Sunday, August 21, 2011

Journal of IVF in India

The burning of trash, heavy pollution, and unorganized traffic reminded me that I was no longer on my vacation to Dubai, but back for the second time in India, but this time with a purpose. This was not a trip for tourism in India like the first time I visited India, but rather to try and get pregnant through "In Vitro Fertilisation" (IVF)

I knew it would not be easy, living with Uday's family for 6 weeks, being bored, dealing with the un-luxourious life style and getting injections on a daily basis, but still I was not prepared enough.

The days are long here, and Uday works from home, as I write in my diary and Facebook and only look forward to going to the IVF hospital to get out of the house. Looking forward to going to a hospital where I feel uncomfortable and am usually poked with needles with an occasional vaginal scan, would not normally be my idea of a good time, but they had good food at the hospital and it was simply nice to break up the day, from being in the dark house with no one to talk with.

Following are my journal entries over the many days of my stay:

Jan-10-11 - We met Uttam at the bus stop who came to pick us up and bring us to his parent's house. I was happy to see him and hug him, but he does not hug back... cultural reasons! Underneath his eye was swollen and bruised and his hair had grown out more since the last time we saw him. He got his hair cut within a few days of our visit, but his eye remained bruised throughout our stay. He later explained that he had gotten drunk the other day and bumped his face into something. He also had a considerable amount of grey hair being Uday's youngest brother, who neither works nor has any real responsibilities. He continues to be reserved and does not show much excitement to see his brother as he drives us home. We cramped into his small compact car with no real trunk along with all our luggage. I sat on the side in the front seat with my knees against the front door and dashboard as Uday sits with the stick shift between his legs as his brother drives in the drivers seat and our suitcases take up the whole backseat. I wonder how long I can keep my knees up to my chest before I pass out.

We finally reach home after a ride that seemed like eternity with the slow moving traffic and uncomfortable seating arrangement. As I enter the house with the luggage in my hands and before I even get a chance to put them down, Uday's mom (we call Amma - which means Mother) comes and hugs and kisses me on both cheeks. Uday's dad comes and greets us as well and as I move forward to hug him (as I am used to greeting family this way), he refuses twice and I am shocked, confused, embarrassed and feeling disliked by him already. Turns out it is a cultural thing for men not to hug women in India, but Uday did not educate me about this. Also, felt uncomfortable to call Uday's father "Dad" and can't call any elder by their first or last name in India since it is considered disrespectful in their culture... every elder is addressed as either "Uncle" or "Aunty" except for in-laws... so strangely I never figured out how to address Uday's father during the entire stay!!

Uday's parents were pleasant at the beginning even though his Mom made lamb curry for Uday the night of our arrival knowing that I don't eat lamb. Luckily, I asked Uttam and we picked up some chicken curry for me on the way.

There was no toilet paper in the house but luckily I had my wipes. Everyone sits in the parent’s bedroom on the bed for hours catching up, while I am in a different room by myself. Uday and I eat around midnight and he stays up talking to his Mom and brother until 2:30 AM, mostly about how computers are made. We need to get up by 7:00 AM to see the doctor the next morning at 9:30 AM. I cry by the time we get to bed for the next hour and have to use my wet wipes to blow my nose. I feel uncomfortable already, alone and homesick. I did not expect to feel this way so soon.

Jan-11-11 - Next morning the alarm goes off and Uday gets up but decides that we do not have to leave until 9:00 AM since he says it does not take an hour to get there. The milk is room temperature and I am afraid to drink it, so no breakfast for me beside cookies I brought as a gift for someone else. There is more traffic than Uday has ever seen on the way to Kims hospital, but I know that is going to happen because we’re in India and it is rush hour. Kims hospital does not look like a hospital from the outside and parking is chaotic. They were constructing a new building for the hospital beside it and looks extra bad because of it. I expected the hospital to look like our hospitals' in America, or even better as I had heard so many good things about this Kim's Hospital, but it did not live up to my expectations.

Across the street from the hospital is where they dump their sewer, for one thing, which Uttam even said that it is not suppose to be so close to the hospital. The hospital also looked so old, dirty and worn that I could not help but cry on my first few visits. What did I get myself into? I could not back out now after taking such a long trip and knowing how expensive IVF is in the U.S.A and how much more reasonable it is here, but my gut told me to run.

Inside the hospital is overcrowded, with many patients and visitors with no shoes! It is an old run down building that looks dirty even as they are cleaning it. Once we finally find where we are suppose to go, the waiting room is a skinny room where each patient is forced to face the other with a small aisle in the middle like being in a bus. We use elevators for "patients only" but Uday says that we are not suppose to use these elevators because we are not "patients". I don’t understand what makes one a patient versus another. Uday says a patient is someone who is in a stretcher or a wheelchair. This is suppose to be the award winning hospital where the rich and famous go so at the very least I expected it to look like a hospital in America or better. Uday tells me that it has the latest technology and instruments but as I look around my blood pressure begins to rise, and my eyes swell with tears, a continuation from the night before. I am embarrassed that I am crying which makes me cry more. I pride myself in being so open minded and diverse, but I am not sure how much of this I can take.

Why am I experiencing this culture shock as I did the first time I visited? I should be a pro at this especially since I have been mentally preparing for this trip to India. The traffic did not even bother me as it did Uday because I had experienced it last time and was ready for it but this hospital experience was new. His parents were not new but I don’t remember Uday’s dad refusing to hug me and I thought we at least hugged good bye last time and the only reason we may not have hugged hello was because he came with Uday’s brother in the car last time and was sitting in it. I thought Uday’s dad liked me last time but this refusal to hug me hurt, and I saw it as a rejection. I have only control over one thing and this is whether or not I do the IVF which originally was not seen as an option but rather the point of this whole expensive trip. This is not a vacation, but rather a purpose, to try and have a baby.

There are an array of shoe racks next to bathroom and patients sitting in rooms with their shoes off? “Go empty your bladder and take off your shoes”, a nurse tells me, but I pretend I don’t understand and go into the bathroom with my shoes on wondering if I have just entered the Twilight Zone. The floor is wet, and has two buckets, one with water and one dry and a smaller bucket for pouring water to clean one’s self with it, and there is no toilet paper. I am once again reminded that I am in India and I need to “adjust” as Uday told me last night while I was crying. I wipe the wet seat with some paper towels and use another paper towel as toilet paper, but throw it in the waste pan as the sign requests. I tell myself, "Calm down and stop crying… you can do this… stop looking like an entitled, prissy American. Nothing bad has happened and even though the hospital does not meet your expectations with it’s looks it does not mean that it is bad… why are you so emotional?"

What kind of table is this to examine me with no stirrups? What is this plastic yellow thing with brown spots that on close examination appear to be small seeds that I am sitting on? Is it clean? Do they dispose these off between patients? Did they forget to take this plastic piece with them? I notice that the bed has a pot below that goes under the area between my legs and remember how Uday told me that this is the type of bed in which his mom gave birth.

