Sunday, December 23, 2012

She's Here!

In the delivery room

Our baby girl, Charlotte Eve, was born Friday morning at 11:14 am, weighing 8 lbs, 5 oz.

I decided on Wednesday to be induced Friday.  I feel selfish that I decided to do it based on convenience- my in-laws were headed down and we had 5 days of childcare and help to ease the transition with the new baby.  I didn't feel like I was going to go into labor on my own, and if I waited a week only to be induced after my in-laws left, I would have been annoyed.

But given the way things happened, I am glad that I was in the hospital!

I went in at 6 am.  I did not sleep well Thursday night.  First I had a breakdown, crying, about how I was ruining the boys' lives by having a baby at 10 pm.  I took an ambien and did manage to fall asleep, but I kept waking up, and would lie in bed in disbelief that I was going to have a baby.  I finally got up a little before 5 to shower and get dressed.  I ate some toast because I was so hungry during my last labor.

My parents came to take over at 5:45.  The boys were still asleep.  It was pouring rain outside.  Of course I didn't travel light- 2 bags, a pillow, umbrella...

We got to the hospital at 6, went up to labor and delivery, and checked in.  I still felt guilty, explaining to the nurses that I was in for an elective induction.  I had also had some helpful friends tell me that I would surely have a c-section, so I felt anxious about that- since after my uncomplicated vaginal delivery with the boys, I really didn't want a c-section.

Around 6:30 or so, a resident came to check me- I was 3 cm and about 70-75% effaced, so no different from Wednesday, but the resident assured me this is a good starting point for an induction.  She put cytotec in vaginally- just a little pill- and said that's it, now we wait.  She said it would take about 4 hours for the pill to run its course.

My OB came around 7:45 to say good morning and let me know the plan.  I, of course, was anxious about the fact that my contractions had barely started, and he reassured me that the pill would take some time to get to work, and it had a few more hours before we went on to bigger things- like pitocin.

I put on the Today show and tried to nap.  Regular contractions started, but they were extremely mild- about the intensity of the Braxton-Hicks I'd been having.  I emailed a little, started watching an old episode of Glee (boring, Eric and I agreed that the show has gone downhill), and kept trying to nap.  Alarms kept going off- my IV ran out of batteries, the heartbeat monitor machine ran out of paper... so every time I would nod off something would start to beep.  I was already hungry and feeling upset that I might not get to eat til dinner!  At one point the baby's heart rate dropped off the monitors, and they told me I would have to lie on my side to keep it up.  That made me nervous, but they assured me it was normal and things would be fine.

At 10 my OB came back and said, "I think I'm going to rupture your membranes."  This was the point of no return- before I had thought if things didn't take off, I would get up and leave.  I guess I decided I wanted this baby, so I said ok.  He asked if I wanted an epidural first, and I said no- I wasn't in any pain yet, and I told Eric, "if there isn't any pain at all, it won't feel like a real labor."  I also know an epidural can slow labor and I wanted to keep things moving. I told my OB that I would call for one when things started getting painful.

My OB checked me, and said I was now 4 cm and 90% effaced.  I have to say that didn't feel like major progress for 3 hours worth of induction, but it was something.  He broke my water, said it was clear, and that this should start things.  I asked if I should call my mom, who wanted to be with us for the labor and delivery but was helping my dad with the boys at the time, and he said no, we had lots of time.

About 10 minutes later I started to have contractions that were painful.  I would say they were similar to the contractions I had when I went into labor with the boys, before I got the epidural.  They didn't seem that frequent.  After about 20 minutes of them, I told Eric I was ready for the anesthesiologist.  I believe my words were: "I'm no hero!  These really hurt!  I don't know who those crazy people are who want to have a baby without drugs."  We told the nurse to call for the anesthesiologist, and she did.

Maybe 10 minutes later, I wanted to try to use the bathroom on my own before my epidural.  I had to pee and thought I might have to poop, and wanted to do it in private.  The nurse came in and said that the anesthesiologist was finishing up in another room and would be with me in a minute.  I did get to the toilet, I peed, had a painful contraction, pooped, had another contraction, and really started to get uncomfortable.  I had some trouble getting off the toilet, but finally did.  I got back into bed and had another really painful contraction, where I felt like I was moving my bowels in the bed.  I got really upset! I said to Eric, "Call the nurse! I pooped in the bed! Call the nurse!"  Eric thinks I call the nurse too much, so he was hemming and hawing, also because there wasn't actually poop in the bed.

When she came in, I told her I thought I had pooped in the bed, but also stressed the urgency of calling the anesthesiologist because I was having a lot of pain.  When she didn't have the anesthesiologist come in, but instead a nurse practitioner, it slowly dawned on me that something wasn't right.

The NP went to check me and said, "You're complete, baby is at +2-3."

Um, what?

I started asking if there was still time for an epidural, and in Eric's words, "No one really wanted to tell you there wasn't..."  but the NP suggested that I begin trying deep breathing and to keep my legs relaxed.  I think I was (more than) a little panicked- I remember saying things like, "but I didn't take a childbirth class!" and "I don't want to have a baby without an epidural!" and "are you SURE there isn't time for an epidural?" even though I knew that even given the small chance I could sit still for an epidural, it surely wouldn't take effect prior to delivery.  Eric called my mom and told her to come right away- she was 2 miles away at our house.

I tried to talk myself into it, I told the NP that I had pushed 15 minutes to deliver my first, so I could do 10.  I told myself, "10 minutes, you can handle this for 10 minutes. You can do this."

There was a bit of a mad rush, where they were calling my OB on the phone to come in from office, prepping the bed, getting the baby warmer, the nurse for the baby...  I think I was kind of in shock that this was all happening right now, and so quickly.  My mom still wasn't there, either.

With every contraction it felt 1) painful and 2) like I needed to bear down, but my OB was changing into his scrubs and I had to wait.  When he got in, they moved me down into the stirrups.  I think I was a little nuts- the speed, the pain- my brain could not keep up.  I had another contraction and was allowed to push.  My OB said to take a deep breath in, let it out, another deep breath, and then bear down and PUSH.  I have to say that pushing is very easy without an epidural because you know exactly how to push to help the pressure.  It hurt A LOT.  It is true that you have no real memory for pain, all I know is that I was kind of riding up the hospital bed trying to get away from the pain, and the OB kept telling me to come down, keep my feet in the stirrups, and bear down.  I had a hard time pushing for the full count of 10 you are supposed to push for because it hurt so much.  I remember saying, at one point, "I can't!" because it hurt.  I have heard of the "ring of fire" and I wouldn't say that I could feel a ring, but it really stung! Regardless, I can't complain- after 2.5 contractions, Charlotte was born!

I remember thinking she looked so big!  And her face was all smooshy and purple.  I was in total shock.  My mom had missed the whole thing!  She came into the room after Charlotte was delivered, while my OB was stitching me.  I have a 2nd degree tear again but I figure that's not so bad given her size and the speed of delivery.  I had a 2nd degree tear with the boys, too, and no problems recovering from it.

They gave Charlotte to me almost right away, and I put her up to nurse, and she latched right on.  This was completely amazing to me, given the struggle I had getting my guys to latch as newborns.  It was great.  She peed as soon as she came out, too!  And then while nursing she had a bowel movement on me- everything seemed to be in working order.  I saw on the notes that her apgar scores were 9 and 9- a perfectly healthy baby, and what a miracle.

I am still in a little bit of shock about how it all happened- it was never my plan to have an epidural-free delivery, but now that it's over I am happy with it.  I feel proud of myself for delivering a big baby without drugs- I didn't know I was capable!  And recovery has been so easy.   We came home from the hospital after only 24 hours, and she has been nursing and sleeping very well.  The hardest part has been the boys- Benjamin seems fine, but Asher is having some trouble adjusting, which doesn't surprise me.

