James & Emily

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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

growing and growing

Last Thursday A went with the babes to the 'consultatie-bureau', its a baby check up place. Once a month we have an appointment there with the peaditrician but the best part is, if you want to come in every week to have the babes weight, meassured or whatever question comes to mind, you can just pop in.
As James and Emily are growing really fast, we want to keep track on their weight, and yes, they grow fast! In two weeks time they both gained 395 grams and 390 grams. I am starting to believe that by 6 months they can walk:)
At the moment James is over-stretching a bit, which is quite common with premature babies, and also easily to treat by doing exercices with him (better said; we have to do the exercise).
They are both very lively, laughing, giggling even, and talkative, grumpy time is everyday between 6pm and 8pm (good reason to work a bit longer sometimes haha). A had is first flight this Sunday evening to Dubai, he was looking forward to this and also dreaded the moment he had to leave, and so did I. The nights were okay and the babes did fine, in the end the most hard part was for A since he was gone, he just got back and was thrilled to see us all again! We've decided to see how this all works out for the next two months and after that we'll see if we need to make other arrangements.
Since we the babes arrived, a whole new world has opened for us it seems, other parents are really opening up with everything that goes on in their childs life. Every little detail is spoken of. Suggestions how to go about things are also thrown at us by lighting speed... fortunately we have slippery shoulders so nothing sticks lol.
Next week we'll have to register them both for, can you believe it, middle school! Apparently if you want your children to go to the school of your choice you have to be early. Someone even said we should have registered the babes prior birth. To me these things sound so stupid but I guess thats the way it goes.
I'll post pics later today (because really I should be working at the mo:)

Thursday, 15 April 2010


The 30th of April is a national holiday; its the Queens B-Day:) At the park where we live it's dress up time for children and A couldn't wait to see James in his outfit
Emily just chillin' and cooing on the 'magic carpet'
Here you can really see the differents in size, they love to be awake at the same time:)
Emily is having a moment to herself here, one of the first times she grabbed 'the noisemaker'
This was a pic of Emily whilst we were in India, lounging at the pool, I just love this pic of her. Can't believe how much she has grown already

Monday, 5 April 2010

Happy Easter all

Well it certainly has been a while since my last post!
And I have to be honest here, I did have time (once a week or so) to post.. but... when you have a moment to yourself... just enjoy doing NOTHING! LOL. Everything is going great with James and Emily, it seems as if they grow every single day, all the changes are happening so fast that for us as parents it is hard to keep up with them, at times I do wish that they would stay small just a little longer!
James is now 4.9 kilos and Emily a solid 3.9 kilos, she still looks so delicate but that is also because we compare her with James' size.
Since last Saturday they actually give us smiles! And I do understand now how these small things just light up your day .. when you feel tired; no sleep, dirty; no time to shower yourself until A is home too.
We've been adjusting to a normal life since we got back and it took some time for us. The nights have been horrible for a few weeks and, knock on wood, since last week the nights are definitely getting better! Now there is only one interruption at 3am and that is really good, at least thats what we think.
Recently we have noticed that other new parents like to talk about their 'perfect' babies and I just got fed up with it. It started to seem as if James and Emily where the only babies who needed night feedings and everyone else's baby would sleep through the night at just 2 weeks old. Well bugger that! I am sure there are plenty of babies who actually do that, but stop bragging about it! Especially when I talk about it with my swollen, red eyes and in desperate need of sleep!
Besides the sleep deprivation, where no one can prepare for in my opinion, life is excellent for us.
I had to start work a week after we got back and I still think it's a waist of time:), and A is full-time at home still. He is doing an excellent job here and we both dread the moment he has to start work again. The babes go out on a daily basis in their pram and they both love it.
This weekend we went on a mini break with my parents to the South of Holland, and James and Emily both got the special grandparents attention which they deserve... and we got some time for ourselves which was great too!
On Saturday night we went to a lovely pub in Belgium and we just enjoyed an evening of la la la.
Last week we decided to make the last big change for a while; we're getting a bigger car:(
We live in the center of The Hague and we thought we could get by by using public transport and just walking. However, we have learned that with two babies there is no way in hell to go somewhere by train. For one, the pram doesn't go into all trams or trains because of the bars in the middle (I am sure elderly are very very happy with these bars but for us, well they just don't work) and also because when you go somewhere, you're almost inclined to hire a move company to take all the things with you! In any case, it means my beamer sports car has to go. No more rooftop down and pretending to be 24 again; a big car with baby seats. Well, at least it has private glass haha.
I have so much to write, but have to attend to the babes now. I do solemnly pledge to write more regularly. Hope all is well with all of you out there and the most important thing I could say now is that the journey to get here is sooooooooo much worth it!
Good thoughts to all!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

