Wednesday, June 27, 2012


What more can I say?  It seems what ever luck we had has run out and we received a negative yesterday.  It was disappointing to have to prompt SI on a number of occasions over the last 2 days to get our results.  Pretty unimpressed by their lack of responsiveness.

Thoroughly disappointed with our result is an understatement and I can't fathom how people who have gone through 4-5-6 attempts don't feel completely soul destroyed by the experience.

I really thought we had a really good chance given the success we had with our ED and 3 grade 1 embryos transferred.  Apparently not.

I'm going to keep this short as there is a lot I could say right now that might seem bitter and angry, so I will leave it there.  This is a reality of IVF and sometimes the punt doesn't pay off.

Good luck to the others out there who are cycling and we'll be back here again sometime in the future.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The obligatory 2WW post

Today we recieved great news.  Of the 22 mature eggs retrieved, all were fertilized with 18 considered Grade 1 - 10 for GB and 8 for LC (me). Yesterday was the 3rd day since fertilisation and during the afternoon 3 embryos were transferred into Ms B.  The rest go off to the freezer.

And thus, our 2 week wait (2WW) begins.  Everything to this point has gone well, so let's hope our roll continues.  Bring on the 24th of June.

Fingers & Toes people!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

India Day 6 - Farewell Mumbai

Today we leave Mumbai.  We were supposed to be here until Tuesday, but things were completed earlier than expected.  Rather than sit around in Mumbai, we have decided to return home to Australia as we are due to holiday in Japan in 2 weeks and this will give us some time off at home until we head out for Tokyo.

Today we went to Lilavati hospital to do our second and final 'donations' as the ED was due to have the eggs retrieved today.  Everything went to schedule and all up we were at the hospital for around an hour.  Around 12pm, Dr Yash emerged from the IVF lab and advised that she had retrieved 20 eggs, however the maturity of them was yet to be determined.  Thrilled was an understatement and we were then faced with the predicament of how to best use the eggs.  As had always been the plan, GB was to be the father.  However, based on the number of mature eggs and any prospect of me (LC) wanting to be a parent in future she asked if we wanted split the crop.  She had mentioned this could be a possibility earlier in the week when we first visited the clinic, so we had already decided that if we got a large number of eggs we would split them.

We later received an e-mail from SI letting us know that they actually retrieved 22 mature eggs.  We are ecstatic to say the least.  Of all the couples that were cycling at the same time of us, we were the only couple who would be present for the ED pickup as a number of EDs had been delayed.  So we have been doubly lucky and we hope this continues to the embryo transfer on Monday.

After the leaving the hospital, we headed over to the SI head office to meet our surrogate.  It was all happening today.  GB grew considerably exasperated in the Mumbai traffic, with this taxi trip being our longest and most painful yet.  We essentially spent 1.5 hours in a traffic jam to get from Bandra West to Bhandup West - probably about 20kms.

We finally arrived to meet our surrogate and sign the agreement - our final page in the Mumbai chapter.

Below is a picture of the momentous event:

GB on the left, while our Surrogate "Ms B" signed the paperwork
There was some time to ask her a few questions and give her and her family members some gifts to show our gratitude

Ms B's timing was a little out (she blinked), but she appeared pleased with the gifts.
The gifs for her family:

The gifts

The three of us:

Incidentally we're both only 5'9 - and our surrogate is supposed to be 5'1. Hmmmm?

And alas, we close the chapter on this part of the journey and head home.  Monday, the next chapter begins, when we find out how many embryos we have, their grades and when the transfer goes ahead.  Exciting times to come.

Stay tuned....

Friday, June 8, 2012

India - Day 5

The pressure to keep these posts exciting and interesting is becoming somewhat of a challenge.  After 5 days in Mumbai we're fast running out of things to do.  Today was another 'free' day, so we went shopping at R-City shopping centre in East Mumbai.  After a number of hours trying on clothes at exceptionally low prices with multiple purchases ensuing, we headed back to the hotel.

