Friday 3 August 2012

Extremes of Happiness and Sadness on a Special Day

Beau's 1st Birthday on the 17th July was of course a wonderful and very special day.  We updated our blog to wish our beautiful boy a very happy birthday and to update that our current pregnancy seemed to be going safe and well.  However, that evening we received a devastating email to say that the scan on the previous day (about a 13 week scan) failed to detect a heartbeat, and a second scan on the 17th confirmed this.

Like many people, we thought that the first 12 weeks were the 'risky' stage, and felt huge relief when we passed this.  But it just goes to show just how fragile life can be, but at the same time just amplifies how lucky and blessed we feel to have Beau!!!!!

Our thoughts have also very much been with our wonderful surrogate mother, S.  I am sure that the loss must be felt equally, and naturally for her there are unpleasant after effects to deal with.  We just hope that she also heals emotionally and physically as quickly as possible, to be able to continue to strive for her dreams too!

We have decided to put our dreams and plans of extending our family on hold for a while.  On a practical level, we need to recover financially before we can embark on what will be our 6th attempt at surrogacy.  On an emotional level, we feel that the anxiety and stress of surrogacy is something that we aren't ready for right now, we just want to focus all our love and energy on Beau.

We have just returned from a trip to Italy and the UK where Beau had a big 1st birthday party with family and friends.  Living so far from our family, it was touching and wonderful to see beau surrounded by so much love and affection.  In 10 days, we didn't use the stroller once, he just wants to walk everywhere all day, we have no idea where all this energy comes from!!!!!

Dr Shivani will be sending the results of test through soon to see if there was any detectable reason for the sudden loss of heartbeat.  But in the mean time, we try our very best to heal and move forward knowing just how lucky and blessed we are to have our fabulous, beautiful and beloved Beau in our lives.

Tuesday 17 July 2012



Can you believe it?? A year old already?! When intended parents and parents tell you it will go in a blink of an eye, believe me it does! We cannot believe that this time last year we had just found out our little boy was born....sitting in the same room that so many other people have been made parents.......Having Beau truly has been a life changing experience, he fills our lives with happiness and joy that we did not think was possible, even after the projectile vomiting, explosive diarrhea and sleepless nights!

This is Beau a year ago today weighing a whopping 2.85kg! :)

He is of course walking everywhere and has been since 10 months, babbling and pulling extremely funny faces which is great fun! He says, Hello, Bye-bye, Dadda and Dad..we don't know who's who yet :) he also asks "where?" quite a lot as think we're both not normally there or its just a word he picked up from Kindy! He hates Broccoli, even when we try and hide it he can find it! Loves spicy food including japanese curry....and all kinds of berries which of course get everywhere!

We love seeing what each new day brings and what Beau can do....We are extremely lucky that he will be joined by a sibling end of December 2012 or early Jan 2013! We are around 13 weeks and pleased to see its all going well...I'm thinking a pink one this time!

We have a huge family birthday for Beau on July 22nd in the UK, lots of extended family, aunties, uncles, grandparents and finally all his cousins in one room! We hired a hotel which has a lovely garden and hopefully if the weather keeps we can have most of it outside! So stay tuned of this party pics!

Apart from that we are really busy as Adam has a new job and constantly traveling but we are all very happy and content and hope it continues! 

A big congrats to all the new Parents out there....we still read all the blogs but its hard to write congrats sometimes, especially when China blocks the blogs! So congrats again!! To all those waiting, it WILL happen! Took us 4 attempts and look at us now, no stopping us! And we look forward to anyone else being in Delhi over the NY2012 as we of course will be in India for 3 months again but this time a little more relaxed and less apprehensive! We look forward to seeing you all there!!!

Happy Birthday our BEAUtiful Bo-bo.....Daddy and Pop love you very VERY much x

Tuesday 5 June 2012

We have a heartbeat!

As the title suggests, we are thrilled that today's scan detected a heartbeat!  We are over the moon with this news, and hope that everything remains as boring and normal as possible until the next scan...  Adam is in Shanghai, and I was watching the Queen's Jubilee wave from Buckingham Palace on the news when the email came through.  I burst into tears when I opened the email and read the news, and the silly fool in me thought 'Keep waving Queenie, you've got another Brit on the way!'

