Fertility Musings, Questions & Answers and News

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Moving on...

When I started this blog, I hoped it would be a way for me to manage the tens of questions I was getting each week from readers of FertilityStories. I kind of got into the blogging, wrote about things that were on my mind, posted infertility news when it came up and wrote about infertility research I'd read. I met more infertility bloggers than I can count, some even in real life :-) and I plan to continue to keep up with all of your stories.

In terms of the questions, Yedda's helped me get them under control and many other people are able to answer them and give a much fuller picture than I ever could on my own.

I'll continue to post here, especially news and the results of my research (if I ever get the OK from the ethics committee), but I've opened a new blog that reflects where I am in my life now much more than this one does. I just don't live and breathe infertility anymore.

Thank you all so much for having been with me. I appreciate all of your comments, ideas and thoughts.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Yirmi & the paper towel roll

Yea, a strange name for a post, I know... but you'll soon see why.

Yirmi is soooo cute. Now that he's really close to 3 months, I'm happy to say that I got a baby without colic! I don't think any of the others were as easygoing as he's been so far.

He reaches for objects and laughs!

He loves playing on the mat and sometimes just wants me to put him down so he can play some more.

His outfit is from my ex-SIL who sent over a huge bag of things for him! I love the colors and I think she's pretty cool for being so sweet right after the divorce.

My sister gave me a CD, which I had sitting on the counter and I saw it reflecting the light onto the paper towel roll & got out my camera. (I'm weird, I know.)


OK, time for my weekly dose of Law & Order :-)

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Happy 60!

Today's Israel's 60th Independence Day.

We just came back from watching the fireworks (I sat in the car holding Yirmi, but I think I had the absolute best view in the whole city). Wow. I love fireworks...

This afternoon, we got everyone together for some pictures, wearing our Israel 60 t-shirts - first just the kids... (yes, even Yirmi had a t-shirt):

just the kids
and then everybody... This is our first family picture with Yirmi :-)

the whole family Happy Independence Day!

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Moaning & groaning

I have the lovely pleasure of meeting with the court social worker & my ex once again today. A new report has been at the top of the news in Israel during the past few days - including the recommendation that mothers not be automatically awarded custody of children under 6 (which has been the standard so far). I am sure that in many cases, this is the right thing, but I can't imagine how much more I would have had to give up if my ex had tried to get custody of my kids and actually had a chance. As it was, I gave up a lot (financially) just to get out. I think that there needs to be some sort of labeling for abusive partners so that their ex-spouses don't have to continue to go through hell with them just because everyone naturally assumes they're decent human beings. I mean, the fact that the social worker thinks it's fine for me to have to have my ex agree to the kids going to the scouts - in writing - before he has to pay for it is insane. He doesn't want to pay for anything, therefore he just won't agree. How smart do you have to be to understand that???


It also made me really mad that my ex showed Lilach a piece of blank paper with the bank's logo on it as 'proof' that he has no money. I think it's really slimy to try to take advantage of the fact that he thinks she's not very smart. (She's much smarter than he thinks. She came home right away to ask me if that really means anything or not. I assured her that it does not.)

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Here are some pictures from yesterday:


Yirmi has a question

Yirmi loves being on this blanket and he bats at things - not deliberately, but it's a start...

Nomi the junk collector
Nomi, holding the license plate Hadas found and plans to put in her new dorm. Check out her orange shoes...


Ohad & Yirmi


Ohad and Yirmi in the garden. I love to see them together :-)

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

My oven's an imposter

My oven's temperature gauge is designed like a speedometer. You know how the speedometer goes up to say... 140mph and your car, even with the perfect tires, road & weather conditions could maybe get to 110? My oven claims to go up to 250 (celsius) but if you actually put it on that setting, it heats to a certain point and then blows a fuse (or whatever it is). Fortunately, it revives itself after a while. Anyway, this year I was clever enough not to repeat the mistake of previous years and the oven is behaving nicely. (I just hope it reads my blog and appreciates the fact that I'm writing about it.)

This Passover stuff is just way too stressful. I mean, when else would you bite off someone's head for putting something down on the table? (Maybe when you just ate sandwiches on the table and the 'thing' that someone was holding was a box of matza...) Fortunately, it's almost over. Unfortunately, being a vegetarian makes it a challenge for Ohad. In addition to not eating anything with flour but matza, we also don't eat anything with corn, beans, rice, green beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, etc... so it kind of limits his diet. Even worse is the fact that some people do consider these kosher for Passover, so they're sprinkled in everything. It makes shopping, even in Israel, in a kosher supermarket, a really annoying experience.

For a break (from the cleaning) I got up-to-date with as many blogs as I could... and I stole this from Rachel:


85 words

Speed test

My dad encouraged me to learn touch-typing during the summer between 9th and 10th grade. He was doing a post-doctoral program at Harvard (in ethics) and needed someone to type his papers. He not only paid for the course, he later paid me to type his papers... it was a good deal :-) I think his feeling was that no matter what I did in the future, knowing how to type would always give me something to fall back on. I enjoyed the course so much the first year that I went back and took another course the following summer.

Congrats to Ahuva Batya who just got a piece of GREAT news :-)

And happy Passover to all those who are celebrating!

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Can you tell I'm in love?


