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.


  1. What are you waiting for? Once they administer steroids the delivery is not too far off. Go now! Why miss this beautiful event.


  2. Fingers crossed you get that extra two or three weeks.... Hope all well and have comfort that the team at Hiranandani will have your babies and surrogates best interest at heart!!!

    Good luck and keep us posted

  3. How exciting,. I hope baby stays put a bit longer, 33 weeks is good, longer better ... get packed guys baby is coming!


    PS. Isn't it time for a poll - girl or boy. i vote girl.

  4. Every minute of every day counts with a preemie. Glad that R is admitted, even though the cut off of communication is difficult. She's under the care of the doctor, which is best for both she and the baby. Hang in there baby B!! Looking forward to seeing the pictures of this beautiful miracle you are creating.

  5. Oh Boy! i was on the edge of my seat reading this post! Glad to hear all is well and cant wait to hear more good news.

    Always in our thoughts and prayers! Love from Jersey :)

  6. I am thinking about you lots and hope that little baby stays in for a few more weeks of cooking time:) Love you guys!
    Laura, Bill, and Chase

  7. Thinking of you both. I can't believe your baby is almost here! I hope he/she stays all comfy and cozy just a few weeks longer.

    xo, Tracy, Brett and Lila

  8. Another three to four week wait please baby! See, not even born and already the headaches have begun. Isn't it great! Just as a parent would want it to be.

    We're looking forward to photo updates in the not too distant future.

  9. so glad things seem ok. gosh, i can't imagine the stress...hang in there.

  10. Shannon and Geoff, Your baby is already almost 2lbs. heavier than Cristian and Chloe were at 34 weeks, and they were totally fine at birth. Don't stress out if you miss the birth. I was so there, and (thank God for photos) I don't remember much of it at all :). The important thing is that the baby is healthy. All will be fine. Try to enjoy the last bit of time as a couple!