We of course remain anxious of being in such 'early days', but excitement is winning out and we really hope our beautiful boy Beau has an equally beautiful brother or sister with us beginning of January 2013.

Will keep you posted whenever we get any more new or updates, and for those who had some spare positive energy, huge thanks, it clearly worked!

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Here we go again.... 5 weeks and 2 days :)

We announce with an all too familiar mix of trepidation, anxiety, excitement, hope and fear that we today received some great news from Dr Shivani....

We are about 5 weeks and 2 days pregnant with a baby brother or sister for Beau!  Last week, we had our Beta blood test results of around 97.6 which we are of course excited and nervous about... we were clearly pregnant, but we didn't know how to feel about an 'okay' beta level.

Todays scan shows a clear single gestational sac and we hope and pray that our singleton baby is strong, comfortable and ready to develop a heartbeat in time for next week's scan!!!!!!

We didn't know whether to share this news or not, whether to wait a few weeks... to blog or not to blog, that is the questions!  But whether we are right or wrong to do so, we came to the conclusion that what will be will be, and as superstitious as we might be, our odd actions and obsessive compulsive bizarre thinking hopefully don't play much part in the outcome.  We just hope and pray that God and Mother Nature is on our side, and that our continued desire for another baby and a good helping of positive energy will help us get the results we so desperately wish to see next scan.

Beau brings so much warmth, love and light into our lives, it's impossibly exciting to think how amazing growing our family might be.

So if anyone has some spare positive energy lying around the house, please feel very welcome to throw it out way :)

Until next week.........

Tuesday 22 May 2012

10 months and a week!

Well we haven't written a new post for a shamefully long time.  We have swapped the tranquility and canals of Venice for the bright lights and noise of Hong Kong and have been here 3 months setting up our new home and adjusting to our new life.  So far, so good!

Beau is adjusting extremely well.  He seems extremely happy and content here, so maybe he is a city boy at heart.  What we love about Hong Kong is that even living in the chaos of the city, you are only 10 minutes by taxi to the tranquility of the beach, or greenery and the great outdoors.  We are very fortunate that in a city where 99% of the population live in apartments, we are right next to lovely green Victoria Park which Beau absolutely loves, so it's pretty much become our back garden.

Beau is now 10 months and 1 week, and although he never paid that much attention to crawling has started to walk.  He just won't sit down any more, and spends all his day clinging upright to furniture, dragging chairs across the room by their legs, and being a very busy boy!!!!! He can manage a good 10-15 steps now, and is desperately trying to stand upright without having to hold onto things.

3 weeks ago, we enrolled him in a playgroup for 2 hours on a Friday, soon to be 2 hours on a Tuesday and 2 on a Friday.  He was so shy when he first went, but by week 3 he is getting into his stride and is getting much more interactive with the other children.  He's happy to wonder off a bit by himself for a few minutes giving only the occasional glance back just to make sure one of us is still in the room.

We cannot believe that our minds are now turning to planning his first birthday party, who stole this year?????? It's whizzed by in a flash!  Yet it seems so long ago that we had a tiny tiny baby with a floppy head on a not very string neck who could spend an hour trying to labour through a 2ounce bottle of formula....  To free up some space, we recently boxed away his first few months clothes, and inevitably spent a lot of time ooh-ing and ahh-ing over 'was he really THAT small?'

Because we both work, we have needed to employ a full time helper, Heidee, and she is wonderful with Beau.  But fortunately, we both now work for the same company in China, and spend a few days a week working from home, with a couple of days each a week working in Mainland China.  But fortunately our director is very supportive of us, and try their best to make sure that one of us can be at home when the other is away and vice versa, so this is working extremely well to date.... plus we have a work trip to Italy coming up and we've been allowed to 'tag on' a weeks vacation to this so we are really looking forward to some family time together somewhere more tranquil.

Although Beau has been brilliant on all the flights we've taken so far, we are a bit concerned how well he will now be on a 12 hour flight as he just doesn't want to sit down for any particular period of time.  Finger's crossed it will be ok!!!!!!

