Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crunchy Munchy

Pesach was great. It was so nice having everyone around, Benny was supremely excited to run wild with his cousins, like a caged animal set free! He was beyond obsessed with my oldest nephew Zalmy, who is six years old (!!!). I'm talking calling his name a million times just to say hi when Zalmy would finally respond. Throwing his arms around Zalmy's waist every chance he got. Forget about sitting next to him on the couch, he basically sat ON him! When it came to my youngest nephew, Yossi, they had somewhat of a love-hate relationship. They are exactly 5 months apart, to the day, so it was expected. I'm sure one day they'll be closer than ever, causing tons of trouble together! Shaina, my adorable niece, loved playing Mommy to him. Benny was usually more than happy to oblige. Unless Zalmy was available.

Bella had a great time as well, being passed around, sleeping on the couch with her uncles (sometimes when there was work to be done), spitting up all over her aunts, keeping her parents up at night. Basically, she did exactly what she was supposed to do!

Goodbyes were sad but it wasnt horrible, all of us 'kids' are getting back together to celebrate my mother's graduation, in two weeks, in New York!! So proud of my mother!!!!

I decided to let Shuky go back to Ames alone, stuck around with the kids at my dad's house. Few reasons why, first being the state of the house and the amount of extra work my dad would be left with. Another reason was to give Shuky a real chance to successfully catch up on the last few weeks of school work (considering how much he missed between Bella's birth and Pesach) and do well on his finals, which start on Monday.

Of course, as soon as I volunteer to stay behind, both kids decide to get sick. Benny has a cold and cough with a mild fever, Bella is just super congested. The kids are tag teaming through the nights here. One wakes up crying, I finally calm him/her down, seconds later there are wails coming from the other side of the room. It's been fun! I'm getting through the housework dung the day, just a bit slower than anicipated. No big deal. I've got time.

And now is my current five minutes of quiet so I'm gonna go enjoy it. Quickly. I already hear Bella stirring.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

And Then There Were Four

Last week, on Tuesday, I had my 39 week checkup, including an ultrasound. One of the big concerns we've had with this pregnancy has been the possibility of experiencing another labor/delivery like Benny's and my body not being able to handle it. Our goal has been to figure out a game plan to help avoid an unnecessary C-section. We had this ultrasound done with the intention of seeing how everything looked and trying to get an estimate on the size of the baby. The midwife said it seemed like the baby in there was about 7.5 lbs, give or take a pound. Everything looked good, but that weight gave us a moment of concern. Unanimously, we decided I should come back in the morning to be induced. Depending on the exam they would do in the morning, there was a possibility that all it would take was breaking my water. That would have to be determined on the spot. They told me to go home and get a good night's sleep. Eat a good breakfast, as they don't allow food when you are in labor, and come in at 7.

Look at those lips!!

I would like to find out how many people walk out of their appointment, having heard that they will be induced in the morning, and actually get a good night's sleep! With Benny, I didn't sleep a wink. Literally, not one second. This time, I was a bit more calm, having already been through the experience once before, but I've definitely had better nights of sleep! The truth is, reality didn't hit me until the alarm went off at 5:30 in the morning. I stepped into the shower and the waterworks began. Both from the shower head and my own. Just to clarify, I mean tears, not my water breaking! It's a big deal, knowing you're about to bring another life into the world. Granted, it wasn't a surprise to me, this baby had been growing inside me for the past 39 weeks and all! It just hits hard when it finally hits home!

Anyway, Shuky made me a nice breakfast while I went and cuddled with Benny for a little. Told him we were going to the doctor to get the baby. Grabbed my bag and headed out the door.

We got to the hospital in a great mood, joking around with each other. Definitely ready for this to happen! Made our way up to the Birthways, as the maternity ward in our hospital is called. Got settled into my room, unpacked a few of my belongings, and waited for the midwife to come and get the show rolling. Apparently, it was a good day to have babies. People came in left and right, already in labor. Considering that I was not actually in labor yet, they profusely apologized and said they would get me started at the first chance they had.  So Shuky and I got to hang out, watch some TV. Almost like a coffee date, without the coffee shop, or the coffee. Around 11:30, the midwife, Alice, finally came in and did my exam. Said I needed pitocin, the baby wasn't low enough to just break my water. So in went the IV and on came the contractions. On a side note, I was STARVING when they started everything so I convinced the nurse to let me have some jello, she felt bad that they had made me wait so long so (after checking with the midwife) I got a little sneak of food right at the start of everything. I couldn't even tell you what they tasted like, I sucked those things down so fast!

The contractions sped up quite nicely and painfully. In an effort to avoid slowing down the dilation, we started with a pain killer through my IV. It would last two hours and I could do two doses successfully. And I did. It was great. I knew exactly when those two hours ended, without having to look at the clock! After those two, I was ready for my epidural. The relief was INSTANT. Quick reminder, I did not have an epidural with Benny so I had no idea what to expect! Anyway, like I said, instant relief. It was almost hard to believe I was in labor. I was sitting up in bed, joking around with Shuky, watching some TV show or another. Just hanging out with my hubby. No big deal!

Around 8:30ish, the next midwife, Carol, came in to check on me (shifts changed around 7). I was 6 cm dilated. As she was telling me this, my water broke. On it's own. Yay me! My body may need to be induced to get the show started but at least my water knows what to do!! (Broke naturally with Benny as well!) At that point, I started asking the nurse (Tera - loved her!!!) how I would know it was time, being that I wasn't really feeling a whole lot. She described the feeling to me, we chatted for a few minutes and she walked out. 37 minutes after Carol said my water broke, probably about 10 minutes after Tera finished describing the feeling to me, I got the feeling. Shuky went out into the hallway, 'Umm I think she's ready!'

