Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Near Miss

A 2am phone call this past Tuesday shot Shannon to the ceiling. Unclawing herself, she dropped to our bed, grabbed the phone and shoveled it in my direction. Spying an Indian number on the Caller ID, I put the call on speakerphone and wished Dr. Sudhir a good afternoon (his time), trying to conjure positive reasons for such a late night call.

Dr. Sudhir soberly told us he'd been trying to reach Shannon and I for some time - turns out they were calling our cell phones, stupidly left to recharge in the next room. Now that he had us, here's Dr. Yash..... The classic but feared symptom of placenta previa had reared its ugly head. R had hemorrhaged an hour or two earlier. The bleeding, which had stopped on its own accord, wasn't life threatening in and of itself but threatened a more significant bleed that could endanger both R and our baby. Bottom line, one more bleed and a C-section would be started immediately.

R was put on 24-7 bed rest at our birthing hospital, Hiranandani, and would be cared for by Dr. Soni, the doctor who was to be our OBGYN. A doppler told the doctors that our baby was no worse for wear and, hopefully, totally ignorant of what had happened just an inch or two away. Just in case, steroids had been administered to accelerate lung development. Our local fertility doctor confirmed that India acted perfectly by the book, believing R was well cared for. Of even greater comfort was his belief that having now reached the 33rd week - and achieving an (albeit guesstimate) jolly weight of over 5 pounds - our baby would likely come through this premature birth unscathed. Maybe a little siesta in the NICU but that was about it.

Shannon and I have had a few days to process the news and begin the rationalization thing. The baby's fine, R is fine, the doctors are on top of things. As for the stuff we can control, it was time to get ready for a midnight call telling us to get on the next flight to Mumbai. The baby shower (whose story Shannon will share here) left us in fantastic shape. With a little more shopping this past weekend we're now well equipped for a three week trip to India. The only thing we couldn't pick up was a talisman that could keep everyone healthy and delay our baby's delivery 'til he/she is fully out of the woods.

Here's something that in retrospect makes sense but had never occurred to either Shannon or myself nor was never made clear by our clinic. Now that R has been admitted to the hospital, we have no right to her medical information. Medical privacy! Could we ask R to share her information? Sure, if we could speak Hindi. How about the fact that it's our baby in there? Well, surrogacy is not recognized by Indian health privacy laws, laws deeply respected even (rightfully) by our doctors at SI. Of course, we're kept up to date through generalities - R is good, the baby is fine - but that's as far as it goes. As long as all goes well, such generalities are enough. If things turn badly, well, our baby's on the way out and that's our business!

Our cell phones are by our bed and Continental Airlines is on speed dial. We very much hope for two to three more weeks of cooking time but our bags are packed.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shower Day!

Shannon and her closest friends are in the midst of celebrating the impending birth of our first baby. My dad and I made an early appearance to work the receiving line before disappearing amidst hors d'oeuvres and wine glasses. What a beautiful sight. An amazing, positive vibe flowed through the room, smiling faces everywhere.

Unbeknowst to me, we're having triplets. I can only assume this is the case because there was a giant pile of gifts given to us by our amazing friends.

We love all of you for your support and friendship. Enjoy the party!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Great Timing

The Fates decided that Shannon and I needed a few more items on our plate. Do I mean the headache of a lottery win or the hardship of a free vacation to Bali? Unfortunately, no. I'm talking about the always fun move to a new home. To be fair, we could have put this off for a few months, but the thought of strapping on our newborn so we could pack everything we own into boxes, followed by the big unload in a new place, well, that seemed a recipe for disaster. So the past 45 days or so have been dedicated to getting our move started and finished pronto.

I'm guessing records aren't kept about the time elapsed from the moving van's departure to saying, "You mean there's nothing left to unpack, put away, arrange, hang on the wall, repaint, put on Craigslist, donate, leave on the curb or bring to the basement?!?!" It may be just as well because our ownership of that record would be so firm that Guiness would have to rename it in our honor. I was a bit player: carry-the-box and hang-the-shelf guy. Left to my own devices, this move would have taken a year and a half to complete. However, I've got Shannon on my team. She's been a hurricane of activity, a hurricane leaving neatness and order in its wake. I can honestly say I've lived in the presence of greatness. To help you know it when you see it: Greatness works until midnight every day, has Platinum frequent flier status with Target, Home Depot and Home Goods, and has mood swings to beat the band.

Ask Shannon. If we never move again, it'll be too soon.

As for India, we actually have a lot to share and one blog entry won't cut it. Most importantly, our carrier's complete placenta previa has yet to improve. (Recall that placenta previa is a condition in which the placenta blocks the exit. By saying our condition is 'complete' we mean the exit is completely blocked, making a C-section mandatory.) As a result, we're starting to gear up for a proactive Week 37 delivery. Not ideal. That 37th week is the one during which a baby's i's are dotted and t's crossed. If only we could make it to the 38th week - that's bonus time.... Of course, the carrier's health takes precedence so when it's time, it's time.

The 37th week begins on February 15 so Shannon and I have booked a flight leaving Boston on the 14th. Yep, Valentine's Day. A nice coincidence. I'm hopeful we'll be changing that departure date 'til later in the week because that will mean the pregnancy has been allowed to progress a bit farther. However, to ensure we have good seats - and, in particular, to ensure we have bulkhead seats with bassinette access for the trip back to Boston - we didn't want to wait any longer.

We'll have another blog entry soon to share more details about the planning of our return. In the meantime, I need to run downstairs. I'm typing this entry at 11:30pm and Shannon - Hurricane Greatness - is still at it. It's not yet midnight, we've got our baby shower in three days and there's lots to do. Like I said, a full plate!