The doctor walks in as I am fully dressed and standing there looking at the bed and she says, “oh excuse me!” as she walks back out of the room and begins to shut the door. “Wait a minute” I say, “I am not sure what to do here?” (And I am thinking, I am not even sure where to put my underwear, what to take off and how to coverup, as well as the many questions I thought before this). Before I know, the assistant comes in and says, “take your underwear off and lie on the bed”. I am still in shock but like the good “people pleaser” that I am I follow orders and put my underwear beside me on the bed. “Push down”, she says. I push down. “Push down” she says again, and I do more. “Push down more” and I’m about to say, “I can’t push anymore” but I still push down a little more and this finally meets her standards. I ask, “Is this clean?” As I point to the ultrasound camera that looks like a dildo with a condom on with lubricant down it’s sides and extra on it’s tip. She doesn’t understand what I’m saying but after I ask several times she says, “yes miss”.

The doctor walks in, does the ultrasound, and finds some eggs, 3 on one side and 5 on the other, which is not great but not bad, but I continue to cry. Like a leaky faucet I can’t stop, she asks me what is wrong and I have all that I can to mutter out, “culture shock” in between my tears and shallow breathing. Earlier when I met with her in her office I told her my tears were related to Uday’s parents, PMS, and the hospital looking so dirty. I feel even more embarrassed when she asks me if I have been to India before and I say, “yes”.

Before I know it the test is over and we are on our way to get blood work the doctor had requested us both to get. The good surprise is that we are able to get it done immediately but the bad surprise was that as I was struggling to see and make sure they were using clean needles, I kept waiting for the technician to put on gloves before taking my blood, but that never happened. He was also wearing his regular cloths instead of hospital nurse wear, so my confidence about this hospital decreased even more. Second guessing my decision to have this procedure done in India is an understatement as it felt more like a battle in both sides of my brain. “Am I being stupid by having this done in India just to save money? Or is my American way of thinking just too hygienic, for what is really necessary”. Most people that I know of would say, “hell no” if they saw this hospital. Although I am not like most people, I still have my American way of thinking. What to do? I know I should give it another chance after making such arrangements with work, and financially. I only hope that this is the best decision, one that I will be able to follow through successfully.

Jan-12-11 - Uday went for his sperm test while his brother and I waited in the waiting room. When Uday paid for his test one of the housekeepers in the hospital who saw me crying the first time said hello, and then gave me an Indian dessert called “Laddu” from a Tirupathi Temple. It is said that if one eats this dessert one gets blessings. I had some of the dessert which was dry and sweet and not bad and hoped that I have some blessings too. On this visit I saw things a little differently, the housekeepers were wearing brown cotton sari’s and I thought they were the nurses. The house keepers were cleaning all the time but no matter how much they cleaned it was never going to look better. The housekeepers and nurses were friendly and were trying to make me feel comfortable. I begin to think that either my expectations have decreased, or my Americanized point of view is changing after the culture shock, and I am beginning to become accustomed to the Indian way of thinking. The hospital really does seem to be doing the best they can to keep it clean, (even if it does not look like it) and that they really are trying to help us.

In the evening before eating dinner we go to the supermarket to look for dog food. Besides the big bag of food which would be difficult to take on the moped we find dog treats. We drive around on the bike finding many stray dogs and go around giving them some treats. Some dogs like them and some do not as they might be used to eating Indian food. For some reason it made us feel better even though we know it is not really helping.

Jan-13-11 - Before we go to the hospital, I am bored and wanting to do something more than eat, sleep, and facebook. I go on a walk with my camera and headphones and dog treats to give to the homeless, starving dogs. I take pictures of people who are willing, some dogs, hogs, and streets. I come back to get some water and a few snack size Snickers and Uday comes with me. We give more treats to dogs, Snickers to one of the poor guys that allowed me to take a picture of him and find a mother dog with 9 pups and give them the rest of our treats and some water. We find a poor family that has been trying to help these dogs and talk with them for a while. Even though they are poor they are kind and giving by helping these 10 dogs, when they have a baby of their own. I am relieved to see some people trying to help these poor street dogs but it is not solving the problem, since they keep having more puppies.

So many people and animals here to help it is overwhelming and just giving them food or money just lasts one time but the problem is still there. Uday suggested that if we really want to help and make a difference then we have to dive in fully... i.e. move to India and open a dog rescue shelter. He’s always been the talker and I am the doer and I feel that at this time in my life, as much as I really want to help these dogs that I am not sure I am ready for a life changing decision like that when I am trying to get pregnant.

It is 3pm and about time to leave for our 4pm appointment as we have to go back to the hospital again for Uday to get his Sperm Analysis test and for me to have a “trial test” to make sure there are no problems with the Catheter going up inside of me to my womb. I am still not sure of what I am supposed to do, but I am beginning to adjust better to being at this hospital. I am pleased that in their procedure room, which they call the Operation Theater, is all white and looks very clean. The nurses assure me that it is all clean sheets and that the yellow plastic thing that I sit on is changed for every patient. I am also relieved to see that there are comfortable leg rests so I don’t have to keep my feet on the bed in the awkward position that I had to before. This is the room that I will have the IVF procedure done when it is time and I feel good about this room and the doctor, so I have some relief. This trial test only hurts for about the last 3 seconds and then I am done. What a relief and I can also empty my bladder which feels very full as they made me drink two more glasses of water before the procedure to ensure that my bladder was full, per the doctor’s request. Now I do not need to go back until the second day of my period, one step closer to beginning the real thing and getting back home. We stop to get some "somosa" in the waiting room for the second day and it is very good. Uttam wants to go downstairs to the cafeteria which they call the "Cantina" to have more food. Contrary to what we find in America, here in India everyone wants to eat hospital food, and it is really good!

In the evening more eating and resting and computer. We decide to try and get a movie but the nearest place that rents does not have any English speaking movies or movies with subtitles. We go home and decide to do more on the computer before going to bed and Uday begins working now that his internet is officially up and ready to go. Uday’s dad tells me that I should not be drinking soda because it has chemicals in it and I agree with him that it is not good for me. Later when he is eating I tell him that I am addicted to soda. He doesn’t answer me. Uday tried to get his dad to speak but he refuses and asks to eat without talking. Uday told me that he has always been against talking while eating. I think about how he could never survive in my family, especially with my cousins who are Portuguese and Italian. Once again I feel rejected and insulted by him. I do think that he doesn’t like me, but I also think that he is anti-social to his own family and that he is not really a father as much as a provider. He seems like he is missing out on life since all he does is work, sleep and eat and I feel badly for him and angry that he is not participating more with his sons or making any attempt to get to know me or make me feel comfortable. Uday is more observant of his parents this time than he was last time and he is feeling badly with the way his dad is treating me. His mom is being ok but mainly talking with Uday and telling him funny stories which he tells me when he can get a word in. The most exciting thing we have done here in India this time is go to the hospital and feed the stray dogs. Tomorrow there’s no hospital and Uday has to work so I imagined it being a very long day!