He may not be the best person to take shopping, but he already likes to play... He seems to have gotten so big so fast - he's just over 5 weeks old(!)
I'm busy trying to prepare for Passover (which I think should be switched to every-other-year or maybe only leap years?) and am especially thankful that I was smart enough to buy an apartment within walking distance of my parents, allowing me to have all the comforts of home yet still celebrate the Seder with them.
Our boiler (is that what they call them in English?) is short-circuiting the house again. This is at least the 6th time since we moved in less than 3 years ago (probably more). At least we also have solar panels that heat the water - otherwise we'd be showering in cold water (yuck!). In Hebrew we call the boiler a "dood", so the dood dude is coming by tomorrow morning to hopefully fix it...
In other news, Hadas is finishing the last part of the process to be accepted to the high school she wants (wanted?) to go to in Jerusalem tomorrow. It meant spending 3 days and 2 nights in the dorms, taking classes and exams and having social activities. She said it's not at all what she expected and she needs to rethink whether she wants to go there or not. I'm cool with whatever she decides... (though I do think it would be an amazing opportunity for her if she did get in and chose to go there).

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tidbits

One of Ohad's papers was rejected and we still haven't gotten news about the second one... I actually wrote them to ask what is happening with the answer and they said it would take another few days (they were 2 different types of papers, so maybe that's why the answers are on different days). We have already been to Amsterdam together once (on our 'family honeymoon' in summer 2004) & I'm sure we'll go again someday, even if it isn't this year.


My MIL is upset that I told her it isn't convenient for her to come over in the middle of the day tomorrow when I'm alone with 6 kids, all of whom have a variety of things I need to do for them, including helping them prepare for a show they're appearing in in the evening. She may also have forgotten the fact that in addition to caring for my kids during the day, I'm not sleeping that much (combine night feedings with night sweats - not great). I felt it would just be too much chaos... She told me that I'm "keeping her from seeing her grandchildren..." I offered Friday (once Ohad comes back) but they only want to come here on the train (and not drive), so that wouldn't allow them to stay long enough. It's not like they didn't know I was pregnant when they booked their trip to China that left 10 days after Yirmi was born...

Yirmi is up 2lbs from his birthweight. He nurses so well that I haven't been worried at all.





Ohad is up in Giotto's bell tower now. I have to admit - I'm not even jealous, I'm just looking forward to seeing the pictures when he gets home.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Ten things you might not know about me

I sing. I even took voice lessons for a while. My teacher thought I should sing opera, which I was willing to try, but never did. I am too shy to sing in front of anyone but Ohad & the kids, so you'll probably never hear me unless you stand outside my window.

At the world premiere of the movie Genocide (1981 or 1982), I was responsible for being with former US President, Jimmy Carter, while we waited for everything to be ready. I spent 15 or 20 minutes with him during which I asked several questions including whether he got bored of attending events like that. He replied that he really didn't mind. I was also part of a choir who met Menachem Begin in Plains, Georgia , when he came to meet with former President Jimmy Carter. I think we sang mostly in Hebrew...

I love spoons. I don't have that many, but I buy any interesting one I can find. I like to use all different spoons to serve with. I also have some long spoons and espresso spoons (at least that's what I call them). The most expensive one cost about $7.50 and has a pewter handle.

I was fascinated by the whole pregnancy-baby thing even as a child. My mom taught Lamaze classes and I loved looking at her materials. During the summer when I was 12, I did over 100 hours of volunteer work in the newborn nursery at the Army hospital in Fort Benning, Georgia - including things like dressing babies for the first time, changing diapers, wheeling thembabies to their mommies and encouraging them to breastfeed.

I once wrote a book that was published. It was about graphics software on PCs and although it's terribly outdated, the distinction between vector and bitmaps (which was the main point of the book) is still relevant. I even happened to be at a book fair once and saw my book at one of the stands (I took a picture).

My best friend from my childhood got addicted to drugs while we were still in high school. I only found out a few years later, because I moved to Israel after graduating early and we lost touch. She went through lots of bad stuff, spent some time in jail and, the last time I saw her she didn't even remind me of who she had been. We were best friends from the time I was about 7 or 8 & it was really hard for me to realize I had lost her as a friend forever.

I used to be addicted to coca cola. I would often drink 2 liters a day. I have now replaced that addiction with one to soda water (no calories, no caffeine...)

I used to be able to eat anything without gaining weight. Until I was about 20, people used to think I was anorexic. I didn't even realize I was thin... When I got married in 1989, I weighed 95lbs. I think I never knew I was thin because I always had to buy large sizes because I'm wide-boned. Even at 95lbs I couldn't wear size 6.

I confuse my kids' names all the time. It's not that I don't remember who they are, it's just that when I call them, the wrong name always comes out. Sometimes several times. Sometimes I accidentally call Matan "Ohad" or "Akiva" (my youngest brother). In addition, I have a terrible memory for both names and faces. Unless I know someone well, I find it hard to recognize them. This is particularly embarrassing when people clearly remember me and I have no clue who they are... This happens often.

I hate planning meals. I would rather clean toilets than plan meals. Before Ohad left for Florence (which I keep wanting to call Venice - I can't even keep my cities straight), we made a list of a bunch of different meals that I can prepare while he's away. If we hadn't, I'm not sure he'd have gotten on the plane (evil grin).

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We should find out today if Ohad's paper was accepted for the conference in Amsterdam. If it is accepted, we're going to try to work it out so I can join him (with Yirmi, of course). The only problem is that it's right at the beginning of the school year... on the other hand, the older kids can just be with their father for a few days.

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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.

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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.


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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...

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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!!!

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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.

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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...

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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...)

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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...

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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?

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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...

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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...


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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???

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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.

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*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.

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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 :-)

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Got the cake...

Fortunately, there's not that much of it & I'm pretty good about sharing.

I already look like Humpty Dumpty, so what's a few hundred extra calories?

Have a nice weekend :-)

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Peaceful weekend ahead?

