Wednesday, September 11, 2013

This is the end of our Mumbai adventure…

…but the beginning of a new one as we have made it back home! In this post (which may possibly be the last one), I will describe what happened with the FRRO (Foreigner Regional Registration Offices). Well, surprisingly, not much happened. We went to the FRRO to apply for an exit permit for our little bundle of Joy. The whole process only took us about 30 minutes. One working day later, our exit permit was granted. The catch was that the exit permit was only valid for 2 days and all the flights were fully booked, except for one which was scheduled to leave only a few hours after our exit permit was granted. Our adrenaline went up, we packed as fast as we could, and we took off. The end. We are exhausted but very happy about beginning a new chapter. Those who know me personally will be able to follow my new adventures on my personal blog.

Friday, September 6, 2013

US Citizen

Things are going slowly but they are going forward. After waiting for 9 days just to get the result of our DNA test (because of crazy problems I don’t want to talk about), the US Consulate eventually informed us that the paternity test returned a positive result (yeah!), that Chloe had been granted US Citizenship (lucky little girl), and that the emergency passport was available for pickup (joy!). This all happened yesterday. This morning, we went to the FRRO (Foreigner Regional Registration Offices) in order to apply for an exit permit for our little baby. We are now waiting…

Sunday, August 25, 2013

On our way out…


The clock is now ticking… Our appointment with the US Consulate went very well and reminded us how lucky we are to be US citizens. Special thanks to Annika, the consular officer who handled our case. We are now getting ready for the next steps of our adventure: the DNA test and the exit visa for the baby (FRRO). We have been in India for 20 days and we are very eager to head back home.

Baby Chloe is doing well. She seems to be having a mild case of “blocked tear duct”. This is a very common condition with newborns. We just need to clean her eyes as part of our daily routine. Things will improve as the baby grows up.

She now makes all kind of baby noises. It sometimes sounds like she already wants to speak! ;-) And we love her so much. The best way to describe things would be to say that she has opened a door in my heart that I didn’t even know was there. She has only been with us for 11 days, but it feels like she has always been part of our Lives.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

All Clear

We have been discharged from the hospital after the doctor gave us an all-clear diagnostic. Most newborns lose a bit of weight in the very first days, but Chloe didn’t. The doctor was very happy about it, so much so that he told us that we don’t have to feed the baby every 2 to 3 hours anymore, we can feed her on-demand, when she asks for food. The very pleasant side effect is that we are now enjoying long nights of sleep. ;-)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Baby Chloe

Baby Chloe is doing very well. She is a very hungry little thing! Though she has been crying often, she is very easy to calm down. It fascinates me how alert she is: I wasn’t expecting her to be until a later stage. She stares at you, follows you around with her eyes, turns her head… Her eyes are full of Love and we love her so much. We should be discharged from the hospital soon, which will be a good thing as we feel a little bit like hamsters in a cage. ;-) More news coming soon!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A star is born


I have cried so much when I saw our little daughter for the first time. She is healthy, beautiful and she weighs 7 lbs 4 oz (3.24 kg). Everything went well and we are madly in Love with our little Chloe. She was so strong that no visit to the NICU was necessary. She was in our hospital suite within a couple of hours and we can’t take our eyes off her. One of the happiest days of our lives! We are very thankful to the surrogate mother who is now recovering and doing well.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Quick Update

Our surrogate mother has been admitted to the hospital. She will be induced tomorrow and the baby will be delivered via c-section. I am stressing out, even though Dr Meenakshi asked us not to worry. I don’t know if I will be able to sleep well tonight…

Monday, August 12, 2013

New Scan

We have received our new scan. It is not as good as the previous ones as there seems to be an increase of the amniotic fluid, which is not normal. This condition (Hydramnios) can be serious when occurring early in the pregnancy, but is often asymptomatic in the case of a late onset. We just don’t know. Our surrogate mother will be seen by a specialist today, and then if necessary she will be admitted to the hospital. To the very end, Surrogacy has been quite an emotional roller coaster.

Otherwise, the rest of the scan report was good, indicating some serious weight gain as the baby now weighs 7.6 lbs (3.43 kg).

Friday, August 9, 2013

38 Weeks

We are now 38 weeks pregnant! As you can imagine, the labor may start at any time. As a matter of fact, it may happen today. At the end of the day, the baby will come out when it will decide to come out as predicting the due date is not an exact science. The only thing we can say is that we are ready and super excited! And the wait is killing us! ;-)

In the meantime, we have explored a couple of malls to see where we can find some baby stuff. “R City Mall” is undoubtedly the best mall in Mumbai. They have big brands such as “mothercare”, “Marks and Spencer”, “Mom & Me”… Though it is not too far from our hotel, it takes about 30 minutes to get there because of the legendary giant traffic jams. For food, the Haiko Supermarket has everything we need with a good selection and great fresh dairy products (imported from France).

