Thursday, December 20, 2012

Post-India Whirlwind

After I left India, it was full steam ahead. I landed in LA on Friday, flew to SF on Sunday, and started my new job on that Monday. Let’s just say it was a whirlwind, but one that I absolutely loved. I had nothing but new job and baby on the brain.

I, being the planner that I am, started thinking about schooling and sports…. Already showing my tiger-mom tendencies. What took up much of my time was doing the research about what it would take to raise my children multilingually. Languages have always played a major role in my life and I think it can only help the children in terms of intelligence, worldly affairs, and more opportunities in life. I made the decision that I wanted to raise my children in the German language as this is the language I consider myself completely fluent in. I was also interested in enrolling them in multilingual immersion schools. Most of the schools in the Bay Area had Chinese, French, and Spanish immersion schools. I’m not too worried about teaching them English since it is the dominant language of the US. They will become fluent whether they want to or not. I am really looking forward to this. I even joined a German Literary Group in Oakland to maintain my German in preparation for this. This excites me.

In terms of the next steps with SCI clinic, I needed to select a donor in September/October so that my Donor could start egg growth treatment in November. The clinic gave me close to 100 different egg donor profiles. I search through the for close to two weeks before making a decision. I also forwarded these profiles to my mother and sister. A funny thing happened…. We were all looking at different metrics to make our top 5 decisions. Height and skin color were important to me. Cyncere focused on hair thickness(and strength) and smaller facial features to match my bigger features. And my Mom focused on what their eyes and smiles evoked happiness. We ended up choosing egg donor 1038 since she passed all of our criteria. 

To give you a sense of what my kid might look like I used a morphing application online… here you go:

To give you a sense what Black and Indian babies look like I turn your attention to
The kids basically look Dominican. =)
My current Egg Donor Schedule:
19th November, 2012 - Start down regulations
28th November, 2012 - Suppression scan + Blood test
29th November, 2012 - Test reports will be available
30th November, 2012 - If reports are okay then start stimulation
18th /19th /20th December, 2012 - Tentative day for egg collection

I just received an email form the clinic:
Dear Anwar,

Greeting from SCI Healthcare!!! We hope you are doing fine. We would like to inform you that your donor is doing perfectly fine. Keeping the same in view, we have scheduled her egg collection on 22nd December, 2012. Kindly note that we will send you some suitable surrogate profile by 20th December, 2012. We will get back to you soon with the further updates.

With Best Regards,


Monday, December 17, 2012

My Trip to India

It was only appropriate that I left for India on my birthday, June 26th. The day before departing, I had hiked one of the highest mountains in my hometown, and the night before departing, I had shaved my head (after growing my hair out for the past 6 months). It was a brand new start for me and a new chapter in my life that I was ready to begin. Since I had hardly slept the days before my flight, the trip there went by so fast and was kinda a blur. My stops included Atlanta and Paris. BTW, Paris is one of the most disorganized airports I have ever had the pleasure to be at. I almost missed my flight even though I and most everyone else coming from the US had been there for at least 2 hours. Anyway, I did make my flight and got into New Delhi around midnight.

After looking around for 30 minutes for my hotel driver, I decided that I had to get my own driver. I went to one of the counters and ask for a cab to Greater Kailash II (where my hotel was located). He asked for 400 Rupees and I gladly paid just to get to my hotel as soon as possible. Once I walked outside, I was immediately struck by the heat. It was probably 90 degrees. It felt good but was strange after being in planes and airports that were probably 65 degrees. Anyway, after showing my driver where to go, he refused to take me. I thought to myself “ And the shade begins…” . I then went to his colleagues and asked if anyone spoke English and explained the situation. One guy went to Police and the Police man forced him to take me to my hotel. After getting lost a few times we finally arrived to my hotel around 1:30am. He demanded a tip. I gave him nothing for the grief I went through. I bitched and complained about not getting the hotel driver and then went to my room, set up my wifi internet and didn’t go to bed until 5am.

My days in India were very busy. I was coordinating going to SCI and going to my dentist to get some major work done. I was required to give 3 sperm samples every other day I was there, starting on the second day. On the second day I also took a blood test to ensure I was drug and disease free, which I was (whew!). On my fourth day I toured the SCI facility, met with the head doctor , Dr. Shivani, and spoke about next steps. She was very patient and understanding and answered any questions I had. Looking at her calendar, I could tell this was a busy lady. She was delivering multiple babies a day, meeting with potential couples, and monitoring all of the egg donors and surrogates.