Huge HUGE congratulations to those who have celebrated the births of their beautiful children, Doug and Bill, Jason and Adrian to name a few, and a particular shout out to Avey and Hari who seem to be doing great in Delhi dealing with the 3 months in Delhi us Brits have to endure to get our babies home.

And finally, apologies for being terrible bloggers, we try our best to find the time to 'drop in' on everyone's blogs and send all our friends in the blogosphere a hug and a high five from Beau x

Saturday 4 February 2012

Long overdue update...

Well we haven't blogged for an outrageously long time, one week seems to so quickly turn into the next that the last few months have almost been a total blur! I'm going to drop in a random selection of photos as we blog....

Our biggest news is that we have decided to move back to Hong Kong, around the end of this month. Jobs and opportunity mean that as lovely as life might be in Venice, our plans of more children, buying a house, saving for college/rainy days/holidays etc are better facilitated by living and working in Asia and benefitting from the opportunity that this brings.

In the mean time, we have to deal with all the hassle of shipping, flights, finding an apartment, packing, visas, red tape, dogs etc etc, but we're both really excited by our decision so it shouldn't feel like too much of a chore!

We also have a lot more friends in Hong Kong so it will be great to visit people and have visitors, and also a few of our friends also have young children, so hopefully we can give Beau more interaction with other babies that in Venice is sadly lacking.

Just recently, we have seen lots of family, and for some it was their first time meeting Beau. We took him to the UK for Christmas, Amsterdam recently for a weekend away with some of Adam's family, and my parents have just returned home after spending 5 days with us in Venice. Everyone is totally in love with Beau, and as quiet and to some degree, private as our life in Italy is, Beau seems to absolutely love all the attention that meeting so many people brings!

It's scary to think just how quickly Beau grows and develops, he barely sleeps in the daytime, just the occasional 20 min power nap seems to get him through the day, but on the plus side he sleeps 7.30pm to 6.30am pretty much straight through, with just the occasional cry or whimper in the night. He is so curious with everything, and is absolutely loving his new-found independence provided by his baby walker. Nothing makes him happier than doing laps of the sofa or picking up some serious speed under the dining table! Quite the dare-devil!!!!!

Huge apologies to everyone for being away from Blogworld for quite some time, it's also now that we take our hats off to those with multiples, the impact of having one baby is huge, so the impacts of 2, 3, 4.... seriously, knighthoods and medals for services to parenthood are totally called for!

I wouldn't have believed when anyone told me that the 'bit where you have a tiny baby' is so short, gone in a flash, but it's totally true! But what we do have is an absolutely gorgeous 'little man' full of love, happiness, smiles, and a ray of sunshine in our lives far brighter than anyone can imagine.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Apologies for being terribly lazy bloggers!!!!!

Beau is 19 weeks old today, and boy are we reminded how quickly he is growing and changing when we are sent photo's like this one below... this was taken by a lovely British family who were staying in the same accommodation as us in Delhi. It's was Adam's 30th birthday and the hotel owner put on a lovely evening dinner party. Beau was only 6 days old. They kindly emailed us the photo last week, it is actually one of the very few of the three of us together with Beau pretty much new born and extremely precious to us.

We took him to see his new pediatrician last week and Beau weighed in at a whopping 7kg, or about 15.5 pounds. The Doctor was helping me try to clarify what vaccinations he has had and what he needs to have. Given that we were in Delhi for about 3 months, Beau made a lot of visits to the pediatrician for vaccinations, and the Italian doctor was both surprised and impressed with how thorough the Indian vaccinations were. he was given a lot more injections in India than he would have been given in Italy (of course given the difference in conditions) but the Doctor was of the thinking that the more the better, and the injections he has been given can only strengthen his immune system even if they wouldn't have been given in Italy. Next injections are not now due until he is 12 months old, but he will of course keep regular check-ups.

