By: Kerrie Olejarz
I had a week left of holidays then we were off to India. Our flights were booked, leaving on a Tuesday, arriving late in the evening Wednesday. We had been in touch with Dr Shivani and her team and all was going well with Sumita and our baby.
We confirmed our arrival information with our accommodations and the response was unexpected; the owner requested that we bring four bottles of booze for him. Not one, four! What a funny request, also very specific: Glenfidich. He also told us we could purchase at Duty Free in the Delhi airport, and if that was not available, then Grey Goose vodka. How funny! I heard from others who had stayed there, or were booked to stay there, that they were given the same request. We all laughed about it! The owner also let us know he was surrogacy- and baby-friendly and would help us with whatever we needed, including a SIM card or cell phone. Super nice guy and we were really looking forward to our stay with him.
The weekend before our departure we were invited to a birthday party for a three-year-old boy. In the past, I would have struggled to go and enjoy a blossoming boy, but now I was able to go with optimism! We really enjoyed watching the kids play in the bouncy castle and run around the back yard getting cooled off in the sprinkler. It gave us a glimpse into our future and we loved every moment of it.
The parents of the birthday boy had given us a very special gift three years ago when we started this surrogacy journey. The gift was a very old brooch attached to a chain –a family heirloom considered to be a fertility charm. It was historically given as a good omen to the pregnant women in the Hawaiian family to keep close to them while pregnant. We felt very special to be included in this family tradition, and tried to give the brooch back in February when they announced they were pregnant again. They said no, that we needed it more than they, and it was good karma for them as well. Such great friends!
Sunday we started going through our luggage and realized that 200 baby outfits was probably a bit too much. We culled the larger-sized items and got the number down to about half. There are a lot of baby stores in Delhi so we knew we could get whatever we were missing. The only challenge in Delhi would be finding preemie sizes for clothing and diapers. We opted to not take formula with us to save on luggage space and knew we could get good formula in India regardless. I had just bought the Aden + Anais muslin swaddles in a gender-neutral green pattern and a wonderful sling made by Blue Celery. Fortunately these are lightweight items that were easily stuffed into the crevices of our luggage. We were flying with Jet Airways, an Indian airline who we have flown with in the past. We checked their website for luggage allowances and it was beyond confusing so we decided that if we had to pay for overweight luggage or too many pieces than so be it. Hell, we were this deep into it, what’s another hundred dollars or so?