She is asleep now- so I better go, too!  Life has just gotten a little more crazy here.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

crappy iphone picture of the belly, next to the tree, in our new house
How far along?  39w1d
Total weight gain/loss? I went about 3 weeks without gaining weight, but I think at my last visit I think I had gained some (because they didn't say that I had stayed the same weight).
Maternity clothes? Obviously.  
Pregnancy symptoms?  I feel pretty good, all things considered. I have heartburn off and on, but otherwise I have a fair amount of energy.  I even shaved my legs this morning- comfortably.
Stretch marks? Oh yes. And getting worse, it feels like.  On Friday my skin felt so painful, like it is tearing apart.  I am dreading the post-partum belly.
Sleep? Terrible!  I wake up a million times a night- to pee, if Eric snores/breathes, if the cats are on the bed... and then the nights I do sleep well and solidly I wake up very early and lie there with a million thoughts running through my head.    
Best moment last week? Just listening to my guys talk more and more.  Asher keeps saying things I didn't know he knew- like "Water please, Mommy.  I thirsty!"
Movement?  She is a big mover.  Last night around 1:30 am she went wild, and I swear it felt like she was trying to crawl out!  That is what made Monday night into Tuesday so worrisome.
Food cravings? No particular food, although I wouldn't mind a cheeseburger and milkshake!  That was my mom's pregnancy food with me.
Gender? Counting on it being a girl since I painted her room a coral color...  
Labor signs? Still no real signs of labor.  At my OB appointment on Wednesday I was 2 cm dilated and 75% effaced, but that's it.  Yesterday I moved- actually helped move, like lifted and pushed and carried and packed and unpacked, and nothing.  Come on, baby!
Belly button in/out? In. But it has this top part that pokes out a tiny bit, and I think that's all I'll get.
What I miss: There really isn't anything I am missing.  I can't move too quickly and I am still stiff when I get up, but I am not good at following pregnant lady food rules, so I have had whatever I wanted to eat.  And tonight I had some wine with dinner!
What I am looking forward to:  We close on our old house on Friday (although this makes me more sad than happy.  I will really miss that place.  Going in there now and having it be echoey and empty is hard- it makes me tear up to go in there).  And potentially, I might have a baby this week- although every day I am still pregnant makes me feel like it is less likely I will ever be un-pregnant.
Milestones: We're moved into our new house.  The boys seem to be adjusting pretty well, although tonight Benjamin was looking at pictures he took at our old house and he said "Go home, go home to Boo Boo's house." We spent last night here and then this morning just hung out in our pj's to give the guys some time to get used to the place.  I am glad we have at least gotten this settled without my having the baby.

I also never thought I would still be pregnant right now.  A full-term baby!  She feels huge in there.  I am still vacillating between excitement at meeting her and no longer being pregnant (although I think have had the easiest, most painless pregnancy ever) and feeling sad that I'll never be pregnant again, and that our lives will have to go through yet another transition.

We are looking forward to my in-laws visiting on Friday for Christmas.  We got a tree today- bad Jews!- but I love the smell and the way it looks.  It is also helping the boys be excited about their new house.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

what a week... and it's only wednesday

Well, how can one week take so long?  We are getting ready to move on Saturday, and we made a schedule, but life seems to get in the way of things like that.

Everyone has been sick.  Grandma Sonia was in the hospital on Saturday and Sunday- they are not sure what it was, but she was dehydrated and then had tummy trouble.  On Monday my mom went to get her and bring her back to the facility where they leave, and found my Grandpa David very sick with tummy trouble, and no one had helped him.  Oy!  Then on Sunday night Jane had either a terrible case of food poisoning or a bad stomach bug.

Our immediate family has shared a little cold, so there have been runny noses, coughs, and some sneezes.  Then today Asher got sent home from school after nap time because he threw up.  I was at work (lucky me!) and Eric had to go get him, and Benjamin didn't want to stay without his brother.  Asher threw up several more times, but seemed to be done by the time I got home from work.  Then Benjamin started dragging, which is unusual.  No throw up from him, but both my mom and I have had bouts of nausea (without vomiting) in the past couple of days, so maybe he had that same feeling but a stronger tummy than Asher.  And now Grandpa Nick is in bed complaining of aches and nausea.  Oy!  All I can think is, thank goodness I haven't had this baby and don't have to worry about her getting sick!

Regardless, movers are coming on Saturday at 9 am to move our furniture.  If we have to dump things into boxes and carry them down the street, we will, but come hell or high water, we are moving in some fashion on Saturday.  I am starting to get really excited about living in our new house.  I am not sure how I will live in the kitchen or where I will put our things, but I love the paint colors in our living room and dining room and am excited to have my family in a beautiful new home.

In other drama this week- I made my first (and hopefully only) anxious pregnant lady call and visit to the doctor yesterday.  After not feeling Petunia move for about 12 hours, I called the OB in tears.  She hadn't moved after my nighttime ice cream treat, she hadn't moved when I got in bed for the night, which is our usual busy time, and she didn't move through the night or after breakfast.  The nurse at the OB's office sent me in for a non-stress test, and I had to go to Labor & Delivery because all the other testing beds were booked.  Everyone in L&D was really nice, and the second I climbed up on the bed to get monitored, she started to kick.  I kind of felt silly, but the nurses told me I did the right thing, and that they would rather see me everyday between now and delivery if things don't feel right than have me stay home and feel silly about calling.  I thought that was really nice.  Since I went in, and today, she has been her usual overactive self, which is reassuring.

I did have my regular OB appointment today, and he said I am now 2 cm dilated.  I guess progress is progress, but it does not seem that this baby plans to come out anytime soon.  I am fine with staying pregnant through the weekend- we have so much to do, having a baby is not on the list.  I am just mystified as to how my wimpy cervix was so ready to throw in the towel in my last pregnancy and is now holding on strong.  I know the baby will come when she's ready, but I think we're all starting to panic that my in-laws will come down here for Christmas and not have a new grandchild to see.  I think we all believed I would have the baby early- but we were wrong!

Fortunately for me, I feel great- physically I do feel like I could be pregnant forever.  I have plenty of energy, very few aches and pains.  I am slow and more easily out of breath, but other than that I feel very normal.  I still wear high heels to work, my rings still fit, and I still have ankles.  Apparently my body knows this is my last pregnancy and wants to make it last!

My guess is- the next time I post we'll be in our new house! I will take some photos to post on here.  A lot of excitement coming soon!

Friday, December 7, 2012

mixed emotions

Hot dog? Ice cream?  Both!
Belly yesterday at 37w5d.  Just in case I went into labor and had the baby.

I'm 38 weeks tomorrow.  I had my appointment today, and all is well with baby and me- her heart rate is good and strong, my blood pressure remains low, and I haven't gained any weight.  We are healthy as can be.  The OB gave me an internal- it was not the doctor who I usually see and have seen for the past couple of months- and he was not nearly as gentle as my usual doctor.  It seemed like he couldn't find my cervix anywhere! Ouch!  And then he told me, no change.  Still about 1 cm dilated, 75% effaced.  Hmph! I am having crazy Braxton-Hicks, some of which are becoming really painful, waking me up at night, and nothing???  That is really frustrating.

At the same time, I feel relieved.  We have friends coming from Boston this weekend and a long list of things to do, like packing, painting, shopping, and baking (yes, I seem to think that tomorrow has 36 hours in it rather than 24).  It will be much easier to get things done if I am still pregnant.  I asked the OB if there were any restrictions and he said no, to go ahead and paint, bend and lift, pack, do whatever.  I am kind of hoping intense activity will move things along.