Beau is coping remarkably well with the change in weather here, after 3 months outside the womb in Delhi and 9 months in, he's now having to deal with the harsh realities of a European winter, but doing it is a remarkably fashionable way! Although he absolutely hates wearing his big chunky puffer jacket, far too restrictive for him!!!! He would much rather be home half-naked with the central heating on full blast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everywhere is Venice is starting to get a little more festive and 'Christmassy', although it makes a nice change from the UK where Christmas goods hit the shops the moment the last of the summer BBQ coals go on sale!!! We are excitedly anticipating the switch-on of the Christmas street lights and introduce Beau to a little festive cheer! We are planning Christmas day in Venice but will be traveling to the UK on 26th December where Beau will get to meet many new family and friends (8 aunties, 7 uncles, 16 cousins, a billion members of extended family, great aunts, great uncles, our old school friends.......) so this will no doubt be a fabulous and exhausting trip to our home land. It seems odd that Beau is British with a British passport and has yet to step foot on UK soil.. but he seems to be having a lovely time with our European neighbors. Venetians are a reserved and aloof breed, but they do melt when they see a baby and shower them with lovely attention, and Beau gets more than his fair share.

But although we can't believe how quickly our beautiful baby boy is growing up, we also can't believe that this is what he looked like on the 30th November 2010:

Saturday 29 October 2011

14 Weeks Old and HOME!!!!!!!

Beau is 14 weeks old on Sunday, and we finally made it home after 12 weeks! The last 2 weeks at home have been amazing. As we haven't blogged for ages, I've uploaded a random selection of photo's from the last couple of weeks.

After 10-11 weeks, I received an email to say that Beau's passport had been printed in the UK and was finally on its way to Delhi. By 12 weeks it still hadn't arrived, when I got a call to say please come to the British High Commission. When I arrived, I was told that the passport had be found, in PAKISTAN!!!!!! They sent it from the UK to the wrong country!!!! I could do nothing but laugh at how ridiculous the situation was. Because the diplomatic postal service all has to go via London, I was told it would take at least 2 weeks to get the passport redirected to Delhi, so they issued beau an emergency travel document on the Tuesday. Adam had left the week before to set up the new flat in Venice, so it was so exciting to know that we were a matter of days away from being together as a family again.

I used the Wednesday to prepare all my paperwork for the MHA/FRRO exit visa, visited the MHA Thursday and the FRRO Friday. The senior gentleman on the 'In Charge' desk in the FRRO looked at all the paperwork and said they was happy all my documents were in order and they would not be doing an investigation (which was clearly a relief as this can be another 10 days), but as far as I understand, some senior director at the MHA now has to sign all exit visas involving surrogacy (not the guy at the In Charge desk as before). However, he was out for the day, and 'might' be back at 4pm. Given that this was a Friday, I had a flight booked for that evening, it was a real worry that he wouldn't come back to work at that time on a Friday and I would have to wait until Monday, but PRAISE BE, he decided to come back to his office, sign the exit visa and we was all ready to do our last minute packing and head home!!!!!

On reflection, it wasn't quite so bad as it felt at the time, but between getting the exit visa and sitting on the plane, it felt like the scene in the Truman Show where Jim Carey was trying to leave town and everyone around him was trying to stop him! On check-out, my credit card wouldn't work, and I spent ages arranging my sister to pay the bill from the UK. When all was in order, they suddenly decided to add about US$50 worth of minibar charges to the bill that had already been paid. This took about an hour and plenty of shouting to resolve. When I got to the airport, I was told that there was a problem with Beau's ticket and Imight have to buy a new one (another hour at the ticket desk arguing, eventually resulting in Swiss Air realizing the ticket was actually fine.) By that time the bassinet seats had been taken.

The queue for immigration was now huge, and although I was dreading the passport inspection, it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. The guy behind the desk obviously asked where the mother was, to which I replied that my son was born through a surrogacy arrangement. He asked if I had any court orders, which I explained that court papers were not necessary. I gave him the signed 'No Objection' document from the SM, and he went off to check this with a senior customs/immigration official who I noticed gave it a quick skim read and said everything was ok. I am presuming that every immigration inspector at the desk might not quite understand surrogacy, but clearly their managers do, so even if they do go off to make some inquiries, it's not such a big deal, they are only doing their jobs and the reality of the situation will soon become clear...

