Saturday, March 29, 2008

Four tests

And she got through all of them OK :-)

Nomi's no longer allergic to milk!

(Which leaves only eggs, sesame seeds, all nuts (especially almonds), bananas, kiwi & possibly mango...)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A bad combination

On Monday, I gave Nomi a little milk to drink and watched to see if she'd have a reaction (to date, her only reaction to milk was during the previous oral challenge, at the hospital. Then, after nearly 3 hours she started to sneeze & her eyes started watering. On Monday, she seemed to rub her eyes a bit after 3 hours, but it wasn't clear if it was because she was tired or because of the milk.

Yesterday, again I gave her some milk. She was fine for the first 2 hours and then she started screaming uncontrollably (this is unfortunately far from the first time she's had such a fit). Nothing we did would calm her down. I was worried that it might be an allergic reaction, so I gave her her antihistamine. It didn't help. Finally, after about an hour and a half, Ohad took her out & she was calm the whole time (over an hour), but soon after they got back she started screaming again. This time, Ohad was able to get her to answer when he asked if something hurt. She pointed to her left ear. We put in some drops & gave her paracetamol and she calmed down. This morning, when she woke up, her hair was glued to her ear. The doctor confirmed that she has a perforated eardrum... She said that usually it just heals itself & told us what to do in the meantime.

Hey, at least it wasn't the milk. Maybe she's really no longer allergic...

Lesson of the week: some things really are coincidences.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pictures of our little Yirmi

Right after Yirmi was born, they placed him on me. In this picture, his umbilical cord was still attached. He gave a good, reassuring cry :-)

About 15 minutes after the birth - Ohad & I were pretty happy. It's unbelievable how quickly the pain subsides.

Ohad had plenty of time to snuggle with our little boy when we waited to get the OK to go home. We were terribly disappointed when they made us stay another day because his bilirubin was a little high.

Here's a close-up.

We played a special song for Yirmi before we started to get him dressed to go home. How many babies do you know who have an MP4 in their bassinet?

Getting ready to go home. I had bought a set of clothing when I was in the US (it was actually intended for someone else, but I ended up getting them something else because I couldn't part with it...) I love this outfit... (You can actually see the outfit in the next few pictures - the blanket came with it.)

We came into Abigail's nursery school with Yirmi to pick her up, on the way home from the hospital. She was pretty excited. When we got home, she got a chance to hold him.

Here he is in his playpen, looking fairly angelic, if you ask me...

When Nomi came home, she got to hold him too. Both Nomi and Abigail really enjoy holding him when they're lying on my bed, flat on their backs.

Today is our 4th anniversary. Who would have believed we could be so lucky?

We took Yirmi to be weighed today. He's up 4 ounces from his birthweight, so he now weighs 8lbs, 9oz.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Our baby has a name!

Today was the brit (circumcision)... we spent the entire week making preparations for the weekend, since we had to arrange meals for Shabbat. Tonight, we both feel totally wiped out...

Ah, the name. We had so many different criteria for the name that they just about eliminated all the names in the planet. Fortunately, kind of last-minute, we were able to find a name that seemed to fit our baby. We'll be calling him Yirmi and his full name is Yirmyahu Yaakov (I guess that would theoretically be Jeremiah Jacob in English :-)) Yaakov was Ohad's grandfather's name. The older girls (Hadas & Lilach) were kind of in shock at first - Lilach even came to me crying that she doesn't like the name... but it will grow on them, I'm sure. Ohad and I both like the idea of less-common names... (although I saw recently that Abigail is really popular in the US - here it's fairly rare).

Yirmi is sleeping really well, waking up just once at night & then going back to sleep for another few hours. He's also nursing very well - much better than either Abigail or Nomi did at the beginning. I saw Ohad's nephew today who isn't even 5 months old yet and he's HUGE. Yirmi's so perfect just the way he is. I can't believe he's going to change so much in such a short time...

Monday, March 10, 2008

In brief...

