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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Flight of the Stork

After getting the email and talking to Dr Meenakshi on Tuesday telling us that the twins were coming and we needed to be in India as soon as we could we both just went numb. We looked at each other and both recognised the signs of shock and started treating each other. “Just breathe. It will be Ok. We knew this could happen” pretty much came from both our mouths simultaneously. Then the adrenaline really kicked in and we went into over drive. Have to love the fight or flight response. Before I knew it Vince was flying out of the room to Washy Washy to get our laundry (or at least try because it was not meant to be ready til the next day). I was on Skype to Qantas. Luckily I got a really lovely lady. I blurted out something like “Babies coming, have to be there. They’re in India. We have tickets. Need to fly tonight. Our poor surrogate, she’s bleeding. Sorry, you what. Oh sorry, I’m a bit shocked”. Luckily she got the gist of it from that and before I knew it we were on that nights flight at 23:00 hours. As much as I have bagged Qantas this year, this is the reason I still fly with them. The flight was fantastic because they made sure we had a seat each and that I could use my CPAP and get some sleep. Plus it only took four and a half hours instead of the usual five and a half. We both got a little sleep. While I was on the phone to Qantas, Vince was making a similar speech to the reception girls of the hotel. They too were very helpful. We left the room with an opened litre of Wild Turkey, chips, chocolate and unused Singapore Zoo and Night Safari tickets. We hope someone enjoyed them. We both wanted to see the Zoo. Now we will have to go back with Willow and Taylor. Seems they wanted to see it too. We had meant to go that day but I was crook with a viral cold and had finally given in to it and decided to have a quiet day in the room. Luckily we did!

After speaking to Qantas I rang the hotel in Mumbai. I was sure that they understood and that we would have a room waiting and a driver at the airport. We flew through customs and immigration with ease (we were worried about the 9 tins of formula in our case!!). It just took time because there were four flights that arrived all at the same time. When we got out the front there was no driver. Bugger! Had to find a taxi and fight off all the kind helpers wanting to carry our luggage (for a fee). They are very persistent. Finally got into the taxi and gave the driver the address. A blank face was not reassuring. He had to stop and get directions. Then we were off, confident that we would make it to the hotel in time to get some sleep before going to the hospital. The adrenaline was wearing off a bit. The yawning was a great relief though for my blocked ears from the flight. They cleared much quicker than usual. After what felt like a tour of Mumbai, we finally made it to the hotel. The unpaved mud road covered in crushed road base (rubble 20-40cm in diameter) un-nerved us and the Taxi driver. “The road. The road” he kept saying as we drove up to a locked gate. He tooted his horn with no response. He tooted again and a very old man popped out of the bushes and shouted at him. He must have understood because we drove up “the road, the road” a little further and found the right driveway. When we got to the front door the Clerk on the front desk was very surprised to see us. “No booking? Who are you? You’re not meant to be here yet” was again not what you want to here at what was by now 04:00 hours. Eventually we sorted out what we needed and how much and for how long. We had booked a two bedroom apartment that had a kitchen, Wifi and cot. Well there was no kitchen. Wifi only works in the foyer (all the routers are broken it seems) and why did we need a cot? When I looked out the window I was greeted by the wild pig neighbour with her three piglets, all happily sorting through the enormous rubbish pile. But remembering where we are, we are fortunate and will easily make do. The rooms are quite big by Indian standards and the staff seem helpful and less than ten minutes away is what we would equate to the Subiaco of Mumbai. We managed to get a few hours’ sleep.

It was then off to meet our new daughters, Willow and Taylor. They are in the Surya Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU (Dr Meenakshi assures us that this is number one in Mumbai). The hotel organised a Cool Cab (bright blue air conditioned cabs) for us and arranged with the driver to take us to the hospital, wait and then bring us back for a fair price. A service we will learn to love I am sure!! The driver we got was excellent and gave us a tour of the area on the way back. For some reason though he managed to show us were the local KFC, Subway, Dominos and Macca’s were.

When we arrived at the Hospital we were waved through by security (unusual because everywhere else we have been they want to scan or frisk us) and sent to the second floor. On the way up we must have looked like a pair of stunned rabbits in headlights because a very officious looking gentleman walked up to me and asked “Mr Moore? Twin girl’s”. “God yes, oh god yes” I blurted. Best impression of a drama queen award for that one!! It turned out that he was Taylor and Willow’s Neonatologist, Dr Nandkishor Kabra. He took us into his office and told us about the girls and how they were doing. It turns out that he trained in Sydney and in Canada. Once he knew we were Nurses he was even more generous with information and we had a general chat about healthcare as is the case in these situations. He could not tell us much about before the twin’s arrived there and that Dr Meenakshi would fill us in on that. He told us that both girls had not required either invasive or non-invasive ventilation. They had only required head box oxygen initially and then weaned off that overnight fairly quickly. They both had some initial transient tachypnoea which settled and needed intravenous glucose. Their birth weights were good for their gestations. I am glad I practiced what I preached to so many patients over the years and wrote things down as the he spoke because most of it went in one ear and out the other. We just wanted to see that girls. I guess he sensed that and took us through. We had to gown and scrub before going in and then disinfect before touching the babies (we were very impressed). When we got into the unit we were even more impressed. All the machines went Bing! There were warmers and humidi cribs everywhere. Then we met the two beings that have and are going to change our lives forever. We both grinned like Cheshire cats and then cried like sooks. We arrred and goooed. I am literally lost for words on how to describe this moment. We could not stay long because the Mothers of the other babies were coming into feed their babies and it is not normal for men to be there. We can only visit once a day for now for a short time. Then next week we will have to stay and “learn” to care for the babies. I am actually looking forward to being on the receiving end of healthcare. Especially the way the staff were doting on all the parents.

