(July 21, 2008)
Prior to leaving for Anand, we received an email asking if we would like to pay $125 USD for a Baby Shower for our Surrogate. This kind of hit us like a bomb. I am NOT proud of how we reacted to this request, but such is life. You cannot turn back time, only place a positive where there was a negative..a Big Boo Boo on our part!
The following is the email we received!
I want to ask you if you would like to do a baby shower ceremony over here. We do it at the surrogate house in the 7th months.
The whole event costs about 125 USD i.e. 5000 Rs.
This is done according to Hindu ritual, where in a priest performs the ceremony prays for the safe baby delivery for mother & child both. The inmates of Surrogate house will have a nice lunch your surrogate & other surrogates receive gifts. This whole can be done in total 125 USD if you agree to it let me know.
Here was our answer to this request..."not one of our proudest moments!"
Dear Dr. Patel,
My wife just showed me your email about a Baby Shower for our Surrogate. We don't think that S needs a baby shower.
We will pray for S and the baby, and we pray God will watch over her and the baby, and all of us.
My wife is the Mother of our child, not our Surrogate.
I believe you counsel these women not to become attached to our child. Don't you think a baby shower contradicts this? Do you really think this is wise?
$125 USD or 5000 Rupees is very expensive for the Surrogate's and I can't imagine that this is done on a normal basis. They could not afford this extra money, and neither can we.
We have given her many gifts now plus gifts of money.
We are not allowed to talk to her as per her request..so you must understand this is very hard on us, and very isolating.
We paid double the money, that you asked for when we were having Twins...very shortly after we paid this money, one of our Twins died.
We should have alot of money left over in our account with you, since this is a single pregnancy now, but we have paid double.
We also paid for the first conception that failed. Paid all funds over again toward the second transfer, for a positive pregnancy.
So far in total with, your prices, flights, hotels, food, cell phone, fee and extra incentives of 2000 rupees to the first surrogate S, which didn't work. Then we paid extra for life insurance. We still have delivery and meds costs. So far this is costing us almost $40,000 USD. These prices are much higher then we expected. They are becoming very competitive to doing this in Canada. We appreciate everything you are doing for us...and everything you have done for us. We are appreciative of your knowledge and expertise in your field. We are very happy that we are having a baby.
You gave us a date to do this again for another baby, which we will need our money to do this again.
Please respect that we have paid enough, and our custom in Canada is the baby shower is not paid for by the Mother, which is my wife.
OMG, I felt so guilty and horrible after this letter. Dr. Patel's response was very -- chilly. We should have known better than to upset her! Especially on the principal of money. It wasn't even thousands! It was $125 dollars for heaven sake! What the hell were we thinking?
I got on the computer and my fingers just flew. I begged her for forgiveness, and explained that we didn't realize how this was a sacred ritual, and that we needed our surrogate to have a Baby Shower along with the rest of the surrogate's. That we understood how important this was.
Needless to say, "don't piss off Dr. Patel!" She is an angel, but a stubborn angel...lol.
She replied, "No, there wouldn't be a Baby Shower for your Surrogate!"
I had to write her two more emails begging her to please reconsider, and do this for me, and for our Surrogate. We were wrong, and didn't understand India's customs, but we did now. We know that our Surrogate must be blessed by the Priest. This now became very important to me. I didn't want our surrogate to be the only surrogate who's Intended Parent's were the only "idiots" who didn't let her have a baby shower! It was a little party and ritual for her. A special day for her, so what was the big deal? The principal of paying $125 USD? Who cares? Really! It was the "Principle" of a little bit of money, which we could easily afford. For God sake, what were we thinking? This woman was carrying our child!
Anyway, the third email was the charm. Dr. Patel did have a party for "S", and we were happy. I was happy. No, I was thrilled and relieved! I vowed we would never disagree over money again. I didn't care what it cost! Our child is PRICELESS!