My final 'just laugh' situation was when it was time to board the plane, a member of Swiss Air staff offered to help carry my many cabin baggage items to the plane. On the way, she asked where the mother was and I kindly advised her that I have been asked that question every 10 minutes for the last 12 weeks, so hopefully she won't be offended if I really can't be bothered to explain. She then offered to 'tell all cabin staff that we have a passenger on board traveling without a child's mother, so female staff might need to help feed and change the baby.' I declined her offer, and she looked very worried, asking me 'But what if he cries, what if he needs feeding, what if he needs a nappy changing?' She was extremely surprised to hear me say that I could actually manage all of those situations and will manage just fine. As frustrating as I find this presumption, I can only put it down to cultural difference and she was actually trying to be as helpful as possible.

But we were by now finally on the plane, I wouldn't have cared if we had to stand the whole way home! Beau was amazing on the flight, he cried once for about 30 seconds, but as it was an 8 hour flight leaving at 01:15AM, he sept for nearly all of it, waking to feed then go straight back to sleep. We had a quick 1.5 hour layover in Zurich, then a short 1 hour flight to Venice. Adam met e at the airport which was fantastic, and a 30 minute boat ride and we were home!!!!!!

Living in Venice is not the easiest place to have a baby, such as taking the pushchair out in a city with 409 bridges, but definitely has it's benefits with children as it's completely car fee, extremely safe, and the air is very fresh and clean. Venetians make me smile as the don't like to make a big deal about things, and its very impressive to see a mother with 3 or 4 kids and a pushchair laden with 4 or 5 bag of shopping on the back of her babies' stroller single handedly crossing an extremely steep bridge with small steps on the 'school run' declining all help from passers by. It's just the way it is here, you just deal with it without complaining, and it's just a small price to pay to live somewhere so beautiful. We have been using the Baby Bjorn carrier far more than the stroller, but we have been out for 'bridge crossing practice' on the realization that he's getting heavy and we're going to have to use the pushchair far more fairly soon. He's so happy here, he just loves being outside taking in all the crowds and scenery, and he revels in all the attention people give him as Venice is very much a baby-loving city.

Huge aplogies to all those who haven't hard from us for a while, looking forward to catching up on everyone else's blogs. At times we felt we would never get home, but of course we did and as hard as it sometimes was, we are already thinking about when we might do this all again in Delhi. We are hoping that SCI will do an new egg cycle with our same ED, and freeze the embryos so that Beau has genetically related siblings for our future family expansion. In the mean time we just adore our life with him, his smile, his squeeky noises that will soon be laughter, and his beautiful eyes that stare at you all the time.

Monday 5 September 2011

Plenty to smile about...

Contrary to the title of this post, we are having an immensely frustrating time dealing with the red tape that goes with getting UK citizenship and a passport for Beau, and at times it's incredibly hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel (OF COURSE Beau is the light, but the end of the tunnel at times seams nowhere in sight, more on that later), but when Beau dishes out such a warm, radiant smile such as this corker pictured below, all of those frustrations temporarily disappear, and we have a magical moment that puts our fight to get home in clear context... we are SOOOOOOO amazingly lucky to have him and with time, more effort and as ever much perseverance, we get to have this magic at home (not hotel-home, but REAL HOME!!!!).

Of course, its fantastic to have this time together as a family, but we know how special it will be when we get to relax in our own home, with no 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door, with our crazy beloved dogs, close to family and friends, close to somewhere we can go a walk that has actual pavement and without the risk of getting run over by oncoming autorickshaws, and no one ringing the bedroom late at night asking 'what time do you want breakfast tomorrow sir? (actually, that last bit would be quite nice to have at home!!!!)

For us Brits, the citizenship and passport process is a total headache (of course it's a headache in it's own special way no matter who you are or where you're from) but the already tough rules and long processing times have been now been extended. Whereas the British High Commission up until recently advised that getting the citizenship could take around 6 weeks and the passport a further 4 weeks, they now advise that this will take 'many months', and if you call the UK Border Agency who deal with the citizenship applications, they repeatedly quote that they aim to deal with applications quickly 'usually no longer than 6 months'... minimum three, maximum SIX MONTHS!!!!!! That's without applying for the passport and dealing with the exit formalities. The new rules make it very clear that UK citizens will have a very tough time, but regardless of this, I remain optimistic that for future Brits coming to India for surrogacy, or anyone for that matter who has a tough time with red tape for those people who dream of having children with the help of India, this will merely be a hurdle and not a preventative measure. It took so long to get here, as much as we complain about a few more weeks, it's (hopefully) not going to kill us!!!!

