headed to the clinic. We hailed an auto-rikshaw, which is basically a 3-wheeled covered moped. Has the horsepower of a squirrel on acid. They have a taxi meter, but of all the ‘shaws we took. None worked. They are all stuck on 10 rupees. 25 Cents. I usually gave the 50 rupees. Just to be nice. Some of these drivers actually live in their rickshaw.

So we get to the clinic, and Lisa is given a gown, and the film crew get scrubs. I’m standing there with my thumb in my tukus, asking where my scrubs are. Seems there is not enough room in the operating theater for the husband. Room for Dr.? Check. Room for 2 nurses? Check. Room for Camera-operating Documentarian? Check. Director of Documentary? Check. Husband? Get back in there and get us a sample. We’ll see you soon. Success! and he thought I might not be able to provide on cue! HA!

So Lisa is under for about 45 minutes, and they bring her to a small recovery room. She is groggy for 2 hours coming out of it. She never has done well with anesthesia.

But when she’s up, we head back to the hotel. Now, we take an auto-rikshaw back and let me tell you this. The suspension system on these “vehicles” is non-existant. Imagine, if you can, having a doctor poke around your insides like a drunk Roto-Rooter technician. Then you must sit on a skateboard and roll downhill on a cobblestone street. You got that image? Welcome to Lisa’s world. She didn’t complain much and when we got back to the hotel, she slept the sleep of the angels.

God knows I love her and the lengths she has gone through to be a mother to my children are extrordinary. Bless you Lisa.