First, a quick correction - the previous post was supposed to read "surprisingly short", not "amazingly short", but Leah didn't have a chance to write what I said...

Some time around 4 or 4:30am I realized that I was having contractions, though I was kind of out of it, you know... sleeping & all... so I wasn't sure they were the labor type of contractions. I timed the next 2 and they were 13 minutes apart, so I flipped over onto my right side, fairly sure that they'd stop. The next one came 6 minutes later & they were pretty regular after that. Ohad couldn't fall asleep and by around 5:30 he said he was going to start getting ready to go. I wasn't at all sure that I was in labor, but it didn't sound totally unreasonable either... By the time he came out of the shower, the contractions were coming faster - about 3 minutes apart. Between them I still felt OK and was even still wondering whether I was really in labor. At 6 I knew that it was indeed labor. I came downstairs and told Ohad we'd wait until between contractions to head to the car, but the contractions were so close that it took a few before we actually were able to get out the door & then another 2 on the way to the car. I was still doing great the whole way to the hospital, although it was getting more painful & there was no time to rest between them. We asked the security guard to let us use an emergency elevator (it's a religious hospital, so the regular elevator stops on every floor, which was just not going to cut it for me since the delivery room is on the 9th floor) and got to the 9th floor at 6:40.

I went in, answered the questions, peed in a cup & was checked by a midwife who said I was at 5cm. She asked if I wanted an epidural. I said I did, but that I didn't believe they'd manage in time. Shortly thereafter I walked to the delivery room. They put in the IV & started getting the bed ready for the birth, introduced the midwife, got me some nitrous (laughing gas) and I was at 8cm. A few contractions later, I started feeling pressure & told the midwife that. She said I wasn't ready (without checking) and I told her that it's too bad, because in the next contraction or two I was GOING TO PUSH... The next contraction I did start pushing (she did give the OK) and it took quite a few pushes to get the head out (I was afraid it was going to take too long, so I just kept on pushing even when I wasn't having a contraction) - it was only about 2 minutes, but a whole lot of pushes. Meanwhile, the midwife was killing me, trying to prevent tearing because she thought the baby was much bigger than he was... I actually yelled to her that she was hurting me. After the head was out, they needed to suction the baby, since the amniotic fluid had meconium in it (which apparently is really common when you're as overdue as I was) & so I was told not to push for a while. Ohad and I both think that I didn't actually push the body out... The baby cried really quickly - I don't think any of my other babies cried so soon after they were born & it was amazing, because I knew right away that he was OK. I instantly felt much better, but since the midwife had been so aggressive, I was in a lot more pain than I had been in any of my previous births, so I hung on to the nitrous for a few more minutes. The midwife gave me the pitocin shot and waited a while to gently pull out the placenta. It was a cool sensation. I got to see the placenta & it was enormous...

In between, I was holding the baby, thinking how incredible it was to have the delivery behind us and to know that our baby was OK :-)

OK, Ohad is waiting upstairs with the baby who is nursing really well but ALL THE TIME, so I better go.

Thank you all for your wishes!!!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

It's a Boy!

This is Rachel's sister Leah writing to tell you all that Rachel gave birth to a baby boy on Saturday morning around 7:30am.

She had an amazingly short (about 3.5 hours), but intense, labor.

Baby Boy Inbar weighed in at 3.77 kilograms. Mom and baby are doing great.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Never Ending Pregnancy...

So, this morning we showed up at the hospital, just like the doctors told us to. Just one problem. I'm not 42 full weeks until tomorrow, so I'm low priority & since there were too many women ahead of me in line, they told me that they wouldn't be able to induce until after the Sabbath (at least). The doctor recommended I stay somewhere with better food and a more comfortable bed (i.e. go home) and come back again tomorrow night. She believes that they will induce within 2 days...

Fortunately, I hadn't gotten my hopes up and it really IS more pleasant to be home for Shabbat, so here I am.

I made it to 41w6d. I may yet get to my 43rd week...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Your eyes do not deceive you

I'm still here. The best they can 'promise' is that they will hospitalize me from tomorrow & fit me in as soon as there's a free room...