Jan-14-11 - Uday and I got to do something different for a change today. We visited Aunty's place traveling through the traffic on a moped. "Aunty" is our next door neighbor's mom back home in Wellington, Florida and she asked us to visit her when we were in Hyderabad, India. She takes us curtain shopping as she knows that I am looking for exotic curtains for our living room. Although we did not find anything we were looking for, it was still fun to hang out with her and catch up!

Jan-15-11 - We stopped by a furniture design place and tried to design and buy a small couch for our hall way which we later showed Uday's mom. The designer was an artist who could hand carve wood into any design we wanted.

We later stopped at Uday’s friend Bob and his parent’s house. We found out that Bob is getting married in February a couple days after we are suppose to leave for USA. Bob has only met his wife-to-be once and spoke with her a couple times on the phone. He shows us her picture and she is "light skinned" and pretty. I learned that in India they prefer "light skinned". We also see pictures of his middle sister’s Hindu wedding and reception and take some pictures of us with Bob and the family. They are very hospitable and give us snacks and Cola. I feel badly that I don’t like Indian snacks and I am not used to drinking warm Cola...

Jan-16-11 - We woke up in the morning to Uday’s mom screaming at Uttam. Uday and I slept longer in bed because of it. When we get up she starts yelling at Uday for wanting to feed and help the dogs. Later that day Uday takes me to a popular garden/park in the area called "NTR Gardens". Although the park had some un-kept spots, it was still very popular among the locals and we enjoyed walking around and taking pictures. Uday remembers it being much nicer, about 8 years ago. We later drove on our moped to a popular love-birds romantic spot called "Necklace road". Both Uday and I agreed that this was one of the worst places to go to experience romance, because it smelt like sewer everywhere, there were piles of trash on the road side, and the grassy patches for love-birds was overlooking a sewer contaminated lake!! I can hardly imagine how anyone can be romantic here... Uday mentioned that it was better before and has deteriorated with time with not being kept up or cleaned... We drove on and stopped by a clothing store where Uday bought me a shirt and a dress.

NTR Gardens

Necklace Road

Jan-17-11 - Uday works throughout the day but takes some time out to buy some white rice for the stray dogs. He also snuck some chicken curry that his mom prepared. We couldn’t find the dog in the morning but found some of its smaller pack members and gave them some food. Uday buys "dosa" for us and some food for a poor old lady who is begging for food. Later in the evening we found the mother dog and gave her the food but she would only eat it with the chicken curry. She ate some but did not eat as much as I expected. I wondered if she was sick. We get to see one of her puppies which is a plump very young baby. I wondered if she is so skinny from breast feeding her pups and making sure they have plenty to eat.

Uday and Uttam later had to work on a project together to fix the cover on the water tank on the terrace. I video tape them working together. Good thing they got it fixed or else leaves could fall into the tank and clog the pipes. Uday later works on killing some mosquitoes around the outside and inside of the house. For this he used a battery charged bug zapper that looks like a tennis racket, which they call a "bat". I think it is a great invention and kind of fun... instead of trying to squash mosquitoes you simply wave the "bat" and zap them!

I get my period today and Uday calls the doctor to schedule my first appointment for 10 days of injections to make all of my eggs to mature, i.e. reach a certain size.

Jan-18-11 - We went to doctor and she gave me another scan and told me that she needs to get blood work again to test my hormones. Due to the cyst if my hormones are not where she needs them to be then she will have to wait to put me on the injections and instead give me birth control pills for 18 days which will prolong the time before starting the injections. I become tearful and she tells me that it is nothing to worry about. I get the blood work and this time I ask them to wear gloves and they do. Later I am black and blue from getting this blood work. After leaving the hospital we go to a temple and walk around all the Gods for blessings. We also walked around the Fertility God 10 times and when we come out Uday is emotional and crying about the obstacles we have faced with getting pregnant.

We go to Pizza Hut for some American comfort food and Uttam eats pizza for the first time. He liked it a lot! For me, the pizza was not as good as I am used to in America, but it was still a nice break from Indian food.

We stay there for a while and then go back to get the results from the blood work. Two tests are ready but the third one is not. From looking at the results the doctor informs us that some things are higher than she prefers and some values are lower but they are good enough for her to begin the injections. Overall it is good news and I feel relieved to begin the injections to start the fertility process. She tells me that she will be giving me the highest dosage, and to come back the next 9 days. We felt that our praying may have paid off!

When we get home Uttam goes with me to feed the dog with it’s ribs and bones sticking out. I am happy that she eats a whole bowl of rice with some chicken curry juice in it. She also drinks some water and wags her tail. I feel much better knowing that this dog will go to bed with a full stomach tonight and I am able to sleep well.

Jan-19-11 - We go to the hospital again in the morning for the second injection. We spoke to the doctor about my injection area being swollen. She informs us that I might be having a reaction to the stronger injection and that she might have to change the injection up which will be more expensive. She tells us to try it one more time and see how I do and then we will see tomorrow. After the injections, Uday, Uttam and I go to the hospital cantina for some food. Uday and his brother talk more about what happened in the car with Uttam’s silent treatment. Earlier in the morning Uday confronted Uttam about speaking what is on his mind if something is bothering him instead of being passive aggressive. Uday was talking more about this with Uttam. They both became louder and the other people in the Cantina were looking at them. Uttam finally told Uday the big thing that was bothering him is that Uday does not take care of his parents or even call and neither does Pradeep, Uday’s oldest brother. Uttam discussed how if he gets married he will always take his mother’s side and he will slap his wife if she were to conflict with mom. Uday and I asked him if it was right that his dad used to beat mom for his brothers. Uday said, “enough”. We got an Auto to get home and Uttam drove home on his own. It was hurtful to listen to Uttam tell his brother today that he does not love him and it was hurtful to hear him say he would slap his wife in order to take his mother’s side. It was his way of saying that Uday should have slapped me. I am reminded that Uttam is not as mature as I thought, and has learned more about detachment than he has love and kindness for his family.

I took a small nap but could not fall asleep because I was thinking of the dog here with the puppies. I decided to take a walk and asked Uday for money to get rice for the dog, and toilet paper and Pepsi for myself. First I walked to check out the dog and it was not there but her puppies were there and the man of the house had just moved them from the sun to the shade. He did not speak English but I spoke to his neighbor Kiran and he told me what he was doing. Kiran and I walked together and discussed how the Blue Cross (animal rescue shelter) couldn’t help us and the Municipality stated they needed the Blue Cross. Kiran said that they have called them before and no one does anything to help.

Uday told me the prices for things and when I went to get rice and the things I needed the prices were all more, with the exception of the toilet paper which was not in the area at all. When I got home Uday admitted that he wasn’t sure of the prices and may have given me prices that were too low. Frustrated because I thought they were giving me a higher price, I did not get anything. I was very frustrated about everything... I decided that I hate this country. Uday admitted that I am crippled here because I can’t communicate with the people who don’t speak English and some of the people who do speak English do not understand me and I don’t understand some of them. I don’t know how much things cost. I don’t have transportation, the food I am used to or any comforts of home. The trash, pollution, and poverty is sickening, poor dogs suffering is heart breaking.

