Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In India...

My flight from Sharjha, United Arab Emirates to India was a smooth one. I arrived at the hotel via a pre-paid taxi, but I am looking forward to taking a ride in one of those Tuks Tuks. My appointment at the clinic is this afternoon so I will eat breakfast and get some much needed rest before heading out.

Leaving Sharja Airport

Arriving at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport

My Hotel Room in India

Monday, December 26, 2011

I LOVE Dubai!

I have truly enjoyed my short time in Dubai and it is truly a city that meshes East with West. Fortunately, I will be back in Dubai on Friday for another night before heading back to New York City. Here are some of the highlights of thus far and a mini trip review:

Emirates Airlines
What can I say, Emirates ROCKS! They are hands down the best airlines I have flown thus far in my lifetime. They are based in Dubai and their Emirates College where they train their staff and crew is near my hotel. From the hot towels they give to wipe your hands to the choice of entrees (lamb or chicken) to the headset, to the ICE entertainment system with your own personal TV and choice of recent movies from theaters and current hot American TV shows, it is no surprise why Emirates is ranked as high as they are.

My seat

I watched 3 movies during my flight from the UK to Dubai: "Fast & Furious Five", "Columbiana", & "Rise Planet of the Apes." I was also able to watch a few episodes of "The Vampire Diaries"

Stairs leading up to two large bathrooms on either side...

Dubai International Airport
Dubai is an international hotspot and the Emirates Concourse alone is the size of major airport in the United States. The Emirates concourse is huge, so be prepared to do a lot of walking. Customs can get crowded, but I changed my currency, got my Visa after waiting on a long line and then it was off to the hotel.

Premiere Inn
This is a UK hotel chain with several locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I arrived from Dubai International Aiport around 2:30 am and I was immediately accommodated. All of the staff was warm and friendly. The hotel has a fitness center, rooftop pool and they even have adapters for American power/charger cords. They also have many USA and UK cable channels to view. I will be staying here again on Friday when I return to Dubai from India.

Diera City Centre
Diera is a huge, and I mean huge shopping mall in Diera, Dubai. I am spending the afternoon here because I have to catch an Air Arabia shuttle bus at a very nice hotel across the street at 8:30 PM Gulf Time. I could definitely shop until I drop here...

The mall has a huge grocery store as well so, I am stocking up on lots of Gatorade for Egg Retrieval in India!

Next Stop: Sharjha International Airport where I will take a straight flight on Air Arabia to Ahmedabad, India. I had no idea Air Arabia flies to over 16 cities in India non-stop.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from the United Kingdom!

Merry Christmas! I left New York City last night and I am now in London, England by the grace of God. I flew out on American Airlines and I must say they made our Christmas Eve a nice one. We had a Christmas Eve dinner with gravy, chicken, mash potatoes, salad, rolls, cheese and crackers, dessert and unlimited beverages. I have a 4 hour lay over here and then it is on to Dubai! I will be in Dubai tonight and tomorrow and I look forward to doing some sightseeing before flying on to India. Wishing Anu and Annette and Mark safe flights to India...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Incredible Travisa...

Today was a good day and I went to my appointment at the Indian Travisa Office at 316 East 53rd St, New York, NY. This Travisa office only processes Indian Visas. My appointment was at 9:20 AM and I must say that that my appointment went smoothly. When you walk up to the building, there is security and a line outside. Security checks you appointment time and you are either told to cut your cell phone off and go upstairs because it is close to your appointment time or you are told to wait online outside until it is closer to your appointment.

Once you reach the second floor you are greeted by a room full of INCREDIBLE INDIA campaign pictures, and a friendly multi-cultural yet efficient staff who check all of your documents at an initial check point. Everything moves quickly, because Travisa has you fill your Indian Visa application online.

Once you pass the initial check point you are sent to a second line to turn in your Visa application, Passport, 2 passport size photos and pay your Visa fee. I got a 6 month Tourist Visa and I only had to pay $76. There are no extra fees or outsourcing fees. My Visa application was sent to the Indian Consulate today (an email from Travisa about an hour after I left confirmed this) and my Visa will be available for pick-up tomorrow or Friday between the hours of 4:30 PM and 6:00 PM and I will be notified by email and a text to my cell phone when my Passport/Visa are ready for pick-up.

I loved going to Travisa in person and I loved the fact that I could hand my Passport over to them and not worry about mailing it in. I would highly recommend going into the Travisa office as they are definitely organized and make the process for getting an Indian Visa a smooth one.

Currently on Follistim :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On Lupron...