It's getting a little old - the monitor > blood pressure > urine test > ultrasound > doctor thing... Obviously I appreciate the necessity, but it takes too long and there's not really any fun part (except perhaps for an excuse to leave the house?).

No news. No contractions. I know some women go into labor spontaneously, but I'm not counting on it. Instead, I'm wondering where the best place to buy the cake I'm craving is...

Ah, I did get some news from the doctor today. He said that they might send me for induction as early as next Thursday (i.e., a week) but that the hospital might choose not to induce for up to a week after that(!) Nah, they couldn't really do that to me, could they?

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My last 2 week wait ever...

OK, so I realize that that's actually what this is - another 2ww. For some, it's equally stressful & full of anticipation... So far, I'm cool... I'm kind of happy that it could (theoretically) happen any time and equally freaked by the fact that it could (theoretically) happen any time... The next few days are inconvenient because the big kids are with their dad this Shabbat and the little girls would feel most comfortable with them... so, from Sunday is better (unless I could have a 'speedy delivery' & be out of the hospital by Friday afternoon - note that it's already Wednesday night here, so that's highly unlikely).

This morning I walked Abigail to her nursery school & then came home & made cream of wheat, worked for a while & then took a long nap. I only came downstairs after Ohad came home & then he took me to get a steak bagette (yum!). [Note: Napping in the middle of the day is a rare treat.]

Abigail drove us insane this evening, coming out of her bed an incredible number of times... I am so happy it is finally quiet.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A bit of nerve...

Got this in my inbox this morning (from one of the pregnancy update sites):

Congratulations, Mom! So how do you feel? I hope your labor and delivery were better than you had expected and you're recovering comfortably.

Of course it goes on and tells me all about my new baby... Well... Gee, thanks for making me feel like I'm the first woman in the world to ever go past my due date. And if the baby really were born by now, do you think I'd really have time to read your email???

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Post #202

I got practically no work done yesterday, which wasn't great, because I still have quite a few things to do (which I plan to start as soon as I finish this post).

UI is squirming around, moving a ton. Last night it was about 90 minutes straight and I was beginning to feel seasick from all the kicks into my stomach...

I'm almost finished with Bridge to Terabithia, which is a children's book (making it something I might actually get through). Most of the book was similar to something I often imagine - about meeting Ohad when we were both children (we're 13 days apart) and sharing that innocent bond of friendship that develops into the purest form of love... It's so easy for me to picture us together as kids and to know that we would have been best friends, because we understand each other so well... I still haven't finished the book, but the ending is going to be very different from how I would have written it...

Last night I talked to Ohad about the ambivalent feelings I have (not about the baby, but about labor). I mean, now that it's fairly close (less than 2 weeks away) there are two sides to it - one is the totally unknown experience of labor - what it will be like, how it will begin, etc. & the other is the excitement of knowing that the baby is about to be born. Although I'm fairly hopeful that I'll get through the labor OK, I wonder what the rush is... Apparently, assuming all is well, there are no advantages to having the baby before 42 weeks, in terms of the baby's health. Maybe it's not too bad an idea to just wait it out.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Next appointment Thursday

OK, I knew that before I went today, but I don't really have a title for today's post.

I guess I was feeling fairly chatty today because I forced the nurse to listen to my entire life's history (OK, only the fact that I'd already done the overdue thing twice and that I don't really love the fetal monitor, but that I did appreciate the recliner & had even blogged about it)... I wonder if this had anything to do with her wishing me luck in NOT coming back on Thursday...

The ultrasound tech must have enjoyed doing the ultrasound, because she went over everything repeatedly (placenta, amniotic fluid, heart, baby moving, position of the head). I didn't really get it - did she think it was going to flip? I mean, it was weird when she told me that the head was down the second time, but the fifth time I was starting to wonder whether I was imagining it (I wasn't). Maybe she was just bored or something...

Since this post is deadly boring already, I'll add the fact that we found a way to keep the cat out of Abigail's bed. We took a thin mattress that's a little over a meter high & we blocked the doorway with it. It's perfect because it's easy to set up (takes about 10 seconds) and Abigail can still get out of her room on her own within a few seconds. (Nomi's in the crib, so she's stuck in any case.) Until we solved this, Abigail was waking us up sometimes 4 or 5 times a night because the cat was bothering her.

The kids are getting a bit antsy about the birth, especially Lilach and Abigail. At least they finally remember to take their cell phones with them...

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Results are in...

OK, so perhaps not too many people are willing to risk this, but for the brave ones who did - thanks! Here are the results:

Note: I am still pregnant. This is just a preparatory drill, for when UI actually makes his/her appearance.

First, Anita - sorry, I couldn’t work your answers in, it was too complicated...

From Kirby at WhatToExpect:
We’re thankful to announce the birth of our new baby {Kirby's keeping it a secret, I guess} on March 3, 2008.

After 23 of hours in the hospital and a 72 hour labor, most of which was tolerable, Rachel decided an epidural was a passing fancy. Her most memorable comment was, “Wow, that was close!”
The baby weighed 8 lbs and 12 ounces and, as is the standard in Israel and Iran, was not measured.

From Rona (aka Eema or IcNIc) at DrSavta:
We’re thankful to announce the birth of our new baby boy on March 1, 2008.
After 5 of hours in the hospital and a 127 hour labor, most of which was tolerable, Rachel decided an epidural was important. Her most memorable comment was, “Oh my G-d!”

The baby weighed 6 lbs and 3 ounces and, as is the standard in Israel and Iraq, was not measured.