feeling nackered

At the mo we are in a transition period; we had to change formula and both babes aren't to excited about that... which means we are absolutely nackered! Wanted to post more, but was just chatting with one of the founders of surrogacy-land.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

we're home

The last week in Mumbai has flown by. We left Friday night and we arrived Saturday at 6pm dutch time.
James and Emily haven't made a sound the whole flight! We booked business class seats (treat to ourselves) and we saw the faces of other BC passengers: horror! two babies in BC seemed to scare some passengers lol. After departing the plane some of them came up to us and complemented us with our babes, they were a pleasure to travel!

Our last week was a week of waiting mostly, the HCO was telling us on a daily basis that the passports would be ready the next day, but they never came! On Thursday we decided to just go to the HCO and wait until they had printed them, when we arrived they were already waiting for us to collect them so we were very happy. Friday morning we went to the FRRO and according to Asha, who went along with us, we were the first couple to receive the exit visas within the hour! We were absolutely prepared to wait all day, but we were out of there at 10:20am: with the exit visas! We did some last minute shopping and managed to spend a couple of thousands. Then we went back to the hotel for some sleep but didn't get round to it. There was a big party from an Indian cement company and the music was so loud that even inside we had to scream to hear each other (I am NOT exaggerating here). So, with no sleep at all we left for the airport at 12:01am exactly, our flight was leaving at 5am, but having read all the horror stories other people encountered at the airport we thought it would be best to leave early and just wait in the bc lounge.
And another reason was that we purchased our tickets with my dads creditcard, when we received the email confirmation it stated that we needed to bring the creditcard which was in Holland:( After calling with the airline they told us to bring a copy and a signed letter of the holder of the creditcard which should be enough to get us on board, we didn't feel to sure about it so we wanted extra time for verbal convincing of the officers in charge... we didn't needed any time, and we went sailing through immigration and all the other check points.
Some of the checkpoints took an extra minute because of course we had the question: where is the mother?. I had in mind what the Mikes had told us once; do not elaborate on surrogacy just tell them; I am the father, there is no mother and we have all the stamps from the FRRO. It helped, even though some people glazed a bit weird.
In fact we had a nicer experience leaving the airport with the babes than we had last year when we were just tourist leaving India.
In Istanbul we had some transit time, which was pleasant too, and after that we started the last stretch of our journey home. At Schiphol we did feel a bit stressed, because we didn't have a clue if there would be questions at immigration. To our surprise there was just one remark: congratulations with the twins. That was the first officer since leaving the hotel who had only said one thing and that one thing was so nice to hear.
Our luggage was already waiting for us so after leaving the plane we passed immigration within 15 minutes (record time for us anyways).
Grammy, Omi, Bompa, aunties, closest friends were waiting for us and we started to cry once again:) It was enormous to finally be with our loved ones, we had stress at times in Mumbai with regards to the paperwork, so we felt so incredible relieved that everything went so well.
We had drinks at the airport, got presents for the babes (yah, unwrapping has started!) and left to get home.
Our parents had put up signs with: Hoera, een jongen! and Hoera, een meisje! (boy/girl), on the inside they went over the top which we enjoyed BIG TIME!
A and I were nackered and went to bed around 10, and Omi (my mother) would do the night shift with Bompa (my dad), which was wonderful because this way we could catch a good night sleep, so we did.
Today we had champagne, more gifts and the pleasure of seeing James and Emily in their cots.
It's overwhelming when you experience that moment, it really feels as if everything comes together with these little simple things.
For all of us who had a different route to become parents, it really feels so rewarding when you finally see your own bundle of joy in your own house, in their own room, with people who care about them surrounding them. And as Asha said, surro babies are the most whished for children.
Next Sunday we're having a Meet & Greet James & Emily for friends and family, so this gives us some time to get into a routine first.