Uday’s parents hardly speak with me and the only one in the family who was speaking with me and being nice (Uttam) only seemed to be doing so out of “duty” and really seems to think that women should be slapped if they don’t agree with his mother. I learn that the little bit of respect I had for Uttam, mainly because he is nice to me, knowledgeable and interesting, has diminished for a few reasons. First is Uday told Uttam that he loves and cares about him and Uttam told Uday he doesn’t love anyone. Secondly, Uttam told Uday that he was trying to manipulate him earlier to make him feel bad enough to not only give him one MP3 player, but the other one that Uday bought for their other brother Pradeep. Thirdly, Uttam did not seem to appreciate that Uday inspite of not feeling well and needing to do his work, had spent several hours trying to help Uttam to get video’s on his MP3 player which he was secretive about.

At night around 11pm the dogs are barking as they often do and it sounds like someone is hitting a dog. I rush to get out but the living room door is triple locked and padlocked. I rush to get out of another door but the same thing. I find the key and quickly get out to check on the dog but I don’t see anything out of the ordinary. I try to come back in but I am locked out of the house and Uday’s mom is screaming at him, seemingly about me and my worries about the dog. After some time Uday lets me in and says that if I need to get out to ask him. I ask him if I am in jail and if I am not allowed to touch the key? He says, “no” and I say good and I go back to typing my diary. He has to continue talking with his mom trying to calm her down about me but she continues to yell! I’m not suppose to be stressed, but this situation makes me very stressed! I pack my suitcase to leave to go to a hotel but Uday tries to talk me out of it and later his parents do the same.

We stay up talking to Uday’s mom and dad about how uncomfortable I feel and I tell them how messed up their family is. Uday’s dad agrees that they have poor communication. Uday’s dad is tired and after talking for a while asks if he can go to bed, and I am tired too and am ready to go to bed. By the time I get ready for bed Uttam is home and Uday, Uttam and his parents talk longer and communicate and try and resolve problems. I feel better that I got out about how I was feeling and that Uday and his parents are communicating more and trying to resolve some issues but I still didn't feel comfortable being there and felt pressure from Uday to stay because staying in a hotel would be too expensive.

Jan-20-11 - I was exhausted but got up this morning to get the injection at the doctors' and this time Uday drove us on the moped instead of having Uttam drive us, as was planned before they got upset with each other. The doctor saw that I had another reaction to the injection on my butt and gave me a different, more expensive one. The nurse injected this on my stomach instead of my butt along with the other injection that usually goes in my stomach. The doctor told me that she will have to do another scan in a couple days to see how my body is reacting to the injections.

I fed the skinny dog whom I call "mummy" now, some rice and some of my left over chicken. She is still wanting more but doesn’t want to eat plain rice. I will try and give her some curry with rice later. She sits and I pat her for a while before going back to Uday’s parents house. Later that day I get to see Auntie and she takes me shopping at Banjara Hills and I get two shirts. I come back and have a nice rest of the night chatting with Uday and Uttam. Uttam asked what one word would characterize him especially in US... and I tell him “Loser”. He must have not expected that! For Uday “fun”, and for me “sensitive”. We talked about our dogs Boo and Simba’s character and a little about Hailey.

Jan-21-11 - I am continuing to get the more expensive injections. Had to sign that there is no guarantee that this will work and read about side effects that so far I am not experiencing. I called mom this morning and she reports that our dogs are doing well and she is doing o.k. too. Later that day I tried to find mummy and after some time I found her and gave her some rice and lentils but she would not eat it. Uday fed other dogs who were hungry and they ate it. I wanted to feed mummy some more food with chicken but did not have any. I also noticed that mummy was bleeding on her breasts. Uday said she probably got in a fight with another dog. Uday called Blue Cross to ask them to help the stray dogs. They agreed to come tomorrow morning. I felt bad for mummy and felt helpless. It might be difficult to sleep tonight. I saved my own chicken from my dinner to give to mummy but Uday said it was too dangerous at night due to other stray dogs roaming around and could be aggressive. We decided to feed her in the morning before Blue Cross arrives.

I then was on my way to go shopping with Auntie. Uttam agreed to take me to meet her since Uday did not feel good. Aunty took me to General Bazzar, where I found some potential curtains but did not purchase them. I bought cell phone holders and some fake floating flowers. By the time I got back home I was tired and I was hoping not to get sick. I have a scan tomorrow by the doctor and have my injections. She will be scanning me to check on how my eggs are doing.

Jan-22-11 - We arrived at the doctor’s in the morning and she did the scan and reported only now seeing 4 follicles and that there is no guarantee that they would have an egg in each. The doctor told us that our chances are less due to the few follicles. She began three injections today and told me to stop taking the pills because they are making the lining in my womb too thin. Uday and I felt depressed that our chances are less than we expected, but the doctor stated that there is still hope.

Later Uday's friend, Bob came to hangout with us for a while and we gave him some cookies and chocolates from the U.S.A. Then Blue Cross called and told us that they are on their way to pick up mummy and her puppies. I gave her a lot of food earlier and some water but had no food left to give her now. She was not interested in water though. She recognized me and was excited to see me. She wagged her tail and whimpered and sat by me while I patted her. Uday went to meet the driver and helped the driver find the dog, while I stayed with mummy. Mummy was easy to get in the truck as the truck driver just picked her up by her neck and gently put her in the truck. She cried a little when he picked her up and I wondered if she was in pain or just scared. I helped the driver and brought him her three puppies and they all went in the truck together. The driver told us that they will keep the puppies with the mom for about 45 days and then try and get them adopted. They will then fix mummy and bring her back to the neighborhood. I felt bad for mummy but felt that this was the best thing for her because she was going to starve to death otherwise and this way she can get fixed and will not have to have anymore puppies. Uday said that we could visit her tomorrow and tour their facility. I was looking forward to doing this. I hoped they will feed her dog food and she is willing to eat it, since with us she was only willing to eat rice with chicken or shrimp curry. If all goes well it feels good to help mummy and it helps me to get my mind off of my own issue of fertility that I don’t seem to have control over.

Jan-23-11 - I woke up with a sore throat and sore glands. Went to the hospital to have the three injections in my stomach. It was a different nurse this Sunday since they are short-staffed due to Sunday being a holiday. The nurse was in her regular clothes, she did not wear gloves and there was no sheet at all on the chair as it usually is. But I went with the flow and adjusted as I have been doing this whole trip to the best of my ability.

We went to Paradise Bakery for some pastry’s for breakfast and snacks for later.