---
In other news, we were right - Nomi has a mild ear infection in one ear and can go back to her day care tomorrow. Ohad is kind of under the weather too :-(

Matan is going to Mount Hermon tomorrow to see some snow and go sledding. Lilach has a field trip and Hadas is going to school (for a change). Ohad is going to Be'er Sheva and I may actually get some work done (today was crazy, not a minute to do anything, even check my email).

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

4 that did, 4 that didn't

Four things that did happen since noon on Friday:
1) We discovered that Nomi had a fever. We think she has an ear infection (or two).
2) We saw Carmit (our turtle) in the garden several times (she's been hiding out for a few months, so it's considered a treat to see her again).
3) We picked about 20lbs of lemons off our tree (before Shabbat, of course).
4) I finished the book I was reading (The Brethren, OK, not great).

Four things that didn't happen:
1) I didn't leave any chopped liver as leftovers (we bought a really small amount & it's full of iron, right?)
2) I didn't leave the house (except to go into the garden and say hi to my parents, who walk by the back of our house on the way home from synagogue on Saturday mornings).
3) I didn't wash the floor (Ohad did & he did a great job!)
4) I didn't have even a single contraction...

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Mad-lib

It's a do-it-yourself birth announcement... Here are the fields:

Month & date – any time Feb 23 to March 9
Level of necessity (e.g., critical)
What you say when you nearly get hit by a truck
A country you are unlikely to travel to
Expression of happiness or gratitude
Level of pain (e.g., not very)
Gender (boy or girl)
and 4 numbers:
  • 1: from 1 to 16
  • 2: from 1 to 24
  • 3: from 6 to 8
  • 4: any number

Please post your words in the comments. I will post the other part, complete with your answers, probably on Sunday...

---

In other news, today's monitor & u/s went well, with the baby being relatively small (just over 3.5kg) and a little bit too much amniotic fluid (though they don't suspect GD & last week there was a little too little fluid). The Women's Center got new nifty recliners, which made the monitor so much less unpleasant. I actually sat and read the entire time. (They also got a new electronic blood pressure machine, which I think gives far more objective readings - mine was 110/70.) The doc on call didn't say what I wanted to hear (i.e., it could happen...) but rather said something to the effect of, "your baby is probably happy to hang around for as long as possible. We might consider stripping your membranes sometime around March 6th...") I finished there, went shopping for some last-minute stuff (pita, cucumbers, milk, etc.) & was still able to pick Nomi up on time. I get to go back again on Monday...

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Did I forget to blog?

In all the, ahem, excitement around here, I must have forgotten to blog today...

Well. The only news is that there's no news. Tomorrow I go in for my first 'post-date' checkup. It's a real drag, but the best way to make sure that everything continues to be OK. First it's half an hour on the monitor (have I mentioned how much I hate the fetal monitor?) and then an ultrasound (mostly to check the placenta, I believe). After that, I probably get to wait for whatever doctor happens to be around so that he can send me home and tell me to come back sometime next week. Sounds fun, huh?

I've got a great idea for tomorrow, I just need a little time to put it together :-)

---
BTW, anyone who makes fun of women who go past their due date should be warned: In your next life (or perhaps even several lives), you will be a female elephant.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pretty neat kid!

Hadas got the letter telling her she passed the entrance exam to the high school she wants to go to. Next week is the interview and in April they have 3 or 4 days which all of the applicants who've passed the first two stages spend at the school. Ohad & I think that the real barrier was the test... well, that and psycho-ex who said, "I hope things will work out with your mother." (Meaning that he hopes I will succumb to the blackmail and let him out of the child support payments... My lawyer said that a court order can fix all of this. Let's hope he's right.)

Go Hadas!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

15 reasons I have to be happy today

In no particular order:

Except for rolling over smoothly in bed & climbing on chairs, I can do pretty much anything I did before (despite being currently 39 weeks & 3 days pregnant). This includes caring for the little girls - giving them baths, getting them dressed, putting them in their beds at night, etc... (of course they do have to cooperate a bit, because running after them is not so fun). I am not even particularly tired most of the time, waking up at 7 & going to sleep at 11:30 or so.

UI is a cooperative little one who moves around often, even without me nudging or having to eat chocolate...

I have almost completely finished my project for work, but there's still one phase left that we haven't started. The work process has been fantastic, including lots of conference calls on Skype & really good communication with the client (who actually understands what I do, a rare treat).

My seminar paper was approved by the university and now I am ready to begin the research. It also turns out that I have 6 months from the time it was approved & not from the time I applied.

I am married to Ohad :-)

I am surviving the daily-double-dose of iron (with the help of a dried fruit pill), disproving my own theory that taking lots of iron is not compatible with human life.

I think I have a lunch date today. I let Hadas skip school (kind of) - the school she usually goes to on Tuesdays is closed because of the snow & she could have gone to her regular school, but she never goes there on Tuesday, so I didn't see the harm in letting her not go today either. (She's currently in the library, working on a paper for school, but I'll bug her on her cellphone soon.)

My oldest brother is starting something new today and I'm sure it will be a good change for him.

Today, I finally did something that I've been putting off for a long time. It is still a long way from being complete, but it's a step in the right direction. (Thank you to my little brother for pushing me to finish this by April 15th, after which it will be too late.)

Ohad made me delicious rice pudding with orange & lemon peels.

Nomi is talking more and more every day and is always surprising me with her vocabulary and her use of grammar.

