Chasing Butterflies with Finley in India, part 1


Today I am flying to London, where I will arrive during their Saturday, at which time I will get on another flight, that will take me to New Delhi, India, where I shall arrive Sunday morning.

A driver will await me. Having been warned by my mother that in order to anticipate India, I should imagine the most crowded place I’ve ever been, and then multiply it exponentially, and being that I’ve opted not to have my cell phone on while there, because Jesus Christ do I need to unplug right now and my phone carrier doesn’t service India – anyway, I told the person who arranged the driver to look for an overweight American woman, wearing all black sweat outfit, looking incredibly happy to be there.

I am not happy at this moment, as I am scared to leave home.  I hate leaving Craig.  We’ve always been super codependent, but after losing Finley, time and again the idea of being apart makes me have to remind myself to breathe.

And leaving Maybelline is going to be hideous, because having her in my life is the first joy and happiness I have felt since I was pregnant with Finley.  She is not just my puppy.  She is my best friend.  My little daughter.  My heart.  My baby.  My Maybe. (And so I am bringing a stuffed animal to hug at night instead of her.  Yes, seriously.)

I am also scared that my father will not be alive when I get back.  I have had the privilege of the most beautiful and important conversations with him these past several months, and while the doctor has given us no warning that things could happen that quickly, I am with him regularly, and just plain scared of the unthinkable.

But when I get to India, darn it, I will be the person I described for the driver to find. I will be happy, because we have our surrogate. We saw a picture of her just this morning.  She and several other women vied for the position of being our surrogate, but as of this morning, her uterine lining looked perfect for her to start her Progesterone medication, to prepare for the Transfer of our two beautiful, glorious, loved and wanted embryos – next Wednesday.  One is Grade A, the other one is Grade B, slightly deteriorated.  They were shipped from Encino to New Delhi, and will be thawed the morning of the transfer.  I pray that they thaw well!

I didn’t have some warm and fuzzy feeling when I saw our surrogate’s photo, but I know that once I am at the Surrogacy Center in India and I’ve met with the doctor and all of her associates with whom I’ve been emailing and speaking these past several weeks, and once I meet with the lawyer, and once I am surrounded by people whose business it is to make OTHER people parents, I imagine I will feel overwhelmed with gratitude.

I will also be conflicted. Not because I have not come to terms with this need; I am a producer for a living, and live in a solutions based world.  A goal has been set, and since directions A, B and C (1 through 13) didn’t work, it is time to move on to direction D, so to speak.

I had the intimate experience of knowing Finley while he was growing inside of me, and it almost makes him EVEN more special that he will have been the only son to whom I gave birth, before his life was ripped from our clutching hands.

I will be conflicted because the same day that I will be meeting the doctor and the associates and touring the clinic and (likely) meeting my surrogate, is the same day 4-years ago that I was hospitalized ‘to term’.  I was 23.5 weeks pregnant, with clothes on my bed at home strewn and waiting to be packed away for our next day’s trip to Florida for Thanksgiving to visit Craig’s Dad and Stepmom, and within the simple sentence uttered by my Israeli gynecologist, “You’re not going anywhere”, mine and my husband’s entire lives shifted.

And the days prior to that, including today, 4 years ago exactly (the Friday before Thanksgiving that is), when I was keeled over with what I thought were Braxton Hicks cramps (which they weren’t), preparing menu ideas for the celebration dinner for my best friend who was in remission for cancer (who died 15 months later), have actual sound design to them:  Tick.  Tock. Tick.  Tock.  My heart beats in tune with the sadness that comes over me when I think about what was about to happen, and how that all felt.

But it is 4-years later.  I’ve accepted Finley’s death.  I’ve no fault in the death of our infant son.  I did everything I could then, and have honored him since, by talking about him, and by acknowledging the hurt that I have experienced.

I see people on Facebook comment on the lack of quiet time they get because of their children.  Others post articles about how their social lives have changed.  Or that they don’t get to sleep more than 2-hours at a time.

And it is not envy I feel, but a conclusive feeling that they will never, ever get how lucky they are.  They will never understand what it is like to have aching arms, a hole in their hearts, and be climbing uphill on a marathon for every single day, for almost 4 years.

Are they lucky?  Well, yeah, of course, but I have to believe that the journey that I am on with the best husband I could imagine and the most loving community I could hope for is going to bring us the riches we deserve.

I have finished packing.  The framed photo of Finley is safely tucked away, so that I can light up his beautiful face every night with the candles I have brought.  I am wearing 4 pieces of jewelry only, including the necklace that states Finley.

And now I am off, with my husband’s support and blessings, to go chase butterflies with Finley, in India.


Thank you for wishing us well.