By: Kerrie Olejarz
Driver Rahul picked us up and scooted us over to Dr Jolly’s ultrasound clinic. He stopped for flowers on the way and we were set. It was raining, which made Hariz the cook so excited! When we got to the clinic Rahul recognized the van that transports the surrogates and soon after we saw the rep from Dr Shivani’s office arrive. We headed into the clinic, both nervous wrecks!
I asked Dr. S’s rep for help with the greeting card and she took my words and transcribed them into Hindi. Suddenly, in walked Sumita! She recognized us immediately and gave us a smile. She is an extremely shy woman and this must have been very difficult for her. We were all asked to enter the ultrasound room. Sumita rolled her sari in such a way that her very large baby bump was exposed and ready for her scan. Mark stood back in the room to help respect Sumita’s privacy and dignity. I asked Sumita if I could come closer and she said yes. Dr Jolly started the scan in 4D. There was our baby!! It was overwhelming!! Dr Jolly quickly looked for the cord and, sure enough, it was still around the baby’s neck. We tried very hard to get Dr J to disclose the baby’s gender; we even tried some trickery, but he never gave it up! Mid-scan, our baby faced the screen and yawned. Well, that was the end of me. It was an enjoyable and emotional experience for all of us.
After the ultrasound we had some pictures takes with Sumita and gave her our gift. She said “Namaste” and was on her way. We were overwhelmed, knowing that we would meet our baby the next day, because Dr Shivani had mentioned we would have a c-section if the cord was still an issue. Next we were off to meet our immigration liaison. We were distracted and hungry, but we carried on. We made it to our appointment and sorted through the nuts and bolts of what services she offered and how it would expedite the going-home process.
When we arrived back at the B&B we were greeted with an email from Dr Shivani’s team that confirmed our expectations. It read, “Kindly note that Sumita’s cesarean has been booked for tomorrow i.e 17th August 2011 at 1:30 PM”. Holy smokes! We were only hours away from finally meeting our baby! In celebration we went out for a nice dinner –to M Block market to a restaurant called Hell. The food was great and it was happy hour, so we indulged! Our life was about to change and we were so, SO ready for it!
Surprisingly we slept well that night and awoke ready to meet our baby. We had the Hariz special breakfast of hard boiled eggs and chicken nuggets, two pieces of toast, and coffee. We grabbed a rickshaw and headed to the hospital to meet one of Dr Shivani’s reps there. We were obviously anxious, excited, and nervous and never lost track of the fact that poor Sumita was about to go under the knife…for us. There were so many emotions flying around, but mostly, for that moment, I prayed for Sumita. The end of the pregnancy was here for her and I was very concerned for her mental and physical health.
We were so sure we were having a boy, so so sure. Our c-section got delayed due to an emergency, so we waited. We sat in the tiny coffee shop at the hospital until closer to 2pm, when finally we were requested to head up to the second floor labour & delivery area. We waited inside the nursery behind the glass walls and admired the four babies that lay there in their warm little hospital beds. All of a sudden we heard a baby cry…we could hear OUR baby in the operating theatre next door!!! Dr S’s rep’s phone rang and she said, “Congratulations! It’s a girl!!” Because we were so sure we were having a boy, I said “haha, funny” and she quickly reminded us that this was too serious to joke about.
Within a few minutes the doctor brought our daughter to the nursery. He did a very thorough exam on her, swinging her upside down and cleaning out her nose and mouth. She was not a happy girl, the rude awakening and breathing on her own made her mad! The doctor held her up for us to see her before laying her down and covering her with an oxygen hood. The oxygen hood did not worry us; it was just to help her settle into her new out-of-womb world. Tears and hugs. I was shaking, Mark was smiling, it was a stupid mess. We were just over the moon; no words can describe how we felt! A baby girl!! The surgeon came out to speak with us, firstly congratulating us then telling us she was 2.89 kgs and her birth time was 2:22pm New Delhi time. We asked about Sumita and he said she did very well and would be in hospital recovery for a minimum of three days.
He said our baby looked great, all her toes and fingers were there and he wanted us to come back in a few hours to spend time with her, one on one. As difficult as it was to not hold her immediately, we understood the docs took no chances and wanted to observe her for a bit to ensure there were no issues. We stayed a while behind the glass, videoing her and taking as many pictures as we could get from that distance. Fortunately Mark videoed the nursery right from when the doc walked in with her so we have this memory forever. We were in a state of shock…there she was, our daughter!!!
Finally we decided to go. We figured we would try to eat, and hmm…come up with a girl’s name! We also wanted to go get her some clothes and blankets which the doctor had said were ok for us to do. We left the hospital kind of dumbstruck. Quickly, we hailed a rickshaw and headed back to the B&B. The rickshaw ride was the equivalent of one dollar. We quickly updated the blog, announcing the birth of our daughter, our daughter with no name! It was four in the morning at home but we decided to call and share our news. My inlaws in a daze said thank you and that was the end of the call…weird, but I guess waking them up at that time of the morning had them in a daze. After freshening up a bit we headed to M Block market for a late lunch, early dinner, baby names book in tow. We ordered our food and started flipping through the book. It had been previously decided that our child would not have a name that began with the letter B. To have the initials BO would be putting our child first in line to be teased. We tried Chloe, Zoe, Dalhia, Lily then all of a sudden we found the name Cailyn. We both loved it! Loved it so much that we named our daughter Cailyn. We chose Leia as a middle name as it seemed to sound lovely with Cailyn.
Cailyn Leia Olejarz.
Wow, our daughter had a name.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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