Four minutes and maybe two or three contractions later, I had a little baby girl laying on my chest, screaming her arrival. It was 9:08 pm.

She was 7 lbs, 4 ozs; 19 inches long; her head circumference was 14 inches. Similar to Benny in most measurements, except a good pound and a half less! (Benny was 8 lbs, 15 ozs; 20.5" long; 14.5" head circumference).
I love her chicken legs!!

I decided to have her room with us the first night, she was so cute I just didn't want to let her go. My body wasn't so sore that I felt like I couldn't handle it! Big mistake. She was so cute that I couldn't stop cuddling with her and looking at her! Around 5 in the morning, I called the nurse and made her take the baby to the nursery. I needed sleep!!
A special thank you to Dodo Rachel Bloom for the beautiful blanket!

The naming process for a little girl is much more simple than that of a boy. We were able to name her the following morning, although through a proxy (my father). He had us on speaker phone throughout the process and it was just another huge difference to add to the list when comparing my babies' entries into the world! (Benny did not have his bris [circumcision and naming ceremony] until two days before he was four weeks old!) It was almost strange to me, seeing the name Bella Miriam on her crib card. Calling her Bella in the hospital. Filling out the forms for her birth certificate on the spot!

Benny came to visit us the next morning, with my sister Rochel. It was love at first sight for this big brother/little sister duo! He held her for a while, stroking her hair. Whispering little words of love to her. Letting her know he was the big brother, there for her! The hospital also offers this great service - they send a professional photographer to your room to take beautiful pictures of your new baby and then provide you with an online gallery (Username: lb1119 Password: 34195-lb1119). You are able to order prints if you want but have no obligation whatsoever! I made sure Rochel brought Benny in a nicer outfit and got some great shots of the two of them together. (The shots of Bella alone are very cute but I feel like she looks completely different already at this point!)

These are obviously not the professional shots. Just from my phone...but I love them!

Everyone stuck around for a few hours and I sent them all away mid-afternoon. I was wiped out. Shuky came back to do dinner with me, ran home to help Rochel get Benny situated for the night, and came back to me later to spend the night.

The following morning, we packed up and waited to be discharged. Bella was checked over, I was checked over, forms were filled out, and we were walked out to the car, with a nurse carrying Bella (in her nice, new car seat) out of the hospital. It was their policy.
Ready to go home in her outfit from Bobbe :)

We had nothing at home for a baby so we made a stop at Target, got some teeny tiny diapers and onesies and such. Ruffles and frills included obviously. Hello baby girl, goodbye money in the bank!
Bella's sweet new car seat and ride :) We got the Chicco and the Britax B-Ready!
Big Brother needs something special for himself, hello Thomas hat!
Our welcome home signs made by Benny and Aunty Rochel :)

Shabbos was very nice, added another shabbos candle for our beautiful baby. Rested and relaxed a lot! All in all, a pleasant shabbos.
My nightly cocktail. Note to self: only chew the chewable ones!!

Sunday we went to Des Moines. Old Navy was having a sale and I wanted to get some stuff for Bella. I also wanted to go visit some friends in the area. We didn't get to see everyone we wanted to, I just got a bit wiped out, needed to head home and put my feet up!

This whole week has been a whirlwind of appointments. Monday was Bella's visit back to the hospital to check bilirubin levels (she's fine, just a precaution because of Benny) and to make sure she was nursing well and gaining weight. She weighed 6 lbs 15 ozs. Tuesday, we had an appointment for both kids at WIC. She weighed 7 lbs 4 ozs (birthweight). Wednesday, Bella had her two week check-up, one week early because of Pesach. She weighed 7 lbs 6 ozs. Generally, the goal is to have the baby back at birthweight by two weeks. This little girl is ready for overeaters anonymous apparently!! ;)

Benny has really taken to his role as big brother. Every day, when Shuky gets home from school, he runs to the door to update him on a days' worth of Bella news. When she cries, he comes running, whispering sweet little consolations, "Don't cry Baby Bella, it's ok!" When he notices her pacifier, he grabs it and brings it over to wherever she is, you just never know when a baby might need one of those! He told his toys all about Bella. The cutest yet is what he does at night. He has us bring Bella to his bed and he sings Shema to her. It melts your heart, and I finally caught it on video to share with everyone. :)

Still can't get enough of these chicken legs!!

Only love from this big brother :)

Post-nursing euphoria

Talking with me, telling me about her day

Today, at a week and a day old, she is relaxing at home with me, Benny, and Aunty Rochel, as we get ready for our Pesach trip to Postville. And get her settled into our room. And all her new clothes washed and put away.

Happy Pesach preparations to everyone out there!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Yet To Come

I am obviously way overdue on a blog post here! Give me a little more time to get my feet back on the ground and a post ye shall receive! Thank you for your patience and loyalty! Hang in there, details are coming!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Moving Right Along

It's April 1st. That's insane. Where did March go? Of course, this means that I'm due in 11 days. Which is even crazier! My brother is coming out this afternoon, just in case I have to go in over Shabbos. And my sister comes in Sunday morning to stay with me until Pesach, when we will go to Postville together. It's great to have amazing siblings!!

I finally took the time to pack my hospital bag last night. Of course, that led me to start organizing things as I was looking in drawers, trying to find what I might need. Damn this nesting bug! The good thing is I know I don't have to worry about Benny's room for a few months at least. Baby will be in our room for a bit and then we are gone for the summer. Gives me the time I need to focus on my room, and trust me, I need all that time!

And now, I am off to start making food for Shabbos. Going to start early this week so I don't wipe myself out by rushing to do everything last minute as I continuously do every week! Simple menu, made much easier by spreading across the afternoon! 

Have a nice weekend everyone!