Thursday, February 17, 2011

Settled In

After watching three movies (four for Geoff), catching up on some reading and snoozing a bit, our 14 hour flight was over before we knew it and our arrival Tuesday evening was a-okay. It was as if we never left - the city was lit up like a Christmas tree, the air was warm and muggy, tiny cars, motorcycles and tuks tuks zoomed in all directions and everywhere you looked the streets and sidewalks were filled with loads of people and animals.

I had high hopes for the Courtyard Marriott and our first impression was very good. The lobby and main restaurant are quite lovely, but once beyond the lobby, the hallways and rooms are average at best and - as a clean freak (and expectant mother!) - it's hard to believe this hotel is only two years old. I completely forgot to pack disinfectant cleaner and a diffuser or air-freshener, definitely needed to fight that unpleasant smell constantly wafting throughout the city air. Higher end hotels here in Mumbai pipe in some kind of refreshing aromatic (cucumber water, lavender, incense, citrus....) so guests can quickly forget about the city smell. It appears the Courtyard Marriott does not. Every now and then I can't help but pine for the Novotel, which I loved, but I understand it is much more expensive and we'd be burning through money during this multi-week stay. Our fingers have been crossed that we'd be in and out of India within 2-3 weeks max; however, we are now a bit concerned that might be impossible. While at Hiranandani Hospital yesterday, Geoff met another Surrogacy India couple who, having just welcomed twins into the world, discovered that the waiting list for an appointment at the U.S. Consulate was four weeks long.  This sure wasn't news I wanted to hear. Agh!

Our stay thus far has been fairly boring and uneventful.  I managed to pick up a cold the day before leaving Boston and, combined with jet lag, it did its worst to me on Wednesday. I was in no shape to be out and about so I spent the day in bed pumping myself with cold meds and vitamin C. Geoff went off without me to the birthing hospital for an appointment with a hospital social worker. Aside from learning about the Consulate waiting list, he gained little from the meeting. We'd hoped to begin preparation of all the necessary paperwork but Geoff learned only upon arrival that this could only be done on the day of the birth. As during our first trip to India, this process hasn't come off as a well-oiled machine.

If you need further proof - today (Thursday), we were scheduled to visit R with one of the SI staff. Awaiting a taxi to take us to the hospital at 4:30pm, we received a call at 1:30pm telling us the visit was cancelled.  The birthing hospital just developed the policy that intended parents are no longer allowed to visit their carriers except on the day of delivery. SI told us that we still had an opportunity to visit R by not telling anyone at the hospital who we were actually visiting, but it didn't seem sensible to risk rule breaking and angering the staff. We made sure R was told that we were here and wanted to see her, but were kept away.

The silver lining for us - tomorrow is delivery day!!! We've just found out (7:15pm our time) that we are to be at the hospital tomorrow at 2pm (or 3:30am back in Boston) for R's C-section. (The actual timing of the C-section is TBD, of course). We're given our room at the hospital following our baby's birth so we'll be bringing some of our belongings with us. If the baby is healthy and needs minimal time (if any) in the NICU, we could be back at the Marriott in just a couple days.

The next time you hear from us, we hope to have wonderful news to share!



  1. Yahoooooooo made is safe and sound and in no time at all will the Bessin Family will be THREE.
    Good to read the blog.
    We miss you guys here in Boston.

  2. Glad to see the update - though bummed for you to now have the added concern about a possibly extended wait for a consulate appointment. I'm sure NOT the news you were hoping for. And I feel for you both (OK, I feel for Shan :) plugging through in an only 'ok' hotel. But, as you said, the silver lining is that in less than 24 hours you will be parents. And that's just as good as it gets.

    Lots of love coming from Salem to Mumbai - you'll be on our minds at 3:30 am tomorrow ... or so :)
    Lise, Matty & Baby

  3. Glad to hear that you made it safely. Can't wait to hear how everything goes tomorrow. We just left the Courtyard. Wasn't that bad, but the smell does get to you a bit. Visit the Chalet Apartments next to the Renaissance. It is gorgeous there, you don't even feel like you are in the city. I know of another couple staying there right now and their babies will be born Friday also. Best wishes!!!