I planned to go to Blue Cross but Uday wanted to meet with Ganesh’s parents (his neighbors) and he told me we can visit mummy tomorrow. I hope he keeps his word. I also had an upset stomach today and felt exhausted so I took a small nap in the afternoon and Uday and I walk around his neighborhood. I see the “slums” and visit a Temple. I find out that the Temple has free Yoga services on Wed and Sat evenings. I hope to go if I am feeling better. I met another neighbor who owned two German Shepard’s. She says she feeds some of the stray dogs and they take good care of their dogs even though Uday and I usually see them on a short-chain in their garage. She is going to college to be a dentist and her brother wants to be a veterinarian. I spoke with mom on the phone today and said hello to Boo. I miss my Boo and Simba. I told mom about our chances being low with the IVF procedure. I was able to finish my Dubai blog this evening. Found out that Uday’s mom has a crush on the actor Vin Diesel.

Jan-24-11 - We went to the hospital using the moped even though I was not feeling that good and got my three injections. I spoke with the doctor and told her my symptoms. She prescribed me antibiotics the generic one called Augumentin and it is like Amoxicillin. She told me to take 2 a day for 5 days. I told her that I did not really want to take it because it is not that bad and she told me that it is up to me, but it is a bacterial infection. We decided to fill the prescription and then I looked it up online and it appears to be o.k. to take now before I am pregnant. So against my better judgment I am taking it to make sure it does not get worse. I’m feeling tired but am not wanting to rest because I don’t want to miss going to Blue Cross and I am afraid if I sleep that Uday will not wake me up since he does not feel like driving there.

Uday and I can’t seem to get used to the dust and pollution and the smell of trash burning.

I do not understand why they have pollution checks on the side of the road? Does it really matter, when everything is so polluted? And what are their solutions? Uttam tells me that people are not suppose to honk next to hospitals and there is not suppose to be any drainage or sewer next to hospitals yet the hospital I attend has a big sewer in front of it across the street and it smells really badly.

I am trying to stay cold with Uttam and to not like him but, I can’t help but like him and enjoy his company. Uday told me that after they had there argument that later Uttam told him that the statement about “slapping his wife” was out of anger. I’m not sure if Uttam really said this or if Uday is just telling me he did. Either way, Uttam is interesting and intriguing but I can’t help but wonder why he is not living up to his potential even if he is really into Yoga and Spirituality, why does he not want an “earthly life”. I think about how he would be a great actor if he wanted to be and how he could go to school to be a psychologist or a philosopher and get paid for his interests. I wonder if he is trying to be sexy or if it just comes naturally for him. I wonder where his motivation lies and also what his truth really is. Does he even know who he is or what he truly wants? He keeps the most important questions a mystery.

We drove to Blue Cross today (which is in a city called Jubille Hills) to visit mummy and check out their facilities. It took us about one hour drive to get there but we got lost and it took extra time to find the facility for which there were no signs. When we finally found it and found mummy I was relieved to see her there safely with her three puppies. They took her and her puppies out of the cage for us and I got to pat her and comfort her. I also patted her puppies. Mummy cried a little when she recognized me as to say "comfort me more and take me home".

I asked the workers to clean her cage and give her some water. They say that they feed the dogs twice a day. I am not sure if mummy is eating since she is a picky eater, but I hope she is. Mummy looks the same as when we last saw her and possibly slightly better. After a while she went back in her cage and with her puppies and her puppies breast fed from her and then she closed her eyes comfortably. They say that they will leave her and her pups together for many days for her to feed them and then they will fix her and bring her back to the same place they found her. Only puppies here have a possibility of finding a home and if they don’t then they put them in the street.

In looking around the facility, I had mixed feelings. It was a decent set up, and it seemed like they were trying to help dogs, however there were so many sick dogs that did not seem to be attended to and the workers were getting paid to do this job and they did not seem that interested in the dogs and handled them very roughly. It was difficult to seem some of these poor sick and injured dogs and the way they were handled yet I was grateful that they had a facility at all that is trying to help these dogs and it also seemed that mummy was being treated ok. We gave them 100 ruppees as a donation, and I felt badly that we did not bring any food for mummy and that we could not do more to help. It was nice to see that they had helped some dogs who, despite their injuries, appeared to have recovered and allowed to make Blue cross their home and were not caged.

That night we stopped at a restaurant called Paradise to buy some chicken biryani and chicken curry from there before coming home. Uday and I were exhausted but that night I could not sleep wondering if we did the right thing for mummy and hearing the dogs in the neighborhood crying, fighting and howling. I also spent some hours trying to kill the mosquito in our room with the "bat".

Jan-25-11 - I got mad at Uday that we were leaving at 9:00am for our appt when that was the time of our appt. I was trying to get him to leave beginning at 8:35am and he was ignoring me and telling me he had to go on his computer and check his work. Then he checked his emails an then he said he wanted to eat cereal and he wanted to wait for his brother to get out of the bathroom as he agreed to take us. I was yelling at him and got so frustrated that I went outside and was able to find Monica finally and tell her what was going on with mummy. Monica is a little girl who lives in the neighborhood who has been trying to feed mummy and pat her. Monica and her family appear to have very little money and her father drinks alcohol often. She told me that someone already told her about mummy and she explained that this was the only dog that she had been feeding. I told her that Blue Cross said that they would be returning her back to the same place and that I hoped it is true. I asked her if she would continue to take care of mummy and she agreed. Finally we left for the hospital and by the time we got there we had to wait for many patients to be seen before us because we were late and then the doctor had an emergency so we were told that we could get the injections and then come back for the scan later in the afternoon or get the scan the next day. Thus, my anger increased over Uday's lack of responsibility of helping me get to my apt on time.We went to see a Temple which took a while because of the traffic and bought some pearls and then we returned to the hospital. We only got to see the Temple from the outside due to time restrictions with the traffic so we hope to go back to this Temple again some time.

During my scan the doctor saw 5 potential egg sacs and reported that my lining has become thicker which is what she was hoping to see. She spoke with Uday and I and told us the same thing. Overall it is good news and things are looking up for us with the fertility but there are more hurdles to cross. Tomorrow and the next day more injections and then the doctor will do another scan in about 2 days as she is waiting for the egg sacs to get to be 18 cm. They are at about 13cm at this time.

Almost daily I am keeping updates on Facebook and many Indian friends and acquaintances have had comments as well as a few Americans about what I am writing and showing for pictures. It is another reminder to me that most people don’t like to hear or see the truth.

Even Uday’s brother Uttam agrees that there is a lot of trash here! Uttam is curious why the Indians who are living in the U.S, are living there instead of India if they love their country so much. He is also wondering why they get defensive about how things are in this area of India and what they are doing or willing to do to make it better? Uttam tells me that he feels I am deserving credit for pointing out the problems here. He wants me to write this on Facebook but I haven’t chose to do so yet, as I don’t want to start arguments and it is not my intentions to hurt anyone. Uttam agrees to do his part by never throwing trash on the street anymore.

