Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day 14: The many faces of Vivek and Tara

I went nuts with the camera this morning at bathtime. They are so alert and make so many faces and work the camera. They nurses were so great about it even though I was in the way. Vivek doesn't seem to enjoy any part of bath time and protests as loudly as his little lungs let him. His tiny frown is so heartbreaking. Tara on the other hand dislikes the wiping down part of the bath and squeaks in protest, but when the rubbing them down in oil part comes she settles right down and seems to enjoy it. So without further ado.... For some reason the pics stretch out a tad.

Miss Tara's bathtime:


Miss Tara post-bath:

Mister Vivek's bathtime: (You can tell he is less of a fan)

Mister Vivek post-bath:

Tara has a noisy new nieghbor. The NICU was at 7 but a set of twins and a singleton arrived so we are back at 10. Not a whole lot else exciting today after bathtime. I bought a steam sterilizer at Seven Eleven and was overcharged, but had no choice since my small one I brought (Baby Bullet Turbo Steamer) busted after the first use and Suvarna told me they do not want me boiling stuff for 10 min to sterilize it. So now I'm handwashing and then just steaming. I plan on taking pics to show her my sterilizing procedure so she'll believe me because she is so cautious. I appreciate how protective and careful she is, but no way am I bringing 18 pieces to sterilize every few hours when I still haven't gotten one piece back from 2 days ago.

I resolved my account with Dr. Patel today after further discussion with Hitesh. By some miracle I caught him with Dr. Patel and her assistant all in his office. It was about what I expected and planned for, which was $2000 extra to the surrogate for the 25% twin fee, plus a $1000 procedural charge (see below). I did debate the $2000 emergency delivery charge, because if there is no emergency delivery it is supposed to be 50% refunded. Even though it was delivered early and was an emergency in a sense, it was still natural childbirth and not Cesaerean section so they agreed to take off the $1000.

Some things I learned to help out other folks out there:

1.  If you have twins they generally do a cervical circlage procedure, and that is a $1000 charge. We were not informed about this but fortunately I planned for a bit of wiggle room in the budget.
2. We had just over $2000 in hospital stay fees for when she was admitted for the fetal reduction procedures since all 5 embryos implanted. We had to do reduction twice since one embryo didn't respond the first time. We were not informed about this, but I think it evened out because I'm recalling the fee schedule may have some hospital charges from when they are normally admitted before delivery but ours never had a chance to be. You may want to doublecheck about hospital fees anytime your surrogate is admitted or has a procedure.

Other practical information for readers coming to Anand: There are English channels here. I'm not sure if they are the same at every hotel, but at the Rama Residency here is my list...which may not be comprehensive.

Chan 45: Movies Now--almost all blockbuster movies
Chan 46:  AXN- a mix of shows including several game shows
Chan 51: Star Movies
Chan 60: ZStudio-sometimes movies, sometimes TV shows...including some Comedy Channel shows
Chan 70: Mix of TV shows
Chan 73: Mix of TV shows, including Dexter and the Simpsons.! Indians also seem to love Austrailian competition cooking shows aired constantly on this channel.
Chan 77: Movies

That is at least 7 English channels!!! Netflix and Hulu Plus are not allowed in India due to some crud about streaming rights. Count your blessings folks. I am mostly sick of the same commercials I could recite in Hindi even though I'm not entirely sure what they are about. Usually cell phones. It is all about how cool your cell phone is here. I also find it humorous that many English shows are subtitled in English for some reason. But the funny part is that the person says "shit" but the subtitle says "crap." They JUST said it, so why bother changing the subtitle???

I did end the day on a sad note. As I left the NICU tonight my way was blocked by a tuk-tuk, which was not normal because mainly you see only motorcycles try to go through the narrow passageway by the stairwell entrance.  I noticed a lot of men crowded around it. As I squeezed by on the side you can't exit from I saw what was going on.

There was a young woman crying looking very distressed, holding onto an elderly man who was halfway in the seat but slumped over and unconscious and she was trying to hold him halfway up. I knew it was serious the instant I saw it. Everyone was just standing around watching, looking far too calm for what the situation appeared to be to me. However CPR is hardly something that is really known well in this part of the world. I have pretty extensive medical knowledge and training for a layperson, and my instinct wanted me to go through the steps I talk people through at work almost every day at 911. The patient was in the worst possible position for his airway, and showed no signs of obvious death from what I could see. They had a wheelchair but none of the men was moving a muscle to lift the man in it and take him to the elevator into the ICU.

Hee was surrounded by about a dozen men who were trying to take control of the situation by doing absolutely nothing but spectating while someone slowly walked upstairs to get a doctor to come down from Dr. Kothiala's hospital. As a foreign woman, I knew there was no way I could jump in there and take charge of the situation without resistance. Plus, I didn't know the full story of what happened that could signify obvious death, nor a way to find out. I also had no CPR mask and the chance of a transmittable disease is far more likely here. So instead I stood over by the wall a few yards away and waited, hoping a doctor arrived soon.

After a minute a doctor came down and put his stethoscope to the man's chest, then I saw him pull it away and shake his head no. Very sad. I left to give them their privacy. I wonder if he was that woman's father. I wonder why he arrived in a tuk tuk instead of the ambulance that arrives there several times a day. I wonder if he was already dead when they got him in the tuk tuk, or if he was unconscious and she had help getting him in it. I wonder how you call for an ambulance when there is no emergency number here, or if you can't pay they won't pick you up. I wonder how many people die because there is nobody who can give medical instructions over the phone. So very sad. I walked away and said a small prayer for her, but also grateful I live in a country with the infrastructure to support emergency services.

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