By: Kerrie Olejarz
The time in the hospital was far from fun. We could barely run the air conditioner, for two reasons: one, Cailyn was naked and we could not let her get cold; and two, when we did turn on the AC for a brief moment it sounded like we were killing the pigeons living in the AC unit –it was an awful sound! After about 14 hours Cailyn started to have a meltdown, she was done with this hard plexi glass bed, she was hot, and overall just not impressed with the current situation. Taking her out of the UV bed to comfort her was all we could do, but we knew every moment out of the bed might lengthen her stay in the bed as she needed maximum exposure.
Late into the evening rounds the doctor came in and did a quick check on her. All was good, and he said we would have a blood test around 7am then more than likely be discharged. As we watched some TV and our little girl, the hands on the clock in the room seemed to not move. The hours felt so long as we made it through the night, sleeping a bit in shifts. Early in the morning a nurse came in to take Cailyn down to the second floor for blood work. We followed along and within minutes it was done. When the nurse brought Cailyn back to her room, she turned off the lower set of UV lamps, which meant we could put a mattress in for her comfort. I do not think she really noticed the difference, but we felt better that she had a softer surface to lie on.
Around 11 am Dr T came in to tell us the news that the blood work was improved but not ideal for discharge. This meant another 24 hours in prison…I mean, the hospital! Obviously we were sad to have to stay another day, but it was for Cailyn’s health so there was no question about it. Next to the hospital was a grocery store which supplied us with our nourishment of crackers, chocolates, cookies, pop, etc. What a horrible diet for two parents! We felt awful eating this way, just disgusting! We again took turns going back to the BnB for showers and to check emails and Mark rounded up some take away food. The next 24 hours were difficult, feeling trapped in a hot hospital room with minimal food and hoping that our baby would be discharged soon.
The next morning another blood test was run, and we were in the clear! Cailyn’s bilirubin was at a normal level and Dr T signed her off as healthy and ready to go home! We were over the moon, but still had to deal with the admissions sergeant downstairs. Every time we walked by her over the past few days she hounded us for money. We explained to her that we could only get 10,000INR per day from the bank, so it would be best if we settled up at the end. She asked for a security deposit from us on Day One, which we had hoped would show her that we were good for the money. She was only doing her job, we understood, but it was a bit stressful to walk past her and have her call out at us for money. Looking back on it now, it is kinda funny!
We were mainly anxious to get out of the hospital because we had an appointment at the Canadian High Commission. We could have skipped it or postponed it, but each day and each task for getting home is so important. We grabbed a rickshaw back to the BnB where we were greeted by the crew working there, all very concerned for the baby, and extremely happy to see her back home with us. Hariz made me a coffee right away which was so thoughtful of him, knowing we had been through all of this over the past few days, he was just so kind. We got ourselves sorted out, showered, and called Rahul for a ride to the High Commission. Since it was so so hot in Delhi, we opted to use Rahul’s car service as all his cars are air conditioned. We packed up and headed to the High Commission late in the morning. It was a scorching 50 Celcius and Rahul’s driver, named Mishra, had the car nice and cool for us. The drive was quick as it was not rush hour and not a weekend day.
When we got to the High Commission the guards recognized us and since we were familiar with the check in process, it was a stress-free experience. We waited a short time for consular services who then handed us a letter, requested proof of genetic link to enable further processing of Cailyn’s citizenship and passport. We expected this request and had previously been in contact with a DNA company. After leaving the High Commission, we asked the driver to take us to Dr Shivani’s office to ask a big favour. When we arrived, we asked the accountant to scan our essential DNA documents and email them to us. Luckily we were super organized and had them with us. Gourav the accountant was nice to help us out and promptly responded to our request. When we returned to the BnB we were able to take these scanned documents and send off to the DNA company. The documents included the letter from the High Commission, which contained the all important file numbers and also the DNA request application for payment processing. We could not request a DNA test until we had the unique file number.
So, finally, five days after her birth, we were well on our way to going home.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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