(Yeah, yeah - pronounce it 'specimans' for the rhyme.)
It's too much to say we're used to our surroundings but I suppose, with all the distraction that comes with our focus on surrogacy, we've already reached a little equilibrium. Wake up at 7:30am so Shannon can take her meds, shower and get dressed, head down to the excellent breakfast buffet, take a little walk and/or sit around the pool, and then wait for our driver while responding to emails, writing for our blog and the like. We know before bed when and where we'll be needed the following day - we get a call from the doctors on the cell phone they supplied - so it's easy for us to plan appropriately. And happily, jet lag hasn't really been an issue. Seems the significant time difference between India and the US east coast (India is 10.5 hours ahead) is more easily accommodated than a more moderate five or six hour change that comes with travel to Europe. (Shannon and I both have had some rough jet lag after European trips.) It also helps that we spend at least part of each morning in the sun, letting our bodies understand that yes, normally, this hour is midnight, but right now it's 10:30 in the morning.
On our third full day we visited Lilavati Hospital so Shannon could have a second pelvic exam as well as an anesthesia workup while I get to make a little donation. The pelvic exam allows Dr. Yash to monitor the size of the follicles in Shannon's ovaries, ensuring they're growing properly and helping her to determine when the trigger shot and egg retrieval should be scheduled. The anesthesia workup is a little more important than typical because, unlike in most cases when egg retrieval is conducted vaginally, the high placement of Shannon's left ovary (due to the congential condition that brought us to surrogacy in the first place) requires the retrieval be performed laparoscopically. This means a slightly longer application of general anesthesia. We're told it'll be a 10 to 15 minute procedure instead of a 5 minute procedure so, in the scheme of things, not a big change. On the other hand, it does mean Shannon gets to go home with a couple of other souvenirs - tiny incision marks.
The hospital is a fairly modern building located in an upscale part of Mumbai named Bandra, about 30 minutes of traffic south of our hotel. Inside we were met by Dr. Sudhir and Heena, the assistant who met us at Hiranandani Hospital yesterday. A few moments later we were joined by Dr. Yash who took Shannon away for her pelvic exam. Shannon tells me the setting for this second test - though better than the one in the clinic up north - still failed to meet the standards we've come to expect in the States. She gritted and bore up to the test and random visitors who passed through the test suite. Upon return, Dr. Yash informed the two of us that the follicles were developing well and we were going to perform the retrieval Wednesday morning. This meant a trigger shot Monday night at 11:30pm (1pm Boston-time). Dr. Yash asked us to come by for another pelvic exam sometime Monday morning for a sanity check but things seemed to be in order.
The two of us were then led to an office for a detailed discussion with an anesthesiologist about Shannon's allergies, past history with surgery and the like. Looks like things will be a piece of cake for her. Then, to complete this day trip to the hospital, I had to produce a sample. (A sample of what, you may ask? I'm not telling.) This tattered room wasn't conducive to producing samples of anything but I did find a newspaper in the room I could use to catch up on local news if I got bored. Needless to say, I eventually held up my end of the whole surrogacy bargain.
Back to the hotel. This late in the procedure, Shannon's feeling more than your usual fatigue, capped with headaches, bloating and lots of other fun symptoms. We're just going to take the rest of the afternoon off. I've actually witnessed Shannon nap two days in a row. This woman does not nap, her energy's boundless, so I've learned she has a weakness - three weeks of body-altering drugs and long flights east. Good to know.