Thursday, January 31, 2008

You know how being anemic can make you faint?

Apparently my hemoglobin is so low it could make my MOTHER faint...

My doc said that 2 iron pills a day from now until when I deliver will hopefully save me from needing a transfusion...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Final scan?

UI (ubar Inbar) was cooperative for today's scan. The estimated weight is around 2.9kg or 6lbs5oz.

In other news:
The bag situation is unchanged
I have survived 2 entire days of taking prenatal vitamins AND yesterday's visit
My parents are on their way from Cambodia to Thailand & are expected in Israel tomorrow morning :-)
It did snow in Jerusalem and it's really stormy here...

Good luck to Kirby from what to expect on today's scan!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Packing the bag

There's more to actually packing the bag than just doing it.

See, packing the bag means preparing to have the baby. In my case, it's practically the only preparation I have. Weird, I know, but I just don't have that much to do. So, packing the bag would mean that my last preparation is done and from then on, I just wait. OK, wait and work way too much, but it would mean that I'm done. Ready. And I'm not ready to be ready yet, so I'm putting it off.

I explained it to a few people as 'taking the cherry off the top of the ice cream and putting it on the side of my plate to save it for last'. I'm enjoying the thought of eating the cherry right now. Actually eating it would be less satisfying than just thinking about it.

On Friday I printed a list I found on the internet and on Saturday night, I took that list, along with another list and crossed out all the things I thought were irrelevant. On Sunday night, I took the bag upstairs and made a combined list on a piece of paper. At this rate, by the time the kid is walking, I'll have the whole thing ready...

When Abigail was born, we did something that I think was kind of special - Ohad chose what the first song our baby would hear would be & we took the CD & a CD player to the hospital. The first chance we had, we played the song to her... Nomi, on the other hand, was born on the Sabbath, so we didn't play anything for her. I was so relieved when she was born OK (after a GD / too high birthweight scare) that I started singing "Happy Birthday" to her (it was not planned and probably sounded kind of stupid, but that's what came out).

We're planning to go to Jerusalem to give birth, but I decided that we needed a plan in case Jerusalem is snowed in (a snowstorm is expected, starting tonight). So we decided where we'd go just in case...

In other news, my hemoglobin is now officially the lowest it has ever been in my entire life. I was not good about taking my prenatal vitamins or iron supplements, kind of due to circumstances that are beyond my control (i.e., I did not find them to be compatible with any form of normal life), but now I'm forcing myself to take them anyway. (See what a little fear can do?)

Oh goody, my in-laws just arrived...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

2 hours in 2 minutes

Well, my floor is clean (or it was on Friday) but doing so made my uterus mad. I was waiting for it to calm down, which it kind of did late yesterday, but then this morning I decided to touch up the office floor and my uterus got mad again...

I called the women's clinic sure that they'd tell me that it's normal, but instead they said to come in and gave me the royal treatment. Fetal monitor, pee-stick (for protein & glucose. The pregnancy at this point is pretty obvious), ultrasound, and a lovely internal exam... All's fine. And the doctor gave me 3 sick days. Let me just point out that this doesn't really help people like me, since I work according to deadlines & clients (some of whom have no idea I'm even pregnant, much less due next month).

On Wednesday we have an ultrasound to check the weight.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Always busy & pics

No, not the phone, because at this point we have 7 telephone lines in the house, 5 of which we use often (unbelievable, huh?) Me. I'm too busy and I still feel like I'm not getting anything done.

Today is Hadas's test for the Israeli Arts & Science Academy (goes 10th - 12th grade). She's been doing psychometric tests in preparation for the past few weeks and, though she was stressed this morning, I think she'll do pretty well & probably has a fair chance of being accepted. Ohad drove her there (to Jerusalem) this morning and is staying with her until 3, which means I have to pick up the little girls from 2 different places at about the same time (well, within 10 minutes of each other & they're in places that are about 7 minutes apart, so it's kind of pushing it). On Fridays they have special ceremonies that the girls don't want to miss, so I can't really pick either one up early.

I still haven't decided about packing the bag. Maybe I'll just choose the bag this coming week & start packing it next week?

I might have mentioned that I'm not terribly large this pregnancy (and the only ones who might say I'm lying are Kirby and my sister...) anyway, 2 days ago I went to buy a jumprope for Lilach, but it looked too long. The lady in the store suggested I try it. I gave her the weirdest look, like, "are you totally and completely out of your mind?" Did she really not notice? Is that a good thing?

