Monday, July 29, 2013

Surprise Getaway Weekend!

What an amazing weekend I had. My friends Jeff and Francis took me (and Cece) on a surprise getaway weekend, where I had no idea where we were going or what we were doing. I got two instructions 1) bring a bathing suit and 2) bring a set of retro clothes. And I did just that! Pics soon to follow.  They picked us up on Saturday morning and we had a nice breakfast waiting for them. My other close friend, McFierce, looked after the dogs for us (so nice!). We headed up north and ended up at a hotel in Sacramento, where we laid by the pool and just relaxed, ate, drank, and were merry! After that, we headed out to an undisclosed location, while listening to old school hip hop! We finally ended up at the Cache Casino where we gambled doing Blackjack and Slots and got free meals! Around 8pm we went to the internal club where we saw none other than Salt N Pepa! It was an amazing experience! They performed all their hits and even invited some people to be on stage while they performed ‘Push It’. Jeff, Cece, and I hopped on stage and were dancing hard in the background. It was amazing. After the song was over, I gave both Salt and Pepa a hi-five! It was unreal! Cece and I were shaking afterwards! What an unforgettable experience. Afterward we gambled some more. All in all, I lost about 35 bucks, which I didn’t think was bad! We then headed back to Sactown, where we went out to a club Faces, which was completely mixed! I had a great time and the music was pretty good (although I wondered why they would play Al Green in a hip-hop room, talk about killing a certain mood)! The next morning we lazily chilled in bed, had brunch, and then headed back to the Bay Area! It was truly an awesome weekend. I’m so thankful to have Jeff, Francis, and McFierce as friends and family. The planning and efforts to keep it all a secret was just so touching. I don’t think anyone has ever done that for me, so I definitely appreciated it ALL. What a blessing to have them in my life. This is a great reminder on why I moved back to the Bay!

On a different note, I wanted to send a big CONGRATULATIONS to Fred. He is a new Daddy! (!
He is so awesome and has been such a great support for me in this journey. We basically talk everyday about one thing or another.
We were all convinced that he would have two girls but instead he has two boys. I guess you can never know until they come!
I am so happy for him and that the babies are healthy! What a blessing!

After getting word yesterday from Fred, it really put a fire under me because these babies are coming sooner than one thinks so I have got to get it together. I have my visa appointment tomorrow, and I’m looking at SUVs all this week. My plan is to buy on this weekend. I’m also in the process of getting all my India paperwork together! OMG! These babies are coming, y’all!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Ya know the SCI family has been nothing but supportive and helpful.
I recently received an informational email about what I needed to pick up the babies so I thougth I would share in the hope  that others can have an easy time. Shout out to Pookiepowder, you know who you are!


This is the email I got when I set up the appt for the DNA test.
1. Original birth certificate and a photocopy of the same for the children.
2. Original passport and a photocopy of the accompanying US/Indian citizen parent of the children.
3. Two photographs of the child and one of the accompanying US/Indian citizen parent(s). 4. The clinic charges Rs. 1600 per sample taken and applicants should pay by abank draft at the time of sample collection. In case more than one sample is to be taken, a single demand draft of the combined amount for the total number of samples can be made. The draft should be made out to MAX Healthcare Institute Ltd, payable at New Delhi. (The easiest bank for non-Indian nationals to obtain a bank draft is SBI – the State Bank of India. Your hotel and/or driver should be able to point you in the right direction). Once the testing is done at the Embassy, the DNA kit is then sent by courier to the laboratory for analysis. To assure your departure is not delayed, we recommend you contact the laboratory to verify the kit was received, and also to ensure the DNA results are processed expeditiously. All test results must be forwarded directly from the laboratory by email to

Great resources:

Embassy & FRRO FRRO:
1. Application -
2. Undertaking letter - They basically want you to write that you will take care of the children
3. Flight confirmation information for you and the children
4. Form "C" from hotel or apartment manager
5. Surrogacy Agreement - provided by SCI
6. No objection Letter from the surrogate - provided by SCI
7. Embryology Report - provided by SCI
8. Delivery Report - provided by SCI
9. Embryology Letter - provided by SCI
10. Discharge Letter - provided by SCI
11. Parent’s Passports
12. Children’s Passports
13. Children’s Birth Certificate
14. Marriage Certificate
15. Copy of Medical Visa Registration from FRRO
When we went to get our medical visa registered, the reception person at the FRRO said we did not need to because it was not over 6 months and there was no stamp on it that said we needed to. I was not comfortable with that so I asked the gentleman at the in-charge desk. He confirmed that what the reception person was correct but that he will register my visa for me because it doesn't hurt and it doesn't cost. Good thing I didn't take no for an answer because once I got to immigration at the New Delhi airport, our visa registration form was the first thing they asked for.

