Friday, July 31, 2009

Good Morning Mumbai!

We have just woken up after 3.5 hours of very short sleep after arriving into Mumbai six hours ago....The flights from Sydney to Singapore and then to Mumbai were OK, pleasant and not too overcrowded.
The Qantas rep from Johnny's office was good enough to provide us with Qantas lounge access whilst in Sydney and we had extra space on the flight to Singapore so wer'e chuffed. It's now just after 8.30am and we've woken to the buzz of an amazing city - unlike any other we have experienced and can't wait to get out there amongst it all. What a life changing experience this will be... Even arriving into India at 2am in the morning you can feel the city bursting at the seams with people, cars, pollution and poverty. So many people asleep on the sidewalks, under busses and on cars it is very sad and a sobering reminder of just how lucky we are back home...

Prior to leaving home we visited Darren's sister, brother in law and two nieces to share our news & they are very happy and excited for us. It's great to have more family 'in the loop' and praying for a positive for us (WE LOVE YOU GUYS).

Our hotel is as expected, beautiful and the people we have met so far equally lovely. The docs from SI had flowers in our room on our arrival and we look forward to nmeeting them today. It is hot, humid, hazy but so far today not wet...No rain and even if there was, hah we can deal with it; we're in INDIA!!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Final Countdown...

Three days remaining until our much anticipated journey to Mumbai to meet our wonderful docs at Surrogacy India, our SM and everyone else involved in our quest to become parents. I can't actually believe that our time has come; it is somewhat surreal and foreign to me to be feeling this way.

I'm amazed at the relative calm both Darren and I now feel that we're in the home stretch of this part of our journey. The past nine months have really flown by quickly (in retrospect) & we both now know how fast the next nine will pass!

I finish work today and the rest of my afternoon will be spent getting things in order for the time I'll be away from the office, Darren finishes tomorrow & we're both looking forward to 12 days together.

Tomorrow I'll be finishing the final stages of 'Operation Noddy'

Haircut - Check!
Packing - Check!
Currency - Check!
Passports & Travel Vouchers - Check!

Mini Meltdown??? I don't think so!

We'll be staying at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower for our week in Mumbai and only because I managed to get an UNBELIEVABLE discounted rate of 5000 rupee per night for the two of us. Times like this I'm glad I'm still in the travel industry. Otherwise it was going to be Betty Budget for us...

I am so lucky to have Darren in my life and we are both so blessed to have been given the opportunity of living in a society that enables us to be parents.

Our lives together over the past 12 years have been utterly amazing & we both appreciate all of our blessings. We can’t begin to express how overwhelmed we are at starting the next chapter of our lives together….with our child. This stage of our lives will be unlike any of the preceding chapters & we’re ecstatic to see how the pages unfold.

We were both chatting the other night about our time so far to have reached this point & we both are amazed that this is really happening for us; amazed I suppose as like I've said earlier we never thought this was really a possibility for us. Darren ended up saying to me that he was thankful to me for making his dream of becoming a parent come true. I too am thankful, without him in my life I don't know if I would be here right now becoming a daddy too.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

The results are in....that high tide!

MUMBAI: The civic body, which was on its toes for the last two days as high tides measuring over 5 metres hit the city's shores, has warned of similar occurrence for next two-three years because of global warming and called for steps to stop possible flooding. "We must consider ourselves lucky as there were no heavy rain (along with tides) and hence the effect was not much. But due to global warming more such high tides will hit the city in next two-three years," Municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak said. We must learn from our sister cities - St Petersburg, Barcelona and New York - who faced similar situation like Mumbai, but have come out with their own solutions, he said. "At St Petersburg, they constructed a dam outside the city limit and also a wall because of which the high tide does not hit the city directly. Though this is not possible for a city like Mumbai, which is surrounded by sea, but we will study what other cities have done and would then think what can be done here," Phatak said. The civic officials had warned of July 26, 2005-like deluge as the city today witnessed a 5.05 metre high tide, but fortunately heavy rains did not coincide with the tide. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was geared up for the day and had taken several precautionary measures, like evacuating people from low-lying areas.

Johnny was chatting with an old work colleague living in Mumbai yesterday confirming we'll all meet up for a spot of eating and shopping perhaps while in India.


Readers of the 'Mikes' blog will remember their gorgeous kurtas purchased whilst on baby pick up & Johnny has wanted one ever since; picture attached FYI. Shobs (Mumbai pal) assures us that the rain is really not that bad and hey, when in Rome!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

ONLINE ARTICLE - BMC's highest tide in 100 years claim sunk

Further to my recent findings online and managing to worry about yet another aspect of our journey out of our control - the weather, I just the following online.....