I was impressed. Meeting her convinced me that I had made the right decision in this clinic. During my days at the clinic I met people from around the world. They were all straight couples. I met couples from Africa, Uruguay, England, and Sweden. It was an eye-opening experience. There was part of me that was proud of myself for doing this alone. Toward the end of my trip I got my sperm results and everything was in order. That was a pretty surreal experience. Once I got my results, I realized that there was nothing else in my way to achieve this dream of mine. I was excited yet still trying to get my head around the entire process… Next post, I talk about the egg donor selection.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The India Trip (Prep)

After I got my job, I decided that I had to go to India immediately (to begin the process) or I wouldn’t have time to go in the near future because I was starting a new job. After the background check came back clear (whew!) on 6/18, I knew I had to make it work since I wasn’t starting the job until 7/9. I found out I had to go to San Francisco to get my visa so I flew to SF that Wednesday the 20th got my visa on the 21st . I had already gotten my India ticket on the 18th so I was pretty much set to go. I had coordinated both the sperm deposit and the dental work that I wanted to get done in the 9 days that I was going to be there. Everything had worked out perfectly and everything was meant to be.

It was interesting though….once I told two of my closest and oldest girlfriends that I was going to India; they were shocked. I guess things were going too fast for them but I had informed them that this was my plan and this was what I was going to do. It was bizarre to get such a reaction from some of my oldest friends. I think I was under the impression that I was going to get their full support but that wasn’t the case, at least not initially. Both of my friends thought I had rushed into this even though I had been planning this for 2-3 years intensely. Weird. I quickly got over it like I do most things.

I guess now I should talk a little bit about the research I did and why I chose India and specifically SCI Healthcare as a fertility Clinic.

India was a logical choice for me for the following reasons:
Price – India surrogacy costs are significantly less than in the US (~$100K)
Rights – The surrogates will have no rights to the child whereas in America it is always a gray area
Open to Single Dads – India have no issues with single parenthood or LGBT intended parents which can’t be said for some programs in the US. As I visited the clinic, I could tell that this is a business first and foremost.
Expertise/Success Rates – The clinics have complete control of the entire process and are delivering many babies every day. They insert around 4 embryos in the surrogate versus only 2 in America, increasing chances of pregnancy significantly.

I was specifically looking at 2 clinics: SCI Healthcare and Rotunda Both are amazing clinics but after doing exhaustive research I found out about hidden charges at Rotunda and that they were not as friendly. I was also very swayed by the blog of a single dad, Michael, who had been working with SCI healthcare: He had such glowing reviews of the clinic that I really had to go with it. So that’s what I did. Next blog I will discuss my trip to India and include pics/paperwork/etc.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Beginning

Wow, don't I have so much to catch you up on. Well, I guess I should start with the cliche line of, " I've always dreamed of having children," because in reality it is true. Since I could remember I always knew I would have children. The funny thing about it is that I always dreamed of having kids alone, as a single parent. Call it my subconscious homosexuality as a young child or my immediate example of a my single mother raising me, who knows? I always told myself that I would have children when I was 30. I always thought it was a good age, not too young and not too old. I guess you could say that I have always been a planner and have prided myself on achieving all goals put ahead of me. Anyway, I guess the first step of this process was telling my sister and mother that this was my plan.

So in the summer of 2010, after I graduated business school, I sat them down and told them that I would be having a child via egg donorship and surrogacy via India and I would need their undying support moving forward. Like in every diabolical plan I have had in my life, they were on board.... need I say more excited than I was. Let's just say, we immediately went online and started looking at baby designer clothes (ie D&G kids, Guess, Gap, Ralph Lauren). We are definitely a fashion happy shopping family! =) That brings us to this year.... 2012... the year that I would be turning 30. As I reassessed my life and where I wanted it to be as many people approaching 30 do, I realized a few things. If I were to achieve the things I wanted in life, I needed to leave LA, my overly stressful job, some of the toxic people in my life. And let's just say, that's exactly what I did. I'll spare all the gory details but in mid-June I was able to secure a job with Kmart managing all the Womens Apparel and Accessories in San Francisco (my adult home). At this point, I thought it would be a the perfect time to go to India and begin the surrogacy process since i didn't know when i would have the time to do so later on 9not know how the demanding the new job would be). Next Post: I'll discuss my surrogacy research and my trip to India.