And finally, some pictures...

Hadas before her test this morning (and yes, she would kill me if she knew what picture I am posting, but fortunately, she's too lazy to read my blog).

(left to right) Matan, Abigail & Lilach. Matan and Lilach are my IVF-FET twins.

Nomi & Abigail eating breakfast in their pajamas.

And last, a picture of me at the end of the day - waiting for the house to be quiet again so that I can... start working again :-(

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Random things

1. I want to thank Serenity for appreciating my thoughts.

2. The Braxton-Hicks are becoming much stronger and much more frequent. In my case, it really doesn't mean anything, but it's very noticeable.

3. Baby is definitely head down. When my sister asked me last week (before the ultrasound) I told her I wasn't sure & she said that a c-section isn't the end of the world anyway. True, I said, but it's not part of my plan. It might wreck some of my favorite stretch marks.

4. I am less panicked about a name. Not because we have any, but simply because I realize that since there aren't any left, it's not going to help... (This is what happens when you have a big family - from my side alone I have 19 neices and nephews, in addition to 11 cousins that my older kids have from their father's side - and, of course, you don't want to re-use names...)

5. I am going back and forth about feeling stupid to pack a bag so early (next week, which will be week 37) and feeling like I might regret not doing it, just in case this baby decides to surprise us. Maybe I'll compromise by waiting another week?

6. I am currently fabulously, fantastically lucky because the only discomfort I have is minor muscular pains here and there. I was able to give Abigail & Nomi a shower tonight on my own without any trouble... I'm also sleeping fairly well (I noticed in the past that my 9th month tends to be much easier than the 7th & 8th. Of course I'm only starting the 9th month tomorrow, so basically I'm saying that I expect things to get better & not worse.)

7. My parents are still in Vietnam, heading to Cambodia pretty soon. They've been sending SMS's almost every day. It's incredible how different it is when you hear from someone on a daily basis. I even gave my mom (who reads at least as many blogs as I do, and probably many more) some updates...

8. Ohad and I are planning a pre-birth getaway, well... as getaway as you can get when you take an almost-3 and an almost-2-year-old along. Maybe the Dead Sea?

I forgot to work on my seminar paper today :-(

Monday, January 21, 2008

A ticker indeed

I did it, I put up a ticker. I didn't think I would, but this one is less annoying than most...

We've been considering interesting dates - in Israel, we write the dates European style (day / month / year) so...

February 18 = 18/2/8
February 22 = 22/2/8
February 28 = 28/2/8
February 29th (yup, it's a leap year)
March 3 = 11 days before Abigail's birthday, 22 days before Nomi's
March 8 = 8/3/8

Any guesses? (Hint: February 18th is probably too early)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tossing & Turning

After CSI (which comes on here at 11, but airs commercial-free) I finally fell asleep at around quarter to one. I was trying to figure out how someone could be so cruel to his own daughter as to say that she can only take the entrance exam for the high school that she wants to go to if her mom (me) would say that he would no longer have to pay child support if she got in... This with it being a private school that costs more than 5x as much as her current semi-private school (for which he pays nothing). Hadas was literally in tears.

At 2:55* I woke up to find that our cat had hidden in our room. At least she didn't jump on the bed... I got up to let her out and, of course, went to pee.

At 4:18 something was tickling me. Usually it's my hair, but this time it was an ant walking on my face. Lovely. I got up again (to pee). After that I had trouble falling asleep because I was trying to figure out how I'm going to finish my seminar paper when everything's moving so slowly and I need a large sample to run my experiment on. I turned from side-to-side about 10 times, which means moving my pillow collection around with me. Finally, sometime around 5 I fell asleep.

At 6 I woke up all sweaty, went to go pee and then back to sleep. (I'm still sleeping in a t-shirt, with a summer blanket, I'm just really warm at night.) At around 7:30, we woke up...

During the time that I did sleep, I managed to dream that my doctor's secretary called to say they'd rescheduled my next appointment for May 10th (my birthday). Only once I got off the phone did I realize that the baby should be at least 2 months old by then...

I've got to admit that this is a typical night for me anytime (pregnant or not), usually with very vivid dreams, complete with color & sound - including background music sometimes. (On Friday night I woke up wondering what I should do when my dreams were so silly that they were like a show I wouldn't let my kids watch on TV for fear that their minds would turn to mush.)

