Understanding the structure of this forum is important in order to get the most out of it.
Data will be captured through one of two approaches:
1. Stage-specific Discussions and
2. Topic-focused Discussions
There will be overlap in the material covered, and that is perfectly fine, and welcome. Users will be be able to more easily find the information they seek with such organization.
Back to these two approaches... Stage-specific topics are in reference to where one is in the IVF / surrogacy process. These are not to be bound or constrained by a certain topic only, but focus on where one is in the process, and with that, will be more dynamic in the range of topics covered:
1. Baby-making in Anand (including prep at home)
2. Awaiting Pregnancy (the 2ww)
3. Awaiting Birth
4. Baby Pick-up in Anand (including prep at home)
5. Baby at Home
Whether one wants to learn more about one of these five stages, or is immersed in one now, this is the place to learn more, share with others and ask questions.
With respect to Topic-focused Discussions, these have the aim to strictly adhere to subject at-hand. There will ultimately be quite a few of these focused discussions, but as of now (28 Feb 2009), here is what I’ve generated thus far:
Why Surrogacy and why with Dr. Patel in Anand, India
Photos & Video of Anand, India
Obtaining an Indian Visa
Being Healthy in India
What was your route to Anand, India?
Let's Talk Hotels
Let's Talk Food & Restaurants
Between these two approaches (stage & topic focus), the forum has been established with organization in-mind. Having seen many wonderful emails between us couples get lost in the shuffle over time, I have made structure an emphasis, with the blog and even more so here. And when a search is in order, this forum's software is quite robust and useful. I like how it not just finds the input criteria (a word or words typically), it also highlights these instances for the user, in baby girl pink, of course
. I chose this forum's software for many reasons, and I truly hope it will serve us well.
Before I forget, I have a slight favor to ask. If participating in a stage-specific discussion, like "Baby-making in Anand" as an example, and if a previously unknown hotel or restaurant is mentioned in a conversation, someone please take a moment to add this new tidbit of information to the appropriate topic-focused discussion (on hotels or restaurants). It would be ideal to keep those topics as current as possible; and your help would be appreciated.
While on the subject of search, the spelling in our posts is quite important in yielding productive search results. I simply ask that we all do our best to avoid typos, particularly on the more key words that one might search upon. Here's a recommendation... If you use Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser 5.0 or newer, consider installing the free ieSpell add-on.
It's wonderful and I've been using on my employer's computer for a while now. Once installed, it can be accessed via Tools -> ieSpell to spell check virtually anything. For my Mac friends out there using the Safari browser, this should do the trick: Menu, Edit and Spelling. And for those with a Google toolbar, you've got a very good spell check available also, so I'm told. Oh, and the FireFox browser has a built-in spell checker.
There is also an area where Helpful Links are provided. I've compiled a decent number already, but I know there will be more, especially the ones that are country specific. I ask that you use the Helpful Links - Feedback Thread if you have links that you feel should be added. As I get more of these, I will break them out into more logical groupings, once I see how best to do so.
Also, I hope to add the same cool, helpful widgets I have on the blog: Anand / India time, Anand weather and a handy dandy currency converter. Stay-tuned... Done, at the bottom of each page.
Lastly, for those who wish to participate in these discussions, it seems that there might be some confusion with respect to anonymity. For a multitude of reasons, many of us wish not to have our identity known. I'd like to make it abundantly clear that when registering and communicating here, one is doing so through a self-created profile. There is no need to provide one's real name, true location, and if one so chooses, an email address need not be revealed either. More personally identifiable information is conveyed through the typical email exchange than what will be visible here.
So, that said, join-up, gather your thoughts, and contribute to the knowledge base! Your participation is encouraged, and really needed for this venture to thrive. Thank you.
Four cycles with Dr. Nayana Patel, with the first and fourth giving us two beautiful, healthy baby girls! Persistence and determination are often rewarded, so stay the course...