I can't believe how time has flown by since Thanksgiving, and in 2 weeks I will be headed to India. I had my baseline appointment and first ultrasound with my Dr. in NYC and right now I am on Lupron. My Dr. in NYC and my Dr. in India have been in contact recently regarding the progress of my cycle, and all is good!

Lupron prevents premature release of eggs from the ovaries. Lupron is a very small daily subcutaneous injection given just under the skin. Now I am waiting for a bleed since I am off BCP's, so I can start Follistim, the medication that will grow my follicles where the eggs are contained.

My appointment with Travisa is at the beginning of next week. I am so thankful I live in New York City. I will be going into the Travisa office in person and my Visa should be processed for same day pick-up later that evening!

Praying I start stims by Friday...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So Thankful...

I am truly THANKFUL that God has allowed me to see another year and that he is making my trip to India possible! I am also thankful my IVF Meds arrived on time. I am on Day 2 of Birth Control Pills and I start Lupron in December. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dubai Anyone?


Hello Fam,

I know it has been a while since I have posted, but after months of researching the most cost effective options for my trip to India, I finally purchased my tickets and I will be flying out at the end of December. I will be flying from New York City to Dubai and then on to India. Flying into Dubai first saved me $900 on flights! I will be spending 2 days in Dubai and I am really looking forward to that.

My doctors in New York and India have been communicating and planned my IVF Calender to a T. I begin Birth Control Pills November 22 and my first Ultrasound and Baseline are December 10 both in New York. Praying I grow lots of follicles for my Egg Retrieval in India. There has been so much great news lately and I want to send a huge CONGRATS to Temmy, Jeff & Kevin, Bernadette and Rene'!

Next item on my Agenda, hotels and my Tourist Visa!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Something's Coming...

Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something’s coming, something good,
If I can wait!

Something’s coming, I don’t know
what it is,
But it is
Gonna be great!

~Leonard Bernstein- Westside Story

So, it looks like Something Great is Coming: I will be in India towards the end of December. I have a consult this week with the IVF Nurse at my clinic in New York who will create my IVF Calender for November/December and order my IVF meds. I will start my IVF here in New York and fly to India for Egg Retrieval with Dr. B. My clinics in India and New York have been great and have been coordinating to God willing make this cycle a success.

Sending out a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Bernadette and Duane on their BFP!!!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Laugh to Keep From Crying....

I know that God allows us to go through trials and tribulations for various reasons. Sometimes those trials and tribulations are so tough, that we have to LAUGH to KEEP from CRYING. We now have another trial to add on our journey to becoming parents:

This morning I was contacted by Dr. B to let me know that our embryos had arrived in India, (it only took 5 days) but that the dewar that the embryos were shipped in was at room temperature and the liquid nitrogen surrounding our embryos had all evaporated, which is not good news. Dr. B ROCKS because he called the shipping company this morning from India before I even called them and he sent me copies of the time an temperature paperwork that he had to sign once the dewar was delivered to him.

I ended up using a shipping company that my clinic in New York recommended and they have been very helpful today regarding this very hurtful matter that most likely all of our embryos have been lost, and have agreed to refund us the shipping costs. In addition they are doing an investigation to find out what could have happened between New York and India, including looking at all of their data logs.

We have decided to still press forward on our journey and open our hearts to God asking him to guide us as we make our way...


*I have an IVF Consult with my Dr. in New York this coming Wednesday

*We are currently working on the Surrogate Agreement with Dr. B

*I will start another Fresh IVF Cycle with my clinic in New York as soon as possible (I have to take Birth Control Pills for 3 weeks so the earliest the ball would get rolling with the actual meds and injections is October), and they will coordinate with Dr. B, so I can fly to India when it is time to do my Egg Retrieval (this will save me from taking a lot of time off from work) and then do a transfer into my chosen Gestational Carrier

Look out India, CocoaMasala is on the way.....

Monday, August 29, 2011

Snowbabies Enroute...

So our little Snowbabies are finally on their way to India and Dr. B! The shipping company sent the tank to my clinic in NYC last Wednesday, the embryologist loaded my Snowbabies and they were picked up by the shipping company on Friday and are now enroute to India! Estimated arrival: Wednesday August 31...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The EYES are the Window to the SOUL

The Eyes are the Window to the Soul ~Leonardo DaVinci

The Eyes have so much symbolic meaning dating back to Biblical times. In Christianity the Eye of God is depicted hovering over a tent, which is symbolic of the Tabernacle - the temple of the faithful. The eye here represents the omni-present spirit of God peering into the soul of the faithful - ever watchful over those who serve.

