Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 20: Change of heart

Today was a pleasant day. First development was that Divya left and her husband must have decided he didn't want her to stay longer to provide milk for my babies. This means my babies will be on straight formula and eventually whatever small amount of milk I can provide.  To look on the bright side this means they'll continue to grow faster. I think I've been able to fairly calculate about two cans of formula a week, but as they grow they'll go through more. Now I can better estimate how much I'll need my husband to bring with him. Tonight she weighs 1305 grams or 2lbs 14 oz, and he is 1325 grams or just shy of 2lbs 15 oz. The sucking instinct is really kicking in, especially for Miss Tara. Vivek is the one in the hot pink hat today, and she's in blue. Typical.

Last night I decided against my mixed feelings and tight budget to give a tip to Manju, and also to Nita to thank you for carrying and providing milk for my babies. It was only $100 for Manju and $50 for Nita...but it was probably the right thing to do even though I didn't feel all that enthusiastic given the issues with Manju not providing milk when she had been paid to. I've heard $200 to the surrogate is more typical. I also gave Manju a special necklace that symbolized my children that a friend had made for me that I had worn and been planning to give to her.

But today I was shocked by a sudden turn of events. Nita grabbed me in the hall as I was paying a deposit for the NICU and had someone who knew a little English say "" over and over. She kept touching my chest and also saying "saree." I could not tell what she meant but assumed she was maybe trying to get my room number for one last attempt to get more money from me, because that happens with so many it seems. I just answered no visitors at Rama and it ended with confusion on both sides. But as I went back to the NICU momentarily, she called down and explained that Manju had gifts she wanted to give me! Long story short, she met me at the Rama an hour later with Nita and gifted me a beautiful saree and an adorable dress for Tara and cute top and shorts for Vivek. She also asked that I call her when we were about to leave Anand so that she could come see the babies one last time. It seems she cares a lot more than I realized, and it is more like the happy ending I had hoped for.

I noticed two new things today. They bring in a ladder to clean the fans. Yet another surface not left untouched. I also realized that the small octagonal tupperware at each isollette are what they use for open sharps containers, and the one time I had seen sharps held underneath a trash can must have been the exception to the rule because the tupperware containers were being washed at the time. My babies haven't needed any sharps except once or twice a week for a routine blood draw so that is why I must not have noticed.

It is exciting to be making preliminary travel plans. I'm so thrilled to hear that my mother-in-law may travel to Anand and arrive on Sept 8th, and can help me with bottle feeding the babies on their last stretch in the NICU if all goes well. Then when discharge approaches my husband and mother can come together with any final supplies and all the extra hands we'll need. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

 Blurry Vivek opening his eyes only cause the nice nurse is trying to shake him awake for a photo op

Vivek tipping his hat and perhaps making a gang sign

Miss Tara yawning
 Tonight I tried out Flavours Restaurant behind the Subway. It was pretty good, and better than Hotel Laksh cause I ordered the exact same thing there. Slow night I guess, cause 7 waiters were standing behind me watching me eat. Wierd. I had to take a picture of the gorgeous flowers I saw blooming outside in their garden at night, which were like nothing I had ever seen before.

I think tomorrow I may go to Seven Eleven and buy the baby carriers and beds I'll need for the babies. Something to do that I might as well do keeps me focused on the end of this NICU journey. I'll also try Dawat again, which was my original plan tonight. I saw bartha on the menu and they didn't have it because it was seasonal. However I've seen my favorite eggplant around town enough that surely they'll have bartha on the menu now. If so I may have to go there daily.

I had a comment posted about how to do sterilization in the hotel room. My plan was to bring a hot plate to be used with a converter for the plug, and buy a pot and tongs in Anand at Big Bazaar. It worked just fine, but the NICU nurse Suvarna wanted me to use a steam sterilizer instead like the kind you can buy at Seven Eleven for 2500 rupees (There is one that is in the 3000 range). The thought was that some plastics get melty and may release stuff into what is put in them, but I've also heard otherwise especially if something is known to be BPA free. I bought one cause I'm not about to cause a problem with Suvarna, and got a 2nd one given to me. The microwave steam sterilizer bags are awesome, but Rama does not have a microwave and even if they did you probably couldn't use it 8-10 times per day at will.  I also inherited a kettle, which boils water so you can sterilize bottled water before mixing it with formula.

Hopefully soon I'll have tips on how to print out something, because my worry has come true and I have to try to print out my husband's FMLA paperwork, have it signed by Dr. Patel or Dr. Kothiala, and send it back to the US. I dreaded trying to solve this problem but my work was able to avoid such hassles, but my husband's wasn't so kind. I'll talk to Hitesh and see what I can do.

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