About Me

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North Carolina, United States
(Allie & Harris) Wife, teacher, patient, thinker, friend, worrier, planner, seeker. These are the hats I wear on a daily basis for the roles in my life. Harris and I've been married since 1999 and we have two fur babies of the feline sort. We have a pretty good life, all things considered. But, it's not complete. Seven years ago I received a diagnosis of PCOS, a condition which has taken a toll on both my body and soul. It will not beat me though and we will be parents.

Friday, June 29, 2012

In good company...

Good results were emailed to me while in the air on Wednesday.  Eight of the ten eggs made it to become top quality embryos!!!  Whoo hoo!  Dr. Shivani transferred 4 of them into our surrogate on Wednesday and the others were frozen.  We're officially in our 2WW, and thrilled to be sharing it with several others in blog-land.  My hope is that we're able to share our 9MW (9 month wait!) as well!

Today, my mom was my chaufer around the area as we went to run errands all day.  We got our Agreement signed by Harris, went to Staples and scanned everything in for our records, headed to the bank to wire the embryo storage fee to SCI, and headed over to UPS the documents to India.  It cost close to $70 to send them the cheapest way.  They will be there by the end of (their) business day on Tuesday. 

I've had to laugh several in the last 24 hours because I feel like I was both so missed and so totally loved while I was gone.  Harris hasn't stopped talking since I got home.  Seriously.  It's like he's a Chatty-Cathy doll!  A tall, handsome Chatty-Cathy mind you.  This is totally out of character for him, because he's usually not like this.  He even talks to me in the bathroom thru the door.  He was alone for too long, I think!  I love my husband!

We remain cautiously optimistic. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Retrieval and Retail Therapy...

I appreciate all the prayers and well-wishes that have been sent our way.  Both Harris and I remain cautiously optimistic that this will be our time for a pregnancy, and that next year we'll be back in India for baby-pick-up.  Fingers, toes, eyes, everything crossed!  Retrieval was yesterday, and it went pretty well.  The worst part for me is always the needle in the hand for the IV drip.  Are needles in India bigger than in the States or is it my imagination?  Dr. Gupta, the anesthesiologist, remembered me from last time - apparently I made an impression with the needle issue then too.  He saw me coming and we began looking at my hands, arms, elbows, wrists, etc. looking for a place to poke.  Once it was all done, he told me that he'd been out on medical leave until 2 days ago with an injury and had looked for a back-up to take this shift since he knew I was coming.  He was joking...I think...maybe not!  LOL!

Dr. Shivani was able to get 10 eggs from me, although she said there were again between 20-25 follicles that she drained.  My ovaries were approximately twice the size of my uterus, and I did have to stay a little longer to take meds so they'd shrink back up to normal size.  I do have some pain today, but it's managed with meds nicely.  Although I don't know yet how many have fertilized, I'm hoping to hear something from SCI this afternoon. 

I've even managed to drag myself around the mall and get a bit of retail therapy in!  At Bharison's bookstore in DLF Mall, I  got a book for my god-nephew called, Tales from Old Delhi, which has stories about all of the places I've been here.  The second book will be for my 3rd graders, Going to School in India, and has fantastic photographs of schools all over India - a great cultural comparison tool for my students!  The third thing I picked up a few days ago is a cute little notebook that goes with the first book.  The illustrations are similar and there's the India Gate and monument for unknown soldiers on the front cover.  I've made all my little notes in there while being here!  I totally forgot to bring along pens and paper this trip!  Duh!  From there, a friend from breakfast took me to a store in Select City Walk mall called, "Creations" where I picked up these sets of bangles.  There's easily between 120-150 bangles in the sets total, and I paid less than $20 US for all of them.  I'll split the sets up and they'll make great gifts!  The colors are much prettier in person than in the pictures (one silver/gold, one magenta/gold, and one aqua/silver/gold). 

Yesterday evening, I made the decision to go ahead and pay the change fee for my ticket.  Like Dorothy said, "There's no place like home!"  Now, I'm scheduled to leave Wednesday night, rather than Sunday!  I can't express how excited I am to get home again!  I look forward to seeing Harris & my mom, seeing my fur babies, doing my own laundry (yes, I mean that), and eating Mexican food again!!!  El Azteca has the best Mexican food around - everything homemade!  Guess what's for dinner Thursday night???