Now why did it take us four weeks to sort out the papers? Certainly not because of the Indian authorities, but awkwardly because of the British authority.
The thing is, we are in fact the first couple ever to have used a widow/single surrogate. The HCO and the Home Office just didn't know how to apply the rules. At first they were strict in using the normal surrogacy rules (asking for the papers of the husband (but he passed away: 'still, we need them'), then they asked for her marriage certificate (we did have the death certificate) but our clinic did not have that and this was the moment things got a bit ugly.
When we went first to the HCO we thought we did all our homework, all the prep work they could ever ask for, and we still feel that way. To our surprise however, they wanted proof that she was married to her husband.
Since our surrogate was muslim she never registrated her marriage, (why didn't the clinic just state that she was single 'cause then we never would have had all these questions).
In the end, it meant that our surrogate had to be interviewed, the clinic had an interview with the HCO and after that we got the 'all clear'!

Babes are screaming so later more!

Friday, 19 February 2010


We have them!!
I haven't posted much lately, one because two babies means you're really really busy, 2ndly A has been running around Mumbai on a daily basis the last couple of weeks to get the passports.
There has happened a lot, which I will elaborate on in a later post.
But this is just one short post with a very happy message: we are almost on our way home!

Emily and James are doing so extremely well, we could not have asked for easier babies!
James does have some colic issues at the moment (he told me for hours last night:), but fortunately I bought something for that before we came here, so he's fine again... now I just need some sleep.
A is to the HCO to make the payment for the passports and we can collect them in a few days, than a visit to the ever so exciting FRRO and we are out of here!
So rather than applying for asylum here, we're excited that this whole paperwork thing is almost finished.
Besos to all and all the best thoughts for everyone who is expecting or to-be expecting soon! It is the best change in life ever.

Friday, 12 February 2010

A few more pics

James foot on the left, Emily's foot on the right
James in his most favourite position

Emily just loves to look around

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Finally a Pic!

Hi everyone, the last week and and a bit more have been incredible! Today was for me the first time to actually get out of the hospital during daytime. James is doing very very well and is a big boy (especially compared with Emily!) Emily has had some difficulties getting started. Her weight kept on dropping and her suck-reflex is just very poor. So feedings take place every two hours (! nothing can prepare you for hardly any sleep at all!) and a feeding takes about an hour for just 20 ml. So she is still a major concern for us and we have no clue when we'll be discharged. Yesterday was actually the first day that she gained 50 gram, now the docs are monitoring her everyday to see if she has started to gain weight. The difference between our biggest joys ever is huge. James was at birth a like a full grown baby and he still is doing very well, he sleeps, eats, 'pass motion' (you'll learn) and is a very happy baby. Emily is doing well on every single part too, except the eating ( I thought girls started to get concerned over their weight when they're much older:)
There has been a lot going on for us since their birth and we are extremely happy, busy and also at times extremely tired. Alexander has been going to the clinic for "some" paperwork, to the high commission for "some more" paperwork and is a lot on the road whilst I take care of the babes during daytime. I have done it for 3 days time without a night nanny, but since Alexander has to deal with all the paperwork required he needs to sleep too. This meant that I was awake for 3 straight days and after that I collapsed, we needed help. Emotionally drained we asked for a night nurse, and for that first night it was great, I slept 7 hours! But the next night I was feeling much better again and I have difficulties appreciating our night nurse, I am sure she's a great girl, but when I feed the babes myself, I don't care if it takes 2 hours for Emily to finish her bottle, as long as she finishes it. I mean, who doesn't need a break every once in a while? Our night nurse however likes to hurry things and it makes me mad! One night it was the last drop for me since Emily just wouldn't eat and I dragged every doctor I could find in our room and demanded for Emily to be taken back into NICU and that 'that nightnurse' was responsible for the bad suck reflection of our babe. Yes, emotionally it has been a roller coaster. They understood my concern but still wanted to wait to put her on IV feeding. The next day the head doctor finally agreed with me and stated that they should have kept her in NICU longer. However, I was doing a good job according to him... bollocks! I just want our baby to get stronger! In hospital the Todds were staying across from our room (they've had two lovely boys) and they're great people from good ol' Texas. Via Asha we had contact with the Mikes (appreciated big time) and they called us to see how the babes were doing. At the moment I am still exhausted but starting to feel a bit better, but because of that I am constantly emotional. I have been crying everywhere and just about everything too. The fear for the health of one our babes was immense, also because there isn't a specific cure for it.

Emily seems to have taken life by the horns now, and has now learned how to suck. She doesn't have James' appetite, but we reckon she'll catch up to her big brother's level soon enough!

