This post has been days in the making and I mean DAYS! Time is no longer our own and blogging has had to take a back seat I'm afraid to feeding, changing nappies, washing bottles and baby clothes & napping! Our days in Mumbai have been as busy or relaxed as we want them to be, yet still there are not enough hours in the day. We also have had to learn that we DO need to nap during the day when Noah does. This was made abundantly clear today on our way back to our hotel from the Australian Consulate General in South Mumbai when we fell asleep in the car. The past ten days or so have been amazing. No adjective will suffice in describing our time here so amazing will have to do. Our son has changed our lives and for the better, we both know this. He is perfection personified and so utterly beautiful. Our birth certificates took 7 days to arrive to us & this included a delay due to a public holiday. Dr Sudhir was great in arranging all the necessary paperwork and birth certificates for us to obtain Noah's citizenship by descent....that's right OBTAIN. Our boy is officially an Aussie as of yesterday and the turn around was super quick. Like we said, Dr Sudhir arranged for all the paperwork required to confirm Noah's citizenship by descent; letter from Hiranandani hospital confirming he was born there, signed and stamped letter from Dr Soni confirming she delivered him, letter from Dr Pai confirming he performed our IVF and finally a letter from SI confirming our status as IPs under their care. Along with our surrogacy contract and the fee of Rs5400 we visited Blue Dart couriers at Galleria in Hiranandani Gardens and sent our documents to New Delhi. We had confirmation the next day of their receipt and then we began the phone calls. We were given the standard 'this will take four weeks to process' and not disheartened we insisted on speaking with the team leader Varun Gupta who handles citizenship by descent applications. He is very familiar with surrogacy and what is involved so he asked we call back that afternoon after 2pm. In the mean time I emailed him directly (he was cc'd in the email to us from DNALABS in Sydney confirming Noah's parentage) advising we had our flights booked for Sunday and we needed citizenship processed ASAP to ensure time to have a passport and exit visa processed. Voila, 24 hours later we have a third Australian citizen in our hotel room and a passport to collect from the Consulate General tomorrow. It could not have been easier or smoother for us and for that we are thankful. The passport application process was straight forward too. Our original certificate of citizenship for Noah was couriered to us today from New Delhi and we requested a scanned copy of the original be emailed to the Consulate General to expedite our emergency passport application which was done without issue. Tomorrow we visit the FRRO after collecting Noah's passport at 9am. We have been fortunate to spend the past 13 days in Mumbai with some fantastic people and we have especially enjoyed sharing time with Greg, Rob & Addison. We have been shopping, eating and sightseeing our way around the city with the three of them plus the docs and it has been a blast. Last night in particular we visited a small complex around 50km outside of the city which showed what village is like in Rajasthan. It was great and we had a fantastic time with the guys, Dr Sudhir, Dr Yash & Ajit. There was traditional dancing, fire eaters, magicians, puppet shows, camel rides, bullock rides, fresh sugar cane and mango juice stalls, henna painting, pottery wheels to throw small vases, arcade attractions like an old fashioned fair...just fantastic. It was such a great way to spend time with the docs and share something really special that we will remember always. We had such a great time that by the time we got back to our hotel it was close to 1am! We then slept and fed Noah at 2.30am and again at 5am and had to be up and ready to leave our hotel at 8.30am for the 10am appointment at the Consulate General. Hence being so tired today. We were due to see Greg, Rob and Addy prior to their leaving and catch up for lunch in South Mumbai, but our passport could not be issued same day and subsequently we did not visit the FRRO today. That adventure awaits us tomorrow! We were so tired we ended up back at our hotel by 1pm and slept for four hours. Our hotel at Powai has been great and it is very convenient to Hiranandani Gardens and the stores, cafes, restaurants & banks there. An auto rickshaw into Hiranandani costs between Rs 30-40 depending on traffic compared to the Rs200 in an A/C cab. We would highly recommend to others coming back to Mumbai for baby pick up to stay at one of the hotels at Powai. Yes the VITS is popular and we too almost stayed there but are now so glad we're here. The hotel has some beautiful grounds and the pool area is to die for with a grassed area to relax in the shade! So what is left for us to do in Bombay? When we booked our flights here we anticipated a stay of just over two weeks and it has proven to be true. 16 nights is the total for us. We arrived on the 9th April and we leave Mumbai this Sunday the 25th April. A total of 16 days. Noddy's exit visa is issued tomorrow and two days later we will be on a plane back to Sydney. Now that the time has come we are sad. Sad to be leaving our hotel room we couldn't wait to leave, sad to be leaving the smog, heat and crowds we are so unaccustomed with. Sad to be saying bye to Dr Sudhir and Dr Yash, now friends for life. And sad to be leaving Bombay, the birth city of our son. We will however be back so goodbye is not forever!
For those of you reading this contemplating if surrogacy in India is right for you, just as we did...the proof is in our son. And you could do no better than to have Surrogacy India, Dr Sudhir and Dr Yash by your side.