Setting Expectations When You're Re-Expecting (in Delhi)We've settled in quite nicely here in our new home in Delhi. The trip over from New York was surprisingly easy. For emphasis so as you really get it, saying that a 14+ hour plane ride with a rowdy 13 month old was "easy" is saying A LOT!
The timing worked in our favor and Neve, with a little outside help (if you know what I mean), slept a good 8 hours on the plane. For the journey, we traded in Neve's baby car seat for one of those Britax monster big girl car seats and when lodged into the window seat of the plane, she was sitting up in a big comfy first class seat with side impact pillows at the ready and just at the perfect height for maximum movie watching! She does not watch much TV at home so having her own personal touch screen entertainment center was like a dream come true. As a side note, and not sure what this says about Neve, but she had no interest in the Muppets or Cars 2 - but put on The Fantastic Mr. Fox and she was mesmerized - pointing at the screen and chatting to that old Mr. Fox - she watched it twice through and just loved it and we REALLY LOVED IT!
Plane arrived an hour early, no line at customs, Rahul the driver picked us up in a brand new mini-van/SUV with excellent a/c, traffic was a breeze, I didn't notice any smoke in the air, no cows to be seen, it was hot but not too bad really -- WHERE THE HECK ARE WE PEOPLE? THIS CAN'T BE DELHI!
Our apartment is just off the busy highway (I'm going to think of that as convenient until proven otherwise) with a nice modern looking gate and about 10 helpful men who greeted us and all wanted to hold Neve. Neve is at that "I don't trust strangers age" and well, we've just been through a big day with the flight and all, but she did not seem to mind all the attention so long as the nice men did not mind her pulling their hair, ears, noses, attacking pens in pockets, etc. We are in less of a residential setting so far as I can tell as compared to our last visit. This is a five story building -- all with long term and short term apartments/rooms. We are on the first floor and greedily took all four bedrooms. It seems a bit over the top at the moment as we are only occupying 2 but I have to remind myself that very soon this will NOT seem like a lot of space!
Anyway, each bedroom is spacious and nicely decked out with it's own bathroom. We have a mini-living room as you walk in that has been converted to Hamish's office and a diaper changing area - an excellent combination! There is a large separate room with a dining room table for 10 (plus Neve on the end in her attached high chair, so really 11) and couches and a tv. Every room has a flat screen tv - and our new house boy friends love to turn them all on and blare the Cricket while Neve tries to nap. We have some kinks to work out! The kitchen is very big and clean and they have some fancy water filter that Hamish thinks is wonderful. I agree that it's wonderful as long as the water has also been boiled once taken from said water filter station before entering my body or Neve's!
In short, I am pleasantly surprised by Home II in Delhi! We had received a bad report about our apartment just before we left on our trip and I was seriously worried, but I think we are going to be more than ok here. See Hamish, there are actually people out there who have higher expectations than I do!!!
So while we are on the topic of expectations, I'm just going to get some stuff off my chest. I HAVE THEM GALORE ABOUT THIS TRIP AND I'M NOT SURE WHAT TO DO WITH THEM!! We are essentially doing over what was a "once in a lifetime" experience and you can't really do that (ie, that's why they are called "once in a lifetime experiences" after all). There is this natural, impulsive need to compare what we did before in Delhi and where we stayed before and what we ate before and where we shopped before, with what we are doing this time around. Man it's getting on my nerves!
I want to bust through and get back to the pure firstness or newness or originalness or whatever of our first trip to Delhi to become parents and to meet Neve. I was eating up the world with such an intensity - the emotional experience brought out a heightened delight in all that we came upon. This experience, well, feels different. I'm over the top excited to meet the twins, don't get me wrong, but in a different way than I was about Neve.
With Neve, we had wanted children for so long that there was a real build up when we came across to get her. We were waiting in a foreign land to be initiated into the secret Order of the Parents - and trust me, that threw off a certain amount of emotional baggage all in itself. And now that we are members of that Order (and quite happy to be!) and the secrets have been revealed, things are well, differnt in this waiting period.
