Easter 2015

Ariadne is 3

Ariadne is 3

My beautiful little baby isn't so little anymore.  She loves chocolate and hats.

My beautiful little baby isn’t so little anymore. She loves chocolate and hats.

Ariadne’s 1st Easter–can’t believe she’s almost a year old!

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Reflections on seven months…

Eight months ago today, Ariadne was born. While it’s difficult to believe sometimes that eight months have passed, in some ways she is so independent already. Babies definitely have distinct personalities and do things at their own pace.  In month seven, Ariadne got three teeth: the two bottom ones came in at different times–about two weeks apart. The top one broke through just this last week. The other top tooth looks as if it is not far behind.

She did not babble as much in month seven, but she is working on her sense of humor. She belly laughs often, and gets slap-happy when she is tired at night. Alex and I play a game of trying out odd words that might make her laugh. So far, our winners have been: Mufasa, pants, dizzy, and Jamaica, or Jamaican Me Crazy!

Ariadne has tried sitting up, and her belly muscles are strong enough, but she still can’t sit up on her own if she is flat on her back. She makes regular attempts at crawling and has been able to roll over for some time now, but she hates being on her belly and is very frustrated every time she can’t crawl. She just hasn’t figured out the logistics of making her arms and legs work as they should to move forward. When she sits up, she can usually keep herself from falling over, so balance is getting better. She is funny about using her feet; she will play with her toes to soothe herself sometimes, and if she doesn’t feel like bending over for a toy, she will try to use her feet to work it, like her musical ball or baby laptop computer.

In month seven, she mastered her first sippy cup, though she chokes on water at times and she’d rather chew the cup than drink from it.

Her motor skills are much improved; she is getting great at grabbing things–loves pulling Mommy’s hair and Daddy’s beard, grabbing noses, and will latch on to anything in sight in an effort to put it in her mouth. She is obsessed with paper.

She started bouncing on her own in month seven. She adores her jumpers; she has one here and one at Grandma and Pappy’s.  In their jumper, she learned to sway from side to side, and I will catch her sitting on her Dora the Explorer couch and swaying.

She does not like to be left alone in a room for even a few minutes, even if she is in her exersaucer with plenty of toys.  She looks for people when they leave and is happy when they come back. She is now lifting up her arms when she wants to be picked up, which is sweet. She is less smiley when we are out and about, though; we think she is developing “stranger danger.”

She still has no interest in a pacifier and her favorite thing right now is probably her Sophie teether.  She is an amazing eater; she loves sitting in her high chair and will fail her arms (as she does when she is excited about anything) when she sees the spoon coming, mouth hanging open. I’ve been making her baby food except for rice cereal from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s organic applesauce. She hates applesauce and pears–these are the only foods she will spit out when offered.

She is a sweet, wonderful baby, and she brings joy to our every day! We are so thankful to God, Dr. Shivani, our amazing surrogate Sita, the staff at SCI, and everyone else in India who helped us with our little miracle. We could not imagine our lives without her. 

Eight months old!

Eight months old!

I can’t believe Ariadne is eight months old already! Where does the time go?!

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Ariadne turned 4 months old yesterday…

Alex and I have been absent from BlogLand for quite some time.  Aside from being busy taking care of Ariadne, I am also recovering from partial hysterectomy. The saddest thing about that is that I can’t lift my own baby!  Alex and I both quit our education-related jobs in Maryland, packed, moved, bought a house in Pennsylvania, and Alex went through the job-seeking process, finally landing a lower-stress job in an entirely different field, for a much smaller salary.

This is quite a bit of change.

The best change of all, though, is having Ariadne.  At 5 weeks, 6 days, she smiled her first real smile.  I was lucky enough to be the recipient of it.  It made me beam from ear to ear as well!  She is a joy and everything she does is amazing.  In the past few weeks, she has discovered how to use her hands well, grasping onto things firmly.  She used to cry when we put her in her bouncy seat, bored.  Now she grabs onto the toys with both of her hands, trying to pull herself forward.  This morning, at my parents’ house, she rolled 3/4 of the way over in her crib.  In the last three days, she has taken to pulling at her clothing so tell us she is wet and needs to be changed.  She has learned how to operate the toy attached to her crib railing to entertain herself. She has found her toes, and they fascinate her. She is a genius!