We've been here in Delhi 8 going on 9 weeks, and we still have no idea when the UKBA will issue the Citizenship Certificate, their policy is not to give absolutely any information no matter where you are applying from, no matter how desperately you need to return to work, no matter if you might lose your job and have no income, no matter how much risk you face... they just say the usual expect to wait at least another 3 months. It's in a league of it's own for outrageously bad service, especially given it costs US$1000 approx to apply.

Not wishing to tempt fate, we have a feeling that our application MIGHT be progressing, but we're also preparing ourselves mentally for the fact that we might be here many more weeks... we'll keep you posted!

It's amazing how Beau has developed so much in just 7 weeks and a day! Time seems to fly where Beau is concerned, and totally drag where red tape is concerned... He is so alert and content, when he might want something he gives adequate warning with a few moans and grumbles and only rarely does he turn on the siren-wail when we're totally not understanding the urgency of his needs!!!! And his magical smile, it can really turn a tough day into something special!!!

This is such an obvious thing to write, but words can't describe how much we love him, how unbelievably special he is to us, how life has changed overnight since the day he was born and how difficult it is to remember what life felt like before he was born... We have paid the deposit and secured our new apartment in Venice, and knowing that in the hopefully not-too-distant-future, we get to be the family we are in our own home, in a beautiful city, with the dogs that we miss SOOOOOO much, that is an amazing thought that we cannot wait to happen!

Saturday 27 August 2011

7 weeks in......

Well this post feels a bit like re-run of the wait to meet our baby! Yes we have been here 7 weeks on Tuesday going into our 8th Week!! It's starting to send us all a bit crazy now is all we can do is sit back and wait....We submitted our MN1 application to the British High Commission on 22nd July and then finally received an application number on the 11th August...Yes you heard right...20 days just to get a number for our application...we rang on Friday and was told we still don't even have a case worker....suprise suprise!! If you don't know the MN1 application is for citizenship in the UK and goes with every other person applying to get into the country, no matter what your circumstances. Every day they receive around 800 applications and ours is sat in a pile somewhere. We knew we would be here for around 12 weeks as they originally said on the Foreign Office website, 8 weeks for citizenship and then 4 weeks for passport application.....and now wait for it, the crappest news ever....this has now increased to 3-6 months for citizenship plus 1 month for Passport!! We've contacted the consulate and they do sweet FA! They are no longer in the position to help after its sent to the UK and its completely out of their hands...:(

So don't know what to do really but one can expedite the case as we're in a queue with everyone else.

On another completely different note, 28th August has always been quite a good day for us! We moved in to our first apartment in Hong Kong on the 28-08-08 (The chinese for 8 is "ba" which means lots of luck hopefully!) My ID card in HK is also the 28-08-08 and We came to Delhi for our first "Donation" on the 28-08-10 and the result was our Boy Beau, a year later! So tomorrow is 28-08 and we are hoping that this week brings us a step closer to home!! Our new apartment in Venice is number 4828....again, we met on the 08-04 and our lucky number 28 keeps coming up!!

We are meant to flying home on the 20th September but at the minute I don't see this happening, so we will be looking to change our flights in the next week or two as one of us will have to go back to Florence to pick up our pups and empty our Florence apartment by the 30th September.

What else has happened??? Beau has continued to be a beautiful boy and fun to be with....he still has his umbilical hernia but his colic does not seem to be as bad which has been good for us, as he is now on a four hour eating pattern! Yay!! Adam has been ill again and his Veneer then broke! So we have all been a bit up and down lately but we have to keep our eye on the prize....HOME!!!!!! Michael went to see Doug and chad with Beau last week and really enjoyed the great company and BBQ ribs! Beau loved the copious amount of cuddles!

Here's some cute pics to finish with as he is the thing that keeps us going and the light of our lives.