In retrospect, Delhi has been good this time around for me.  I've felt more comfortable knowing where I wanted to go and what I wanted to buy.  The first time thru, there was just so much of everything (people, traffic, noise, poverty, etc.) that it was totally overwhelming.  Other than the oppressive heat, I think I've done pretty okay this time on my own. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tomorrow! Week 2 Recap...

Tomorrow's the day for egg collection, and nobody is happier about that than me!  At this point, I have somewhere around 15 follicles all measuring mature, and everything is difficult from sitting to walking with the added puffiness and pressure from the meds.  I had my appointment for the trigger shot in the wee hours of this morning, and I am going in around 2:30 tomorrow for the 4:30 procedure.  For those who pray, please pray for me, the doctors and nurses, and the surrogate - that her uterus would be hospitable to our little embryos when the time comes!

Week 2 for me has brought some good shopping!  I've picked up most of the things I wanted to find from the previous trip including scarves and bangles for gifts, as well as the cloth that I wanted to find for recovering a chair and ottoman at home when I return.  Honestly the days have blurred into one another here, and it's likely that I'll repeat some things posted before.  Bear with me if that happens!

I met a woman at breakfast one morning (Harris says I've never met a stranger!).   We struck up a conversation, and then had a day shopping together afterwards!  We went to the N-Block market and found several things.  At a beautiful store called Kalol, I found the lovely pink fabrics that I'd searched for to recover a thrift store chair at home.  They have new fabrics brought in each week, and in addition to fabrics there are colorful clothes at very reasonable prices.  From there, we went across the street to a store called "Cottons" where my friend purchased a beautiful flowing muslin robe (white with gold trim!) and took it away in a lovely cloth store bag printed with pink roses! 

After that stop, we were off to Connaught Place (I'm sure that's spelled incorrectly - sorry!) for a quick shopping trip at a store called "Shaw & Sons" where I purchased 15 scarves and 8 bangles (the pretty hand-painted kind).  I bargained with the salesman and was okay walking away with the scarves for 150 INR each, and the bangles for 110 INR each.  Yes, I could probably have done better on the bangles, but the idea of having everything purchased really made me happy, so I went with it!  Shaw & Sons is on the B-block in Connaught Place (burgundy sign with yellow letters), and their upstairs showroom has A/C. 

Finally, I headed to a local shop (truly for locals with goats, chickens, and only Hindi signs) to pick up some of the little ankle bracelets Indian families put on their babies.  One of my girlfriends back home (who knows about this situation & has also struggled with infertility) is having a baby while I'm over here, and I thought this would be a perfect gift!  The anklets are silver and have little rattles all around them.  I didn't bargain for a number of reasons and paid 648 INR for the set - a price I'm fine with!  As near as I can understand, they use them to encourage the babies to kick and strengthen their legs.  When the babies begin to crawl, their feet point and the anklets are then found in the house marking their path.  Cute idea!  The shop I went to was "Pardeep Jewellers" located at C-96, JJ Colony, Khanpur, New Delhi.  The taxi driver had to call for directions and then also ask several people once we got to the area in order to find them.  TIP:  Take the driver with you to serve as the translator because the shopkeeper doesn't really speak much English.  In all honesty, I wouldn't have gotten out of the car without the driver coming with me. I've had all of my successful shopping trips with Suni!

Other than the shopping, there's not been much going on!  I've stayed in a lot to keep my feet up.  They're swelling to the size of personal watermelons most days, and putting them up helps that a good deal.  I have enjoyed staying at the Hilton.  The staff is very personable, the room is clean and comfortable, and it's readily accessible to the mall's food court and shops.  Oh, one funny thing did happen with the hotel.  I ended up having to switch rooms after the phone in the other was seemingly possessed by a ghost.  From 6:30 in the morning until 11 pm at night it would ring on speaker thru to guest services.  I mentioned to the Manager that perhaps there was a ghost in the room and he wanted something.  He suggested I unplug the phone until the engineers could come thru the next day.  The 5 people they had come look at it couldn't figure out the problem, so I was switched to a different room with a front facing view of the malls' courtyards.  On the way out of the old room, the housekeeping manager came thru to see if there was anything I needed.  I said "No, so long as there's no ghost in the new room wanting room service!"  She responded in a very serious tone, "No, no, no ghosts.  I have checked for you and gotten rid of all ghosts."  It was all I could do to keep a straight face as I envisioned the cleansing ritual being performed on the room prior to my arrival!  LOVE the Hilton!