In less than 3 hours I will be at 41w6d. As Big Nutbrown Hare said (in Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney), "Oh, that's far. That's very, very far."

Really bad news just in: because of a terrorist attack in Jerusalem, the hospital needs to use all its resources to take care of the victims. They had told us to call this evening to see if there was a chance they could take us & the midwife just told Ohad that now there's no way... (and don't misunderstand me - this is bad news in terms of the victims, their families & Israel. I'll be fine...)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Change in plans...

Here's one family that had a major change in plans. Imagine IVF triplets after transferring a single embryo(!)

We also have a change in plans. The induction is off for tomorrow. The hospital said it's too soon...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I think I missed the target...

I had said March 3rd, but I guess not... (cross out March 4th as well).

If UI is born on the 6th, that will be the day I was due with Abigail (who was born on the 14th).

Anyone want to revise their estimate?

We have a verdict!

Today, not only did Ohad come with me to my 'excursion' (post-date monitoring) but we had the nicest doctor, who actually sat with us for a long time and told us what wonderful prizes are hiding behind doors number 1 and 2.

Behind door number 1 is the option to go to the hospital now to be evaluated (i.e. repeat all the tests I did this morning). This would probably lead to being sent home with a big "NOT IN LABOR" stamp on my file, after wasting several hours driving back and forth and doing the testing.

Behind door number 2 is the option to continue being way-too-patient (don't know where I got that from) and see if anything happens by Thursday. If so, cool. If not, come in for tests again Thursday morning & then be sent to the hospital, where they will decide when they feel like inducing (but apparently they don't usually wait more than a few days). Waiting for induction last time wasn't the best thing, because it meant that at home things got out of control. Hopefully, since no sibling of mine is getting married within the next week (my sister got married 2 days after Nomi was born & so things were pretty crazy) my parents will be able to help us avoid that situation. I have plans about farming out my kids (but haven't talked to my siblings about it yet), so we'll have to see.

I think I'm choosing door 2. Ohad might have opted for 1, but I was kind of psyching myself up for having a few hours of labor at home so that I could get to the hospital with some sort of dilation...

So, Thursday's the day we head for the hospital. Ubar Inbar will hopefully join us by Sunday or Monday...

Monday, March 03, 2008

41 week pic

Hey, not everyone is willing to have their picture taken at this stage of pregnancy (and not everyone is lucky enough to be as overdue as me...) In the background are Nomi & Abigail (eating dinner) and Hadas, squinting...

Keeping busy

Well, it's not as if I could ever run out of things to do...

Hadas checked out a book for me from the library, but it turned out to be a historical romance. History & I don't get along too well, so she suggested that I actually go to the library myself and choose a book... How come I couldn't think of that? So, I went to the library & even chose 2 books that I hope are light enough reading for me when my brain is functioning a bit like a computer with too little RAM.

Before that, I went to the bank, to the supermarket & to the dollar store (which, since the dollar has fallen, has become more like $1.50). I got Abigail and Nomi a furry pink boa and clip-on earrings to play with (Purim, our dress-up holiday, is in 2-1/2 weeks) and a Finding Nemo tablecloth (since Abigail's birthday is next Friday) and notebook paper for the big kids (I'm sure they'll be thrilled). I keep reminding myself that I should enjoy this time when everything is so easy.

At the library, I sent Hadas an SMS telling her to call me before she got on the bus & then I drove to pick her up from school (saving her close to an hour, because the bus has the stupidest-route-ever). It's kind of weird, because she goes to school outside of the city, but it's only about an 8-minute-drive from our house. By bus it's over an hour, but the bus is so cheap (less than 50 cents) that it doesn't make any sense to drive out there.

Maybe tomorrow I will find out when they might actually send me to be induced, though it seems like they don't really like to share that information... I remember this from previous pregnancies in which I was overdue. Is that one of the things they learn in medical school? Keep the overdue woman in suspense???