In our Dreams the meaning of eyes indicates an opening into a new dimension. This is symbolic of your vision clearing and focusing in on a new direction. It may also indicate your ability to see past what is common and spiritually arrive to the point where your inner vision perceives all things in their divine glory - even the simplest of things become inspired with an exquisite quality inherent in all nature.

Earlier today I received a few Gestational Surrogate Profiles from the Foreign Patient Coordinator at my clinic. I must say emotions were invoked in me today, as I began looking through the profiles of the women who would ultimately be responsible for caring for my baby for 9 months. There is something amazing about looking into someones eyes, when someone looks at your eyes its like they can see everything you've done. They can see compassion, joy, pain, laughter, anger, and hope.

I looked into the eyes of the Gestational Surrogates that were sent to me, looked at their typed profiles (all of them were healthy, fertile and had at least two children) and then looked into their eyes again. I immediately was drawn to one particular Surrogate and in her eyes I saw hope and compassion...

Sending out a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Kerrie and Mark, today is Baby Cailyn's BORN DAY!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My First Safe Wire Transfer to India

So, yesterday was a significant day for me and a very nervous one. I did my first international wire transfer to my clinic in India from my bank to their international bank. With so many wire transfer scams out there I was nervous, not about my Dr. or clinic, but just about the fact that I was sending money overseas. Doing a wire transfer with the branch manager at my bank was great and helped calm my nerves. My clinic sent me all of their bank account and SWIFT code information as well as their Intermediary Bank's information here in the US and then the branch manager took care of the rest. I then got a very detailed 2 page receipt about the transaction that I scanned and emailed to my Dr. in India. Here are some great tips from ehow.com on the safest ways to send money overseas:

PayPal is among the most recent forms of online technology that send and receive money. Make easy, safe transactions between two parties in two different countries with a verified PayPal account, linked to your credit card or bank account. More than 190 countries are covered by PayPal's payment system. Once you make a payment, the payee receives an email that funds have been received and you are able to track the payments.

Wire Transfers
Wire transfers are known for their safety and enhanced speed. Wire money to a person in any country, provided that the recipient has a valid bank account where the money can be withdrawn. Have all the banking details of the recipient (including account number and bank routing number) in order to make a wire transfer. Send funds by either using cash or by draft from a bank account. A transaction takes two to three days to complete, depending largely on the countries involved.

Western Union
This service is available at various local stores worldwide, with more than 220,000 agent locations in nearly 200 countries. Western Union charges transaction fees but ensures that the payment is secure. Send any amount of money safely, but for sums more than $3,000, you must meet certain security requirements. Online payment is restricted to $999.99 with a 20-day revolving period. You can track the funds sent by a money transfer control number, or MTCN.

USPS International Money Orders
A money order is basically an order for payment of a specified amount of money. It is considered safer than a personal check, as the funds shown on it are prepaid. The United States Postal Service sells these money orders as a third party. An international money order valued up to $700 to 30 countries can be purchased for $3.85.

Cashier's Checks
For the safest way to send a large amount of money using ordinary postal mail, send a cashier's check. They are better than personal checks, as they are prepaid (whereas you have no way of guaranteeing the amount shown on a personal check). The one problem with these checks is that they are usually issued in another currency, so fluctuating market rates can affect your net withdrawal amount.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

For Nostalgia's Sake

Back in the day when I was young, I'm not a kid anymore, but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again... ~Ahmad Ali Lewis

Remember back in the day when we were kids and life was so simple? When we didn't have to worry about anything. Not the complexities of adulthood, infertility or trying to start a family? Here are some of my favorite things from when I was a little kid:

My favorite cartoons were the Smurfs and the Thundercats, and I am not ashamed to admit I will be going to see the 2011 Smurfs re-make in 3-D

Remember when TV shows were positive and used to be about the happy side of family life?

The Cosby Show

Family Matters

Growing Pains

Punky Brewster

These were my favorite toys as a kid. Many of these toys are vintage collector's items now and I plan on getting some of them for my future kids...

My Little Pony


Pound Puppies

Star Wars

Strawberry Shortcake


Didn't you just love to go to McDonald's to see Ronald, Early Bird, Grimace and the Hamburgler? Remember when Ronald and his buddies did all of the McDonald's commercials? McDonald's had the greatest collectors glasses from 80's movies and the best collector's plates.

These were some of my favorite movies as a kid and I still enjoy watching them now!



Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars Return of the Jedi

The Goonies

The Karate Kid