Isn't it amazing how quickly life can change? One minute you're a healthy 30 year old woman and the next minute you're a "sick" cancer survivor. One minute you're half of a childless couple and the next minute you're a mother. So much has changed in 5 days!
We moved to a new home in January and I love gardening, so I am excited
to see spring coming and see what pops up in the yard. Five days ago our flower beds were full of the
remnants of daffodil blooms and spent cherry tree blossoms were blanketing
the yard. Now the yard is full of color and trees are budding in
new green. Dogwoods and azaleas are blooming full force. I have a
lilac bush!!! How appropriate that we are beginning the road to
parenthood in the spring when life is renewing every day.
I returned from India last night. Out of deference to concerns over my safety as a youngish woman traveling alone, I didn't want to put this on the internet until i returned. Hence, the gap in my posts. I was so excited about my trip in the week and a half before I left, I couldn't focus enough to put a coherent post together. Anyway, I left for India at the crack of dawn on Saturday and returned Wednesday evening. I was gone for 5 days, which gave me 2 full days in Delhi. Yes, I spent nearly 3 days in the air and waiting in airports to visit India for 2 days. Crazy, right? I wish I could have spent more time but, with our busy season gearing up into full swing, I couldn't take more time. We need every sale we can get to help fund this journey.
I went to Delhi to meet with the doctor and her team and to see the clinic and to generally try to get my bearings so that when Mike and I arrive to pick up our baby/ies, one of us is not in complete culture shock. I was on the fence for a while about whether to go to India or not. Mike and I both felt pretty good about our choice of clinic and the communication we had received in answer to our questions impressed us. I was having trouble justifying taking the time away from work at this time of year and spending the money when I felt mostly certain that I would find exactly what I expected in India. In the end, the little devil of doubt whispering in my ear won out and I booked my flight.
I found exactly what I expected to find in Delhi. Dr. Shivani was exactly what I had heard about from other parents. She was very nice and introduced me to everyone in the clinic, explained a bit more in detail how everything works, and answered all of my questions. Most of my questions had already been answered but it was reassuring to hear directly from Dr. Shivani. Everyone in the clinic was very nice and helpful and, during my tour, I was able to see many surrogates and potential surrogates waiting for various appointments. It was reassuring to see these women and their families. And obviously, is was reassuring to see the baby bumps on some of the women. So the result of my trip is that everything I believed before is confirmed. I have faith in the doctor we have chosen. I have faith that this is the best way for Mike and I to start our family. I have faith that this will work for us.
I heard that I would either love or hate India. Well, I didn't hate it, but I was not there long enough to fall in love with it. I had a pretty good idea what to expect, so nothing I saw shocked me. I would not call my self a globe trotter, but I have traveled a bit to both first and third world countries. I have seen poverty in other parts of the world, but not like in Delhi. My travels have given me an appreciation of how lucky I am to have everything I do. But I think, like most people, sometimes I lose sight of that, especially when things don't go my way. I hope India will make it harder for me to forget how lucky we are, even when we are living paycheck to paycheck and maybe can't afford to buy latest, newest, biggest thing. I hope I can teach my children to appreciate how lucky they are. I found Delhi to be a busy, grimy, friendly, beautiful place. It's a place full of contrasts...ugly and beautiful, rich and poor, fast and slow. Given more time, I think I will love it.
On the other hand, I think Mike will hate it. To begin with, he is not a city person. A few years back, he surprised me for my birthday with a weekend trip to New York. We saw a show on Broadway, walked around the city a bit, rode the subway. I think he hated every minute. He doesn't like crowds, or traffic, or noise, or dirt (he's a bit of a germaphobe). He doesn't like being outside of his comfort zone and is content when he lives life in his little box. I love him to death, obviously, but he's not a person who likes new things or adjusts well to change. India will be WAY outside of his box. I hope he will be able to see past the dirt and grime and poverty and see the beauty there. And I hope that it will give him an appreciation of how lucky he is...even if he hates it.
Going to India ended up meaning more for me than I first expected. In my teens and most of my twenties, I traveled. It helped me find my independence in addition to exposing me to different cultures and people and experiences. I did the majority of my traveling alone or at least without anyone in my immediate family. When I was in 6th grade, I learned that my school offered a 10 day trip to Russia for 8th graders. That day I went home and told my parents I was going to Russia, and for two years I worked my butt off doing odd jobs for my neighbors to save up the huge (to an 11 year old) sum of $1000 to go on the trip. With one semester left for my college degree, I decided to change majors to study archaeology. Two months later I was at an archaeological field school in Belize. I drove myself cross country for a job in New Mexico doing archeological survey and took a 3 day Greyhound bus trip to Texas to find an apartment for grad school. I wanted to see the Grand Canyon, so I spent 3 of the most memorable days of my life camping alone and soaking in the beauty of the world. My friends used to joke about me "fleeing the country" and knowing that I
had a passport and could just go any time I wanted was
exciting for me. My cousin called me "fearless."
In the last decade I have "settled down." I've, more or less, lived in a little box...a happy, comfortable box with Mike. But it's a part of my life that I have missed. At the same time, I lost my "fearlessness." I would imagine traveling somewhere and the doubt and fear would take over and I would make excuses not to travel. My two days in Delhi gave me back the confidence to step out of my box. I'm older, and smarter about many things, but I can still travel someplace new to me and not like anyplace I have ever been and I can manage. I don't have to stay in my happy, comfortable box all the time. I can climb out when I want and experience some of the best things the world has to offer. I can do it even though it scares my mom or worries Mike. I don't have to listen to the little voice in me that says I'm too old, or too female, or too weak. I can still be "fearless."