I did go in and sign the contracts yesterday at SCI's clinic.  The surrogate was to come in and sign last night.  The final piece of the equation will be my taking them home for Harris to sign, and then mail back for filing.  It does seem odd to me that I couldn't sign and be done, but they do this everyday so I guess I just have to trust the process.  We'll sign and ship them back on the way home from the airport next Monday. 

That's all for now, I guess. I'm off to prop my feet up and watch "Pirates of the Caribbean 2" after a Skype session with Harris! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Yay, sleep! Week 1 Recap

After my first full (Delhi) night's sleep, I am feeling rejuvenated and fully human again!  That time change is rough!  It's amazing the difference 9 hours can make!  Hallelujah! 

Today is Sunday, so I've been here almost a full week at this point and it's been a pretty good one!  My doctor's appointment with Dr. Shivani on Wednesday went very well, and I was totally on track for my Day 1 as predicted.  I love it when my biology actually cooperates!  No cysts, good uterine lining, everything on track to start shots on Thursday.  Dr. Shivani even remembered my dislike (understatement of the decade) of needles and sent me over to see Dr. Modi again!  I LOVE DR. MODI!!!  Honestly, the woman is a miracle worker in my book.  She's consistently able to get my vein the first time, and she doesn't leave bruising.  GENIUS!

Thursday, Bernadette and I went back over to SCI to get the first shot.  She had to train with the nurses to use the Gonal F pen, and I am thrilled to say that she is a pro at this point AND actually does it with less pain than the nurses, I think.  We have had successful shots each night since in her living room while baby Scarlett snoozes away in the crib.  By the way, I have also decided that since I'm donating the eggs, Bernadette's giving the shots, and Harris is at home playing golf in the US, Bernadette is really going to be my baby-daddy if this works.  She was humble about that and said that she'd just ask that we have hers as the middle name!  LOL!  Again, it seems the best part of this experience is the friendships you make along the way!
Speaking of friendships, I've had the chance to share some meals with Jason & Adrian and Michael & John as well.  Wednesday night we all went out to dinner and ate family style at an Indian restaurant down the block from Svelte.  The food was great and the conversation was even better!  I didn't get to see Michael & John again before they left, and I hate that, but they are an amazing couple.  Strong, committed, good hearts, full of grace.  Their son is going to have an amazing life!

Yesterday, I crawled out of bed around 3:30 and met up with Bernadette, Jason & Adrian to head up to Jaipur for the day.  It's about a 4.5 hour drive, but it was nice to see a different part of India.  Once you get there, it really does have a distinct look about it.  The forts spread out across the hills are amazing and, had it been anything less than 1 million degrees, I would have loved to take one of the elephants up thru the passageways of Amber Fort.  I loved watching the others bargain for their beautiful rugs (in the air-conditioned showroom!) and checking out the fabric offerings there was great as well.  The salesmen kept us in bottled Pepsi and masala chai tea the entire time we were there! 

It's been a pretty good first week so far!  I'm looking forward to exploring at least one of the malls today and hunting down a good kids' book for my little god-nephew.  Fingers crossed that all continues to go well!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I'm Here!

Whew, it's hot here!!! 

I've checked in at the Hilton and will call down for room service soon.  Initial impression is that I'm pleased with the Hilton.  It's clean, there's all of the "stuff" laying around that I might have forgotten (toothbrush, bedroom shoes, lotion, etc).  Their restaurant, lounge, cafe are open 24hrs/day which is great for us IPs!  Tomorrow, Rahul will be picking me up at noon for the first appt. with Dr. Shivani to do my Day 1 scan and blood work. 

Going to unpack, shower, and eat...not necessarily in that order!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Done & Done...

Yes, travel plans were all done.  However, when I found out that multiple legs of my trip were overbooked, or going to require me to stay overnight in place after place (6 days total travel time!), I decided to undo what I'd done and start from scratch.  So, I did! 
I am now the proud owner of a ticket to and from Delhi with only 1 stop each way!  Can I get a whoo hoo?!?!  It cost us a good hunk of change, but, I will be there in about 20 hours rather than the days it was going to take.  In doing that, I've also added a day onto the beginning of the trip, and 4 days onto the end just in case the cycle doesn't come according to my time-frame.  With PCOS, the absolute hardest thing to do is track a cycle accurately...even on birth control.  In fact, there was only one time when I could tell you exactly when things were going to happen, and that was after being on BCPs for almost 2 years solid. 
The best part of this change process is that I found a cheaper price for the Hilton ($29 less).  I've filed the forms with Hotels.com and am hopeful they'll refund the difference like they advertise!  You know, $29 x 14 nights = $406 back in my pocket.  That would help with the Indian expenses quite a bit!  I'll update as to the answer I get from Hotels.com.  