At breakfast this morning, we ran into the same couple who were at the clinic we mentioned in the blog on Day 3.  In an attempt to share knowledge and experiences, GB invited them for a drink this evening.  They were to meet their surrogate today and weren't sure of what time they would be back, but would be happy to have a drink.

We finally caught up at around 6.30pm and enjoyed a few peaceful beers and some nice food in the cavernous hotel cafe/bar. Over the course of four hours we shared our experiences of how we arrived at India, why we were undergoing surrogacy and what our hopes were for what SI would hopefully bring.  It's incredible how similar our experiences have been to date, including the blow by blow similarities of our Mumbai tours and the shops we were "invited" to check out.  Tomorrow they leave for Goa before returning to their home country.  Good luck guys, we hope it works out for you.

Tomorrow we are off to Lilavati Hospital to make another donation where the ED is due to have the egg retrieval done in the late morning.  This means, that by tomorrow afternoon the eggs (lots of them we hope) will be fertilised and hopefully our future baby will be growing.  Months of planning, research and effort will finally come to it's exciting crescendo.  While that is happening, we'll head over to SI's head office in the afternoon to meet our surrogate and sign some paperwork.

Then - apparently - we're done.  There's nothing more we can do and it is all over to SI, the surrogate and the IVF Lab.  

As much as we are glad we've come to Mumbai - it isn't a city for tourists and we're hoping to change our flights to leave on Sunday.  If we can't, we might head to Goa for a few days - rather than spending them in Mumbai. We'll see what happens.  

Either way, so far so good and here's hoping everything tomorrow goes fine.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

India - Day 4

Today we had no surrogacy business to attend to and as mentioned in our last post, we had booked a driver for the day to see the sights of Mumbai.

Once again, we overindulged at breakfast before our driver promptly arrived at 10am as agreed.  We really didn't have a set itinerary, but had a fair idea of what we wanted to see and knew the driver had beat this path many times before.  So we left it in his hands and off we went.

It made us feel very lucky to have grown up in a country where life is a lot less difficult than what residents of Mumbai experience on a daily basis.  Hats off to them!

Below are a few snaps of the trip. I think the photography course I took last year is finally starting to pay off.

Until the next post.....

The open laundry of Mumbai.

Unfortunately, child labour exists nearly everywhere

The Gateway of India 
The Taj hotel

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

India - Day 3

Well there are a few things you can control in this world and then there are things you can't.  Abstinence for example can be controlled.  The effects of it can't.

This is quite a necessary but usually overlooked element when it comes to the surrogacy journey blogs.  I'm putting it in here because it would only happen when you don't want it to and sometimes you have to look at the funny side of things.  Maybe it's not really funny - but we thought it was.

Abstinence is not generally an issue until your forced to abstain.  Then all you can think about is abstaining.  Well sometimes your body refuses to accept this 'forced' position and as such takes matters into it's own hands (figuratively speaking of course).  The body usually does this during sleeping hours as all boys would know.  And contrary to popular belief, this affliction isn't confined to years during puberty.

Anyway, to avoid dancing any further around the issue, last night, the 4 days of abstinence ended involuntarily overnight for one of us.  Despite my dire warnings earlier in the blog of using Google, we soon learned that although this would reduce the volume of swimmers, it wouldn't affect quality.  Quality has never been a problem, so today we look at the funny side to this experience and accept there are things that you just can't control.

As expected, our taxi arrived to whisk us off to the lab in Bandra West promptly at 10.15am.  On arrival, in the waiting room, were another couple we had seen a few days prior at our hotel.  They too, were going through the 'collection' episode today.  They had experienced donor issues and we found ourselves feeling lucky with the relative 'smooth' ride we'd had to date.  We did what we needed to do and after filling out some paper work, we heading back to the hotel.  Feeling a slight degree of delayed jet lag, or perhaps just tiredness from the frenetic 48 hours that had transpired, we spent a lazy afternoon chilling at the hotel.

During this evening we received the swimmer results for both of us and as suspected, the volume had decreased by a factor of 2 from the tests performed in February for one of us - but motility etc in % terms was consistent with earlier tests. So there is plenty there to work with.  Thank goodness.  But having two guys generally doubles your chances of (in most cases anyway) so another reason why we could look at the funny side of this experience.