This is a long and circular path to the point that I think I'm trying to make - it's ok that I feel different and that I have expectations about what the experience of becoming a parent via surrogacy in India is supposed to be like the second time around. But, I need to JUST LET IT GO . . . This time is going to be DIFFERENT and these little twins are going to be DIFFERENT and that's the way it's supposed to be!
Just before we came across I was talking to a cousin of mine who has two boys of her own. I was saying that I can't imagine loving anything as much as I love Neve and she said, "oh you will be amazed - two other whole chambers of your heart will open up when those twins are born and you won't believe that you ever thought there might not be more space." Of course I know this to be true. I am, after all, one of 4 girls and as far I as I can tell, my parents (and parents everywhere) found plenty of space for numbers 2, 3 and 4. I guess I'm just a pre-newbie second time parent playing right into all the regular anxieties!
So back to the new home and so as we can get the comparison thing done and I'm just going to say this once. I MISS DELLIP AND MR. MOHANK SOMETHING TERRIBLE!!!! Because this is a bigger place, we don't have our own Dellip and instead have cleaners who come in once a day. There are three of them, they are very nice, they do a good job, they want to pick up Neve (Neve wants to play with their trash bins and buckets of water) - but I can tell that we are not going to be sitting around watching cricket and eating pizza together any time soon I don't think. Our cook is lovely and young with a big smile, but so far Mr. Mohank has nothing to worry about. He is really trying and I like him but we've had some funny experiences (like Hamish having to show him how to scramble eggs and actually cook the toast to the point where it is not just luke warm bread but has some crusty brown bits).
There, it's out there, enough.
We are heading to the big Mall this afternoon to buy some additional baby stuff (still need a bassinet for the twins and a baby tub) and to let Neve have some fun running wild in a large air conditioned space. It now makes me laugh to think back about the last time we set foot in that Mall, running out of bottles, Neve going nuts - this is certainly one experience that we can improve upon with little effort!!
All is well on the twin front. We are heading into week 36 and our surrogate is on bed rest as a precaution but doing well. If she makes it to week 37, they will do a planned c-section, so I think the latest the twins will be born is May 9! We have really been debating the names and working much harder on the whole naming thing than we did with Neve and I am happy to report that if we have one boy and one girl, we are in great shape. The other two combinations will result in some last minute scrambling, debating, horse-trading - something to look forward to!!
That's all for now, Hamish just came in to ask for the 20th time if I'm still blogging so I think that means he wants me to STOP IT AND GET OUT OF BED!
Love to all -
G, H & N + 2
Neve with our wonderful Nanny, Saba, just before leaving for the airport.
Man do we miss her SOOOO much already, as does Neve!!
Luggage for this trip, including tiny human.
As a point of comparison, this is what we took last year.
Bedroom of new apartment.
Poor Neve had to sleep on a mattress in the corner on the floor our first night here. We've left it there as it makes for a nice play space/day bed in our room. Owners think we are nuts!
Hamish's new office in the hallway/small living room.
We pulled desks out of the bedrooms and it works well. Again, owners think we are nuts.
Super deluxe changing station (used to be bar table with stools). Big
enough for Neve to squirm around on without falling off - cushy enough for baby twins.
Dining room table with Neve's chair attached to one end.
Ketchup is always on the table just in case you need it!
Britax car seat (ie first class seat on plane for Neve)
Our cook - Lelat
There are nice marble stairs leading up to the master suite and Neve is intoxicated by them. Given the choice, she would go up and down these dang stairs ALL DAY LONG! This why lovely chairs have been strategically placed in front of said stairs and we parents are giving up master suite to the twins.
The sacrifices we make!
When we arrived each bed was adorned with a special animal sculpture made from towels. Yes, this is an elephant!! We had swans as well which reminded me of my Disney World roots!