We hit 36 weeks yesterday. Wow, this has been a dream pregnancy, the only issue was low iron with Mrs M requiring IV iron injections which cost next to nothing, anything for Mrs M! I feel so darned lucky we survived surrogacy once, much less twice! (almost). Our 34 weeks scan showed baby measuring 1.8 kilos, but only 32 weeks, so growth has slowed down a little. I was worried about this, but Dr S says it all normal, she's not worried, so I'm not worried. She did, however, delay sending me the scan results until she was on the plane to Australia as she knew I would freak. Which I did. Lucky I had Margarida to client manage me and tell me should would get all the scans I thought I needed, including an MRI!. Yes, we all go loopy. I am nesting, we will have the nursery promised for Toby two years ago finished for new baby. I am really looking forward to meeting him or her ... names are chosen, and Form 118 is as complete as it can be. Bob is off to have his DNA test done next week. We're going with Qld DNA labs as there are local collection centers, and they are fast and cheap ($1250 for one parent and baby with 1-2 day turnaround).
We braved the Perth office of VFS Services, which handles the Indian visa applications. This time it only required two trips, there is always something missing from our applications. Bob is flying on a medical visa, as he is genetic dad of baby, Toby and I are on tourist visas. There has been a warning on Indian Embassy websites around the world for approx. five months now that states anyone going to Indian for surrogacy must go on the correct visa, otherwise they could face prosecution. They don't state what the correct visa is. We have had people in Delhi looking into this for a long time now, and people in Australia thoroughly confused as to the visa they are meant to travel on. VFS in one state says an "entry" visa, Perth says a "medical" visa, Indian High Commission in Canberra says entry visa, but approve the medical visas from other states. Go figure. As it turns out, an entry visa is for people of Indian origin, which most of us are not. In the past five months we have had approx 14 couples go home on tourist visas, and we have people (including us) apply for get medical visas, and a bub about to come home with genetic dad on a medical visa. So all I can recommend is that for your first trip apply for a tourist visa, as you are not having any medical services yourself ... and for baby pick-up, a medical visa. Please note, a clinic at the Surrogacy Australia conference two week-ends ago told delegates the appropriate visa is a surrogacy visa. There is no such thing as a surrogacy visa folks!
Things are crazy, as usual. I have been sick for the past month or more. First it was the autumn cold/flu, that laid me so low I did all my work on the laptop in bed in the lounge-room in front TV. When that cleared up I got a severe case of tonsillitis, which I have not had for a decade or more. My throat became so bad I actually had to go see a doctor. I was in so much pain, I couldn't eat much less swallow, Bob was away so I had full-time Tobytron to care for, I was stuffing every cold and flu tablet I could buy down my neck, gargling with iodine, salt water, anesthetic mouth wash, taking painkillers with codeine in them ... A couple of weekends ago I dragged myself off the bed (which is in the lounge-room, why you may ask, that's another story), with Toby in tow, and went to the expensive out of hours GP. She told me I had left things a bit too late to go to a normal doctor, she prescribed anti-biotics, and told me if things had not started to improve in two days, to go to the ER and have IV anti-biotics. The ABs worked, and I started to feel a whole lot better. I then made it to the Surrogacy Australia conference.
Surrogacy Australia conference
Wow! SO many people there, they were turning them away. Margarida and I worked solidly the whole weekend, there were 2-3 people deep at our "table" at any one time, and our gorgeous families were there to talk to anyone and everyone. When Dr Shivani went to do her presentation she was greeted with a round of applause and a standing ovation, she was a rock star!
The surrogacy community in Australian in 2012 is so different to when I started looking at surrogacy in 2007. Back in 2008 I felt really alone in our quest to have children overseas, there were few blogs, few choices for clinics, and so little support from Australia as we had just not worked out that surrogacy overseas in India was an option back then. Those that had done it, were few and far between - we heard about babies being born through surrogacy in India, but few would share their story, much less blog about it, or do anything so bold as to start a surrogacy community that we now have thanks to Sam E! I have so much praise and gratitude to the Surrogacy Australia organisers, Sam E and the SA committee; I m gobsmacked, and just so in awe that this could actually happen in Australia.
Here are some recent pics of Toby trying out the various $2 rides at the local shopping centre. I will tell Rahul this is his new fleet of cars for SCI clients.