Incredible India, that's the way India is marketed in the media, well, it sure is incredible. Anything is possible (literally), and we've experienced a lot in our short time here. The Indian community must think that we in the west are ridiculous, playing things by the rules and our supposed honesty...haha...I guess it's a different way of thinking!

We're finally starting to make some headway on the consular front. We've spoken to the staff there, who have been very helpful. It is however proving extremely tiresome getting all the documents together dispersed around this metropolis, and getting them to one collection point at a certain time. Persistence, persistence, persistence, with a double shot of patience, and a patience cherry on the top seems to be required at all times!!!

We're hoping to finally get discharged from the hospital today, so fingers crossed!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

pics and short update

Hi all! We're absolutely nackered and happy, still in hospital and both babes are doing fine. I made a mistake in my previous post I believe (I am in twilight zone due to lack of sleep:)
James was a staggering 6.4 pounds and Emily a solid 4.2 pounds!
Because James is so big, Emily seems so so small, but there are plenty of examples here of children who are tinier than our troopers!
Internet is rubbish here (at least in our room), so this is just a short one, but I really want to show of our beautiful babes! Once we're in the hotel we'll post loads and loads more!

Saturday, 30 January 2010

They're here!!!!!!!!!!!

James William Thomas and Emily Isadora Adriana are born!!! They are both healthy, one a little over 4 pounds and the other one just 4 pounds!
I can not express our emotions besides: we were just sobbing on the phone and I am still crying my eyes out!
The most amazing woman we know is tired and doing fine, we are so incredibly thankful.
And also to you, some of you we've met, some of you only via the internet, but the support we've had has been so important.
After I get there we'll post a photo (the cable is in my suitcase.. here with me!) and more details of our babes.
We're just soooooo happy!


Early this morning A called me, he spoke to dr Soni and today is birth day!
No later than 3pm Mumbai time will she perform a c-section... as mrs N is in labour already there is still a possibility that they're born through a natural delivery, either way, its unstoppable!
According to our doc the babes should be fine, but my nerves are uncontrollable.
I'll soon post more!

Friday, 29 January 2010

still waiting

A is still in hospital, just sitting around and waiting. He is bored! This morning his mobile phone was stolen (pick pocketed) so that was a bummer and then the hotel 'thing', we are early, we know that, but everything is full at the moment and when you're waiting its more fun to do so next to a pool than in a hospital:)
He did meet the Todds from Texas, their twins are born and as I understand it all goes well. If you read this: congratulations!!! Hopefully till next week!

Today I went to work again, but found it hard to concentrate and had the worst day in my career at this job. There was a decision made which I didn't agree with, but had to enforce it anyway; I do not like doing things I do not agree with and thats an understatement.
Meanwhile I was trying to get in contact with a stressed out A who was running around to see if he perhaps left his mobile somewhere, friends and family who are calling me at the same time to hear if there's any news, co workers who want to express their support and all I can think of at the moment is let me sleep! And I want to be with A!
It feels like being in a waiting room in another part of the world.
We are really glad that our surrogate and the babies are still doing fine and we're counting every single day as a bonus now, also we're a bit surprised because we didn't think it would last a day longer. So fingers crossed a little longer

Thursday, 28 January 2010

who's in a plane?

Well, we both didn't sleep to much and I checked my email throughout the night about every half hour and not without result: at 0600 am we received a message that it is likely that the birth will proceed, we immediately jumped in our car and I drove A to the airport, and got him on the first flight. I couldn't go due to my very very stupid visa! So I have to wait a couple of days before I can go unfortunately. However, today I've been calling the clinic several times and the babes are still safe and sound! They are still trying everything to keep them in just a little longer. We are nervous as hell but prepared as heaven, A will land in 15 minutes in Mumbai and he will book in to the hospital (bloody hotel booking!) as soon as there is news I'll post again!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010


OMG. Today we received an email which stated that our surrogate has been admitted to hospital (again) and she was dilated with two centimeters... still a long way to go. But I can't describe the motions we went through once we've read this announcement. We know that if the birth will take place now, everything should be okay, but it's getting more than real now!
I was at work when A rang me and we put everything in gear to inform those who needed to know that there is a chance that we'll be on a plane either tomorrow or in the next coming days.
We phoned with our great doc in the hospital, and as many people have written before, she is so cool, direct, realistic and thus comforting for 'us' westerners. She told us to stay put and await her call, at the moment she is doing everything she can to keep the babes just a little longer in there and if labour won't be stopped, she'll know tomorrow and inform us direct. In any case, we're hoping for an extra week.
Both our parents were the once we called first, my dad's response was that he'll come over this week to finish the last bits in our house, A's mum phoned about ten times to talk about the stroller she's buying us and my mum was saying a dozen times that she will take us to the airport. And at first we didn't think to much about it, but tonight we called friends and all of them were telling us of things they would like to do whilst we're away, in all; everybody is so exited and everybody has the same nerves as we have.
Whatever happens; we're ready to go! We'll keep you posted and thanks everyone for all the support! Fingers crossed just a little longer