Abigail didn't whine at all yesterday evening & totally surprised me by setting the table by herself, without my asking & knew to choose the right plates (we were eating meat)! [Abigail will be 3 on March 14th.] Last night, she also dragged a toy baby bed into my bedroom, set it up nicely with a sheet and blanket and told me that she made a bed for the baby... Later she told me that she is ready for me to go to the hospital. What a cutie :-)

Lilach is doing a great job at her 'work'. She goes to help at Nomi's day care place for an hour a day, 4 days a week. She helps get the kids changed & dressed right before they go home & then walks Nomi home, which is amazing (especially because it can often take me more than 1/2 an hour to get out of there). She is going to be one rich little kid.

Matan volunteered to help me pick the little girls up yesterday and actually let me sit in the car when he went to get them (they're in 2 different places). We also sat together to read a book (in English) for about 45 minutes.

Hadas is taking over all the work for the ovulation & pregnancy tests that I sell. She got the first few kits out yesterday and today & I spent some time teaching her how to prepare the receipts (all computerized, of course). I am paying her for the help and it's a great deal for both of us.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Um, the bag

Instead of continuing to pack it, some of the things that were in the bag (like my slippers) already found their way back out... (I guess that has to do with leaving it open and within Nomi's reach).

Here's my list:

Camera (we're charging the batteries more often, but use the camera on a semi-daily basis, so it's not in the bag)
Video camera & tapes (fully charged & in the bag)
Cell phone and charger (I'll probably forget the charger, but my phone usually lasts for a few days)
Music CDs (I prepared them before Abigail was born, but never used them - still on the shelf.)
Pillow (because usually you can only get one at the hospital and I like to sleep with at least 2)

Socks, underwear, nursing bra, slippers, flannel pants (I'm going to deliver in a hospital where I don't think they even offer pants, since most of the women don't wear pants ever).
Toothbrushes & toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap, hairbrush & hairbands (they may have some kind of soap at the hospital, but it's absolutely not the same as having my own).
A big towel (because the ones at the hospital are the size of my hand towels).
Pads (because I'm picky and I like the extra long ones with wings).

Snacks including sucking candy & gum. Snickers bars for Ohad :-)
Puzzles? A book? (No, I don't actually think I'll be doing puzzles during labor, but in the ward it might be nice to have them.)

Am I missing anything critical? I probably only have about 2 or 2-1/2 weeks left to finish this...

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

I wake up laughing...

Sometimes my dreams are really funny. I mean, so funny that I literally wake up laughing out loud. I don't use the computer on Shabbat, meaning no email, no blogs, no surfing... I must have been dreaming about reading blogs and for a second, the thought crossed my mind that I can't even check my blog to see if I had the baby...

No news. But, logically, each day does bring us one day closer to meeting UI, right?

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fired!

Here's what happened at my appointment that I didn't expect:

First, my doctor told me that eating parsley is good for edema...
Second, my doctor didn't faint when I told him I am taking the iron (though he did look a little pale)
Third, HE FIRED ME! He told me that in terms of visits I'm done & that from now on I go to the Women's Center for monitoring twice a week, starting next Friday.

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Useful information for UI (Ubar Inbar)

Dear UI,

You know all the noise you hear now? Expect it to get worse… There are quite a few people who are looking forward to meeting you.

Abba (AKA Ohad) – He’s the guy who’s always busy: working, cooking, cleaning-up, giving baths & reading stories to your sisters, shuttling the big kids around, or being silly (yup, he does that too). He’s the one who will sing to you and hold you every chance he gets. He’ll take you for walks and show you things, he’ll notice every little detail about you…

Mommy (the one with the rumbling noises you keep hearing from inside) – I’m the one who will feed you, teach you the names of the birds and the flowers, make sure you’re always dressed nicely and not too warm or cold. I will also make sure to keep you safe from your sweet, but curious sisters. I will look at you remembering what it was like to feel you moving inside me and wonder how it’s possible that you are real… (I’ll also be the one panicking until we find you a name…)

Hadas – She’s the teenager with the glasses & braces who will sometimes be incredibly interested in you and sometimes completely ignore you. As you grow, she will be able to teach you so many things. You’ll also probably want to be really nice to her, since by the time you turn 3 she may already have a driver’s license… She may not live at home next year, so get to know her well during these coming months (I’ll try to peel her away from the computer so you’ll get to see her once in a while.)

Matan – He’s the one who will make silly faces at you and talk to you whenever you need company. He will love holding you and feeding you, but will suddenly have someplace else to go if you need a new diaper. Matan will talk to you in a silly voice not that different from Grover’s and when you smile your first smile; he will be the happiest kid on earth.

Lilach – She’s the medium-sized one who loves babies. She will do anything she can for you, even change your diaper. She’ll be the first to volunteer to feed you (should you actually agree to take a bottle) and she will be like a little mom to you. We may have to remind her sometimes to give you a little space, but she will do everything for you with lots of love and only the best intentions.

Abigail – She’s the one who you’ve been hearing whine for the past few months. She’s been kind of moody lately, maybe because she is curious as to what it will be like to have you around. She is going to be a great friend. She’ll push you in the stroller (even though she can’t see where she’s going), share her toys and crayons with you and sing songs to you so that you can fall asleep at night. She will also be able to answer just about any question you have, no matter what it's about.

Nomi – The smallest of the bunch and the only curly-haired one in our family. Nomi will be incredibly interested in you and, most of the time, she will remember to be very gentle. She will hand you your toys, bring me a diaper for you and try to make you laugh. She will point out what you’re doing at any given moment and will notice every time you’re not in the room, “where is the baby?”.

A lot to keep track of? These are just the people who live in our house… Many more people are waiting to meet you too.

In the meantime, I have a project to finish, so - no rush…

Love,
Mommy

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I must be OK

At dinner, one of the kids asked what today's date was and I couldn't remember... I knew it was sometime around the 10th of February.