Some people feel that I should worry more about the people here instead of the animals but they don’t understand that by helping the animals that the people are also getting helped. There are some nice people who do not have much money who still try and feed these dogs and this is food that could be better served by saving for their families instead. Less street dogs means more food for people. In addition the dogs are up all night barking, howling, fighting and crying. For me it does not make it easy to fall asleep.

*Side note-power goes out every night and plumbing is bad here. Not much water pressure and everything leaks!

Jan-26-11- Went to hospital and left early for the injections. Got to the hospital on time instead of early due to today being Republic Day which is a national holiday here in India. Got one injection and then asked the nurse if one of the other injections was changed as this is what the doctor told me would happen yesterday when we spoke with her. The nurse was not sure and asked me to hold off until she spoke with the doctor. We had to wait a while as the nurse saw other patients until she was able to get a hold of the doctor. Finally got the other two injections after the nurses took note of the changes and then spoke to the doctor as I broke out again from one of the shots. Changing some of these shots to the more expensive ones will cost another 30,00rupees. I am not sure exactly how much that is in dollars but maybe another $500 or so.

After the injections we came back to the home and the power was out for a good amount of time and Uday was unable to work and went over some of his old books at home and found his stamp and coin collection. We went to a near by temple to do Yoga at 5pm but due to the holiday they would be doing it later or not at all.

We met Uday’s parent’s housekeeper in her village on the way and she explained how she lives here, as she points to the rows of tents. She is very poor and is residing in a tent with her three children on land that they don’t own. They have no running water or electricity and she is very thin. The kids around there have fun playing in dirt while some older ones are helping their parents make dinner.

I watch one girl throw a small plastic bag of food in the drainage to add to the pollution. We talk with Monica a lot this evening and she tells us about the dogs and the people in the neighborhood. She also tells us a little more about her family. She describes how she was feeding mummy but sometimes they don’t have enough food for them at home and how she and her family do what they can to help the animals. She also discussed how the Municipality is very cruel to the dogs and beat mummy one time and she told them to leave her alone because she is their dog and they listened to her. She showed us one dog that was someone’s pet that they brought to this area in their car and then got it out of their car, kicked it and left it. Poor house dog now has to learn the ways of the street. She tells us how some people try and help the dogs and other people are meant to the dogs. She describes how she has been teaching her classmates to be nice to animals and it has worked. We watch the kids from the village getting buckets of water that their mom will pick up later as they play in the water as well. One boy has pants on that are too big for him and his but crack keeps showing. The kids are filthy but seem happy even though they live in such poverty. We discuss how to treat the dogs with love instead of aggression if one wants to help them. I'm tearful with this discussion and seeing these poor families but I’m able to control it more when I am with Monica. I talk to my mom and tell her a little about what is going on with the IVF, dogs, poor people and Uday’s parents. Boo and Simba are doing good and so is mom so this is a relief. Looking forward to being home!

Jan-27-11- We went to hospital today and had my scan. Doctor reports that there is one egg sack that is 19mm and they need to be at least 18mm. There are a few more that are about 15 to 13 mm. Had two injections instead of three as doctor reduced the dosage from here on. Doctor says may be able to start process on Mon. So far so good. The rest of the day took a nap and then early in the evening went with Uday to get toilet paper, soda and milk and rice for dogs. Fed some street dogs tonight. The mosquitoes are fierce!

Jan-28-11- We went to hospital for injections and had two injections. I have been very lubricated and hope that this is normal. With that said also been very turned on lately. I assume it is due to the hormones but also wonder if it is because Uday and I haven’t had any sex with each other in a while. Couldn’t speak with the doctor as she is running late and we were early today. I will ask her tomorrow. After eating in the cantina, we went to Blue Cross to get the car cover Uday donated to them by accident as he did not know his family was using it and that it is a car cover that was expensive. I was happy to return to Blue Cross to check on mummy. Mummy looked the same as she did not gain any weight yet and we brought her rice and chicken curry and she was not eating it. This worries me because this was her favorite when we were feeding her when she was on the street. She did not seem happy to be out of her cage and she did not seem happy in her cage as her puppies are always feeding from her. I’m afraid she might be sick and I feel so helpless, as she is in the best place in India to get help, and they are overwhelmed with dogs that are in worse condition than she is. And with that said, I am learning that their best place, is not very good at all for most of these dogs. The people there assure us that after they fix her they will send her back on the same street they picked her up from. I still am not sure where mummy is better off? I leave there feeling sad and confused on the best way to help mummy and feeling as though I have done the best I can for her and her puppies in this horrible situation.

After we leave Blue Cross, we go to a nice curtain shop and have good luck in finding curtains for our living room. The shop is called Maayas, it has high class curtains at reasonable prices by Indian standards and incredible prices by American standards.

Later on the way home we quickly stop at a rug place and then at a mall that Auntie took me to and I am able to get some good old fashioned KFC. Uttam gets a little with me and Uday is waiting to go home and eat his mom’s food. Later when we get home and speak to Udays mom and dad they tell us about a few more curtain and rug shops and Uday and I go to them. We don’t have any luck finding rugs but we have luck finding bathroom curtains for cheep. Later when we get home we speak to my mom and ask her to confirm some measurements for us. She has to go to work but will get the measurements for us possibly when she gets home that evening which will be morning time for us here. I am excited about getting the curtains I want for great prices. By the time we get home and get these curtains up we will be feeling almost completely settled and will be able to concentrate on more important stuff and we are hoping that will be having a healthy baby

Uday found out he got a 3% raise from work and we are thankful for that but still wishing it was more. He has many perks to this job which save us money so we discuss with each other how he has a good thing going and how fortunate we are. Tomorrow off to the hospital again for my two injections and the scan that will tell us when the doctor is going to take my eggs and might confirm how many egg sacks she might take.

Jan-29-11- We went to hospital and I had another scan. Dr saw that the four egg sacks are the mature size. She had me take one injection in the morning to keep the eggs from leaving the egg sack and then back to the hospital at 10pm to release the eggs in order to take them out 36 hours later on Monday morning at 8:30am. I ask the Dr about all this lubrication and make sure no egg sac is leaking. She reports that it is normal and she laughs and we all have a chuckle. After the hospital we checked out computers for Udays parents, went to the grocery store, had lunch and dinner and then went to the General Bazaar in the Paradise area waiting for 10pm. Had discussions and laughs with Uday and Uttam last night and Uttam noticed I was happy. I appreciate how Uttam notices me and wish Uday did the same.

Jan-30-11 - Hopefully, going to Charminar (another shopping area) and having dinner at Ganesha’s parents house this evening. No hospital today!! Spoke with mom about measurements for curtains, she got most but is missing some heights. Mom got the Master bath measurements and we will begin having these made most probably today. Turns out that we went to the Exposition (like a fair) instead of Chariminar because it was a Sunday and we thought things might be closed. At the Exhibition, our version of a fair, we purchased an Indian shawl with mirrors on it for my mom and a rug for our hall way.