Friday, 22 January 2010

just a short, special, post

We just received this pic of our surrogate.. well we have one with her head of course. But just look at her belly! Our babes are in there!! In the pic with her face she looks so amazing, she is giving us the most amazing gift ever, at the moment we feel just very humble.
So fingers crossed for a few more weeks of an uneventful pregnancy!

Monday, 18 January 2010

short update+pics

It has been a time since my last post! This is all due to the fact that we're both too busy at the moment. Our surrogate has been in hospital, but is out of hospital since last week. We thought that she was released weeks ago already, but, the thing is in India someone is released from hospital after paying the bills. We did pay immediately the the itemized bill, but we had to pay an advance already for the delivery... nobody told us however so it took a little longer to get her released from hospital. Besides that, we've been working hard to finish the nursery (which still isn't finished lol). I have made a few pics but can't upload them for some stupid reason.
At work it has been incredible busy, I had to do the yearly evaluation of 28 people. They all deserve a well through thought written evaluation so I locked myself in an office for a few days to finish it all and after that I had all the face2face meetings so after a few weeks I feel emotionally drained!
But besides this, the 'getting ready mode' for India is really an emotional stretch at the moment. Regularly I wake up in the morning with the horrible thought that I slept the whole night and I didn't wake up to feed the babes and after just a minute reality kicks in and I feel okay right away... just for a minute to check our email to see if there's a message from the clinic... my heart races big time and so far: no message. If A is flying the next thing I do is check the news online to find out if all planes are still up in the air. I feel like a wreck! And this has been going on since our surrogate has been hospitalized. I am so glad that I have been so incredible busy at work otherwise I am sure I would have turned into a loony.
In a way it is all okay of course since my mind is just preparing for the change in our household. And I (never used too) pray, and I am not sure to whom I pray, but I just pray that our babes and our surrogate hang in there; it is way to early for them to be born already... also because we're still name juggling. I think we are having boys, but am not sure of course until they are born, so we have to have a set of names for girls as well. But since I feel so convinced that they will be boys, we haven't got an agreed set of names for girls. Wow, after writing this all I do feel like a loony. We did paint our own nursery painting for the babes, not finished.. but almost! And yes, I will post more regularly, because after all, this is a journey to remember. Anyways, I will try to add a pic of our nursery, here goes:

Sunday, 3 January 2010

A rocky start of 2010

First of all a happy 2010 to all!
We spent Christmas with the whole family in Spain, supposedly for the nice climate but unfortunately we had the worst rain ever experienced in the Malaga area. We were actually stuck in the house for a couple of days as there were landslides (not as bad as in Brazil but still horrifying). There is some damage but nothing that can't be fixed.
This weekend we received a short message from the clinic with regards to our surrogate, she had some mild pain and some contractions so she was hospitalized... for over 6 days already! We were totally shocked by this. As of today she is out of hospital again and she and the babes are doing fine. The docs put her on some contraction stoppers (tocolysis meds), since we had to deal with the weekend staff we didn't get all the information we liked.
Dr. Google came in hand and so we know now that there is a top 3 of meds that can prevent pre-term labour, usually they have to work after 48 hours, so tomorrow we'll call to see why she had to stay for almost a week.
At the moment we're still kind of shocked because last week we had email contact with one of our docs and she didn't mention it at all. Perhaps they didn't want to alarm us to early, however we do want to know!
I've re-packed the suitcase with all the stuff for the babes, so if the time comes we'll be there in a jiffy. If they're born before February A will be there alone for a short while which I find shitty but that's just the way it would be.
But we just hope, every single minute, that the surrogate and the babes can stick it out for at least this month. The survival rate for this stage is quite high, around 90%, but every single day is another day in which they can grow and get stronger. So fingers crossed big time.
All the best for everyone this year and every good thought is appreciated for our babes.
Fingers crossed!