Sunday, September 6, 2009

Delhi Continued

I am in transit at Newark Airport and have a two hour layover. The jet lag is hitting me with a vengeance and I still have another 6 hour flight to go! Did I mention tomorrow is a US federal holiday? Thank God.

A couple of additional notes regarding our upcoming cycle: Our cycle is actually planned for later this month. The good doctor uses a longer down regulation protocol to synchronize the donor and surrogate cycles, so we are just about 4 weeks away from transfer. We should have results in early October. The other key thing to note is that Dr Shivani was very clear about the number of embryos she would transfer - no more than 4 and ideally only 3. Quality, rather than quantity - another reason to feel good about her approach and conviction. Here is a shot I took of the doctor. Kathleen embarrassed her by immediately asking Dr S why she couldn't be my egg donor. LOL. Dr S blushed and said, 'Oh, no I'm afraid I am far too old'. Well, if we could only age so nicely!

For those traveling to Delhi, I wanted to share a bit about getting around, hotels and a day trip to the Taj if you dare. The airport is a far cry from the newly improved Mumbai version. It is definitely in need of a redo. Important also to note regarding departures - you absolutely must have a printed copy of your e-ticket receipt or they will not, under any circumstances, let you into the terminal building. I went thru this in Mumbai, but the security checked the flight manifest (which they had available), found my name and allowed me into the terminal. Not the case in Delhi. I had to go to the Continental ticket office which is an adjacent building and much to my dismay, the office was closed and padlocked! The next 30 minutes was a nightmare which ended with me having to pay off one of the military personnel to get into the building. Print your e-ticket receipt before heading to the airport!

Hotel: We had originally planned to stay outside the city at the Westin Sohna-Gurgaon Resort and Spa. It was supposedly only 60 km from the city and we thought it would be nice to relax and be away from the hustle and bustle. The property, as we had hoped, was amazing and the service outstanding, but getting there was nothing short of a nightmare. The roads were horrible and it took anywhere between 2-3 hours to get there - one way! It is also confusing because there is an area of the city called Gurgaon that is near the airport - full of corporate office complexes, and therefore business hotels. This hotel is NOT in Gurgaon - it is many kilometers south. After two days we moved to the Shangri-La in the city. Of the five star hotels, it was the only one that had a rate under Rs 10,000. We were very pleased with the property and the spa was outstanding. It is near to the India Gate and fairly centrally located. The traffic in Delhi is pretty unbearable and things are quite spread out - so, everything takes some time. From the hotel to the clinic with traffic took one hour - on another day, with no traffic, it took only 20 minutes. The only other hotel we checked out was The Park (on Parliament) and it was very worn, dirty in fact. Would not recommend that property - it looks very South Beach or Hollywood Modern in photos, but it is in major need of a facelift in person.

Food: We didn't plan to spend a ton of money on dining, but we had been told that Bukhara, at the ITC Maurya, was famous for being one of the best Indian restaurants in the city. We had lunch there - and it carried a $100 price tag for two - but it was our one splurge and well worth it. The food and service were amazing. We also had a meal at Daniel's (also Indian) at the Imperial Hotel (short walk from the Shangri-La) and it too was good - dinner for two was $60.

Taj Mahal: I would recommend flying. We drove. We left at 6am and it took about 3 hours to get there. We headed back at 1pm and didn't arrive back at the hotel until 7pm - 6 hours in traffic. We were both about to go mad. We negotiated a flat rate of 12.5 INR per km so the trip only cost about $140 USD. Parashar's colleage in Delhi is Anshul and he had arranged a docent to meet us. For Rs 250 he spent two hours taking us thru every detail of the history. I tipped him an additional Rs 1000. He also helped us navigate the onslaught of hawkers and beggars upon arrival. It is easy to say in hindsight that it was worth the drive, but it was brutal. The Taj Mahal, however, is like a mirage - beautiful. Pictures do not do it justice and it must be seen in person to fully appreciate its beauty. It is a moving experience.

Steve and I have laughed that he will never see it unless we airlift him and drop him by parachute, so I'm glad I can go ahead and check it off my list of things to see before I die.

And, to close, a shot of what keeps Steve busy when I'm away - Raleigh (left) and Bennett (right). Raleigh is our new Yorkie who came from Max's breeder. It is hard when you have loved a dog like we loved Max to have another of the same breed. Lucky for us, Raleigh has his own unique personality - and Bennett has taken quite a liking to him.

They are the best of friends.

And Steve is a really good daddy.


Tigerlilycat said...

Love the detail postings Terry. I was in Delhi overnight on Wednesday and seriously thought I was going to get left stranded on the side of the road courtesy of my taxi driver from the airport as he couldn't find my hotel, even though it was smack bang in the middle of the city (Connaught Place). So glad you've managed to get to Agra. We still haven't - and that is not the reason we named one of our boys Taj!


Unknown said...

Thanks for posting all of this valuable information. This will help so many of us!

Phoenix said...

Doggies rock! I'll bet you spoil them, as I do my little beastie. God, how are we going to get these fur babies out of our beds once the babies come!!!!

Doug and Bill said...

Sounds like a crazy trip but it's going to be worth it. You guys will be cycling around the same time as Bill and I -- we have embryo transfer on 9/27!

Oh and I agree...Dr. S is HOTT with two t's...good luck!

jojo said...

Hooray - thanks for such a detailed post. Sounds like everything is going to plan. I am beginning to send baby dust your way. Small parcels at the moment, that will build and build and build over the coming weeks.

I re-read the lovely email you sent me when our 3rd attempt didn't work. It was so beautiful. Thank you.

Good luck, good luck, good luck!!


Mandy said...

GOOD LUCK GUYS! these posts help so many of us. LUCKY U getting to see the TAJ MAHAL!! The doc is so preety wink wink.

love the yorkie!

Anonymous said...

Hi Terry and Steve

Good luck with India and Dr. Shivani and the Phoenix Hospital. My partner and I have been researching the clinic and would love to ask you some questions. Whats the best way to contact you?

Anonymous said...

P.S. I don't have a blog or website so I left you a private message on the Surrogacy India forum.


Unknown said...

Can you send me via email the info for your contact at "Your Man in India" please? We are headed over in early October.


Jeff & Dee

Unknown said...


CW said...

Hi Terry

Thanks for the detailed info. We will be going to Dehli and would love some information on "Your Man in India" and the clinic that you are using.
I can be contacted at
Wishing you all the best with the transfer.

CW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said... of luck to you guys. Pictures are great! Love the pooches!

George said...

so excited for you both
im also using Phoenix
Dr Shivani is wonderful

George (wanttobedad)