Monday, June 7, 2010

Take Two

One of the toughest parts about writing a blog dedicated solely to our surrogacy experience is that events don't unfold into neat little chapters. For example, two full months were spent simply awaiting R's recovery from our first attempt - give or take, a woman's body needs about two cycles to return to "normal". Since Shannon and I want to spare our readers talk about other topics, much of this time wasn't very newsworthy. (Which is just as well as this time off from the surrogacy world was a welcome respite.)

Emotionally, the down time still saw a lot of action. Optimism takes effort; pessimism is easy. Well meaning friends correct our 'if we have a baby' comments with 'not if, when', not-so-coincidentally spotlighting how such comments come from those with their own children, not the childless. Don't get me wrong, positive attitudes are absolutely preferable and our friends mean only the best. Nevertheless - and maybe this is a guy speaking - optimism needs a little realism. Shannon and I are trying very hard to take everything in stride, hoping for the best while expecting, well, perhaps it's best said that we're not expecting anything. Whatever happens, happens.

And new things are starting to happen. As we wrote in our last post, we'll be working with R for our second attempt. To that end, R was put through a mock cycle. In a mock cycle the surrogate is given a round of IVF meds to prepare her for the implantation of embryos. However, no transfer occurs. Rather, this is just a test run whose objective is to measure the quality of the carrier's uterine blood flow and thickness of the uterine lining (the endometrium) to be sure her body is ready and able to get pregnant.  I confess the purpose of this run with R is not overly clear to me. R is not an unknown variable - she has never had trouble in the past - and, because embryo thawing occurs on the day of transfer, it's never too late to stop the process if R's body isn't ready. Ironically, we're going to put this theory to test because R caught a cold during her mock cycle and couldn't complete it anyway. SI's doctors felt her progress up 'til that point had been perfectly normal and advised we just proceed as if she passed the mock cycle with flying colors.

Give or take a wrinkle in preparation, our next embryo transfer will take place in the third to fourth week of June. We're back!

Shannon and I have been drowning SI in questions after requesting that they be more proactive and free with information. So far, so good. Dr. Sudhir acknowledged occasions during which his agency could have performed better and has promised to work harder to keep us informed and in the loop. It's still early so we reserve judgment but it's been a good start. This includes their confronting and discussing rumors about the reliability of the IVF Center that SI uses. We'd heard some lousy things about that Center's top physician from first-hand witnesses but SI has assured us - quite logically - that it wouldn't be in their best interest to associate themselves with an unreliable IVF clinic. We were told that a mix of facts, rumors and disinformation from competing agencies stirred the pot.

Ultimately, what can we do? We're thousands of miles away and early on had come to terms with the fact that we would be relinquishing control to and investing trust in SI. This clinic issue is an example of where our trust was put to the test. To date, however, SI has not given us reason for doubt; they have a really good track record (as does the IVF clinic, by the way). Plus, we're already committed. It's a shame this extra-curricular garbage demands any of our attention as we've enough on our plate. However, though there are examples of couples whose India surrogacy experiences have been virtually flawless, I'm thinking Shannon and I are a bit more typical. Not everything goes as planned, is predictable or problem free.

We never consciously expected otherwise. And despite it all, here we are two weeks or so from a second attempt. Having gone through this all once before, we're old pros who'll surely take it all in stride. (Welcome to the 'lying to ourselves' section of this entry.) Oh, we're just making babies in India - how was your weekend?


  1. Very best of wishes to you on your upcoming cycle. Don't worry about rumors and innuendo.... the proof to the contrary can be plainly seen in the many babies that have been delivered and the many others on the way.

  2. Here's hoping second time is a charm for you both. It took us three, so I totally get the 'whatever happens, happens.' Fingers crossed and lots of baby dust to India just for you!

  3. Wishing you the very best of luck. Ignore the innuendo, all clinics get it. I don't believe it these days unless it comes in the form of a signed and stamped letter by a court. The proof is in the pudding, and lots of puddings (babes) have been born through Lilavati. Hang in there and give us great news end of June.

    It is a matter of when, not if. You will get there!

  4. All the best with this cycle we have our fingers crossed for you.

  5. We will be in the TWW together, as it seems that our transfers will be very close.

  6. Will you be in India for transfers? If so, we will be too and would love to meet up. We have had a few glitches with our previous attempt and staying positive for this attempt. Good luck!!!

  7. It's nice to see you back and good luck!

    Back in April you'd asked for suggestions on books about pregnancy. We really like to look through From Conception to Birth. It has lots of neat pictures for the early days weeks when you're just twiddling your thumbs and hoping the embryos stick around. I also started visiting this site: It shows very detailed embryo and fetus growth.

    Our first cycle failed. Our second transfer worked and we're nearing eleven weeks. I'm still not feeling very confident. I'm not allowing myself to get too excited. But my husband is always reminding me that it's just so amazing we have this opportunity and we can try as many times as we're up for.

  8. Fingers crossed!
    I really hope this time will work.
    I understand that nothing is for sure, but really there's no reason for it not to work this time. You two are going to be wonderful parents next year.

  9. Sending all our positive thoughts your glad to hear from you, and to see you are attempting another cycle. Hang on in there and stay strong. Our thoughts are with you both.

  10. Courage, heart, determination, and an occasional valium.

    Ignore the innuendo. The one thing we learned about India is that in business, reputation is a high stakes game, even more so than in the US. They are constantly trying to get the upper hand on their competition by trying to tear down reputation.

    We're keeping our fingers crossed for you!

  11. oh i do know how you feel with the ups and downs of trying to stay positive. why does it have to be such an effort? i'll tell you one thing... the surrogacy in india blogs have been such a tremendous help to me that in fact i don't think i would have been able to come this far without all of you. it's funny how i feel so close to you all and if we passed each other on the street we wouldn't even know one another. i know i am due for a post but right now i'm on such pins and needles that i'm speechless and can hardly breath until the next step much less express my feeling. so in the meantime i just wish truly upon a star that all of our dreams come true.
    i see that Pam has posted on this blog and if you're reading this Pam, i have looked for your blog but can't find it as i'm so happy and encouraged (aren't we all) that you are in your 9th week after having a frozen embryo transfer. would love to hear more, more, more. to mike and mike so did you get the station wagon?

  12. Trying again must be so scary. I do believe in positive thinking, but agree with your post that it's easier said than done. You know I'll be thinking of you both and hoping that your ordeal will soon end with good news and success!