I also feel a little eager to meet this baby.  What will she look like, sound like, smell like?  And yet I am happy to focus my attention on my two guys right now.  I feel such guilt, that I know what's coming and they don't.  Every night when we tuck them into bed I think, "Is this the last night that they'll be my only two children?"  I am having trouble sleeping because I find myself thinking about things like that.  As I've said before, I love them so much, and I worry that this new baby will upset them.

I also find myself thinking, "will I be sure when I go into labor" (dumb question, given the intensity of my contractions last time around).  Will my labor be similar but shorter?  More painful?  Less?  I am not scared of labor and delivery because it went so smoothly the last time, and I know the epidural is always there waiting for me.

There are just such feelings of ambivalence.  I feel like our whole lives are in transition.  And I hate the anticipation of change, even if I will love the effects of the change when it's done.

Today the boys and I went to Trader Joe's and I saw our lactation consultant there.  I haven't seen her, other than for a brief moment when she came to visit my cousin last fall, since she came to help the boys nurse when they were 5 days old.  She got them both latched and I really don't think we would have done it without her.  She said it made her day to see them big and healthy, and me pregnant again.  I told her I still carry her card with me and will be calling her if there's any trouble when Petunia arrives!

Time for bed- I'm exhausted and need to cram 2 days' worth of activities into tomorrow.  We will definitely owe our friends dinner after all this!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

the circus at our house, 37w1d, and house news

The lion giving the monkey a ride on the tricycle
You have to hand it to 2 2-year-olds- they know how to have a good time.  Yesterday during what was supposed to be nap time, they broke into their closet and found their Halloween costumes.  So last night and this morning, they dressed up in costume.  Of course this also led to attempts to trick-or-treat and eat candy.  This morning they were on the tricycle- Benjamin drives and Asher hops on back.  They went in circles around the house and loops around the dining room table- I was laughing hysterically.  They are so cute and always coming up with new and inventive ways to make trouble.

How far along?  37w1d
Total weight gain/loss? The nurse told me 0 lbs over the past week.  Well, that is nice.  I am still huge.
Maternity clothes? Yes. Down to 1 pair of yoga pants, 1 pair of leggings, 1 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of work pants.  Slim pickings when things get dirty with one wearing.  
Pregnancy symptoms?  Mainly fatigue.  I am back to being really hungry (vs. being too full to eat). Why did I have to be so full on Thanksgiving, my favorite eating day of the year?
Stretch marks? Yes. My lower belly is killing me.  It feels like it's ripped apart- ouch!
Sleep? Somewhat better than last week- less trouble falling asleep, but I am waking up 2-3 times a night to pee and often have trouble falling back to sleep afterward.  I just remind myself, all of this is far better than the newborn, eat-all-the-time stage we are about to begin.  
Best moment last week? Watching my boys turn into sweet little guys- learning their manners, new words and phrases, and becoming adept at so many physical activities.  A friend of mine gave the boys a puzzle last night, and Asher has been very dedicated to putting it together over and over.
Movement?  Still going!  She loves, loves, loves sugar.  Just like mommy.
Food cravings? If it's food, I want it.
Gender? Let's assume- still a girl.  
Labor signs? My usual Braxton-Hicks.  They are slightly more painful from time to time, but that doesn't mean anything.  I did get another internal on Wednesday, and I was 1 cm dilated and 75% effaced, which was a change from the prior week.  Although it doesn't mean anything as to when I will actually go into labor, it was reassuring to know that there is change taking place, because I am not particularly interested in 1) going past my due date or 2) having an induction.  I was also told that I'm negative for Group B Strep, which is good news.  I am hoping for an easy labor and delivery!
Belly button in/out? In.  I am destined to never have an outie, thank goodness.
What I miss: Having a lap for my two guys to sit on.  Someone is always slipping off when I try to squeeze them both on what is left of my short legs.
What I am looking forward to: I am kind of looking forward to stopping work- it is awkward scheduling appointments with the disclaimer that they might not actually happen.  I like to be consistent and predictable, and telling people I just might not show up does not feel very predictable.
Milestones: I'm full term!  Hurray!  Now I just wait for this baby to come.  What a strange feeling- not knowing when she'll come.  I spend time thinking about how excited I am to hold her, look at her little bits and pieces, nurse again... and then spend time feeling completely anxious about how I don't want a baby to come.

I called my mom after my OB appointment this week and told her I am not sure I want a baby.  I'm just dreading the upheaval.  I am sure things will be wonderful, but in the meantime I am not handling the unpredictable nature of all of this very well.

10:12 pm- I wrote everything else in this post around 3:30 while we were at my parents' house.  The boys were napping there while we had an open house at our place.  Well, the open house was productive- we received an offer at 6 pm, and had signed papers by 7:15 accepting the offer.  AND they want to close December 21.  Because that means we won't have to pay 2 mortgages for even a single month, that is great.  Because I am due December 22, it's not great.  Oh my gosh.  Over the next 3 weeks we need to: fix up our new house (which we thought we had all the time in the world to do), pack up our current house, move down the street, and somewhere in there, have a baby.  Hahahaha.  When we do crazy, we do it right.  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

belly picture comparison

Tonight, at 36w5d. I am smiling because Eric said, "Don't look tired!"  Hmm. Pretty hard to do after a week of work!

Same outfit, 36w with the boys- less than 24 hours before they were born.
I can tell that I looked/was bigger with the boys than I am now, but I wouldn't say so much so that it's remarkable.  Ugh.

The main difference seems to be my face- my face has stayed the same this pregnancy. I have no swelling in my hands and feet and am still able to wear all my rings, which I couldn't last time.  I still feel good, especially on days where I work and sit down all day!

Monday, November 26, 2012

2 years, 8 months

Just a quick entry- the boys are 2 years and 8 months old today, which I realized as I wrote the date on their biographical information forms at the dentist this morning.

That's right- the first trip to the dentist!  They both did well- they squeezed into the chair together and let the dentist look at their teeth and said "ahhhhh" for her.  We go back in 6 months or so for their first cleaning.  Asher's two front teeth are gray, apparently from a fall/trauma to the teeth.  She said it could turn out any number of ways- they could get less gray, more gray, fall out, or he could injure them again and they could fall out after that.  Poor Bear.  Can you imagine if he lost his teeth at 3 and then didn't get teeth again til he's 6?  Benjamin has a chipped tooth.  That is what you get with 2 active boys- the dentist said it is completely normal.

I was feeling very super-mom today- Eric was out at his boss's house all day, and I did breakfast, got the boys to the dentist (with Asher in rain boots since his 1 pair of shoes was in the wash), then did errands.  We went to the Apple store, Starbucks to bribe them with a muffin, the luggage store to refill my planner, back to the Apple store, then Trader Joe's for groceries.  They each wanted noodles for lunch, but Asher wanted his with cheese and peas, and Benjamin wanted his with red sauce.  So I made homemade cheese sauce for Asher's noodles and they each got what they wanted.  Then we read books til nap time, then they went down for nap and actually slept!  I got my own work done, then when they woke up we made more sugar cookies.  I folded laundry, and made them a dinner of sesame chicken, brown rice, and broccoli.

My parents came over for dinner- after food was cooked- and we ate together.  After dinner I put the rice back on because I thought it was a little underdone, and we cleaned up a little, then I wrote thank-you notes and paid bills.  Then we went up to get ready for bed- my dad was helping me while I put laundry away.  I smelled something toasty.  I came back downstairs for the boys' toothpaste and definitely smelled burning.  The rice!  I ruined my domestic goddess-ness for the day by burning the rice and possibly killing the pot.  Oh well, no one is perfect!  That kind of did me in.  When Eric finally returned from a long day of work capped by a really nice dinner out (I told him for the sake of our marriage he should keep the details of his delicious dinner to himself) I let him do all the rest of the dishes.

What a long day- it must be time for bed.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

36w1d- the most pregnant I have ever been!

