Lilypie - Second Birthday

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Delhi Trip

In January (few weeks before our appointment) SCI started our donor on "down regulation" to prepare her for the egg retrieval. The surrogate selection would happen later closer to the transfer.

We flew from JFK to New Delhi on February 1st on Qatar Airways (via Doha). This was my third visit to India having been to South India twice previously for the weddings of my partner's siblings. But I had never been to the North before.

We Arrived in Delhi Sunday morning, Feb 3rd. I was quite impressed with Delhi's new airport. Very modern with latest technology. Since our first SCI appointment was not until Feb 6th, we decided to take a 2-day trip to Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India.  And then back to Delhi on Feb 5th. We stayed at FFOUR hotel, across the street from SCI. It was decent but nothing memorable as some of the staff did not speak English and communication was an issue at times.

Varanasi ghats by Ganges river

Boat ride on holy Ganges river

Evening holy Hindu ceremony - Varanasi

Our first SCI appointment was on Wednesday, Feb 6th at ISIS hospital. That's where we had to deposit samples to be frozen for future use. Then we met Dr Shivani briefly at ISIS clinic. It was so nice to finally meet the doctor who has brought so much happiness to so many people and hopefully one day will make our dream come true. We also received the profile of our surrogate. I had heard from others that SCI will provide a few surrogate profiles to choose from, but I think in February there must have been a shortage of surrogates as we only had one option. That wasn't too important for us as we trusted the doctor and her expertise.

Thursday was our day off, so we took a tour of the city which included the beautiful Lotus Temple, Humayun's Tomb, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Raj Ghat (Gandhi's memorial), Rajpath, the India Gate, the President's residence and the Parliament Buildings. Being in India was truly amazing. So much history and tradition and so many people with different religions and traditions.

Baha'i Lotus Temple
Humayun's Tomb
Gandhi's memorial
India Gate

Friday Feb 8th we had another appointment with the embryologist to deposit samples for freezing. Afterwards we did some sightseeing on our own. Unfortunately we came down with some stomach bug and had fever. Fortunately it wasn't too serious and we recovered in couple of days.

Saturday we had our meeting with Dr Shivani at ISIS clinic, and she gave us a tour of the facilities, and we met all her staff.  Here is a similar tour of SCI that we took. It was so nice to put faces with names of all those wonderful people who have been exchanging emails with us in past few months. Then we had our legal meeting with the SCI lawyer and signed all the paperwork. After that we were introduced to our surrogate. We were not prepared as she walked into the room. We were emotional and speechless. We exchanged a few words with the help of SCI staff who translated the exchange. She was a young sweet woman whom we will be forever thankful whether she carries our child or not. She's married and has 2 young children of her own who will stay with her during pregnancy at the SCI surrogate accommodation. Later in the afternoon we visited an old friend who took us to the magnificent Akshardham, the biggest Hindu temple in the world. It was one of the most magnificent temples I have ever seen.


We had Sunday off so Rahul arranged a car service for us and we took a 3-hour trip to Agra to see the majestic Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. It was such an amazing experience and a relaxing day trip away from the hustle and bustle of the capital.

Taj Mahal
Agra Fort
Our final appointment was on Monday Feb 11th. Egg collection was done earlier that day. We gave our final samples to be used for IVF that day. Later on that night we received our Egg collection report: 19 eggs were collected, 17 of which were mature. This was a good number. Our egg donor is anonymous, but we will forever be thankful for her donation. We had extensively talked about who will be the biological father. Since both of our semen analysis were similar, we decided it's only fair to split the eggs between us. We will transfer the embryos from one of us first and we will freeze the embryos from the other one for a future sibling project.

Our flight back to New York was Tuesday early morning at 4am and we made it back to JFK Tuesday afternoon, tired and jet-lagged.

We had done our part. The rest were in the hands of SCI, Dr Shivani, God and our destiny.

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