Delhi Belly

By: Kerrie Olejarz

Friday!!! I awoke after only three hours’ of sleep quite excited about the day ahead. I did have my first bout of “Delhi Belly” –or maybe it was the excitement of the day. My routine stayed the same, and I went downstairs for breakfast. After breakfast I took my netbook and coffee to the roof-top patio to soak up some not-so-fresh air. The grey haze was visible as far as the eye could see. The sun was trying to peek through the smog and when it finally did the air started to feel much warmer. I read all my emails, many supportive emails from our surrogacy friends abroad. The time seemed to stand still as I anxiously awaited my plans for the day. What felt like hours on the rooftop was a mere thirty minutes.

I went back to my room and decided to shower and organize myself a bit before Mark arrived. Of course, the shower drain was clogged and I stood there in a pool of soapy, scummy water, which was nauseating. I dry heaved as I washed the conditioner out of my hair. I started having horrific thoughts of dead skin and body bacteria that might have backed up and sloshed all over my feet. I quickly hosed my feet off in the sink and called the front desk to come and fix my drain. Two maintenance guys showed up right away and had the problem resolved in minutes. Then, more Delhi Belly. As if I weren’t grossed out enough, I now had to contemplate showering again! I was due to have a scan later that day so I needed to be fresh “down there”. Fortunately, the drain was fixed and I let the hot water run for a few minutes before I stepped back in. The bathroom itself is gorgeous –all marble and glass, with high-end finishes. Normally nothing to be grossed out about.

Later that day as I lounged in my room, the cleaning boy rang my bell to see if I wanted my room cleaned. I asked him to clean the shower and explained to him the mess I dealt with. As I griped about it I started to feel awful. I am in a country where poverty is rampant and here I was, complaining about the luxury of hot running water in a backed-up drain. This was one of those moments where I was reminded of how fortunate I am and how grateful I should be for all I have. The boy understood and showed me his cleaner and got at it. He did a fantastic job on the shower then started to strip the bed. We chatted while he worked. He was very excited because he had just been promoted. He was now in charge of all the “boys” and was very proud of his accomplishments in such a short time at the hotel. I was so happy for him and shared his joy. When he finished up in my room I gave him a tip of a couple hundred rupees, which he was bashful in accepting. He knew Mark was on his way and told me to let him know if we needed anything. I asked him is name which was far from pronounceable.

Rahul called to check our travel schedule for the day. He confirmed both the pick-up time for my hospital appointment and the time to head to the airport to pick up Mark. My driver was right on time, and whisked me off to the hospital. Outside were many women working in construction. I took a few minutes to watch them as they loaded baskets with about fifteen bricks and propped the heavy basket on their heads. Once they had it balanced they walked alongside the buildings to the back, where I assume some sort of construction project was going on. The women would stop and chat and have a laugh as they carried load after load back and forth. I wanted to snap a picture of this but felt uncomfortable doing so. I still had time before my appointment but decided to go inside and wait in the hospital.

Once I checked in I went to the lab for blood work. The nurses, or “sisters”, as they are called in India, took very good care to ensure my name was correct on the vial before drawing my blood. The process was the same as it is here: swab the arm with alcohol, tie off above the elbow, and take one vial of blood. They taped a cotton ball over my miniscule puncture wound and told me to sit and put pressure on it for three minutes. As I did this Dr Shivani arrived. We were ready for my scan…follicle development and growth were on track for Monday retrieval! We went through the next steps. The plan was to switch to HMG for Friday and Saturday stimulation, then trigger early Sunday morning. Dr Shivani also told me to come to her office Saturday around 6:00 to meet our surrogates and lawyer. I left the hospital with a bag of drugs on ice.

I stood out front looking for my driver and his white Tata car. All the cars are white Tatas — a sea of white cars. I knew my driver would see me before I saw him so I just waited and watched the construction gals some more. My driver, Vinod, found me and we were back at the hotel in no time. As I entered the stairwell my cleaning boy was there and we chatted a bit before I headed to my room. I had about eight hours to kill before Mark arrived. I tried to sleep with no luck. I tried to eat but that was a challenge. So I watched Burn Notice, again. The sun went down early and I paced the room. I tracked Mark’s flight and he was just over Afghanistan. The flight was on track to land on time…now what? I paced a little bit more, I surfed the net, I listened to Sirius Radio online, I paced. Finally, it was 11:30 pm and I was ready to go get Mark!

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