First, some good, and non-pregnancy related news- I passed my licensing exam with plenty of room to spare!  What a huge relief, and an accomplishment.  I feel like, if I can pass this exam while parenting two toddlers, at 34 weeks pregnant, in the midst of buying and selling a house, there is hope out there for everyone.  Hurray!  Now I need to do some state licensing activities, but hopefully within a few months I will be licensed in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  I have no plans to leave my current job, and I won't actually make a whole lot more than I am right now, but should the time come when I want a change, I will be in a much better position to look for it.
36w pregnant with my friend Alex, who is 29w
And here I am, 36w1d pregnant, which is the longest I've been pregnant.  I didn't really expect to go into labor overnight last night, but here I am.  Who knows how much longer I'll be pregnant- I have to say that I am really hoping it's not 4 more weeks.

How far along?  36w1d
Total weight gain/loss? I am assuming more weight gain.  My appetite has been much smaller recently, I think I am out of room in there.  The crazy part of me thinks, "well hopefully a smaller appetite will lead to less weight gain..." but the rational part of me knows that at this point, my body will do whatever it wants to do.
Maternity clothes? Yes. I'm tired of the few I have and can't wait to go back to normal clothes.  
Pregnancy symptoms?  Heartburn is more frequent.  I am irritable, and a little more hormonal.  I have to pee ALL THE TIME.  I have tons of Braxton-Hicks.  My back is stiff.  I have a weird pain sometimes at the top of my left leg.  I feel full really easily and if I eat too much I feel nauseous.
Stretch marks? Yes.  I won't look at them.  And  my skin feels all tight and tired.
Sleep? Sleep has been tough.  I have trouble falling asleep if I'm too full, and I have been very sensitive to the sound of Eric's snoring/breathing, so I end up sleeping in the guest room a lot (or sending him in there).  I am waking up 2-3 times a night to pee, and it's not a guarantee that I'll fall back to sleep after I'm up.  Ugh.  I am definitely tired, and am trying to nap when the boys nap if I can.  
Best moment last week? There were many moments of sweetness with my little guys.
Movement?  Her movement feels slowed- it is still frequent but just feels slower.  It definitely feels like it's getting tighter in there for her.
Food cravings? As usual, nothing in particular.  I am enjoying apples and grapes a lot!
Gender? It better still be a girl! I just washed and folded a load of pink baby clothes.  
Labor signs? Nothing.  I have Braxton-Hicks, of course, but at my appointment on Wednesday I did let my OB do an internal, and he told me that my cervix is still high and not dilated at all.  He said maybe 50% effaced.  That does not sound indicative of labor to me.  I know those things can change quickly, but I don't really think it's happening anytime soon.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: Ability to move.  It's hard to get my boots on, to bend over a lot, to hop up from the couch and chase my boys, lift my boys, carry my boys...
What I am looking forward to: Well, we close on our new house on Friday but I'm not really looking forward to it.  2 mortgages until our house sells?  Help!  But I am starting to get ready for Hanukkah- I bought the boys' gifts today.  Given our financial constraints it's a nothing-fancy year for us.  I got them tons of books at a bargain bookstore and TJ Maxx, as well as little water bottles, stickers, and coloring books. 
Milestones: Being pregnant this long!  And now I'm going to the doctor every week instead of every-other-week.  I washed the laundry for the baby and started gathering items for a hospital bag.  We have the various components of the car seat in one place (my parents' house).

I am eager to see what this little girl looks like and meet her, but I am not looking forward to a change in our family of 4.  Things have been pretty good with the boys lately- they are so cute and sweet and we have a general routine that works for us.  I am really dreading shifting my attention away from the boys for any reason, even if this baby is a good one.  I also know that it's difficult physically being pregnant and a mommy of toddlers, but I imagine it will be worse trying to take care of a baby and two toddlers.  I know I won't love the boys any less just because I love this new baby, but I think I worry that's what will happen.  And what if they feel like I do even if it's not true?

In general I am looking forward to what the future holds- our new family member, a new home, career advancement.  It is just a little stressful in the meantime.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

cutest kids on the planet

Just a few pictures of the cutest boys I know- since I feel that they have not been showcased enough recently in lieu of my other nonsense and anxieties.

Going on a morning bike ride:

Mommy's "two guys" as they call themselves, barely respecting the boundary between the dining room and kitchen:

Baking sugar cookies with Meema:

Asher is really talking a lot more.  He can be very funny, but he is also developing some good manners- he says please, thank you, and excuse me ("scuse-a me!").  He is also a sensitive little guy- I guess that is mommy's empathy.  Tonight I started to cry while describing the book "Love You Forever" in an effort to describe why I can't read the book to the boys... and Asher was across the room, he rushed over to check on me and pushed a tissue at me to dry my eyes and gave me a hug.  What a sweet boy.

Benjamin is taking after, and very attached to, Grandpa Nick.  He is Grandpa Nick's helper whenever we are over there- with dishes, taking out the trash, checking on things and fixing them.  Tonight I saw Benjamin stop playing for a minute, get up, and just go over to get a big hug from Nick.  As Eric commented, "our boys are lucky to have so much family around to love them." A friend sent us a book about a boy getting a baby sister he doesn't want, and I have tried to read it to Benjamin, but all he wants to do is look at the pictures of the little boy in the book's toys.  I think he is going to be very confused when I come home with a new human and not a new truck.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Thanksgiving 2012

The boys, with cousin Eli on the left, reading with me after dinner
As we do every year, we have much to be thankful for.  Not just the basics, like the roof over heads, the food on the table (and in the fridge, pantry, freezer...), and the heat in our home.

We are lucky to have such a big and loving family, who take good care of us.  I know that Eric and I will never be homeless or go hungry with the family we have.  We always have someone to lend a hand with our boys, to help move a piece of furniture, or to pick up the milk we forgot at the store.  At points in our marriage, Eric and I had discussed moving other places, but I'm glad we never did- we really need the help we get from our family!  Not just my parents, but also my Aunt Jane and Uncle Ed, who are sweet and loving with our boys.

We are also lucky to have Eric's family, even though they're farther away.  I know how loved our children are, and they are always so generous and affectionate with our children (and us!).  It is also amazing that my boys have 6 living great-grandparents, as well as Pierrette.  I am glad that my grandparents and P have come here to be near us so that my children can know them well in their final years.

I am thankful for this surprise pregnancy, which will bring us our daughter and complete our family.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be pregnant, and for every kick she gives.  I am thankful that so far, Petunia appears to be a healthy, normal baby, and I have had a completely healthy, normal pregnancy.  After all the complications last time around, it is miraculous to have had such an uneventful pregnancy.

Of course I am thankful every minute of every day for our two beautiful boys.  I always wanted to be a mommy, but never imagined that it would be like this.  I am stunned by their sweet faces and loving embraces.  How could I be so lucky as to have TWO healthy, affectionate, curious, loving and lovable children?  Of course they are not perfect, and we all have our moments, but all things considered, I won the lottery with these two.  I feel honored that I am their mommy, and that they choose to love me as much as I love them.

I am thankful that we have the opportunity to move to a new home in the neighborhood we love to raise our children.  It is the best of everything to have the space we need close to the friends and neighbors we are attached to.

I am thankful that I have a job I love in a career I love.  At times, it is difficult to have both a career and a family, but for the most part, I have a job that allows me flexibility and professional growth.  I knew that when I decided to apply to graduate school back in 2003, but I am happy to see it play out the way it has.  I am extremely lucky to have fallen into the job I have right out of school- I have a very supportive supervisor in a laid-back environment, which suits me perfectly.

I am also thankful for Eric's big brain and his good job- he also has a supportive and understanding boss who takes good care of his employees.  I am lucky that Eric is so smart and works in a field where he'll always be in demand.  It is a huge relief to know that he will always be employed.