After we got back to the hotel we went to the local store and bought provisions. Chocolate and chips until we could go to the markets and get supplies (we did buy some fruit!!). We also bought some disinfectant and cleaning stuff. Vince proceeded to clean the whole unit while I unpacked. By 18:00 hours we were in bed and asleep.

Today Doctor Meenakshi told us that Memuna, our amazing Surrogate had been on strict bed rest and had had increasing pain on Sunday and Monday. So they had decided to cut the stich and unfortunately this caused her to bleed which meant that for her safety they needed to deliver the twins by emergency caesarean. Everything went well and Memuna is now recovering well. We gave Dr Meenakshi the presents we had for Memuna’s children as well today. Our friend Joy had given us wooden puzzles for them and we had bought some Australian themed toys for them. We had to wait in Dr Meenakshi’s office for an hour for her this morning and we were treated like lords by her staff and got to see the daily activities of the surrogates coming and going. We then spent two hours going over everything that had happened and what needed to be done. Both of us are now beginning to relax a little.

From Dr Meenakshi’s office we went to the hospital and spent half an hour with the twins. They are both now off the intravenous glucose and are tolerating milk feeds by oral-gastric tubes. The Doctor said they will try bottled feeding in a couple of days. Both are gaining weight and doing really well. They even spoke of them coming home to the hotel late next week. By the time we got home I needed new contacts (I managed to lose one with the tears of joy that seem to just keep coming) and Vince needed to re-hydrate for the same reason. We managed to get some more information today as well:

Willow Raymonde Moore

Born: 4th January 2011 at 14:08 Mumbai Time and 16:38 WA Time

Weight: 1.92Kg

Head Circumference: 30cm

Length: 46cm

Taylor Louise Moore

Born: 4th January 2011 at 14:10 Mumbai Time and 16:40 WA Time

Weight: 1.82Kg

Head Circumference: 29cm

Length: 46cm

Here are some of the first photo’s of the girls. I will try and post more as things progress.

Willow Raymonde Moore

Taylor Louise Moore

Our Daughters



It's alright. I got ya sister.

Proud Dad

Proud Papa

BFN from the proudest Papa and Dad in the world!!


  1. Wow Jeremy, I love your blogs, I too have been reading them for a while and they always make me laugh and melt my heart, your girls are just beautiful and I love the pic when they are holding hands "It's alright I got ya sister" so sweet. The day the girls where born, mum sent me a txt, Jeremy had twin girls, I said yeah I know mum, she txt back pics tomorrow haha good old facebook. Enjoy your beautiful girls and by the way two girls = no money haha as their is so many beautiful little girl things :) thinking of you all xxxxxx

  2. This is such great news, and the best bit of the story isn't that it's the happy ending, but that it's the happy beginning! Congratulations, what a birth story for the girls.

    You are wonderful men, and these girls are going to have such a great life with you.

    (The only fly in the ointment for me is the viral cold you mentioned, and worrying about it near the girls, with you not wearing a facemask! But I'm sure you thought of that... xxx)

  3. Thank God they're girls is all I can say -- I was paranoid about the lilac background on the sheep material in the quilts!!! yay...

    They are so gorgeous, and they will be amazing women because of their great parents. It's not about being Mum or Dad, its about being good parents, and you two have that in the bag.


  4. Jeremy, you are great writer! Love the blog!
    In five months (or less) I'll be following in your footsteps. I hope I'll be as prepared as you guys to deal with a situation such as this.
    Again I cried when I saw the pictures of the girls, I am so happy for the both of you.
    Looking back now it doesn't seem like that long ago that we were all having breakfast together at the Enclave, sharing our hopes of having a child, now your dream has come true.
    Best wishes Mates,
    Steve in California


  6. Once again congratulations to you both. I just love the photos of Taylor & Willow (and the Dads are ok too I guess!). Can't wait for more updates to keep ;me going until I get to meet your cute little dollies!
    Take care and enjoy every precious moment. Tracey xoxoxo

  7. Congratulations again, get some rest you're going to need it......Slam

  8. OMG Jem!!!!

    I have been sitting here crying my eyes out reading you amazing story of the arrival. I am so thoroughly proud of you and Vince.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I wish I could think of something more inspirng to write to describe the joy I am feeling for the four of you right now. More tears came when i saw the names Willow and Taylor Moore.

    Wishing I could hug you

    Love always

    Shaz xxx