Afterwards we came home and quickly freshened up and went to Ganesha’s parents house for dinner. They served chicken biryania, chicken curry and fried fish that they bought at Hyderabad House. We ate a lot and had strawberry ice-cream for dinner. We were able to see and speak to Ganesha and his wife and see his kids on the computer. His son that is Uday's age just got settled in their new house in America. After this we came home to get ready for bed as I will be having surgery tomorrow! We felt strange eating in front of his parents as they refused to eat until we first ate.

1/31/2011 - We went to the hospital this morning at 8:30am and I peed in a cup for them to make sure I was not pregnant. Had to fast since midnight and skip breakfast and water. I had the procedure for them to take out my eggs around 10:10am and was out of the hospital around 1:30pm. My throat was hurting as they put a tube down it during the procedure. Dr. told me to have a sandwich for lunch and a light dinner today and the next day eat what eat I want. We stopped at Subway on the way. Dr told me that they will most likely put the fertilized eggs (embryos) back in on Wed of this week. She gave me a few prescriptions of antibiotics and suppositories to help reduce the risk of me getting an infection and to increase the lining of the womb.

As my throat begins to feel better, my inside ovaries and areas around there feel sore. I also feel tired and am looking forward to getting good nights sleep. I take the medicines and go to sleep. Later, Uday tried to teach Uttam how to get girls and how to talk with girls and I try and assure Uttam that he does not need advise from Uday because he naturally does what it takes to get girls interested. I assume that Uttam either has girls in his life and if not it is because he does not want that because if he wanted it he could get girls easily. I wonder if Uttam is more interested in following the Yoga path more than his sexual urges…but only he knows!

Feb-1-11 - I wake up and put in the suppository, wait an hour and eat breakfast and take medicines. Shower and get caught up on this journal. I have also been reading a Yoga book that Uttam has let me borrow. It is about 80 pages and I am already on page 60. 5pm-complete the Yoga book that Uttam let me borrow. I went outside because I heard more dogs yelping. Met with Monica who was getting water at the pipe and dressed very nicely. She told me that the dogs were attacking a puppy and she has this puppy inside of her house. She also told me that Mummy's mother just had puppies again too. I wonder how her family can afford to feed these dogs when they can’t afford to feed themselves. I find it very kind of Monica’s parents to help Monica and her pursuit of trying to help these dogs! I also read another short book on Yoga that Uttam has been readying. Uttam is surprised that I have read both books in a short amount of time. Plan to maybe write some of my thoughts about the book later. I hoped that understanding about Yoga would increase my understanding of Uttam but it may have left me even more confused with more questions. Tomorrow back to the doctors with a full bladder to have the embryos put back inside of me.

Feb-2-11 - Went to the hospital to have the embyos put back in me. Had to urinate a little but not too badly, drank more water while waiting there. Uday and I spoke with the doctor and asked our questions about what happened to the fourth egg and why we were not waiting longer with an embryo instead of putting it in so quickly etc. the doctor seemed annoyed with all of our questions. She said she explained things enough and asking more questions and her explaining things would not help our situation. She asked us to stop asking questions and to meet again on 2/14/2011 for me to do a blood test to see if I am pregnant or not. I was told to go into the theater room (our version of the operating room) and I got undressed and sat on the table and waited for the doctor. She came in and told me that my bladder was not full enough and that she would come back in 15 minutes. In the mean time the nurses brought me out of the room again to drink more water.

After about 15 minutes we tried it again and this time my bladder was full enough. It took the doctor about 15 minutes to put the embryos through the catheter as the embryologist was standing by. I was looking on the computer screen and waiting to see them slip into my uterus but she was finishing and I still was not seeing anything so I asked. She seemed a little annoyed as she was concentrating and said she would show me when she finished. When she showed me she pointed to a small white dot on the screen among many white areas and said this is your three embryos. I could do nothing but trust that she was correct and telling the truth.

Next they told me I needed to wait 15 minutes and tilted me upside down slightly. One of the very nice nurses was talking with me as I was waiting 15 minutes. I had a difficult time talking with her nicely, due to the fact that I was feeling like I couldn’t hold my pee anymore. I was trying to practice yoga and control my pee but since I am an amateur I was suffering. All I could think about was how I would feel after I peed. Finally it was time and I ran to put my clothes on and then quickly to the bathroom. The rest of the day I stayed at home and laid in bed watching T.V. Getting up just to eat and pee and take my medicines and then back to bed.

Feb-3-11 - First we looked at the material for our bathroom curtains and then went to Jubiliee Hills again and visited mummy at Blue Cross. We saw her eat and drink milk and get some time outside of her pen. She had a cold but she seemed to be in better spirits than last visit.

She did not seem to recognize me but I was fine with that as long as she is o.k. We met two ladies there that visit the dogs every other day and bring food for them and check on them. They are trying to educate others and help these dogs by getting funding so they can do more. They are also working with the government to get big containers of water available for dogs, cattle and other animals. It was nice to meet these ladies and to see there are others here who care to take the steps necessary to make a difference for the animals. Before leaving I saw mummy cuddled up with her puppies and all four were sleeping. The workers said that she would be getting a shot for her cold. I hoped they were right and that her puppies don’t get what she has, but I am sure they will.

After leaving Blue Cross, I was hungry and in need of a rest room. We went to a very good Indian Food Buffet and then went to Maayas to confirm and pay for the curtains we ordered. It ended up being a much more eventful day than I expected and I felt that we accomplished something.

Feb-4-11 - Stayed in the house all day. Put pictures on Picaso for the Dubai blog that I completed and emailed that the blog was posted.

Feb-5-11 - I stayed in house all day again. Got mad at Uday because he’s justifying watching porn and how it does not effect our sex life negatively. I went for a walk. Tried to do Yoga but that was cancelled. Uday came with me and we talked about how I don’t feel loved by him and I’m sick of it and his selfishness and how he needs to change. Uday told me that he needs to be punished in order to learn anything and that we should live seperately in order for him to appreciate me. I told him that he could sleep on the couch this evening but he did not want to start until reaching home. Later we picked up the bathroom curtains. I got a headache, and went to bed. Lots of mosquitoes got in the house tonight. I feel stressed about my relationship with Uday Hope this stress does not affect the pregnancy. Tomorrow is Uttam’s B-day and his mom said they don’t do anything because everyday is his birthday here. Uday was supposed to sleep in a different bed last night but he was complaining that the beds were too hard and the mosquitoes were biting him. Even in our room we spent several hours killing mosquitoes and did not sleep that well.

Feb-6-11 - Today is Uttam’s 30th B-day. He came home late after drinking last night and left this morning. We planned to do something with him as a family but his parents were not interested and Uttam may be to busy with his friends. Uday and I might go to the movies by ourselves then. Wanting to get out of this house! Uttam finally comes home and us three decide to go to the movies. We stop at McDonald’s because I was hungry and wanted a break from Indian food. This was Uttam’s first time at McDonald’s and he was excited when he saw some European girls there even though they were no that attractive he found them to be because he never sees European girls and never saw anyone in person with blue eyes. Uttam also liked his chicken sandwich at McD’s and I also enjoyed my chicken nuggets.