Last night my legs drove me bonkers. I think it is the fact that they are so swollen that causes them to be hypersensitive. I was finally able to fall asleep when I separated my feet with a pillow, but each time I got up it took time to fall asleep again. At 7, when Matan called from his father's house, I jumped out of my bed to get the phone & got a terrible cramp in my calf. I vaguely remember having cramps in both legs simultaneously at some point during the night. We are still sleeping with our window open (and the ceiling fan on) - so when I lay awake, at least I could hear that it was pouring outside.

Next on our list is a doctor's appointment on Thursday. It will go something like this:
Doc takes my blood pressure (so far still around 110/70)
Doc asks how I'm feeling. I say OK.
Doc asks if I'm taking my iron. I say yes.
Doc faints.
Doc makes a quick recovery and tells me to make an appointment for another week. (I guess it can't be much longer than that, because once I go past my due date he has to send me to be monitored twice or three times a week - really no fun.)
I try to make an appointment with the secretary who insists on telling me that there are no appointments until mid-March... (Actually, one of the secretaries is OK. The other is a wicked witch.)

Basically, nothing exciting is going to happen... Ah, yes. The doc may do a quick u/s, but his u/s is so quick that you barely get to see anything and he doesn't estimate the weight either (though when I asked him to estimate Nomi's weight w/o ultrasound last time, he was exactly right).

Since the doc's office is a 5-minute walk from our house, I estimate the whole thing will take about 15 minutes (including walking both ways). So why am I looking forward to the appointment?

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Almost human

Today, Ohad decided to give me a rare treat... He picked up both Abigail and Nomi & took them to Tel Aviv, meaning that from 3:30 until now (almost 8:30) I could do whatever I wanted (some of that was working). At 5, Matan and Lilach went to be with their dad & Hadas and I went to see if we could hunt some clothes down for her (does one undershirt count?). It's been a while since we had time to just hang out and she's gotten pretty grown up - nearly 14-1/2 now... Today she participated in a bridge tournament and came in 3rd place for North-South, which she claims is harder than East-West (she has a 3rd place trophy for that from a previous tournament). It's pretty amazing that she could win anything, since she stopped taking bridge classes more than 2 years ago (yes, they actually had bridge classes at school - she goes to a school with special enrichment classes one day a week).

Hadas and I also went to a big discount supermarket and got macaroni & cheese (boxed) that the kids want to eat when I'm in the hospital. Anything they can make for themselves will make things easier on Ohad, so I didn't mind... (usually we don't let them eat that junk even though it actually tastes good...) The kids volunteered to do various things (set the table, clear the table, run the dishwasher, prepare dinner, etc.) and since it's all written down, some of it may actually happen.

On Friday, we put the infant seat in the trunk of Ohad's car (my sister had been using it for her baby, but they went out and bought a new car seat).

As you might guess, we have a lot of laundry. We (=Ohad) always end up doing a load or two in the middle of the week (I fold), but usually our goal is to have all the laundry baskets empty on Friday... Now we decided to shift to twice a week - Tuesday and Friday - so that there won't be huge piles of unfolded laundry & so that the little girl's outfits will be put away in their drawers & therefore easy to find. I still haven't gotten around to taking down things that UI might be able to wear...

Remember that small car accident I had last month? Strangely enough, they still haven't called & it's been 5 weeks. There wasn't a lot of damage, but there was some... Maybe it's because it was a company car & they didn't want the hassle of talking to my insurance company? It would be nice if they just decided to let it go...

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Attack of the killer heartburn

I know that toward the end of pregnancy you're supposed to have less and not more heartburn, but apparently my body missed this little piece of information...

My project is moving along nicely. I guess it has to do with the fact that I am actually able to concentrate on work, which leads me to a question...

After an IUI, IVF or during pregnancy, did you feel a need to remember your embryo / fetus / baby all the time? As if, if you forgot about it even for a short time that it would suddenly disappear?

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

I may have to kill someone

But perhaps instead I'll just give a few simple rules...

1) If you know when I'm due, please don't ask me every time you see me / talk to me. My due date isn't going to change and if you don't remember what it is from the first 29 times you asked me, it might not actually be that important to you...

2) Don't ask me if I have symptoms of impending labor. If I wanted to say something I would. Also, please avoid the annoying 'checking-in' phone calls, unless you want to tempt me not to tell you when the baby actually is born. (I do allow people to call for that purpose after Shabbat, but they have to pretend that that's not why...)

3) I only want to talk about my weight with people who are totally uninterested. If you're really dying to know, don't ask me and I'll probably slip. If you ask me, I may ask you back and, believe me, you'll be more embarrassed than I will.

4) Drop the 'any day now' line. I know perfectly well how long it could be.

This post has been brought to you by the letter P and the number 39.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Someone else's salary

It was cool to open my bank statement today & discover that someone else's salary was deposited into my account. The difference between theirs and mine was almost the exact amount we paid for Ohad's car... Of course the first thing I did was made the call to clear it up. The (unnecessary) letter of apology I received read,

I really apologize for the inconvenience. And for the 5 star ski trip you planned as soon as you saw your good fortune.

But, alas, skiing is not safe in the ninth month.

Probably with that salary I'd have a better sense of humor too ;-)

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Is Florence just the beginning?

Although at first some people thought it was ridiculous to even consider it, I thought that if Ohad wanted to get a doctorate then we'd have to do everything we could to make it possible. Even after I lost my job and found out I was pregnant (all within a month), I still thought it would be a huge mistake for him to give up his dream. So far, almost 2-1/2 years into his doctorate, things are OK, better than we expected.