One and a half days more of school!!!  I am so excited to put my kids on the bus Thursday.  Would it be rude to just ask them to not get off Thursday morning?  Hmmm...... 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Just to clarify...

Okay, so I totally felt like I was whining and being a wimp last night after that post.  Just to clarify, I don't NEED to be taken care of.  HOWEVER, it is somewhat of a comfort to know that while under general anesthesia, there is a butt on the couch right outside the door that's waiting and watching to make sure things are all swell.  Again, not a helpless female.  Just a little bit of a nervous Nelly right now.  Not to worry though, I found my big-girl-panties, have put them on, and am making forward progress!

On another positive note, we went today and had our end of life documents done.  We had all the biggies taken care of, plus one that will allow Harris to act on my behalf should an offer come in our house (also watch for pigs to fly that day).  It's interesting that you think you've prepared yourselves, asked all the questions, made all of the decisions, and checked all of the boxes...until you get in there and they start asking questions like, "Well what if she's dead.  Would you want him to still raise your imaginary children?"  Or, "You realize for that to be viable, he would be 90 years old and still mentally competent, right?"  Um, no, we hadn't realized that, thanks.  Basically, we ended up having to think thru some additional things and get the paperwork just right.  It's done now, and we do feel good about everything.  Our homework from the attorney was to get our secondary beneficiaries lined up with our wills now.  When we first got the policies, we were young enough (and newly married enough) that we thought we were getting ahead of the game in having them.  Turns out just putting down each others' name is not enough. 

So, after a day filled with talk of my dying, Harris dying, our primary, secondary, and tertiary beneficiaries dying, etc. I'm trying to re-focus my thoughts on living.  Specifically, new life in the form of a much coveted baby for Harris and I.  Just the possibility of saying those magic words involving us and a baby, get's me choked up.  I dare not say them now for fear that I may somehow jinx us.  But, that said, I'm so ready to start this cycle!  

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Friday night, my mom and I went to the movies to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  Apparently, that need to flow with all things Indian crosses oceans and continents because it took us 2 showtimes, 3 movie theatres, and 2 forms of payment in order to make it to the film.  Despite the severe thunderstorms raging outside, I laughed so hard I cried in the first 45 minutes...until the power went out in the theatre and EVERYTHING went dark.  By the way, we were the only 2 people in the theatre.  Apparently, when you're in a theatre with only 1 other person, you are at the bottom of the priority list for being told anything about what's going on.  While being in there with just my mom helped to control the "chaos", it did little to help with the OH MY GOD feeling that comes with having watched one too many scary movies.  Thank goodness for cell phone flashlight apps!!!

It's been a while since the last update.  While I have wanted to update, it's been like living on a roller coaster lately.  The bad stuff has been nightmares, finding myself the oddball in a picture with friends who were all holding their babies, my mom deciding to not go to Paris with me, money, money, money, issues at work (it's tough working with 65 other women - too much estrogen sometimes!), and Harris.  While our marriage is strong, it's been hard thinking about being separated for so long.  We still really like each other and are super co-dependent.  He's having a hard time with not being there to "take care" of me, and I'm having a hard time with him not being there for the same reason, but in reverse. 

The good stuff has been taking care of the money part (for now), remembering that friends who've had kids thru infertility will almost always remember how it feels to be that oddball in the picture, finding support from a good friend even in the midst of her own trouble, and remembering that Tylenol PM is allowed during fertility cycles. 

School wraps up this week - Thursday at 1:15, not that I'm counting the minutes or anything!  I kind of feel like I'm already half in India at this point.  I'm kind of going thru the motions at school, and at home I'm trying to get all the last minute details finished on the "to do" list.  I'd also like to arrange for a few surprises for Harris while I'm gone.  Maybe a few things to arrive from Amazon.com, a Hallmark card here and there.  In college, one time I sent him a bag of Hershey's hugs & kisses and he still laughs about that.  While 3 weeks is just a drop in the bucket compared to several AMAZING women I know in India right now, it's feeling like a long time for me.

More later, for now, the Tylenol PM is starting to kick in.  Night!