James & Emily

CafeMom Tickers

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!