Saturday, May 30, 2009

Back in Perth and almost back in the saddle

I am back home in Perth (as opposed to my other home in Brisbane). It was really hard to leave dad, but he is back at home being cared for by my brother and my mum, so he is in good hands. dad asked me before I left what we were doing with surrogacy. He didn't want me sitting around the family home worrying about him and not getting on with our lives. Thank God I only left Bob alone for a week. One night we spoke on the phone he was sitting watching TV with the dog under one arm, and a can of four bean mix, his dinner, under the other. What a sad and sorry sight that would have been. I've come home to find all the cans in the cupboard well and truly polished off. All the soup, all the baked beans, all the four bean mix. He didn't stoop so low as to eat a tin of chick peas. I suspect he has been wearing the same shirt for a few days. Yes, there were clean shirts in the ironing basket, which is located rather handily under the ironing board, which is next to the TV couch. But did he iron? No. It was much easier to wear a smelly shirt, the little grub. Ah, my husband is a well cared for man. While I'm still thinking constantly about dad, I am glad to be home with my husband, two kitties, Amber the labrador -  and now we have Willo for three days. Life is good.

Surrogacy news
We have chosen our new surrogacy service provider, a hospital in Delhi. Thus far the communication has been wonderful, the doctor is trained in the UK, speaks perfect English, and she answers all questions. And boy have we asked a lot of questions. Every single question has been promptly answered and every question about prices has been forthcoming with no dancing around with stories of "you won't need that" or "the lab charges that not us therefore I don't need to tell you about $3000 of add-ons". This doctor has not ignored one single request for information. She has even taken photos of the hospital facilities to assure us we are not walking into some grimy old dump. She says the hospital is in a "posh" are of Delhi and the clients are similar. It's not that we want or need posh, but I don't want our ED turning up expecting Western standards and doing a bolt. We have booked in for a cycle in late July, dates to be determined by ED and surrogate cycles.

Egg donor news
Our surrogate Amy from the USA has offered to ED for us. This is wonderful news as we have a good relationship with Amy, and we will always be able access her in the future should our child or children need to contact their biological mummy for any reason. She also doesn't live around the corner so won't be a constant reminder that I am not biological mummy. Amy and I are working out the logistics of how to get her to India, and how to work out her cycle with a doctor in the USA, one in India and a surrogate in India. Getting on a plane and showing up with our sperm is the easy part! But ... and isn't there always a but? The hospital prefers to work with unknown donors so they may not agree to work with Amy, however I think they will.

Of course I have back-up plan B which is an egg donor from Global Egg Donors. The founder of GED and I have been working on setting up a similar arrangement to the one Nurture has with Surrogacy India. However, there will be no add-ons to actual costs as Robin understands we surrogacy parents don't exactly have money flowing from our nostrils. GED's prices have come in at around $3000 less than Nurture's prices. At this stage they are working with Rotunda in Mumbai, and we are working on a program with the new hospital in Delhi. The duration of stay for the EDs in Delhi is shorter, they arrive CD10, whereas it's CD8 with Rotunda and CD6 with SI and Nurture. Also, Delhi's accommodation is around half that of what you pay in Mumbai for similar accommodation. Add to that, medical and surrogacy services in Delhi are at Indian prices, whereas in Mumbai so much is charged at Western prices, the clinics in Mumbai may well do themselves out of business as IPs find less expensive options with better service. I liken Mumbai to Beverly Hills. If you want to get cosmetic surgery you will pay top dollar in Beverly Hills, whereas you can get the same service at half the price away from the commercial hub of boobie-botox central.

Delhi is a much better location for Australians as the High Commission which grants citizenship to surrogacy-born babies is located there. I love the fact that our new hospital does everything under the one roof. There is no travelling to one place for legals, then to a different location for scans, then to another location for transfer, and yet another location for birth of babies, then off to a different city for citizenship and passports. Our hospital is located near the High Commission and there is accommodation aplenty close by.

We will be meeting our surrogate and her family, and surrogates stay with their families during pregnancy. they have the option of staying at the hospital for the final three months of pregnancy if needed. We have a lawyer in Delhi who will be interviewing our surrogate to ensure she knows exactly what she is getting into. He will also be visiting her home on our behalf to ensure she lives in conditions appropriate for a pregnant woman. Our lawyer will also be doing a contract for us between the hospital and the IPS, which lays out all the prices we have been quoted.  We will sign a contract with the surrogate and her husband, and one with the service provider. He will also be meeting our ED in Mumbai and assisting us with legal waivers required by the Australian High Commission. The lawyer works for us, not the hospital. And all this assistance comes at around the same price SI's Mumbai lawyer charges to belt out the same old IP contract that every SI client signs. And of things go wrong, (God forbid) we have someone on the spot to help us, not the hospital.

So, that's the good news. We are waiting for a refund from Surrogacy India. It is much less than we think we are owed, and again, the charges are not broken down so the final statement is useless for tax purposes. However, we can't be bothered to bicker with SI any longer and will take what they offer and run. It is time to move on. We are expecting karyotyping results this week, then we can finally lay this disappointing chapter of our surrogacy journey to rest.


crystal said...

This is such good news! I cannot wait for you to go, so that you can tell the rest of us about it. I'm thinking that if it dosn't work out for us in June,we will look into another clinic. Did they give you the total cost? I know someone who is looking for a price that is cheaper than 20k, but I don't know of a place in India.

Sarah and John said...

Your surrogate and ED are the same person? Are you sure you want to do this? It will lower your success rate from 50% to 30% per cycle. The drugs she takes to retrieve eggs will compete with the ones she takes to prepare her uterus, resulting in fewer eggs and lower odds of attachment. (Or if she just has IUI it still has a lower success rate than donor egg IVF). Also, you may have legal problems if she changes her mind and wants to keep the baby.

I don't think what happened is Dr Yashoda's fault. If I were in the same situation, I would stay with her and do another cycle with the same surrogate and same ED, since she already knows how much medication to give them. When you get new people that have never done it before, the drs have to keep monitoring their follicles and adjusting the drugs and you may not get an optimal result.

I feel bad for you. I have lost several babies myself. I just want you (and other surrogacy families) to have the highest chance of success.