And, cheesy as it is, I am thankful that I'm American and live in this country.  Bitch though we may about one thing or another, I don't think there is a better place to live.  I don't think of myself as particularly patriotic, but with all the family I have in Israel who spent days living with a certain degree of fear, I am reminded of just how much we take our safety, and so much more, for granted in this country.  I love to travel, and I love the lifestyle in other places, but this will always be home.

I don't say it enough, but I am thankful everyday for my husband.  He is a devoted daddy and husband.  Although he isn't a mind reader like I sometimes wish he were, he is a wonderful dad doing a wonderful job raising our boys.  Our relationship has certainly taken a back seat a lot of the time over the past few years, but I know he's always on my side.

That's enough for tonight!  Time to try to sleep- it's not going so well these days, unfortunately.  Thank goodness for naps!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone- and I hope your turkey was as delicious as ours!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

35w picture and a long weekend

35 weeks

On Friday I started to feel like maybe things were finally starting to calm down.  After play group at our house and lunch out with Meema, both boys went down for a nap and I found myself without my laptop, without my work files, and without anything that needed to be done.  And I took a nap!  It was wonderful.

But after nap, Asher woke up feverish.  And he's been kind of under the weather ever since.  With advil he seems pretty much himself, but as it wears off he gets cranky, clingy, and whiny.  And he definitely feels warm!  We don't have a working thermometer, the one we had that was closest to working has been packed away somewhere, but of course I can feel when he's hot.  I'll be calling the doctor in the morning, and knowing them, they'll tell me to bring the boys in.  Benjamin woke up from his nap today feeling really warm, too.  His mood was fine until bedtime when he started to cry and just seemed ready to get in bed.

I was supposed to go out for dinner for Meema's birthday, which was today, but I backed out because I feel so tired myself, and really don't want to get whatever my little guys might have.  I am scheduled to work Monday and Tuesday before I take the rest of the week off for Thanksgiving, and if the boys wake up sick tomorrow I'm not sure if they can go in to school on Tuesday.  UGH.  Sometimes being a working mom is a little harder than others.

We also had another open house today.  While there has been a fair amount of traffic in our house, no one has made an offer yet.  Is it unrealistic to think that someone might have wanted to snap it up right away?  I know it's only been on the market for 10 days, but I think it's time for someone to buy it.  It would sure make me feel better!

The money stuff has me so stressed out right now.  We already felt stressed out paying preschool tuition (all due within the first 4 months of school) and paying for our new roof, and now we are adding to it all the little odds and ends to fix up our house to have it on the market, as well as our deposit on our new house.  I feel like an ostrich, and just want to bury my head in the sand and not look at our bank account or credit card bill.

And, we heard that Eric's grampa is not well.  I am a little in denial, or maybe trying to be in denial, because he is such a sweet man and I could not stand if something happened to him.  Of course, he is 88, so is at an age where little things add up quickly and big things can be devastating.  My grandpa Sy is also in the hospital but my dad has very little information, so I am not sure what is happening or what his prognosis is.  I guess the downside to our having 6 grandparents between us is that they are aging, and one day we will lose them.  In some sense, I am prepared- as I have said before, my grandparents have faded significantly over the years and I have already mourned the loss of who they used to be.  But still, I hate that they might suffer, and that I am still losing them more and more.

As far as the pregnancy goes- I am having a lot more Braxton-Hicks contractions.  I am definitely feeling less comfortable.  At the same time, I know I will never be pregnant again, and I am trying to enjoy the positive aspects of the pregnancy- like feeling her move all the time and that feeling of having a life inside of me- it is such a privilege.

I have my 36 week appointment a few days early this week because of the holiday.  I'll have my Group B Strep test, and I'm undecided as to whether I'll get or refuse an internal.  I am beginning to wish I had a crystal ball and knew when this baby was coming so I could plan accordingly, but I don't think an internal will actually give me any answers.  Regardless, it might really be time to start getting ready!

So it has been a rough couple of days, with a lot of not-so-hot news.  I just feel overwhelmed, I think I keep telling myself "ok, just get through x and you'll be fine... just get through y and you'll be fine..." but it is like being on a treadmill- there is no real end in sight at this point.  Right now, I want to get to Thursday and enjoy my family and be thankful- and eat turkey.

Monday, November 12, 2012

34w2d, and one hurdle passed

Could they be any cuter?!?
Well, I took my exam today, hurray!  There is no way to know whether I passed or failed, so I have to just put it behind me now and move on.  There is so much else to do, with our buying a new house and trying to sell our current home.  Our house went on the market on Thursday and got a fair amount of attention over the weekend, but no offers yet (is it unrealistic to think someone would want to snap it up immediately?).  It has been completely nuts trying to get things fixed and cleaned around the house while trying to study and care for the boys.

The boys have been, for the most part, very cooperative in having their needs ignored.  They've made 2 trips to Ikea without complaint- although I am sure the ice cream cones at the end help with their agreeableness!  They have mostly spent the past 2 weekends doing what mommy and daddy need to do, so this past Sunday, when the weather was perfect as can be, we went to the zoo.  The big let-down, which the boys handled better than I did, was that the kids' petting zoo is closed til spring!  We still had fun.  The funniest moment was when we got there and were looking for parking, Eric drove past the main gates and Benjamin started to cry in the backseat thinking we weren't going to the zoo at all.  He said, "This zoo!  This zoo!"  And Asher piped up from next to him, "Calm down, Boo Boo."  What a bossy boy!

The pictures on here are from our photo shoot 2 weeks ago- they are so great! I am totally biased, but I can't get over how adorable my kids are.  I can't stop looking at the pictures, I am really pleased with them.  When I get the digitals, I will post more on here.  The same photographer is going to do a newborn shoot with the baby when she gets here, too.

No belly picture this week- I haven't gotten myself dressed nicely, and plus I feel huge and unattractive.  Ugh.
From our photo shoot 2 weeks ago

How far along?  34w2d
Total weight gain/loss?  I did gain weight from my previous appointment.  I feel humongous.  My OB reassured me that my weight gain is not a problem, basically telling me to get over it.  He also told me how much I weighed with my boys, which I hadn't known, and I'm not going to say, but let's say... I lost over 50 lbs after they were born.  Wow!
Maternity clothes? Yes. And I outgrew a pair of my maternity pants.  
Pregnancy symptoms?  Not too many.  Heartburn while I'm at work- it's awful.  I worry about grimacing while people are looking at me, which is generally not the facial expression I like to make when I am trying to convey empathy and understanding.
Stretch marks? Pretty sure I have new ones on my lower stomach.  I seem to be carrying very low, and it is stretching me out.  With the boys, they moved up vertically but she seems to be hanging out at the bottom.
Sleep? Just not sleeping through the night.  All the anxiety of the test, house stuff, the endless to-do list means that once I'm awake my mind gets going and won't slow down.  
Best moment last week? Enjoying dinner out tonight with my family, and getting compliments on the boys' behavior from the people at the next table!
Movement?  Still regular and reassuring.  She seems to love sugar- I drink coffee every day and that has no effect on her movement, but if I eat some dessert she goes wild!
Food cravings? No real cravings.  I like lots of fruits and vegetables.  In the past few days, I've also gotten extra-hungry.  It is a difficult combination to have with my weight gain, because I feel guilty for eating (yes, this is a deeper issue).
Gender? I assume still a girl.  As far as I know, there won't be any more ultrasounds, so confirmation of gender will happen when she's born.  
Labor signs? Braxton Hicks.  I also think I lost part of my mucus plug last night, but when I called my OB in a panic (anxiety about the test directed toward other matters), he said there is no such thing.  Ok, well, not to be gross, but if it wasn't a mucus plug, what was it? I have never seen anything like that before.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: Exercise. I know I am still active, but I find myself watching joggers with envy.  I am actually eager to get back to it!
What I am looking forward to: Thanksgiving!!!!!  My favorite holiday.  Love all the family and all the food.  I can't wait to have family in town, and have my guys enjoy it all.  They already gobble every time I say Thanksgiving, which cracks me up.  
Milestones: I am at the point where I came off bed rest with the boys, and haven't had any restrictions or complications.  Next up, I have my Group B Strep test in a week and a half.  I told my mom I would love to have the baby on 12/12/12, when I will be 38w4d.  Then I realized- that's in a month!  Help!  Both Eric and I turned pale and panicked when we realized that "full term" (37w) is just over 2 weeks away.  We have been fooling ourselves that this might go on forever and we wouldn't have to deal with a newborn!  