The cooing has been ongoing for about a month now and is adorable.  Her “words” get longer, and as she watches the people in her life, she tries different sounds.  Sometimes you can see such a look of frustration on her face, because she has things to say but can’t express them yet.  She is probably going to be an early talker.  I don’t know about crawling or walking, though–she hates tummy time and has little interest in trying to hold her head up.

I could never express how grateful I am to God for this opportunity to be a mother.  Ariadne is so beautiful, sweet, and happy–I feel so blessed.  She is worth 4 IVFs, 1 FET, 3 trips to India, countless needle sticks, OHSS, hospital visits, and a mountain of debt.  I will always mourn the loss of our first child in utero, and Ariadne has not replaced her/him, but she is a wonderful, amazing blessing.  My heart is full of love, and I am more at peace in some ways than I have ever been.  We are thankful to have found Dr. Shivani and our incredible surrogate, Sita.  Every day is more beautiful because Ariadne is in it.  Here she is at 17 weeks, and in the same outfit I wore 37 years ago.

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My little mouse!

Exit visa question–please help!

Hello to all who have trodden the exit visa path before us, and thanks in advance for any suggestions, advice, answers, etc.  Our paperwork from the American Embassy states that we must have our airline tickets already purchased, but there are no guarantees regarding processing times.  We don’t have flexible tickets, so we were wondering how long getting an exit visa took for all of you…Thanks so much!   

The (DNA) results are in…finally! On to the passport and exit visa! Hurrah!

Hard to believe that we have been in Delhi for almost 3 weeks…even funnier when we think about how Ariadne, depending on her measurements, would not have been due until the 29th of April or May 1st.  She is sleeping quite soundly after being up with Daddy most of the night and early morning, fussy.  Poor Alex did everything he could think of: fed her, changed her, applied diaper rash lotion, rocked her, gave her gas relief drops, and no reprieve from crying/fussiness.  I woke up, rocked and sang to her, put her down, and she went to sleep after minimal fussing. Strange. Alex swears she is conspiring to sleep while he sleeps and be awake and fussy while he is awake.  So far, this seems to be true, and we can’t figure out why.

Here is our beautiful girl at 2 weeks old, post sponge bath, which she hatedImage

We finally received word yesterday from Alex’s mom, who has been calling BRT Laboratories in Baltimore faithfully, that the DNA results, which match, have been emailed out.  I have been beating myself up over choosing this lab, because I found out later about the lab in Arizona with a two-day turnaround, but we were busy preparing for this trip, finishing things up at work, assembling documents for the closing of our house next month, and just life.  Too many details, and not nearly enough  time to attend to them! Word of advice to all other America IPs: use the lab in Arizona!   We had sent ahead for kits, so they were here long before we were, and the DNA samples were taken on April 13, received on April 16, and this was speedy for our lab, because normal processing time in 2-3 weeks!  While they did process relatively quickly for them, for which we are thankful, that time seems like an eternity when you just want to get home with your baby! At any rate, now begins the passport and exit visa process.  We were told at the Embassy that we could apply for an emergency passport, good for one year, and that we will be able to trade it for a regular passport free of charge when we return to the States.

Now we begin the hunt for airline tickets–we had booked return tickets for May 10 on Virgin Atlantic, but we need to get back for work/closing, and so Alex spent hours on the phone with customer service, and then a supervisor.  Apparently there are no economy tickets to be had due to a bank holiday in London, and upgrading would could about $2,000 per ticket, which is expensive for us and not feasible. Just the fees alone were not what we were originally told when a representative discussed changing dates on tickets with us back in February!  And so we must just scrap our tickets and look elsewhere for airfare, which is awful.  I hate wasting money, particularly when I’ve tried to be so frugal with it, but we have no other choice here.  Thanks to Michael for the tip on Air India’s free companion fare–we are going to try that next as soon as we get a better handle on how long the exit visa will take.  Any thoughts on that would be appreciated, American parents who have gone before!  Thanks so much!!  Ariadne is finally waking up, so I am off to feed my sweet, beautiful baby.  In spite of all the stresses of the exit paperchase and the sleepless nights, life is so beautiful because she is in it! Thank you, Lord, for prayers answered!!

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