We have only been in Mumbai for 5 days, but they have felt like 3 weeks… We have been busy working on getting ready with some paperwork and we have made our small hotel apartment ready for the baby. It is also a good thing that we have managed to get access to our Netflix account from Mumbai, as the hotel doesn’t provide a particularly good selection of TV channels.

Anyway, we’re here, waiting… More news coming soon!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

2 to 3 Days


Today, we met Dr Meenakshi and her 5 month old daughter (see picture). She really is a very nice Lady and it is easy and pleasant to discuss with her. We also met our surrogate mother. She looks very well considering that she is only about 2 days away from delivering! This was indeed the big news of the day: Dr Meenakshi thinks that the delivery should occur in about 2 to 3 days. ;-)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back in Mumbai


We have travelled for 30 hours and are now back in Mumbai! Our 6 big pieces of checked in luggage made it to our destination, which I am very surprised about… We have settled in our hotel room (Lakeside Chalet by Marriott), which is quite comfortable and has a nice view on the Powai Lake (see picture). We are extremely excited and tired at the same time. More updates to come!

Friday, August 2, 2013

37 Weeks

We are reaching quite a milestone as our pregnancy is now medically considered “at term”. This does not mean “full term”: this means that we have reached a stage where the baby would not be considered premature anymore, which is a big deal! ;-) Dr Meenakshi has informed us that the cervix has begun to dilate (size of one finger), which is a sign that labor is approaching. We are still sending positive energy for the baby to stay put for as long as possible. More news coming soon! ;-)

Monday, July 29, 2013

6.2 Pounds


Just a quick note as we have just received our last scan from Dr Meenakshi. The baby now weighs 6.2 pounds and is in “birth position” (vertex presentation). We are now playing the waiting game and are sending positive energy for the baby to stay put for as long as possible.

Friday, July 26, 2013

36 Weeks

Obviously, we are getting very excited and days really feel like months. In the meantime, we have been in close contact with the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai. They have been extremely helpful. I am glad our diplomats are so competent, available and nice! We have also been kept in the loop by Dr Meenakshi who has sent us pictures of our surrogate mother. She is looking very well… ;-)

The next few days and weeks are likely to become very eventful, but we will make sure we find the time to keep our blog updated.

Did I mention that we are getting VERY EXCITED? ;-)

Friday, July 12, 2013

34 Weeks

We are getting closer to the due date and we are practically ready to hop on a plane at a moment’s notice… The last thing we needed to do was to hire a lawyer to modify our living trust. The updated document will take our bundle of Joy into account by the end of next week.

Now that we are 34 weeks pregnant, we are counting the days instead of the weeks, our hearts beat faster and our minds are already in Mumbai. We are looking forward to the day our Life will change forever, we are looking forward to the day we will be able to say “Welcome to the World, we will love you forever”.

Friday, June 28, 2013

New Scan


We have just received a new scan from Dr Meenakshi. The baby has grown a lot since our last scan; we are now 32 weeks pregnant and the baby weighs 4.4 pounds! ;-) I don’t really know how to describe how I feel as we are getting closer to becoming dads. I am probably extremely happy, very anxious and ecstatic at the same time. I didn’t know that I could experience so many emotions at the same time. We are also so grateful for all the people who are making our journey possible. Thank you.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

La Girafe


Mr. T and Mrs. E (from the M Family) just gave us the most charming little toy: Sophie La Girafe. I love it, and it fits perfectly with the theme of our nursery. Thank you! ;-)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pediatrician

We have been advised to find a pediatrician before the baby is born. Browsing through various profiles, we stumbled upon the picture of a familiar face… It turns out that one of our friends who we haven’t seen in a while is a pediatrician, and we didn’t even know it! Our first reaction was: “NO WAY”. What are the odds? This must be fate! We reached out to her and met her the day after. She told us that she would be “honored” to be our pediatrician. Life is full of surprises. ;-)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

30 Weeks

We are now 30 weeks pregnant! We are using our last few weeks in order to get as ready as possible. We had our last parenting class, which was particularly important as we have learned how to perform “Infant CPR”. We are also already in the process of packing; we have to prepare ourselves in case we need to leave at a moment’s notice. We are so excited and full of emotions.

Monday, June 3, 2013

A new Life for a new chapter


Things are getting very exciting as we have just begun coordinating our last trip to India with Dr Meenakshi and our surrogacy agency (WeeCare Partners USA). As we are approaching the end of the process, it really feels like things are going exponentially faster. We still have a few weeks to get ready, and then our lives will change forever. We are getting overwhelmed with so many good emotions! ;-) A new Life for a new chapter…

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2.5 Pounds


Our little bundle of Joy is gaining weight! ;-) Dr Meenakshi just sent us an obstetric scan... It always feels like Christmas when we get this kind of e-mail. The pictures are quite technical and we don’t really see any identifiable outline, but we have some good data!