Also, I did order a coming home outfit for her, and once it arrives, I will wash it and start packing my hospital bag.  Now that my exam is over, I am going to start sorting through baby clothes so I will know what more I need for those early days.  I can't believe how quickly time, and this pregnancy, have passed.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

evidence we are 100% nuts

Well, I have not said anything here or to many of my friends because I wanted to be sure- but now it looks like it's really happening...

We're buying a new house.  Now.  Like, probably closing by the end of the month.  Oh, wait, I am taking my big licensing exam in a week?  Right, yes.  And I'm 33 weeks pregnant?  Mm-hmm.  Yes, it certainly sounds like now is an ideal time to buy a new house, fix up the house we live in, and sell it.  Yes, we definitely needed more to do.

But an opportunity presented itself that seemed too good to pass up.  A neighbor of ours passed away unexpectedly- he was a widower with grown children.  He lived on our block in one of the larger, single-family homes (ours is a twin, or duplex, whatever you prefer to call it).  We left a note for the family letting them know that if they were interested in selling, we were interested in buying- that our family is expanding and we are outgrowing our current house but want to stay in this neighborhood.  They responded a week later saying they wanted to sell, and we quickly struck an agreeable deal.

Now it is home inspections, agreements to buy, deposits and money, and we have to get a contractor in there because it needs a kitchen.  But it's 4 bedrooms, with room for a play room separate from our living room.  It is enough room for us to stay there forever, if need be.  With mortgage rates as they are, we won't even be paying more month-to-month!  We are very excited to have a home that is the right size for us, and to design a new kitchen for ourselves.

As a result, poor Petunia has no nursery.  Thank goodness pack-n-plays are portable, because who knows where we'll be living for the first few weeks or months of her life- if our house (fingers crossed) sells quickly, we will end up in my parents' house for some period of time while we get a kitchen in place.

I am really looking forward to having it all settled- I don't like moving, and I will miss our happy little house.  We have had such wonderful times here.  But wherever we are, we will still be our family.  I am sure as the boys get older, they will like having a bigger room with more room for books, toys, and to play.

I had been looking forward to getting through my exam and focusing on getting ready for the baby- making a nursery for her, nesting.  Now we are shaking things up and I won't get to nest right now, but I will make a special little room for her in our new house.  Good thing I didn't go crazy buying baby things!

That's our big news for now.  Tonight our township supposedly had a rescheduled Halloween, but not too many people got the memo.  I took the boys out, but there were so few houses passing out candy and it was so cold that we came home pretty quickly.  Asher LOVED handing out candy to anyone who came by.  He kept yelling "More people! More people!" to try to get people to magically appear at our door.  He also wouldn't take off his monkey costume.  He was seriously adorable.

The boys tonight:
I had told them to hold hands
And me, 33w1d, since we missed any picture last week.  Well, we took real pictures with a photographer, but I don't have them yet.
I definitely look pregnant...
I still feel generally very well, so that is great.  Yesterday I took the boys to Ikea and didn't even need a nap afterward!  They were total angels there, I felt so lucky.  They made up for it this morning, though...  That's 2 year-olds for you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

We have been looking forward to Halloween for ages!  Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy didn't seem to share our excitement.  We lost power on Monday morning, got it back for a couple of hours, and then lost it again on Monday around 3, never to get it back.  Our township supposedly canceled trick-or-treating tonight, but we weren't going to be able to have it at our house anyway.  Fortunately, friends of ours have family in the neighboring town, and invited us to go there.  It was the perfect street for trick-or-treating, because there were lots of houses fairly close together, and almost every house on the street was passing out candy.

Asher took to trick-or-treating like a monkey to the jungle.  He rushed right up to the door, and would sometimes say "trick or treat!" and sometimes just grab a piece of candy.  Sometimes he would say "thank you," sometimes he would push Benjamin up to the candy bowl and say, "Pick one, BooBoo!" Benjamin was a little more polite and cautious.  He would hover at the bowl and wait for the adult to pick a piece of candy for him, or he would point to the one he wanted and then let the adult, or me, put it in his bag.  Asher would then run back down the walk and say "Another house!  Another house!"  

They got a decent haul for their first Halloween!  They came home and split a full-size bag of M&Ms with Grandpa Nick, and I have to admit that I recently ate a Butterfinger and shared some Twizzlers with Meema.

Oh, right. We are staying at my parents' house because of our lack of power.  It has been a little difficult, because at first we thought we were staying here for 1 night... now 2... and now it seems like we'll be here til Saturday.  We've brought things over in dribs and drabs, but we don't have enough clothing for everyone.  Our house is very cold and dark, and it feels sad and lonely in there.  I can't wait to go home and warm the place up again.

Here are some pictures from our Halloween:

Knocking on the door with their friend Amelia (a dragon)

Lion and monkey

More lion and monkey

Mommy with her boys.  Apparently I am a whale for Halloween

Lion and Monkey with their friend Amelia Dragon

The boys were DONE at the end of the night.  On the drive home they both started to doze off, and when we finally got them into bed they went to sleep without monkey business (haha) for the first time in a while.  I hope they get a good night's sleep- they have been really thrown off by all the moving around and changes in schedule and scenery.  Last night Benjamin was asking to go home and go na-night at home. It was really sad, but we have told them there are no lights and it is cold at home.  They seem to be adjusting, although Asher is not eating much and is misbehaving at mealtimes.

Supposedly Halloween is rescheduled for Sunday for our township.  I will definitely put out my pumpkins and have the candy ready, just in case!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

a little about the boys and 32w

I just want to comment (yet again) on how lucky I feel to have these two sweet angels as my children.  I am still so madly in love with them that I can't stand it- even if there are days where I wish I could get a little more quiet and cooperation.

Tonight we had dinner at my parents' house, and though the boys did some usual 2 year-old stuff, like not sharing toys, some crying, and not really eating their food, they were mostly adorable and entertaining.  At the end of the night, Meema was reading to them:
I joined them and it is so wonderful to watch their rapt faces.  Asher was imitating all the noises and repeating words, and had a definite preference for which book Meema needed to read next.  We snuggled and it was just one of those moments you dream of when you are dreaming of having children.

I also found this picture on my phone:
Bear in sunglasses and p.j.'s at breakfast
I am so taken with their beautiful faces!

Benjamin is starting to pee more on the potty- motivated by M&Ms.  Eric and I discussed getting him pull-ups so he can go more easily. It is great that he his choosing to go, although he shows no interest in pooping on the potty.  But, progress is progress! I always tell him what a smart, big boy he is for going on the potty.  I am hoping once he gets the hang of it, Asher will decide it looks fun.  Fingers crossed.