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Infertility at a time like this?

"Barren Karen" posted an interesting question that I've thought about myself numerous times. Although she didn't put it this way, this is what I see as the main issue: At what point do you stop being a member of the club, if ever?

Is it at all legitimate for a woman who's currently overdue with her 6th child to hang around infertility blogs as if she has something to contribute?

I spent years trying to get pregnant with Hadas. 8 months into my first marriage, 2 months before I turned 21, I went off the pill and hoped to become pregnant. My period was irregular, so the two-week-wait was often a 4-week-wait, ending always in the same disappointment. I was so convinced that everything was OK that it was only 14 months later that I made my first appointment. And then the tests began. And treatments. There was no internet, no support groups, and no one who really had any idea what I was going through. I went for IUI after IUI and then for IVF. And another IVF. On the 2nd IVF I got lucky. My beta was 2500 at 19dpt (that was the earliest they tested back then, because they gave hCG shots as late as day 8). One (much older) friend had told me that bleeding is common in IVF pregnancies. It didn't really help me not to freak out when I started gushing blood right around 6 weeks... but she was right, everything was OK & I carried Hadas to 42 weeks, when finally I was induced.

I was 24-1/2 when Hadas was born & my chances of getting pregnant hadn't changed. I didn't want her to be an only child and went through 2 more fresh & 1 frozen cycle (which took nearly 18 months) before I became pregnant again. Matan (b) and Lilach (g) were born just after my 27th birthday.

So, I was young and I had 2 healthy pregnancies and 3 healthy kids. How could infertility still possibly affect me?

Well, even with 3 kids in the house & even though their care fell almost entirely on me, from the time M&L were about 6 months old, I felt someone was still missing. The feeling was so strong that no matter what I did, I couldn't shake it. Some months I would fantasize that a miracle happened and that I'd be pregnant. I would try to calculate the odds again and again, but more than 60 cycles later, it still hadn't happened.

I did go back for another IVF cycle. I conceived on the first try, but had a really bad pregnancy that ended around 13 weeks. From the time I started TTC until that miscarriage, 12 years had passed. Twelve years of looking at other people and trying to convince myself that pregnancy-by-sex was not just a myth... years of knowing how fortunate I was to have had successes, but still feeling sad at the loss of a dream. At my inability to determine if/when I would have a child (or another child).

Does what happened after that erase the past? In some ways, it does. I look at pregnant women with a big smile on my face. Seeing mommies with little kids is the most natural thing in the world for me. Any jealousy that I had or difficulty going to birth parties (we don't have baby showers in Israel) is completely gone. I can even honestly say that after, with G-d's help, our baby is born healthy, my family will be complete, that I've 'done the pregnancy thing' and 'the breastfeeding thing' and the 'being a mommy to a baby' thing. I look at my kids and think how lucky they are to have each other and each one is an incredible blessing...

What will stay with me forever is the understanding of what it is like to go through infertility. The uncertainty, the fear of never succeeding, the frustration, the anger, the jealousy... I've also gained experience and knowledge during these years, so although my family may be almost* complete, I hope that I will be able to provide support and information for others who are still at the beginning, with the hopes that they will be writing a similar post someday. And, because I am free of any of the negative emotions that infertility carries with it, I have the luxury of always being purely happy to read other people's good news.

So, in answer to the question... you stay part of the club as long as you have something to contribute to the infertile community. I believe I still do.

*BTW "any day now" is getting kind of old, since people have been telling me that since late January... Note that I'm actually getting FARTHER from my due date every day.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Week 2 out of 2?

I really don't want to break my own record, which was 2 full weeks past my due date.

I know I'm fortunate not to be scared of induction (hey, I've survived it twice... and with Nomi, it was my most relaxed labor ever), but the idea of having a chance to labor at home appeals to me (as long as the little girls aren't here/awake). With Abigail I was still sleeping between contractions until about 90 minutes before she was born...

Whatever... as long as the baby is healthy :-)