Wanting a Second Child: Surrogacy in India and a Trip to Delhi
By Kerrie Olejarz
Recently I wrote about the bumpy road of IVF and surrogacy. It came from a dreary place in me, because we had just received the news that our latest attempt in India did not work. My trip to Delhi in July was an amazing trip. Sadly I left my husband and daughter at home, yet was fortunate enough to have my sister accompany me. Leaving Cailyn and Mark was heart wrenching, I cried a lot, and then cried some more. I knew this trip was worth it as it could potentially give Cailyn a sibling which we feel is super important. We departed early evening from Toronto, heading to Montreal, then Brussels, then Delhi. The trip to India was smooth, no issues or delays. We were off to a good start! My best buddy Rahul picked us up at the airport and whisked us off to the hotel and in no time, we were checked in, and officially in Delhi! I immediately Skyped with Mark and Cailyn and cried alot. Cailyn is still so little and could understand that this was my voice, but the video aspect of Skype was yet to be comprehended. The first day in Delhi consisted of a trip to see Dr Shivani. We grabbed a rickshaw and flew over for my first appointment. This was my first experience at the ISIS IVF Hospital that Dr Shivani opened about a year ago. The hospital was great, as were the staff. And, of course, it was really great to see Dr Shivani again. My scan showed good follicles, lots of them too! Dr Shivani instructed me to come back in two days for a scan and to keep doing what I had been doing. Each day away from home was a little bit easier, as long as I was busy, and boy oh boy, were we busy. The jet lag and heat are a killer but we plowed through that easily! There were loads of surrogacy clients in Delhi that I knew and we spent the bulk of the trip visiting them and organizing nights out. It was great to see my sister really enjoy Delhi and see why we love it so much. It is a bit chaotic and can be tricky to navigate through the streets and blocks. While we were in Delhi every one was praying for rain as the monsoons were late and the people of India were desperate. The roads were dry and dusty and every one you met talked about the need for rain. In between Dr’s appointments we did some sightseeing, we shopped, and we ate. It was hot, 50 Celsius every day so our time outside was always planned and time limited. As the days went on, I started to feel full – IVF full!! My belly was growing as my 20 or so follicles plumped up and matured in preparation for egg retreival. My sister took an afternoon trip to the Taj Mahal which is about a five-hour drive from Delhi. Her trip was a good omen for India as she got stuck in the villages during the first monsoon rain! They could not leave the village of Agra because the roads were washed out, her driver did not speak English, and after 14 hours she returned to Delhi slightly frazzled and completely understanding why I had no desire to do this trip to Agra again. While my sister was on her trip from hell, I had another scan and later in the day received my two surrogate profiles. I opted to let Dr Shivani chose our surrogates on Thursday based on the scans and blood work they had. I wanted the best chances so leaving it to almost the last day was ideal, medically speaking. That evening I skyped with Mark and we reviewed the profiles. Our hopes and dreams of a sibling for Cailyn were trapped inside these two Word documents. Mark was relieved that I was doing well. He was a nervous wreck and when I told him I had just come back from dinner with our friends from Canada, Australia, and Europe he was very happy that I was enjoying my time despite missing my family. Finally at 2am my sister arrived and as I previously mentioned, she was frazzled. She had quite the trip to Agra and the rains added a whole new element of chaos and wonder.