Tomorrow we have booked a driver and cab for the day to see the highlights of Mumbai.  Hopefully the rain will hold off and we get some great snaps of this electric city.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

India - Day 2

We awoke to the hum of Mumbai's Tuesday morning traffic.  The occasional beeping of car horns was only broken by another plane taking off at the airport nearby.  But thick hotel windows did their job of dulling the noise out almost completely.  As we look out, the haze of the city casts a characteristic orange hue that you always imagine India to have.

Okay - not the most breath taking view - but great if you're a plane spotter!
On arrival at the hotel the night before, we had quickly checked our emails etc, specifically looking for a response to our query as to when SI would need us to be at their offices.  To our surprise, they wanted us there today - the 5th of June - to do blood tests.  So, after completely overindulging at breakfast, we returned to the room where the phone rang with an SI representative on the end of the line.  A car had been sent and would be arriving in the next 45 minutes to take us to the offices of SI.  As expected, the taxi arrived and before we knew it we were a million cars deep in a traffic jam.  That said, we somehow moved with beat of the Mumbai traffic drum, our driver weaving an beeping before arriving at SI's offices in Bhandup West; surprisingly quickly - well by Mumbai standards anyway.  We were slightly underwhelmed when we arrived, but had to remind ourselves that we were in India and not some expensive medical office in an elite area of an Australian capital city.  The staff were incredibly gracious and welcoming and over the next 15 minutes we met all the staff who had been involved in different aspects of our journey to date.  The guy from accounts, Dr Ajja's Executive Assistant, the Senior Admin Manager.  But down to business.  It was time to collect blood.

GB having his blood taken
Within moments it was all done and then the nurse turned to me and said "You're next".  It turned out that both partners need to be tested - an interesting but insignificant oversight.  A few months earlier when I had blood taken before, I nearly passed out at the clinic.  This time, the queasiness returned, but went fairly quickly.  Shortly thereafter, we met with Dr Yash, who welcomed us too and asked if we had any questions.  Before we knew it we were back on the road again bounding toward our hotel - but not before a tour of the entire SI offices.

On returning to the hotel, a delightful bunch of flowers had been left for us - compliments of SI.

SI had now advised that tomorrow would be the day to make our first deposit into the baby bank and the second deposit was likely to occur sometime between Saturday and Monday depending on when the Egg Donor's egg transfer is due to take place.

The afternoon was spent at the very exclusive, but largely disappointing shopping mall called the Oberoi in the North-Western suburbs of Mumbai.  After a few hours of browsing the shops and having lunch we headed back to the hotel for a bit of a nanna-nap and some Mumbai research.

We know we have 2 definitely clear days when the ED won't be cycling in Mumbai between now and when we are due to leave next week and therefore have gone about looking into a tour of the slums as well as hiring a cab for the day to check out the Gateway of India and a number of other local attractions.  But for the time being, we're off to the clinic tomorrow to do what boys need to do to get this baby caper underway.  You may or may not be pleased to know that pictures from this part of the journey won't feature on the blog....!!

Stay tuned.

India - Day 1

We're here.

After enduring 12 hours in the air (and 3 on the ground at Changi) we arrived in Mumbai safe, sound and without DVT.  Always a plus. The slightly chaotic, but surprisingly efficient transit through immigration, customs and baggage collection all went without incident which was a welcome experience given our sleep deprived state. On exiting airside, we were greeted by our hotel transfer and a mere 15 minutes later were being ushered to our room at the Courtyard Mumbai International by Jude - our personal check in consultant.  Oooh, posh!

The strong odour of diesel fumes in our room saw us change floors and rooms shortly after arriving - which gave us short time to pause, have a beer and celebrate our success at getting to this point in the surrogacy journey.  Soon enough we were tucked up in an extremely comfortable bed, air-conditioning cranked and drowsy with exhaustion.  Night, night.

GB at the beginning of Flight No. 2 SIN-BOM.