The Survey of India (SoI) has slammed the BMC for creating panic by declaring the 5.05-metre high tide expected on July 24 as the “highest

of the century’’. The survey’s research cell has pointed out the error in a letter to the civic agency. The “so-called hi-ghest tide of the century of 5.05 m’’ was factually incorrect, it said. “Tides of this height are quite normal for Mumbai,’’ read the letter from SoI expert Varuna Guddanti Kumar. SoI figures show that Mumbai witnessed its highest tide of 2009 in January, when water levels touched the 5.13-m mark. Yet another high tide of 5.07 m occurred at 1.14 am on February 11. SoI, a research body under the central department of science and te-chnology, has been giving accurate tidal predictions for the past 120 years. The ‘tide of the century’ claims had created panic among the citizens of Mumbai, Kumar told TOI. “I’m not saying that the BMC figures are wrong, but someone should have been aware of the fact that the highest tide to hit Mumbai’s shore was of 5.59 metres in 1989,’’ Kumar told TOI. BMC officials explained that a high tide alone may not mean anything. Mumbaikars might be affected if extremely heavy rains were to coincide with the tide. A comprehensive disaster management plan is in place for July 24, when the 5.05-m high tide is expected to hit, they said. BMC commissioner Jairaj Phatak admitted that there could have been an error on the civic body’s part. “The highest tides for this monsoon were compiled late in the night and therefore were not verified,’’ Phatak said. Last month, as part of its monsoon-preparedness plans, the BMC had declared dates for the highest tides expected on the city’s shore during the rainy season. It declared the July 24 tide of 5.05 m as the highest in the last 100 years. The other days when above-average high tides are expected are July 23 (1.23 pm, high tide of 5.01 m) and July 25 (2.43 pm, high tide of 4.94 m).

Friday, July 17, 2009

ONLINE ARTICLE - Monsoon Warning: Avoid Travel to Mumbai Around July 24

Oh My! I just found this alarming article online & we are due to arrive into Mumbai on 31 July...

Mumbai received its first pre-monsoon shower last night, 20 May 2009. According to the Meteorological Department, the monsoon is due to arrive in the city around June 8, 2009. It's very difficult to give an accurate prediction though. As usual, Mumbai is hopelessly unprepared for the monsoon rains. What's even more concerning is that the Department has predicted that city will have the highest tide in 100 years -- 5.05 meters -- on July 24. Mumbai's municipal council has admitted that it isn't equipped to handle more than 25 millimeters of rain per hour, coupled with a high tide of more than 4.5 meters. The consequences could be disastrous. In the case of high rainfall, widespread flooding will result and the city could be brought to a standstill for days. A similar thing happened on July 26, 2005 -- and the tide was only 4.48 meters high! The municipal council has advised visitors to stay away from Mumbai on or around July 24, 2009. There's no guarantee that the adverse weather conditions will eventuate. However, with the monsoon being so unpredictable, it sounds like a good idea.

After seeing the below photo though, maybe it's not all bad:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

14 Day Countdown

Fourteen days, not forty, not even 99. Fourteen days, two weeks until Johnny and Darren leave Sydney for Mumbai and the chance to become parents with Surrogacy India.

We are both in a state of shock. Perhaps this is the calm before the storm. Quite appropriate really since our dear friend in Mumbai, Shobana tells us it's raining a treat. Monsoon has well and truly set in.

The lead up to this point in our surrogacy journey has indeed been a roller coaster as those who've gone before us said it would be. The highs and lows are part and parcel of becoming parents via surrogacy & it does not matter which agency one uses or which country they are in, the journey is no more or less stressful.

The desire to become daddies is what has kept us going & the day we meet our dear Noddy we’ll know the months spent stressing, crying, stressing & praying were worth it. We know it will be.

Our journey began with looking into surrogacy in the USA. Costs were too prohibitive to proceed so this door was closed.

We contacted our local DOCS office and looked into international & domestic adoption, short & long term foster care and even an altruistic surrogacy agreement with our best friend but this was not meant to be our story.

Johnny has a high school friend living in Bangkok who knew of a clinic there dealing with commercial surrogacy and the idea of travelling to Thailand to start our family was looking like the option for us. The Australian woman dealing with International patients at the clinic we contacted made us feel at ease & comfortable with our timetable & plan to become parents. However the Thai government laws changed preventing same sex male couples from commercial surrogacy so it was back to the drawing board & our second door closed.

A third door opened when Johnny found an article online about a clinic in India that had helped an Israeli gay couple father a son through ART & commercial surrogacy. The wonders of the online world came into its own when we found their profile on facebook and discovered they were using Rotunda Clinic. We then found through online research a second clinic in Mumbai, Surrogacy India. Emails were sent and the same day we had a response from Dr Sudhir Ajja.

We were both amazed at the level of customer service from the very beginning and shortly thereafter decided to proceed with SI.

Our beautiful ED was chosen and we have been ecstatic ever since. We know she is a caring giving person who will give us one half of an amazing gift otherwise denied to us. Our SM was another story!!!

One, two and recently three.

The monsoon in India brings about its own issues and I know that we are not the only IPs affected by mosquitos and an SM coming down with malaria. This recently had both of us making another selection for the woman who would ultimately carry our child and the second half of our amazing gift – a child to call our own and complete our family.

We are both over the moon with our SM and we know she is the right woman. All things in life are meant to be and it really is a case of ‘third time lucky’ for us.

Nothing in life has prepared either of us for what lies ahead & we’re glad of that.

A roller coaster yes, but what a ride.

Our Wordle...

As requested by our fellow IP Mrs Humblebee, our wordle for your enjoyment