Last year, Ohad submitted two papers to the same conference, in London. Both were accepted and he flew to London to present one of them (and stand by the poster for the other in a session weirdly named a "poster boaster"). This year, he's started submitting papers right and left and recently found out that his paper (co-authored by a whole slew of colleagues, but his name is first) was accepted and that he's going to Florence. For about a week, in April. I never realized these opportunities would come up & it's definitely a really nice bonus... I think by April he will be seriously needing a break. Too bad he'll be coming back just before the kids go on Passover vacation for two whole weeks.

In the meantime, he's submitted another paper for a conference in Vienna and he's working on one for a conference in Amsterdam (if it's accepted, hopefully I'll join him for that one). Pretty cool.

Abigail update: her eye looks better, close to being normal again. Putting in the medicine is not fun, but it's going OK. Bribery barely helps, if at all. (But I am enjoying the 'leftover' dark M&M's.)

Bag packing update: on Sunday, Ohad and I went to the Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem. We stopped by a candy stand and picked up some mini chocolate bars, chewing gum and a package of sucking candy. Today I also took a hairbrush and some rubber bands upstairs. They haven't quite made it to the bag yet, but they might, maybe even this week.

Gift update: we got the two little girls stuffed animals that they can bring the baby as a gift. A while ago I got a small gift for them too (something cute that happened to be on sale).

Candy update: we got each of the older kids a 1kg bag of candy to hand out at school after the baby is born. They did this when the other two girls were born too (I think it makes them feel special.)

Birthday update: I picked up kaleidescopes to give out at Abigail's nursery school on her birthday. Her birthday is still over a month away, but who knows when I'll get a chance to find something - and these were 2 for $1... and something I wouldn't mind my kid getting. My other favorite gift is a beach ball. I can live without cheapy crayons, plasticine that gets all over the house and anything that has a gazillion tiny pieces.

Project update: actually, it looks like we're making progress. It's amazing how working with an intelligent team makes such a big difference.

Belly update: I walked into a mall today and a woman came up to me after about 10 seconds to ask if I wanted a chair. I said, "No, thank you. Do I look like I need one?" she kind of mumbled something and then my cellphone rang, so I didn't hear what it was, but I was wondering if I look that bad. Later I went into a store where the guy knows me and he said something to the effect of "good luck with the birth", but it was clear that what he was getting at was but not in my store... I guess I have made up for not showing until my 5th month.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Learning something new each day

Abigail has nodular episcleritis a severe version of episcleritis (a sudden patch of red blood vessels on the white part of the eye. The nodular version has something that kind of looks like a raised zit in the middle). On Tuesday, her eye looked a little red. By Wednesday I saw the nodule and immediately made a doctor's appointment. I could tell by the doctor's reaction that whatever it was was rare. She also called in the other doctor in the office to take a look (both of these doctors are great) and gave me a rush referral to the eye doctor who agreed to see her today. Even by Israeli standards (which I think are far better than those in the US) I found this to be very efficient.

Starting today, she'll be on steroids & strong antibiotics (all topical), with the hope that by this time next week it will be completely gone. Apparently it has a habit of recurring. And it's associated with a whole bunch of things I've been accused of having (like Lupus, which I honestly believe I don't have. I may have had symptoms, but they miraculously disappeared along with psycho-ex...)

I'll have to pick her up every day in the middle of the day to give her the second dose. This should be fun, because you have to actually put the ointment inside the eye, like rub it on the white part. I bet any almost-3-year-old would love that... Fortunately, other than that she's mostly a pleasure to have around. Maybe G-d has a plan for us to have pre-baby bonding time.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Final scan?

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

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

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

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Packing the bag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

2 hours in 2 minutes

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

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

On Wednesday we have an ultrasound to check the weight.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Random things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday, January 21, 2008

A ticker indeed

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tossing & Turning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe tonight I'll sleep a little better. What are your nights like?
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*We have a great projection alarm clock that projects the time onto the ceiling, so I always know exactly what time it is when I wake up in the middle of the night.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Those 4 weeks flew by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday, January 14, 2008

She got it...

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

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Survived the Safari

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Safari - Here we come

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

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

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A mushroom in your glasses case?

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Really not ready for a countdown

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

What I have to show for 2 years

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

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

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

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

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

OK, back to work.

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Monday, December 31, 2007

Fat is Relative

My brother-in-law came over on Saturday and was reading a very cute opposites book to Abigail. When they came to the word fat, he asked "Who is fat?" to which Abigail answered - "The hippopotamus, just like my mommy."

All I could do was laugh...

Have a happy new year & wishing all of those who are waiting to 'grow a bump' that 2008 is your year.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

End of the Christmas Lull

I was beginning to feel lonely here in blogland...

Ohad & I have been busy working (him on his doctorate, me on trying to earn some money) and basically have no time to breathe. In the meantime, something weird was going on with Nomi's eyes. At first we thought it was an infection, but as time went on and there wasn't any pus and the antibiotic cream wasn't helping, I became more and more convinced that it was an allergy - which only left figuring out to what.

It wasn't too difficult, since she'd just recently started eating kiwi (which I seem to remember her eating last year with no problem). We cut the kiwi and her eyes went back to normal within 36 hours. Another thing we get to add to the list.

I did go back and check her RAST tests (blood tests for allergies) and they did show that she was allergic to kiwi, but since she hadn't had a reaction, we thought it was OK (this was our doctor's advice - anything she doesn't have a reaction to is OK).

