Thursday, February 19, 2009

Conception day

We've arrived safe and sound in Mumbai. Bob's alarm went off at 5.30am and I couldn't get back to sleep. Today is conception day. Our ED agnel has her EPU, Bob does his fun-in-a-cup, Dr Pai does ICSI and mummy waits impatiently for results. I am so glad we came back for this. I can't imagine not being physically in the same country where our babies are being conceived. What a strange way to have children, in a foreign country, in a lab, in a little dish. I guess the bubs won't remember it, but mummy always will. And the fact that we have gone to so much effort to bring our babies into the world, apeaks volumes for how loved and wanted they are. Of course, I can't sleep, how could I sleep with such a incredibly important day about to begin in a few short hours.

I am happy to be back in Mumbai. It feels like home. The airport has cahnged so much in two short moths,. which just indiactes what a fast-paced city this is. I recall a dingy scary airport with its walls and ceilings falling down, and doidgy looking electrical wirtes hanging above our heads. The main difference now is that it is all repaired and looking very presentable. There are no people vying to carry your bags or fetch youa trolley, and on exiting only hotel staff waiting for customers to pick up are outside the main doors, the taxi and rick-shaw drivers have been banished to a different part of the airport carpark.

We are at the Sun and Sand. I love this hotel. We snuck in around 11.30pm last night and almost made it to the lift before Ajaz from the carpet shop detected me. His face lit up. I promised to come back down and say hello, but we really just wanted to get showered and go to sleep. A little later, hugs and kisses safely negotiated, it appears Ajaz's love for me has not waned. "My darling, your presence turns my heart full." I told him he was full of crap, and he is.

I guess today we will wait for a call from Dr S telling us where to go and when. I had a stupid dream last night about Dr S not calling us, and by the end of the day I was desperate to know if EPU had happened. But I couldn't egt through to him and everytime I tried to ring my fingers couldn't punch in the correct numbers. Silly. It will all be great.

On a negatrive note, can myAustralian readers please watch Dateline at 8.30pm on SBS on Sunday night. They are doing a story about surrogacy in India. The promo is horrible and they have elected to interview some right wing Christian bio-ethicist who is, of course, bleating on about how exploitive surrogacy in India is. Unfortunately SBS did not bother to get an alternate point of view, despite contacting AISA and being told the real story form those of us who go to Mumbai. It appears the "truth" got in the way of their negative angle. Dr Patel's clinic does not look good to the western audience. It is a clinic we rejected immediately due to the accommodation arrnagements for their surrogates. Accommodating women in army-barrack type sleeping quarters and separating them from their husbands and children for the duration of a pregnancy is, in my opinion, wrong and I will never support that.

SBS has, of course, taken lots of "baby factory" vision (that is vision of the Patel's surrogate hostel), which looks just terrible and it is not a far leap for audiences to compare the hostel set-up with intensive farming or caged battery hens. To my friends and family in Austrlia, this is not our clinic and our surrogate is not accommodated like this. As part of our contract our surrogate, her husband and children are rehoused in an apratment for the duration of the pregnancy. They are also NOT selected from the slums of Mumbai, nor rural villages, they do not have to hide their pregnancies, they are not forced into surrogacy by anyone and they feel very happy and proud that they are creating new life for childless couples. They are also paid very well and all the couples at our clinic just love our surrogates and their families to pieces, as well as our very ethical and compassionate doctors. It is very demeaning to Indian women to suggest they cannot make up their own minds about whether they wish to be surrogates. Their bodies, their choice. Isn't this what the feminist movement has been fighting for for decades?

SBS has chosen only to go with the negative and I am very disappointed. I thought their journalists and producers had at least a lick more credibility that Today Tonight, or A Current Affair. It appears not. They've found the worst clinic visually and interviewed a Christian extremist, and left poor Dr Patel to fend off criticisms. We are now going to have to go into damage control, which means more media and perhaps even outing ourselves to balance up what appears to be going to be a nightmarish media story.

Here is the written promo for the show. If any Australian has the ability to record this to DVD, would you please do so for me, because we won't get to see it here in India. Which is probably a good thing, because I'd probably go ballistic.

India's Baby FactorySunday, 22 February, 2009
Dateline steps into the middle of the great "Womb for Rent" debate. Video Journalist Yalda Hakim visits a so-called 'baby factory' in the Indian state of Gujarat where over 50 women live while they carry babies for well-off Western clients. The women are poor and come from India's appalling slums. They are paid about US$ 7,000 for providing babies - a fortune in their terms - and receive good medical care and attention throughout their nine month term. With an increasing number of Australians travelling to India for the service, this surrogacy boom has sparked a fierce moral, ethical and legal debate."It’s just horrific to consider this in moral terms as though this were some sort of legitimate transaction. It’s not. Basically at the end of the day it’s wealthy people exploiting poor people," says ethicist Nick Tonti- FilippiniThat claim is strongly rejected by Dr Nayna Patel, co-founder of the Akanksha clinic."How can you say that couple is exploiting the female when the female willingly wants to do it?"Find out more at Dateline's new time of 8:30pm on Sunday.


Kerrie and Mark said...

Congrats on the safe travels..and to feel at home must be wonderful. No wonder you cannot sleep!!! You have such a big day ahead of you. All the best and I will be thinking of you and hoping Bobs boys swim to perfection.

Trea said...

Amani and Bob - good luck with the EPU today. I'm a little jealous that we are not still there. Warm hello and hugs to the docs and 'fromus' and please send some sticky vibes out into the Bombay air for our beautiful surrogate. Have a wine or two with 'fromus' as that is something we missed out on but will make up for it with them when we are all back later. Can't wait to hear all about your next few days. Cheers Trea and Andrew x x

Tigerlilycat said...

Dont worry, I have the mother-in-law recording the SBS show onto hard drive so I will get you a copy, also I am so happy and proud of you both for being in Mumbai for this wonderful day... May god guide your embies to full grade A's and that they stick after transfer. Really best of luck for today and tell Bob that every one will be cheering him when he leaves that special room!!

Fingers, toes, legs and arms crossed for you both.


Johnny and Darren said...

So, so glad you have both arrived safely and what an exciting day today is going to be for you!

Sending love and hugs for an amazing day of conception!


Anonymous said...

I have my fingers crossed for you Am, and wish you and Bob the very best of luck!!!


Lisa said...

Good luck!!! We are praying for you!

Lisa & Bob

crystal said...

Amani, good luck and here's to hoping that this trip will be the majic touch.

Anonymous said...

Amani and Bob, good luck from both Mike's! we're rooting for you here back in chilly Boston.

I have to say, in regard to your tele program andthe media swirling around it...YIKES! I thought they were crazy in the USA...We got nothing on you Aussies!

Mike and Mike