This morning Ohad (who, as usual, slept through all the times I woke up) called the school that said that Hadas can be tested without her father's signature. My lawyer said we can get a court order that will allow her to study there if she gets in... so basically she's all set for now.

Maybe tonight I'll sleep a little better. What are your nights like?

*We have a great projection alarm clock that projects the time onto the ceiling, so I always know exactly what time it is when I wake up in the middle of the night.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Those 4 weeks flew by

But I got a 2-week extension. I admitted that I'm not taking my iron or vitamins and my doctor didn't seem worried (I do manage to wake up at 7 & go to sleep at 12, without napping in the middle of the day & I can still do almost everything, including washing the floor).

The baby is head-down & weighs about 5 pounds (the doc estimates weight the old-fashioned way, but was very precise with Nomi, so I trust him). The best news is that there are no signs of gestational diabetes.

Pretty cool to be on the good side of the odds*

I'm getting pretty close to the 9th month...

Edit: Reading Serenity's post reminded me of something I figured out last night as I was shaving my legs. I had been wondering why, despite the fact that I hadn't shaved my legs in way-too-long they didn't look bad. Now I know. I have the same amount of hair, but twice as much skin. Yup, that's how huge my legs are...

*GD has a 60% chance of recurring in subsequent pregnancies and I have all the risk factors except for being overweight.

Monday, January 14, 2008

She got it...

After Abigail felt the baby moving a few minutes ago, I asked her if she knows how the baby will get out. She said someone would have to help it with its foot... I explained that usually the head comes out first and that it comes out of the vagina. She looked at me very seriously and said, "but the vagina is very, very small".

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Survived the Safari

The safari is actually a nice place & looking at animals is fun. (My favorite was the baby gorilla.)

Our day started with certain people not considering the fact that Ohad & I and my BIL & SIL have small children - and therefore deciding to waste about 45 minutes before going into the safari by dragging us all out of the car to munch on sandwiches in the cold wind... This would have been annoying even had we not been on a tight schedule, but we were actually on a very tight schedule, which made it that much worse. Fortunately I wasn't the only one who was annoyed...

I would love to blab more about this, but it really isn't nice, so I will just quit there. Suffice it to say that I have a lot of trouble keeping my mouth shut, but I do try very hard (and there's plenty to say).

My parents are leaving for Vietnam & Cambodia tomorrow morning - they'll be away for just over 2 weeks. I'm looking forward to hearing about it. They've gone on such amazing adventures recently and I'm so glad that they have this opportunity.

My oldest brother ran a marathon last week, which is pretty cool. It's something I never even thought of doing, but I guess it was a dream of his.

In other news, UI (Ubar Inbar) must be getting bigger, because the kicks are getting pretty strong and difficult to ignore. I sometimes find myself feeling seasick. Unfortunately, it doesn't make me less hungry... Next OB appointment is on Thursday. Good thing he doesn't have a scale ;-)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Safari - Here we come

I love the safari, I really do. I think it's cool to see animals that can walk around freely and live a semi-natural life. What I don't like is the fact that we're going as part of a birthday celebration for my MIL. The only good thing about my previous marriage was that I didn't have any IL issues at all (MIL passed away about 10 years earlier & my ex was not in touch with his father). Ohad's parents like to make everything difficult and complicated, so today we got a list of things we need to bring with us... I'm fine with sandwiches. Why do we need to start cutting a salad and bringing tuna, pickles & olives for 12 people? Eating outside, when it's cold and smells of stinky animals is not my idea of fun. [BTW, since Nomi is allergic to eggs, any tuna we're bringing will be mayo-free & therefore not terribly appealing.]

After the drive through the safari there's a zoo. Now, since Abigail & Nomi will be with us that could be fun, but if you've ever gone anywhere with a slow-moving group, you know that you end up standing around waiting a lot. I can walk fine, but I can't stand around. My legs just can't do it right now. When I get 'stuck' on the stairs (because someone's taking them too slowly) my legs start to ache. When I'm waiting for Abigail to finish washing her hands, I often have to walk away and come back. When we went shopping for new car seats for Ohad's car the other day, I had to sit down in the store while the guy explained the differences... and with the edema that I have and the weight gain (yes, I finally passed the 70 mark) it's getting harder by the day. I guess the best I can do is hope there are a lot of benches there - well, that and that no one confuses me with one of the hippos. It might be somewhat embarrassing if a crowd started to form around me.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A mushroom in your glasses case?