  • The baby is now in cephalic position (upside down), which is a good thing;
  • The baby’s heart rate is 150 BPM;
  • The baby’s development age is 28 weeks;
  • The baby is gaining weight! It now weighs 1.154 kg, which is equivalent to a little bit more than 2.5 pounds.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Third Trimester

We are now 27 weeks pregnant… Welcome to the third trimester! It is difficult to describe our state of mind right now. Let’s just say that we are very excited! Our hearts beat faster and we keep making all kind of plans. It’s funny how Life can still turn around for the best.

At the same time, we are working on getting our home ready. We have just laid the first brick of our nursery: the crib!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Showered

Last week-end, we went to Mr. R and Mr. E’s house where we were invited for breakfast. As a reminder, they are the ones who connected us to their surrogacy agency (WeeCare Partners USA). Their two baby boys are growing very fast and look very happy. We perfected our “how to hold a baby” technique. ;-) Our hosts have been more than generous as they have literally showered us with gifts. We are looking forward to the day our bundle of Joy will play with their bundles of Joy on the playground.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Babies R Us

For the past weeks, we have visited our local Babies R Us rather frequently. The store has a coupon system which makes it silly to buy all at once. One week, strollers are on sale, the other week, crib mattresses are on sale… We have almost achieved our goal to get everything we need without paying full price for anything! One side effect is that the store employees know us very well. Last time I was there, one of them told me: “I think that I have seen you every single week since the day I was hired.”

We are now 26 weeks pregnant and our hearts beat faster with anticipation, as we should receive our monthly scan in about a week. We will keep you posted!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

25 Weeks

We are now 25 weeks pregnant! We are also getting busier, trying to get ready. Yesterday, we went to our first parenting class. We are now experts at feeding, changing, feeding, changing, feeding, changing, and occasionally sleeping when we have the chance. ;-) Overall, the class was really helpful. We were the only gay couple and have been impressed about how welcome our classmates have made us feel. Seriously: we were the most congratulated couple! It just warmed our heart to see perfect strangers being so happy for us.

Also: congratulations to Josh and Matt for the birth of their twins!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Complete

Last Saturday, we went to a Diapers’ Party hosted by Mr. R and Mr. E. Their twins were born last December. They are also the ones who connected us to their surrogacy agency (WeeCare Partners USA). Mr. R and Mr. E went the extra mile to please their guests by offering a very large menu of home cooked dishes. It was delicious. Their two baby boys were adorable and behaved very well (they haven’t cried a single time). Our hearts were melting, as we are now, more than ever, looking forward to our family to become complete.

Friday, April 26, 2013

New scan!

New scan!

We woke up this morning with an e-mail from Dr. Meenakshi Puranik. My heart always jumps when we get one of those. ;-) We are now practically 23 weeks pregnant, and, using the doctor’s words: “all is well”. This made our day! The attached scan shows a series of magnified pictures. Our little baby still looks like an alien, but I am looking forward for this one to conquer our world. ;-)

Here’s a picture of the head:


And here’s a picture of the spine:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Josh and Matt

We are still waiting for our next scan. It is unbearable and exciting at the same time; we can’t wait to see the latest pictures of our little baby! ;-) Meanwhile, I have just seen the video of two fellow bloggers, Josh and Matt, who are going through the same adventure as ours. What surprised me is that we went through the same thought process (adoption vs. surrogacy in India) and we took similar decisions (stay at home dad). They are basically answering many questions people have about us!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Baby Stuff

Big milestone: we have just begun buying baby stuff! So far, we have only bought a bottle set (sterilizer, bottles, bottle warmer…), but it marks the beginning of a new routine: weekly visits to our local Babies R Us store… It’s a brand new world but we are already getting used to it. ;-) We will probably buy things very slowly as we want to take full advantage of coupons and sales.

Otherwise, we don’t have anything new to report: we are now 22 weeks pregnant and we should receive our monthly scan within a week. We will keep you posted!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Miss Kathy

Last week, we told our neighborhood friend, Miss Kathy, that we are expecting a baby. It is always heartwarming to see how well some people react and how genuinely happy they are for us. Also, we already have a backlog of people who are volunteering for babysitting. ;-) We are now 21 weeks pregnant!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

American Consulate

Things are going well so far. We have been in contact with the American Consulate in Mumbai and have been happy to discover that people in our situation are on their radar. They are well informed and are being proactive at assisting us by working with the Indian Government in order to anticipate any glitch. It feels good when your country is doing a good job at supporting you!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Flowers


We have received nice flowers today (see picture). They were delivered with the following message: “Congratulations on your very exciting news! Love, Mum & Dad xx”. Thanks! ;-)

Wow

“Wow” was the word of the day yesterday as we told more of our family members that we are expecting a baby. Aunts and Grandparents to be were gathered around a speakerphone (let’s call them Grandpa J, Granny M, Aunt L, Aunt S and Uncle G). They didn’t know what was about to hit them, so when we told them, there were several collective “Wows”. Then Auntie S started questioning us and would not stop. ;-) Then Uncle G congratulated us while Auntie L remained mum. Did she pass out? ;-) There was a lot of excitement in the air.