Now, the pregnancy-
How far along?  32w1d
Total weight gain/loss?  At my appointment on Friday, I had gained 0 lbs since my last appointment.  The nurse offered to tell me my total gain and I said no, thank you.
Maternity clothes? Mm-hmm. I put on what I thought was a big sweatshirt tonight and it was more like a belly-baring top.  Yuck!
Pregnancy symptoms?  Feeling creaky, but that's about it.  I feel pretty energetic, all things considered.
Stretch marks? Maybe a few new ones? I asked the nurse at my OB's and she said she didn't see anything new.
Sleep? The same complaints. I wake up to pee and have trouble falling back to sleep.  Last night I didn't even have time to fall back to sleep before I had to pee again!  It is so annoying.  It is painful only sleeping on one side, too.
Best moment last week? I can't think of a single moment... life is moving along quickly, but mostly all good things!
Movement?  Yes.  She is head-down, her feet are up by my ribs, I think,  We got in a little fight the other day as I was trying to push them away.
Food cravings? Pizza.  We made pizza at home, and it was good, but it wasn't greasy enough.  That is what I get for trying to be healthy!  Eric said he wished I had mentioned my pizza craving earlier so we could be eating it more.
Gender? Girl!
Labor signs? Nothing other than Braxton-Hicks, still.  Why do I even comment on this?  I have had them since 18w in this pregnancy and clearly they mean nothing about labor, in this pregnancy or my last.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: Having a wardrobe.  Putting clothes on and looking good rather than like a manatee.
What I am looking forward to: I was looking forward to Halloween and seeing my bugs in their costumes, but now it looks like we're having a hurricane instead.  I am NOT looking forward to 2-3 endless days trapped in our house with 2 2 year-olds.
Milestones: Well, my OB said, "in the home stretch now!"  This is both good news, and scary news.  We talked about my delivery... I cannot believe it will be in 2 months or less.  Oh geez, I'm not ready!  My OB thinks I will probably go til close to my due date and that the baby will be about 7 lbs.  I can handle 7 lbs!  I am worried about going into labor at work, since I work so far away, but he said I should be fine to get to my hospital.  I just hope my supervisor or co-workers are prepared to take me!

Oh! And on Saturday we had some family pictures taken.  The boys, the leaves, my belly, the family... I can't wait to see them.  I am unabashedly biased, but I think the boys are the cutest things on Earth.  Benjamin was a total ham- he was definitely posing and grinning for the photographer!  I will post some of the pictures here when we get them.

Monday, October 22, 2012

boo at the zoo

I just wanted to share what I think is quite possibly the cutest thing(s) on earth:
Polar Bear, Monkey, and Lion
Oh my goodness, I know I am totally biased because I am their mom, but tell me those aren't the most adorable little animals you've ever seen?

They LOVED being dressed up and have asked to wear their costumes almost everyday since.  We're practicing saying "trick or treat" and there is much excitement around candy.

Here is a picture of me with my belly on Saturday night:
Eric and I had a date at a restaurant, Gemelli.  We went there the night I was 31 weeks pregnant with the boys on our first big night after months of bed rest.
31w with my boys
Then I had dinner there on March 31st of this year on a girls' night out.  After a lovely dinner and 2 glasses of wine, I came home to my husband and one thing led to another... and that is when we conceived Petunia.  So we kept up the "31" tradition.  We had a delicious dinner, and a nice night out.

That's it for now- Meema and Grandpa are still in Paris and I want them home!  I have been visiting the grandparents and Pierrette at their residence, mommying 2 boys, trying to study (hahaha), and working. I definitely count on my parents for a lot of help and support and it stinks when they're gone!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


As I'm sure anyone who reads this blog (and doesn't already know me) has figured out, I have a lot of family around and we are all very close.  I love my family, and I love having children of my own.

My parents and my aunt Jane and uncle Ed are all away- in Paris, to be precise.  In their absence, I am the emergency contact for my grandparents and P.  Last night the phone rang with a "wireless caller" with a local number.  I answered it- it was the nurse from the assisted living home where my grandparents live.  Of course my stomach just dropped.  "It's not bad," she said.  I thought, "how could it not be bad if you're calling me?"

My grandfather had lost his balance and fallen backwards, and hit his head on the wall behind him.  He had an "abrasion," but the nurse thought he was really ok.  A place like that can't just send someone with a head injury to bed without further inspection, so they sent him to the ER.  At 9:30, I got in the car and drove to the hospital to be with my grandpa.

I really didn't want to go- at that hour I had been thinking my schedule for the evening was going to be dessert, garbage TV, and early bedtime.  But I couldn't stand the idea of him at the emergency room by himself.  Plus with his aphasia, I worried he would have a hard time telling the nurses and doctor some personal information.

When I walked in and saw him there (and he had just gotten in, I heard them announcing the ambulance over the loudspeaker as I walked in), surrounded by strangers, I was so glad that I went.  I felt protective of him the same way I do of my kids, which was a strange feeling, considering that for most of my life, my grandfather has been a very authoritative and imposing figure.  I almost started to cry, but I stopped myself.

They took very good and respectful care of my grandpa.  There was the usual waiting around that you get at any ER visit, but they were fairly efficient.  A doctor came in very shortly after my grandpa was registered, and he told us that grandpa would need some staples, a tetanus shot, and a CAT scan.  All in all, it took 2 hours.

My grandpa was alert and coherent the whole time, which was reassuring.  In fact, I heard him talk more last night than I have in months, maybe even years!  We had a wonderful conversation about our family, and about how special our family is because we are so supportive of each other.  It's true, we are a loving and, in my grandfather's words, cohesive family.

After they discharged my grandpa, I took him home and back to my grandma (who had called the ER looking for him after I didn't call with an update for 45 minutes), and then went home and jumped into bed- at 12:30.  Then the boys woke up at 6:45!  Eric let me sleep later, but I woke up at 8 and rushed around to get the boys ready for school, and myself ready for work.  When I got in the car to drive to work and had a moment to think, I started to cry.

Last night was hard- not the being up late- but seeing my grandfather that way, and at the same time feeling closer to him than I have in a long time.  He thanked me for being with him, which I said was my pleasure, and he said that he appreciated how I was able to talk to the doctors and nurses.  It made me feel good to be helpful.  But I miss my grandparents so much; maybe that sounds crazy because they are "here," but they are not the people they used to be.  My grandpa was wearing a shirt he used to wear in the summer on the Cape, and it just made me miss those days and those relationships.  I know this is life, that my grandparents are aging, and one day they will be gone, and I am bringing a new life into the world to carry on their legacy.  It's why my boys and I have my mom's maiden name as our middle names, because this family is so important to all of us.

I'm actually grateful for the moment I had to spend with my grandfather.  It is so easy to be caught up in the needs of my own immediate family, and when I am with my grandparents and my kids I tend to focus on my children.  I spent a lot of time last night thinking about and remembering the special moments I have had with my grandpa- living with my grandparents in Paris when I was 11 and slipping a prayer into the Western Wall when we visited Israel to ask that my grandfather and I not argue anymore; living at their house the year that I met Eric, having them dance at my wedding.  I'm lucky, and I made sure I told my grandpa that last night, and I rubbed my belly and told Petunia that this morning- she is one lucky girl to come into a family like this.

I'm thankful that my grandfather is fine, and that it was nothing serious, and I'm thankful we got a moment together for me to remember how much my grandparents mean to me.  Tomorrow the boys and I are going over to them for lunch.  Asher actually threw a tantrum on the lawn after school today because I told him we were going tomorrow and he wanted to go NOW! He definitely has his mommy's family-oriented attitude!

Monday, October 15, 2012

30w (and now 2 days)

Tonight- seriously tired, and annoyed because Eric was saying that my arm looked fat.
close-up of the belly and the fat arm

This morning I had a growth scan ultrasound, and things could not be better.  First, this baby is growing perfectly, and measured in the 50th percentile.  Just right- not too small, and not so big I have to start worrying about how I am going to push her melon head out.  She is head-down, and my OB said she will most likely stay that way.  Hurray!

