Monday, June 1, 2009


Well, it has been quite a day. I left the hotel at 9am - arrived at Rotunda at 9:30 and was there until after 1pm. Details to follow...

After leaving the clinic, I had told Parashar that I wanted to make a couple of purchases - I always like to take something special home from each newly visited part of the globe - and, being the first trip to India, I wanted something cool. Steve and I have a growing collection of carved pieces on the shelves above our bed - there are two beautiful Buddhas from previous trips to Thailand and a Boomerang from our time in Australia. Steve and I had talked about getting a 'snake charmer's whistle' (insert joke here for those who know my hometown is proud to be the home to the Miss Snakecharmer Pageant) but I couldn't find one so I shifted gears and began to search for a carving of one of the Hindu Gods. In steps Ganesha...

As I went through the various teak pieces - all hand made and pretty amazing - I looked at everything from the God of Finance to the God of all Gods, Krishna. I kept being drawn to the elephant headed man - familiar image - we've all seen it before - I just never knew the story. Turns out Ganesha is the God for Removal of Obstacles. Hmmm. We want to be pregnant and have gone to pretty extreme lengths to try and get there. I had just wrapped up at the clinic and there is nothing more to do now but wait. So, as I studied the different carvings, Parashar came over and said ' you know, Ganesha brings good fortune and removes obstacles'. Well, no I didn't know that, but sounds like Ganesha is going over the bed, back in LA. It is wrapped up neatly for travel and I don't want to unwrap him so here is an image to show you what I am talking about. Familiar to all I'm sure.

I'll continue the search for a whistle but will be rubbing the elephant's head in the meantime...

Rotunda is about the size of most of my client's terraces. Seriously. I bet the entire space is 1500sf - if that. In that space there is an operating room for the egg retrieval and insemmination procedures, a small recovery space, lavatory, lab room, semen collection room and two small offices - oh, and a lobby that was busier than any doctor's office I've ever seen. I was exhausted just by watching the people in and out of the place. I arrived at 9:30 and was taken back to one of the offices to meet with Dr Gupta. She advised that the egg donor's procedure was for 11am and that I should provide my semen sample at approximately 10:30am. I would meet with Dr Kadam a bit later...she is the Director of the Egg Donor Program. Shortly after they sent me into one of the other small rooms to have blood drawn. Now, the doctors are lovely - really, sincerely nice. This tiny woman, who I guess was a nurse, however, was dreadful. I could not get that woman to smile for the life of me. First of all, she was about the shortest person I've ever seen aside from a midget and had the personality of the syringe she stuck me with. Anyway, whatever. Then I headed with my specimen cup to the 'semen collection room'. Yuck. I must admit, I was pretty worked up about the whole experience, so worked up in fact that I had little interest in the porn I brought along for 'assistance'. I was fairly certain they might knock on the door to see if I was alive before I made something happen. In the end, everything came out alright - at least the doctor's said so after peering at it through a microscope.

So, this now took me back to the lobby by 11am. Where was my egg donor? You could not chase a cat in the place and I did not see her anywhere - I had studied her picture so I knew I would know her instantly. After obsessing for several minutes I decided that, perhaps, she was in this small hallway around the corner - near the operating room. I saw that the lavatory was down that way so I rounded the corner - mind you all of about five feet away from where I was sitting, but around the corner - and there she was. All 5' of her. Now, she is not as short as the lab girl, but short - but also very cute. She had no way of knowing who I was and I believe she had both her mother and her aunt with her - at least that is who I decided they were. They were too old to be patients and not dressed to be staff. The bathroom was occupied which was perfect because it gave me a bit more time to study every detail of her...when she wasn't looking of course - yes, I was discreet. I did share a quick smile with her, but she looked scared to death. I felt really horrible for the poor thing and would have loved to speak with her, but it would have been fully inappropriate and I doubt anyone would have appreciated it. She was in surgery for over an hour and then I heard them wheel her into the small recovery room behind the lobby. She was still there when I left at shortly after 1pm.

So, my meeting with Dr Kadam...well, not the best news, but not anything to freak over. They only harvested 9 eggs from the donor. They generally hope for something in the low teens. The doc was really great and immediately told me that she would do ICSI on all nine eggs to ensure the highest possible fertilization rate. Good case would be 3 or 4 embryos and best case would be 5 or 6 (unlikely, but possible). That means no freezing extras which means no baby if this cycle fails. We would have to pay for another egg donor and another surrogate and, essentially, start over. Or we could end up with a litter which is what happens sometimes when you implant 5 or so embryos. Nothing to do now but wait and give it up to a higher power. I'm totally cool with that and, if we get a 'negative' in 2 weeks then we'll just save our pennies and try, try again.

PS - ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) - means they inject the egg with one sperm to fertilize it. Generally 70-80% fertilize with this procedure. So, with 9 eggs - 6 embryos is about the best case.

ICSI Treatment - Sperm Injection

Now, last but certainly not least of this three ring circus was the following...Dr Gupta asks me 'would you like to meet the surrogate?' What? I had heard all along that this was tabu. Well, it turns out she was coming in for her final blood work at noon and they would allow us to meet briefly. So, we met - and, the woman was so shy I thought she was going to pass out. She spoke very little English and would not make eye contact with me or the doctor - she just smiled and kept her head down. She is 29 and has two boys of her own. I kept it brief because she was clearly uncomfortable. I thanked her and she smiled. I am glad I had the opportunity to see her - she seems to have a very kind soul. Now let's just hope her uterus likes my ICSI treated, egg donor's eggs!

Thanks for all the warm thoughts and well wishes.



jon said...

We will cross our fingers and toes for you that it takes. Remember all it takes is one!
You are in good hands with the docs at Rotunda. Think positive and keep praying to those Hindu gods. If you have some time, go to the ISKAR temple in Juhu, not far from your hotel. It's a great place to send some positive vibrations to the Hindu deities and also make an offering or two.
Hoping the best for you guys!

Rhonda and Gerry W said...

Wonderful! Gerry (not me) did the snake charming thing with the cobra around the neck in Jaipur. The pics are awesome, may have to make a day trip there to get your whistle?

Yes, the nurses are very different in regards to bedside manner in India, but highly qualified and skilled. I would die if my nurses had that kind of customer service!

Your numbers are good. Keep the faith, as everyone always told us...'it only takes one!!!'

All the best, saying an extra prayer and sending baby dust to India for you both.

Johnny and Darren said...

Counting down the 14 days now guys. Hoping for positive news from LA soon.

Your posts are great and keeping us sane to our count down.

Johnny & Darren

Mike and Mike said...

The nurses are say the least. Mike and I had the same exact experience with the nurses. Although, I did get mine to smile. I complimented her on her earrings which were quite lovely. Other than that, yeah, I could live without the nurses.

Here's wishing you luck and hoping you rolled double sevens!

Mike A.

Mike and Mike said...

P.S. Ganesha happens to b e the God Parashar hold faith to.

Mike A.

Unknown said...

Love the blog and will keep an eye on how things are progressing.

We arrive on Thursday so will miss you by a day or so.

All the best! As everyone says..."it only takes one!"


Peter said...

I'm not surprised to hear it was quite busy...we've been there twice and I think Rotunda is getting more and more busy all the time.

Best of luck!