Later that day, we told our closest friends (who have become our extended family) about the news. Let’s call them the M Family. They couldn’t be happier for us, it was really heartwarming. We kept discussing about the future and it was very nice. ;-)

We are really looking forward to becoming parents!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

We are telling!

Today, we told two of our family members that we are expecting a baby.

We started by telling one of the grandmothers to be (let’s call her Granny G). As we were discussing through Skype, we simply ended up showing our latest scan to the camera, but the penny didn’t drop right away… I didn’t quite expect that Granny G would think that one of us was sick and that we were showing the medical record of whatever disease was afflicting us… As she was obviously beginning to panic, we decided to rectify the situation, calling her “grandmother” and explaining that we were expecting a baby. The expression on her face changed very quickly, from Fear to Disbelief, then from Disbelief to Joy! ;-) It was priceless. This was a moment that we will remember forever!

We then decided to call one of the aunts to be (let’s call her Auntie J). We made sure that we wouldn’t make the same mistake and scare her… We ended up having a simple phone conversation: no video! I took the easy way out and just told her that we were expecting a baby. Once again, her reaction was not quite what I was expecting. Auntie J was so overcome with Joy that it was impossible for her to talk as she couldn’t stop crying and sobbing. It lasted for two minutes straight! ;-) This also was a moment that we will remember forever.

We will tell more people on Saturday…

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This is real…

This is getting very real… We have just received our new scan (18 Weeks / 2 Days), which happened much sooner than we expected! ;-) The pictures are great, everything appears normal and it feels like a psychological barrier has just been broken.

It is now time for us to tell our families and close friends that we are pregnant. We will also begin setting up the nursery, buying baby stuff, reading baby books… Our Life is about to change and we can’t wait! ;-)

Here are some of the pictures taken from the scan that Dr. Meenakshi Puranik has just e-mailed us…

Here’s a picture of the head:


Here’s a picture of the spine:


And, cherry on the cake, here’s a 3D picture of our baby, smiling for the camera!


Ok, it still looks a bit like an alien but our hearts are melting, and we are more than ready to welcome this little heart into our World.

Who is the biological father?

This is probably one of the first questions our respective families will ask… Our answer will be short and simple: “we won’t tell you.” We don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings; we just believe that our child would be welcome differently whether a genetic link is established or not, and we don’t want that to happen. Our child will be born out of Love and it is all that matters. When the child will be mature enough to ask and understand, then we will provide an answer.

Our decision is not written in stone, it may change, but right now it feels like the right thing to do.

Also, our intent is for us both to become biological fathers, as we would like our child to have siblings… This means that in the very near future, we are planning on starting the same process again with the genetic material of the one of us who hasn’t “participated” yet.

We want a big family! ;-)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

First Act


I will try to open the first act of our blog by introducing ourselves with a few words. We are a gay couple from San Diego, and we are on our way to fulfilling one of our dreams: becoming parents. After a few ups and downs, we came to the conclusion that Surrogacy would be our best option and, after a few more ups and downs, we decided that we would hire WeeCare Partners USA to fulfill our dream.

We are now 18 weeks pregnant.

Surrogacy in India is not for the faint of heart. Like all the people who are currently going through the same experience, we have had our fair share of stress, but we have met wonderful people along the way...

First of all, we have met another San Diego gay couple who just had two baby boys. They gave us valuable advice and connected us to Victor Hui Wee’s agency (WeeCare Partners USA, service agency for India Surrogacy). Victor has basically enabled our dream, connecting us with more wonderful people, such as Dr. Meenakshi Puranik who is supervising the whole process. We are very thankful to have met such an amazing and talented woman. We also have to thank our egg donation agency and our egg donor, who has been wonderful and charming. We would also like to mention our driver, Sachin, who has guided us through the chaos of Mumbai’s traffic.

We have created this blog as a way to keep our families and close friends informed. Until our baby is born, we don’t want anybody else to know.

Originally, we wanted to wait until the end of our third trimester to tell our families and close friends about the good news, but due to new Indian regulations (“India bans gay foreign couples from surrogacy”), we eventually decided to wait until we get clarification on how they would apply to us, as we were already pregnant. Less than a week ago, we finally got the clarification we have been waiting for and it was good news! ;-)

We are now getting excited as we are about to tell our parents!

We are basically waiting until we get our next ultrasound scan before we tell them, which should take less than 2 weeks.

We can hardly wait! ;-)