There are some things that become trivial once you master a second language*, but then some things continue to sound weird even after many years have passed.

Recently a new immigrant told me that she doesn't know how to say she's pregnant, so she says she has a little child & points to her abdomen. Actually, in Hebrew, pregnancy is herayon and to be pregnant is b'herayon - literally in pregnancy.

I've been playing with ideas for a post about language for a while & the funniest example that comes to mind is the Hebrew word for vagina - pronounced narteek. Additional meanings of the word are holster or glasses case... The word for yeast infection is peetriya, which also means mushroom (like the kind you eat). So if you go to the doctor to tell him that you have a yeast infection you end up saying something that could just as well mean that you have a mushroom in your glasses case...

*I lived in the US until age 16 & then came to Israel on my own. My parents wanted us to grow up knowing Hebrew, so they always spoke to us in Hebrew at home (despite being native English speakers). This led to many cases of hysterical laughter by people who heard me speak, like when I asked my advisor if she'd like me to 'chop some bread' for her or when I used the biblical (rather than the modern) word for shoulder to tell the doctor that my shoulder hurt. Very embarrassing at the time but, looking back, it is rather funny.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Really not ready for a countdown

But... today marks a maximum of 2 months before we get to meet UI. Although I usually say I have a history of being late, it's not exactly true...

  • With Hadas I was induced (with pitocin & later having my water broken) at 41 weeks + 6 days and gave birth exactly 2 weeks after her due date.
  • With Matan and Lilach, my doctor stripped my membranes at 38 weeks + 2 days and I gave birth 4 days later, 8 days before my due date.
  • With Abigail, my doctor stripped my membranes more than once after 40 weeks and she was born at 41 weeks + 1 day.
  • With Nomi, more than one doctor tried to see if you could actually kill someone by causing them intense pain, by trying (unsuccessfully) to bring on labor by stripping my membranes when my cervix was not ready at 38 weeks + 3 days (due to gestational diabetes and a high estimated weight). I later was induced using pitocin (which, I have to say, was not bad at all) and she was born at 38 weeks + 5 days (9 days early).

So actually, 2 births were late and 2 were early... But I never really had a birth start on its own, so I guess the safer bet is that it will be more similar to Abigail's birth (unless we suddenly discover gestational diabetes again).

Anyway, as well as this denial thing is going (not too well) I am still well aware of the fact that I'd better finish the project I'm working on in the next few weeks.


I was so thrilled to finally have a car & then yesterday, a bus driver got angry at me and decided to show me that his vehicle is bigger than mine (it was). Long-story-short, I backed into the car behind me to avoid being hit. This was probably a good choice in terms of keeping the front of my car intact. Unfortunately, the car behind me didn't enjoy it too much. I still haven't heard what the damage is, but I will probably pay it out of pocket and then try to sue the bus driver for causing the accident (at least I have 2 witnesses, including the driver of the car that I hit). The damage, of course, was minimal, but the frustration... and that feeling of vulnerability... ugh.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

What I have to show for 2 years

This post has to be really quick because I have tons of work to do...

Two days ago was my 2-year-blogoversary. I actually started this blog because I thought it would work as a good content management system for all the questions I was getting & that it would save me having to answer the same questions over and over. I found that Blogger doesn't do it for me as a CMS and that Yedda has made my life easier (if you get a lot of questions on a certain topic, definitely try it out!)

Two years ago I was pregnant with Nomi. By now, she's talking in complete sentences, "I want to climb down alone, Mommy." (out of her carseat) and we've come to accept her allergies (milk, eggs, sesame seeds, nuts, bananas, kiwi) as part of our life. I've learned that 2 babies who are a year apart is actually much easier than twins and we have the almost-daily pleasure of seeing our two little girls interact with each other with love and kindness, usually including infectious laughter... We've also watched Abigail transform from a baby to a little, independent girl who always tucks her socks into her shoes when she takes them off & who knows that when the big kids are away for the weekend that they've gone to visit their dad... and she misses them.

In the blogosphere, I met a lot of terrific, hilarious people, gotten to read about plenty of women who became mommies (way too many to link to) and even got a new little sister (even my mom agrees)... Now, how common is that?

And just one last thing... yesterday, Ohad finally bought a car, meaning I get ours :-) That will be nice, after 2-1/2 carless years.

OK, back to work.