By the time we got to the movie theater it was too crowded and no seats left besides the front row. At first we decided to wait several hours for the next showing and we walked around the mall area there. Uttam had his first cappuccino but said it was not very good and Uday climbed a rock wall and crowds of people were encouraging him because he got so far. Uday decided that we would rent movies and get a cake for Uttam. We went to Paradise and picked up Biryani family meal and Butterscotch cake and then hunted for a video shop. When we were about to give our search for video’s we found a small shop that had some Hindi movies and a few new Hollywood movies. We got what Uttam picked out which was, Air Bender and the Owls movie. Uday had some difficulty with not getting the movies he wanted but he got over it. We reminded him that we could get more movies the rest of our time here. We had a good dinner and good birthday cake.

Uttam, Uday and I stayed up talking about Uttam’s beliefs which he finally shared more about to us and then I needed to get ready to lay down with my suppository. I asked them to continue in my room after I inserted it. Uday said he would be right there. I put it in and waited a few minutes and he did not come in. I knocked loudly on the headboard of the bed several times and he still did not come. I got up and locked the door and Uday heard that and came to the door but it was too late. Uday spent the rest of the night on the hard couch with the mosquito as was the plan the night before, until I had given in.

Feb-7-11 - Today I slept until 7am because I thought a dog was stuck outside. I woke Uday from the couch and instead of checking on the dog he went straight to the bed. He did not sleep much as he spent the rest of the morning telling me about the rest of his conversation with Uttam and how he believed everything he had to say. Later Uday and Uttam read my essay on the Yoga stuff and then watched The Guardians of Garhoole we rented the night before and The Last Air Bender. Uday did some work but not too much before the movie, and then after the movie when he went to do some work the power went out. Uday fell asleep on the hard couch that he was complaining about that he had to sleep on last night. Uday, Uttam and I watched Air bender then Uday and I took the bike to return the movies and get new ones and also border a smaller curtain for our upstairs master bathroom. When we got back I chatted with my cousin Ashley on facebook and forwarded her my resume for online classes at Kaplan College. I was having pains in stomach and needed to change clothes and lay down.

Feb-8-11 - Watched three movies today, Tron, Devil, and Black Swan. Uday’s mom watched Black Swan with us and it was awkward and embarrassing as the main character was trying to get in touch with her sexual side. Later we watched Inception. One day blends into the next here as I am trying to waste time as much as possible to make the days go by faster. I chatted with Angie, my friend Renee’s sister about her experience with IVF and wrote Kevin from the radio station in WPB, FL 95.5 to inquire about his experience.

Feb-9-11 – Had more problems with constipation again but it came out finally and made me bleed. Watched Avatar this morning. Just waiting for 2/14/11 to come to see if I am pregnant! Our curtains should be ready soon and we might be able to visit mummy again at Blue Cross! We were not able to go because the curtains were not ready yet. I went out with Uttam later in the evening to return DVD movies and get some food on the moped. He later allowed me to drive the moped on an empty street. I have more fun with him than I do with Uday.

Feb-10-11 – Watched movie “StepUp-3”, helped Uttam clean the car, gave belly scratch to a really cute puppy. Then we took our laptops and Uttam’s old desktop computer to Paradise center CTC complex to fix/sell, which was better than staying home. Our equipment was so old that they did not want them. Highlight of the trip – taking a picture of a big Indian guy’s looong butt crack!! Got Chinese food to go from “Nan king”.

Feb-11/11 - Uttam took me driving the moped at night again and it was fun and made us both a little nervous. I said “wo hoo” to some Indian guys on our way home when on the back of the moped with Uttam and he thought that was funny.

Feb-12/11 - We went to give blood work at the hospital for them to determine if I am pregnant or not. The results will be four hours later but we got a call that since our doctor is out that day that she wants us to wait to get the results on Mon 2/14/2011.Finished watching the Chronicles of Nania and then went with Uttam to return it and pick up our other bathroom curtain which had a different design around the lace then the other curtain for the same room so I was disappointed.

In the evening Uday, Uttam and I went to Guru’s house and met his mom, sister and grandfather. Later we went out to eat for dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in Banjara Hills.

Guru’s mom gave me a gift of a necklace set and earrings. Guru paid for dinner and was extremely nice, friendly and interesting. The view was very nice over looking the hills and Banjara area and we had a good time eating pizza and pasta. Guru hugged me good-bye. Interestingly he is part of the Sikh religion which is pretty strict and he even hugged me. He was a really cool guy and I enjoyed getting to know him.

Feb-13-11 - Going to Jubilee Hills to pick up curtains and see mummy at Blue Cross and give her some Chicken curry. Her puppies were gone and one story was that they all died and another was that they were adopted. Hard to believe that they would all die being that they were so plump and healthy. The guy who worked there was a jerk and seemed to be trying to make me upset on purpose. He seemed to not like that I was American and caring so much for the dogs. I felt very sad and also very sad that I was the one that brought the puppies and mummy there to begin with. I wanted so badly to take mummy home but she had ticks on her and had not been fixed yet. One of the main reasons of bringing her there was to get her fixed. Reluctantly, we left here there and decided to ask the Indian ladies who help the dogs to make sure she gets fixed and is brought back to the correct neighborhood and they agreed. Uday's older brother Pradeep and his wife, Aruna showed in the evening to see us before we leave.

It is always nice to see the three brothers together. They are all so different yet they get along so well.

Feb-14-11 - Found out that I did not get pregnant. Completely shocked and devastated, we changed our air tickets to leave a little sooner than planned. I could not wait any longer to get home. Many tears were shed and we left the next day. I was anxious to get home to the comfort of my dogs, clean air, friends and family and the comforts of home during this very sad time. All the money, time, efforts and sacrifices for nothing. Very hard for me to believe in God anymore or to believe things happen for a reason. I did learn a lot more about Uday and how my feelings for him had been fading away. Both trips to India had brought us further apart instead of closer together. For the first time I had thought about divorce but had too much sadness about IVF failing to think about it more.

The doctor told us not to give up and to try again in a couple of months. It was impossible for us to do this in India again so if we decided to go this route it would have to be in the U.S.A. for about $15,000.

I could not wait another second to get back home to the comforts of my spoiled dogs and luxiourious life-style but I remained both sad and shocked that our efforts, especially on my part did not pay off. Even though I knew it was a possibility that it might not work, I didn't really believe it until it happened. I couldn't help but wonder if my dwindling relationship and verbal fights with Uday were a reason why the embryos did not attach. I also had so much additional stress in India with the poor dogs, Uday's parents and pollution. Was there a reason for me not to get pregnant, or is it a coincidence? One thing is for sure, that the little faith that I had left that there might be a God was gone. I wondered how I would get past this and what would happen with my relationship with Uday. Would this make us stronger or tear us apart more?

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