Day Two: Our Visit to Rotunda

23 Jul

Wow, what a day!  We woke up very early because Josh and I were both so excited to finally visit the Rotunda Clinic and meet Dr. Kalyani face to face.  The cab ride was bumpy, but after yesterday’s journey, I think that we knew better what to expect on our trip across town.  We were dropped off a few blocks from the clinic’s address because we had some difficulty in finding the correct building.  Most streets are unmarked and the numbering system is incredibly confusing… in fact, an address in Mumbai typically includes something like ‘Opp. Crossroad Book’ to explain physically where the address lies.

The building itself is a six-story stone structure with absolutely no signs or indication that it houses Rotunda.  A security guard standing next to a placard with the number 36 is all that we had to work with.  He seemed confused when I asked about the clinic, but allowed us to pass through the courtyard and into the back of the building where we finally found a directory listing Rotunda – The Center For Human Reproduction.  Upon passing through the foyer, Josh got a bit nervous because renovations had caused the entryway to look like an abandoned building with no tenants.  Thankfully, after climbing a few staircases, we arrived at a beautifully appointed waiting room.  Rotunda’s clinic is a Rembrandt in a sea of Picasso.  Everything we have encountered here has been in a state of disrepair, but Rotunda’s facilities are absolutely gorgeous and modern.  Trust me, after walking through that foyer, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

I filled out some paperwork and waited for Dr. Kalyani to call us into a consultation room.  We chatted about some of our concerns over nutrition, vitamins, the health and welfare of the surrogate, cesarean birth, sperm freezing, and surrogacy laws in India.  The conversation took no more than 20 minutes, but we were both very satisfied with the responses, and, of course, decided to proceed with the process.

Next, I was led to the semen collection room with yet another plastic cup.  I don’t need to provide the details, but let me tell you that I was absolutely unprepared for what I would encounter inside.  The picture has been photoshopped to ‘swirl’ offending body parts, but you can imagine things as they actually were.  It almost made me long for the rich lady’s former coat closet on the Upper East Side.

From there, we popped over to a fast food chain called Venky’s for some tandoori chicken skewers and chicken samosas.  We attempted to find a pharmacy because Josh has run out of contact lens solution, but most of the shops are no more than an open-air countertops with sodas and candy for sale.  After a few blocks, we gave up and hailed a cab back to the hotel.

–Matt

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