Both the tech and OB confirmed that yes, she is 100% girl.  My OB put her genitals in 3D and took a picture, I told him that was a little too exposing for that poor baby.  But yeah, in 3D there is no confusion about what you're looking at, and I am definitely carrying a girl.

Then my OB took a cervical measurement and it's still measuring above 3 cm, which is unchanged from my past two visits.  At this point in the pregnancy, the cervix starts to shorten anyway, so I am right where I need to be.  100% normal- no glucose problems, no anemia, no cervical problems, head-down baby, and my blood pressure was 100/60.  I felt so great leaving.

How far along?  30w2d
Total weight gain/loss?  Gain.  How much, who knows, but I really feel much larger than I did 2 weeks ago.
Maternity clothes? Yes. I don't have too many but I can't rationalize buying anything new that will get worn for only 2 months.
Pregnancy symptoms?  Still irritable, but not as bad.  I have not wanted to kill Eric nearly as much, which is good for the sake of our marriage.  I get pretty tired out at the end of the day.  I'm also feeling creaky and sore, especially in my hips and inner thighs.  My OB said this is totally normal.  I never felt this way in my last pregnancy.
Stretch marks? I can't tell, but I might be getting some new ones.  Oh no!  How can I make it through a twin pregnancy in such good shape and then end up a mess after a single pregnancy?
Sleep? I have a lot of trouble falling asleep after I get up to pee, which is a minimum of once a night.  I take ambien, which I kind of hate that I do, but it helps me sleep.  I am also getting uncomfortable because I only lie on one side and I don't move or shift.  I wake up with a sore hip, and my underwear and pajamas cutting into me because of the weight I put on them.
Best moment last week? I guess this morning, feeling so reassured and normal.  Also, Eric and I picked a name, and I knew it was right because I felt so excited when I said it.
Movement?  Yes, I still feel her all the time.  She is definitely not flipping, but I know where her parts are now, and I feel kicks and her legs and arms moving.
Food cravings? Fruit and maybe some sweets.  Eric did get me a McFlurry last week as a treat, my first real pregnant lady food.
Gender? Girl!  Still so excited about it.  And her sweet girly name that we picked.
Labor signs? Braxton-Hicks. Some days I have more than others, but I have them everyday, especially when I have to pee or just went pee, and if I move suddenly or bend over.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: My waist.  I remember missing it in my last pregnancy, too.
What I am looking forward to: It's still a ways off, but I am looking forward to taking my licensing exam on November 12.  After that I can just be happy and be pregnant, and enjoy the last month to 6 weeks of pregnancy and getting ready for baby.
Milestones: Less than 10 weeks of pregnancy left!  I think today was also my last ultrasound- now I am just a normal pregnant lady.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

30w update to come...

I have an ultrasound and appointment on Monday, so I will post about the pregnancy after that.  In the meantime, we are having a pleasantly unplanned yet still somewhat eventful weekend.

Yesterday Aunt Elana came to visit from DC, which was a nice treat.  We had a really good dinner of roast lamb and potatoes after the little guys went to bed.

The downside was that P, who joined our family almost 65 years ago as a nanny to my aunt Jane, but who stayed on to raise all 3 of my grandparents' children and serve as extra grandma to all of us grandchildren, got sick.  Unfortunately, my mom had to take her to the hospital and it took forever to figure out what was going on and to get her a room.  It seems to be an infection, and she seems to be feeling a little better, but it has been stressful for my parents.  I have stayed away from the hospital because 1) they didn't know what she had or how contagious it might be and 2) hospitals really are just the best place to pick up germs no matter what.  Hopefully she will be well again soon.

Today we started with french toast made from leftover challah.  We hung out in our pj's and noticed that the annual neighborhood 5K was running past our house!  We went outside to cheer on the runners, which the guys really liked.  Benjamin was waving and yelling, "Hi!  Hi!" and a lot of people waved back and smiled.
Hoping for more runners

A small positive was that I got my phone replaced.  The headphone jack and dock connector were not working correctly, and because it was still covered under warranty, I got a new phone.  I could swear to you that this new phone is faster and brighter, even though it is the same model.  Anyway, it was a small perk in the day!

Because the rest of the family was running around like crazy, taking care of P and my grandparents, Eric and I served lunch and dinner to everybody.
Look who still lives here- Trouble!
Helping Daddy vacuum.  Not so helpful, but they are encouraged to participate-
one day they will have actual chores!

Tonight Eric made Indian food for dinner, and I made a chocolate cake for dessert.  My parents, who were supposed to be on a plane headed to Paris, joined us for a quiet and relaxing evening.  We ate our cake and ice cream in front of a roaring fire, the first one of the season.  I think we all felt better after a good dinner and good company.

I found these pictures on the camera- I think they were taken while I was at work on Tuesday and Meema was babysitting.  I heard lots of complaints about how the guys didn't nap, but now I see why- Meema was WAY too much fun.  There are pictures of them hugging and tickling and kissing, building with blocks, reading and snuggling.  Geez, I wouldn't nap either!  Meema should take some lessons from me on how to be boring.

Bear standing where the blocks belong
Reading.  The boys love books.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

what's new here

Due to the Jewish holidays, the boys have not had a full week of school since their first week, almost a month ago!  There is yet another holiday this week, but after this, they will be on their regular schedule up until Thanksgiving.  The past couple of days, Benjamin has cried (real, actual, tears down his face cried) all the way there, saying "No school!  No!  No school!"  But then the second we walk in the door of his classroom, I am old news and his off to play.  Asher is fine going, and then when we get into the classroom, he starts to cry and cling.  Oy.  Most days they come home with most of their lunch eaten, and when I got home from work on Thursday they seemed to be in great moods, so something must be going right.

Eric also said that when he picked the boys up from after-care this past week, the women in charge complimented him on how wonderful the boys are.  I agree, but it is nice to hear that from other people, since I know I am completely biased.  The boys are always giving the after-care ladies hugs goodbye, which is very sweet.  We have certainly raised some loving and affectionate little guys.

Friday morning Asher started calling me "Mommy" instead of "Mama" and hasn't called me Mama since.  I am actually really sad.  Mommy sounds like such a big boy thing to say.  I kept meaning to take video of him calling me Mama, because he has this adorable way of saying, "Hiiiiii Mama!" and I never did.  And now I never will.  Just that feeling that time with them flies by so quickly.

Benjamin must have read my post about him not talking.  For one thing, I am a procrastinator and didn't call Early Intervention for him.  Partly because I just don't want to deal with taking an entire morning to have them into our house again, partly because I just don't feel like making a phone call.  Anyway, all of a sudden he is saying much more, imitating us more, trying to talk more.  He started saying, "I do!" too.  Today I went into the room where Benjamin and Asher were playing and smelled poop.  I asked, "Who in here stinks?"  And Benjamin said, "I do!" (and it was him).

Eric and I went out to the movies tonight.  It is the first time we've been to the movies since I was 21 weeks pregnant with the boys.  Can you believe it?  We saw "Sleepwalk with Me," which I was excited to see, since I first heard the episode of This American Life it is based on when I was doing my IVF for the boys.  The movie was not as funny as I think Mike Birbiglia's stand-up is, but we had a nice time and even got some popcorn.

And, it's not new, but I'm still pregnant.  I am happy to be passing all my bed rest milestones and not be on bed rest. says that my baby is now the size of a small squash, which is very fitting for the season!

Today we had what I am guessing will be our last day of "summer" weather, with temperatures close to 80 and sunshine.  Tomorrow is supposed to be cold and rainy, so I'm planning chili and cornbread for dinner, and maybe a pumpkin bundt cake as well.  I also saw that my aunt and uncle had closed up their pool for the winter, which makes me sad.  We had many a fun day at that pool this summer!  But ready or not, fall is here.  (I'm not ready.  Fall means this baby will be here sooner rather than later!)