Oh boy, a 7 AM pick-up. We are going to be with this clinic from 8AM until 1PM. Seems like a long day and that possibly the clinic is overbooking us. But again, breathe deep and let India lead the way. Two employees meet us with a driver and off we go!

The good news is that while it feels insanely early, the traffic is comparatively light and it takes about 40 minutes to reach the hospital where we are meeting Dr. Surbhi Gupta (the IVF doctor)and her husband, Dr. Ashok Gupta (a urologist who works with her.)

Maternity Ward

Maternity Ward at Jaipur

Jaipur hospital

Jaipur Hospital

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hospital – Jaipur Golden Hospital seems in a nice enough area, but by US standards is a bit rundown. We are told we can’t take any pictures (but I grab a quick one before we are told) are ushered up to another floor, with the common Indian expression “Come! Come!”The maternity ward is a pleasant surprise – bright and cheerful with a more contemporary feel.  This is where Dr. Surbhi Gupta delivers the baby – that’s right, many IVF doctors follow the surrogate from pre-pregnancy thru delivery. I do like the one-stop shopping and there is more accountability with this structure. In some ways, India can be more rational than abroad and without a doubt always full of surprises!

Her office is a bit rundown and cramped with a desk and an exam table but the rest of the maternity ward is quite typical,but again it’s bit on the dingy side. Of course, I’ve seen plenty of dingy American hospitals too! Okay, we’ve seen enough. The very pleasant and warm Dr. S Gupta climbs in the car with us and we head to her clinic.

Dr. Gupta's Hospital hospital

Gupta clinicI’ve mentioned before that you start to acquire Indian eyes in this country. If you saw clinics that looked like this in the US, Canada, Australia or European countries, you probably would feel a bit hesitant. Some look more like a inner city free clinic than a safe place to make babies. I know that this may seem an offensive attitude to many of the Indian doctors reading this blog, but it is the truth – people come with a set of expectations based on their own country – and aesthetically much of India does not live up to what they may have at home. But looks can be deceiving, and as I said, you have to take a look at what you have with an open mind. The Gupta’s clinic is in the middle of the appearance spectrum, but clean and practical, and the doctor is quite warm and reassuring.

Inside we meet the Mr Dr Gupta. Both doctors have been practicing for X years. They are clearly a team that works. He takes care of the male partner (and sperm), she the woman and the IVF aspects. They have everything that anyone could need in a clinic (plus Mrs. Dr. Gupta has her own religious shrine – that she is open to sharing.) I love that she brings the spiritual aspect to her practice – because it is hard to deny that there is more at play with IVF than just the skill of the doctor and quality of the embryos.There truly is a bit of the divine too .Gupta Operating RoomGupta Shrine

The hospitable duo now bring us to the office for a spot of breakfast.– I can’t say enough about the delicious stuffed Paratha. Loved it! We talked about their practice and how it has changed over time. First off, the new guidelines (which are the talk of every doctor), they believe are here to stay. Every time we hear this we are saddened, since it limits many people’s opportunity to become parents. But only time will tell. I know that most doctor’s don’t support it but they will all follow it – as to not put their patient’s future on the line and be stuck in India with a baby and no passport for it. They told us that many of their patients are Indian’s living abroad, but that is starting to change and they hope it continues to. They are very open to getting more international clients. In general, they get 6 to 7 embryos per cycle and have a 60% success rate. The cost, with an Indian egg donor is $30,000 – we could not see where there might be extra costs – except when using a Caucasian egg donor. They are open to IPs shipping embryos to them and have not had issues with it. The IPs will receive profiles of potential GSs (usually up to 5) and in many cases, in order to increase the odds of a pregnancy they are open to transferring to two GSs. But be aware, that if both GSs get pregnant you may be faced with the decision of whether or not to do selective reduction. The choice is the IPs – but I want to forewarn those doing so, that selective reduction can be a heart-wrenching decision for you. The GSs generally don’t speak English, so as with most clinics the communication will be minimal or with a translator.

Understanding the needs and fears of the international IPs, the Gupta’s were quick to want us to see where their GSs are housed. The health and well-being of the GSs is very important to them and they work with an agency (all clinics must do so – it is unlawful not to have an agency recruiting and housing the GSs) so they have two homes outside of the city – where the quality of air is slightly better than in Delhi. The lawyer too, is usually referred by the agency – although the lawyer they are familiar with is one that we will be meeting – Mr. Chawla

Ext gs house #1 Gupta

Ext of GS House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post breakfast we took a drive – about an hour or so (everything seems to take an hour in Dehli no matter how near or far!) We arrive at the first house. It is probably considered the country-side, but again, by International standards is more suburban to countryside. Nonetheless it is far away from the crowds and constant honking of Delhi and clearly a good place to sit and gestate – if you are an embryo. The house is clean. Inside the entry is an office –there are piles of boxes of medicines for the GS. A nurse goes every day to ensure the proper meds are taken. Files of all of the GS with their records are kept there too. It is still early In the day and the GSs are relaxing. One GS even has her young child sleeping in the bed with her. They all seem happy and a bit shy around us.

Entry office Gupta house 1

Front office of house

GS with baby in bed

GS with baby in bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We head down the dirt and brick road about 2 blocks to the other GS home (they have quite a few pregnant GSs!) This house too, is clean and looks recently built. Washers and dryers are not a common phenomenon here, but colorful laundry lines are. This house is no exception – with the wash hung out to dry. Like most of the GS housing we see, the accommodations are simple, with 2 – 3 GSs in a bed. Small children in attendance, with not many belongings. The women congregate or rest in their bed. It’s rest time at this house too – but one brave GS let’s us take a picture of her belly along with Dr. Gupta.  The GSs go out on daily walks and there are markets nearby. The communal factor is one that they practice in their home villages, and here is no different. We are told that the agency often recruits from the same villages so many of the women already know each other. And even if they don’t a bond is quickly forged in the GS housing. They all have a common goal – to help a couple and their own family at the same time. What could be more uniting?

Gupta house2 Gupta gs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Delhi before we leave for the next clinic. But first – a visit to the hotel nearest their clinic. A tall modern structure with every convenience. The Guptas insist we share yet another meal with them. Sadly, I forgot to take a shot, because it was another wonderful Indian food. Confession – I was never a big fan of Indian food (save Naan), but this trip opened me up to how absolutely wonderful it is. I can’t wait to go back home and see if I now like it (or if I am destined to fly halfway around the world to enjoy it again!)

So, while maybe not as slick and “western” as some of the clinics, this is a couple who has a huge amount of integrity and transparency. They show great care for the GSs and couple’s alike. And they are lovely, warm and hospitable. We had a great time with them.

After the meal off to Dr. Bakshi’s….

Drs Gupta website: http://www.ivfnewdelhi.com/

 

 

 

 

 

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