US Embassy
1. Passport Application
2. CRBA Form
3. Social Security Benefits Statement Printout
4. Copy of passport page with picture and visa page
5. Passport photo of children
Items that I had copies of but can’t remember if they took a copy:
Certification of Naturalization or Birth Certificate
Front and Back of Drivers License
Social Security Card
Other Items:

DNA Kit - I used chromosomal labs cost $796. They only do this on Tuesdays at the Embassy so set your appointment to do your ACS and DNA test on Tues. so you don't have to go twice. We did ours on July 2 and the results came back on July 9. I did not pay for the extra $200 rush fee. July 4 was a holiday. You will need passport photos of you and you will need DNA size photos for the babies. You should do the intended part in the US before you leave for India.a You will need to make arrangements of a courier to send you back the CRBA to your home in the US. There is a guy inside the embassy building but outside the room you will be submitting all your paperwork at. He charged 1350 Rs, you need to prepay this. When we went back to pick up the passports, it was confirmed by the embassy that the guy did indeed give them a prepaid envelope to send the CRBA back to us at home. We didn't have any other carrier so we just went with him, but you can go with any courier of your choice, the Embassy just needs a prepaid envelope from you.

Children’s Social Security Number Application – They gave the application back to us to submit to the local Social Security Office when we get home. They said it takes 3-4 months if you submit it through them but if you submit it back in the US, it will only take a few weeks.
Tax Returns - I brought along copies of last five years but they didn't need it Employment Verification - They didn't need this from us.
Tax Return Transcripts - They did not need this. I like to have more then I need so if I were you I would just request this through the IRS automated system. Doesn't cost anything and it doesn't take much space. Get it for the last 5 years.

What we brought for baby pickup: We stayed for 2 weeks, we brought
7 packs of diapers (not much difference between preemie and newborn size),
we came home with 2 Five packs of the Costco wipes, that was perfect.
Phil & Ted cocoons are a must
Since our babies were preemies (a little over 4 lbs) - we bought these to put in the cocoons -
Newborn clothes were too big, Gerber makes onsies that come in a pack that say for 5-8 lbs - those were OK. Search craigslist for preemie clothes before you leave, if you don't mind used.
Bring lots of swaddler blankets - ours kept getting dirty so we hand washed it but took long to dry. I love the muslin type.
Microwave sterilizer bags
Collapsible Drying rack If you plan to handwash any of the baby items, bring baby detergent.

Gloves did not fit. I don't know if they sell preemie gloves. Otherwise, just make them yourself or bring the long sleeve onsies where you can fold over the hands.
Disposable changing pads – We didn’t bring this but wished we had for the plane ride
Ready made formula nursette – Another item we wished we had for the plane ride. While we were in India, we used Nestle PreNan, the children were very constipated on that. Maybe think about a bringing your own formula from home that is more broken down and easier to digest.
Slings – If any of the babies are lap babies, having a sling would be good to hold them in.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Whirlwind and Babymoon

Life has been very crazy in the last couple of weeks. It has been mostly work, so I apologize for not being very disciplined in writing in this blog.

So what’s new…

I got a new update from the clinic a couple of weeks ago letting me know that the babies were alright. I am so thankful that this has been an uneventful pregnancy. What is interesting is that now the smaller twin has caught up with the bigger twin and they are both around the 50% in almost every measurement. The scans are, and have been, hard to read but I will show them for those interested.

I’m definitely in baby mode as they say and trying to get everything together (flights, boarding, DNA, visas, etc). I can’t believe they will be here so soon. Today I will tell my direct boss that I will be taking paternity leave and present him with a transition plan. I think everything will go well with that, but I will definitely let you know.

Another reason I haven’t been able to write in this blog is because I went to Puerto Vallarta for my babymoon. A couple of my friends who met through my basketball league tied the knot after 6 years. It was a beautiful ceremony in an amazing location. I was very grateful to be invited and to have the opportunity to share in such an inspiring experience. Pics to come for sure. There is something about weddings that restores my faith in humankind and love. I was happy to be present. It was also amazing because all my closest friends, who I consider family, were there. We relaxed on the beach all day and partied all night long. What an epic trip. The perfect way to say goodbye to the extreme partying lifestyle that I once engaged in. Time for motherhood.

Friday, July 5, 2013

What a Birthday Week!

I must admit, my birthday week (yes, I said week), was a bit crazy. That's why I haven't been able to post anything on here. I had an absolute blast!

Wednesday -  My friends organized an amazing dinner at a Korean restaurant. They also made this amazing cake that chronicled my life for the past year... moving to SF from LA, going to India to have babies, AIDS Lifecycle, etc. It is pretty amazing.

Thursday - We had informal drinks for my sister's Cyncere's Bday. Let's just say that some of us had way too much for our own good, but we all had a blast!

Friday - We went out in the Castro as it was the beginning of SF pride (Cyncere went out in Oakland)
Saturday - Chilled at crazed Dolores Park, went to house parties, and then Cyncere and I went karoaking! I sang some Britney and Spice Girls so I was happy!

Sunday- I volunteered to set up the Tennis Booth at SF pride and then Cyncere and I went just enjoyed pride for the rest of the day. Then Cyncere went home and my friends and I went to the Juanita Moore Party. Let's just say it was crazy! I haven't had that much fun in a while. I was.... in a state! You can see me on the right hand side trying to be as discreet as Where's Waldo! =)

Ever since then I have been working like a crazy person because things at work have gotten very crazy, but I am so thankful for the birthday week.  It is at these times that I realize that moving to SF was the RIGHT move.