It is amazing how many allergies one little girl can have.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

4 More Weeks of Blissful Denial

I just got back from my 31-week appointment (I'm actually only 30w+5d). My obgyn (who has now moved to an office which is a 7-minute-walk from my house) looked over the u/s from Tuesday saying that breech at this point in time is meaningless & that everything looks good. He asked me again if I'm taking my iron pills. Um. Well. I do, but not on a daily basis. So, after about 3 minutes in the office, he told me to make an appointment for another 4 weeks.

One might wonder (as I do) why I'm in some form of denial. The baby was planned and is very much wanted. I'm really looking forward to the excitement around the birth, the birth itself and taking care of a new baby... and then the first year-and-a-half are pretty awesome in terms of what the baby learns how to do, with every day leaving me surprised and amazed... And, of course, there's the interaction with the other kids which is interesting, entertaining & probably one of the things that brings us the most happiness... (at around 18 months I find myself ready to turn my baby over to day care and return to some form of adult life).

What I'm not terribly excited about is the pregnancy itself. I feel like I concentrate poorly, can get fewer things done, am strangely shaped and heavy... I also know that once UI makes an appearance, my life will change - a lot of things will get more difficult - like picking the little girls up from their daycare (I have a mental image of holding Abigail's hand, Nomi in the stroller & UI in the Baby Bjorn) or just going to drop off a package at the post office - things that have become pretty simple since Nomi started daycare 3 months ago. I'm worried about having even less time for the older kids (& believe me, it's already really difficult to find time and have patience for a severely-learning-disabled child who is learning to read a second language when she is still several years behind on her first language or to spend time listening to a child who likes to go on and on about every interaction that went on during school that day).

So, although having another baby is what I really want, I'm enjoying the 'simple' time now and trying not to think too much about what will happen in another 2-2-1/2 months (we're due Feb 23) and trying to get as many things done now as I can (finishing the court case with my ex, moving forward with my seminar paper, getting Hadas through the testing for the school she wants to go to, touching up the paint in the house, etc.) - all this while trying to make enough money so I won't be pressured to work during the first few months after the baby is born...

Does the denial make more sense now?

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

8 Things Meme & Bonus

Thank you, trilcat for tagging me once again…

8 passions in my life:
  1. Ohad
  2. My kids
  3. Music, especially singing to my kids
  4. Writing
  5. Thinking of new ideas (especially ways to surprise Ohad)
  6. Rearranging furniture / organizing things
  7. Reading research
  8. Bargain hunting

8 things to do before I die:

  1. Grow old with Ohad
  2. Travel (with Ohad)
  3. See my children appreciate each other
  4. See my children become independent
  5. Renovate, furnish & decorate a big house to be just what we want it to be
  6. Write a novel (or two)
  7. Finish my degree (hey, it’s only been 22 years since I started)
  8. See all my RL & blogger friends have all the children they want

8 things I often say:

  1. I’m so proud of you.
  2. You’re such a good girl.
  3. Can you please stop fighting?
  4. I don’t know. Whatever. Ask Ohad.
  5. Please pick up your shoes and take them to your room now.
  6. Do you want me to count to three?
  7. Oh no. (In response to the phone ringing when I’m busy or any time after 10pm.)
  8. It’s your father. (That’s why we got caller ID.)

Eight Books I read recently (fortunately, trilcat claims that kid’s books count, otherwise I might have to go back quite a while…) You get my ratings too, on a scale of 1-5.

  1. The Bretheren - John Grisham (still reading, it's only been about 2 months)
  2. Fool Me Once - Fern Michaels (2)
  3. Blink - Malcolm Gladwell (4)
  4. Hop on Pop - Dr. Seuss (4)
  5. Green Eggs & Ham – Dr. Seuss (5)
  6. I Just Forgot – Mercer Mayer (4)
  7. The Little Engine That Could – Watty Piper (4)
  8. Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratney (5)

8 songs that mean something to me (with links to youtube):

1. I’ve Finally Found Someone – Barbra Streisand & Bryan Adams
2. Poems, Prayers & Promises – John Denver
3. Delilah Blue – Joshua Kadison (complicated)
4. Shanghai Breezes – John Denver (we hear a lot of John Denver at home)
5. The whole Yentl soundtrack
6. The whole Beaches soundtrack (if you like Bette Midler, you must watch this :-))
7. Modeh Ani – Meir Ariel (the first song we played for Abigail after she was born)
8. Somewhere Out There – Linda Rondstadt & James Ingram

8 Qualities I look for in a friend:
1. Clever
2. Has interests & ideas
3. A great sense of humor
4. Honesty
5. Has time to talk
6. Understanding
7. Doesn’t mind voicing (or hearing) an unpopular opinion
8. Speaks without too many grammatical errors

8 people I am tagging
I am not sure I know anyone who hasn’t been tagged and actually has the time for this… In case I’m wrong, consider yourself tagged.

And the bonus...

8 things my mother taught me about socks

  1. Always wash socks together so both white socks can absorb the same amount of the bright red dye running off your sister's brand new t-shirt. (Unfortunately, usually one sock still ends up turning pink while the other remains a bleachy-clean white.)
  2. If you put two socks into the laundry and only one came out: the washer ate it.
  3. If you took two socks out of the washer and only one came out of the dryer: the dryer ate it. (Basically, both the washer and the dryer are bottomless pits, full of socks.)
  4. If a sock needs to be darned, you either need a new pair or the dryer ate it.
  5. Always buy more than one of the same pair of socks, that way, when the washer eats one from one pair and the dryer one from the other, you've still got a whole pair left.
  6. A sock-sack is a place where pairless socks can wait until everyone has outgrown them anyway.
  7. Socks can be made into hand-puppets, but never will be.
  8. Would you mind just wearing sandals???

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