Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Playing Catch Up

So a lot of time has passed since I last wrote. I appologize. There really is a good reason. Where did I leave off. I had an ultrasound on Sunday. On Monday I posted the whole story. On Monday I tried to call someone to induce me by natural means. She wasn't home. After a whole long day, I decided to take a long walk around the yishuv. Our yishuv is very hilly. I left the house around 9 PM and the weather was beautiful. Walking downhill from our house I felt like I had so much energy. It was amazing. I walked two blocks lower than what I planned. Then I decided not to bite off more than I can chew and I started heading back uphill. That's when I really felt how preggy I was. I went very very slowly. I got home and felt great. I took a shower and went to sleep.

At 1 AM my wonderful 2.5 year old daughter woke up screaming. She wanted Ima. My hubby urged me to go into her room so that she wouldn't wake up her brother screaming. So I went sleepily into her room and sat my very pregnant self down on her rocker. That's when I felt it. All of a sudden I felt like I was having a contraction. The only thing was, it was in the abdomen and not at all in the back. This made me unsure if it was really a contraction. Then I felt another one. Still I wasn't sure and wasn't worried. After she fell asleep so did I. Then when I woke up I saw that I was still feeling these quasi contractions. I thought maybe it's painful Braxton Hicks. It wasn't so painful though. I realized that it got worse when I stood up. It was hard to eat breakfast because I felt like I had a head up my tush. My baby had been head down for two weeks.

When my hubby got home I told him that I thought I'd be giving birth that day, Tuesday. We got the kids mentally ready and sent them off to gan. We made arrangements for them to go to our neighbor again. We got their bags ready. Meanwhile I was still having more "pains." I decided to try to drinking white wine test. I love white wine (sweet that is). I drank a cup and tried to rest. It didn't work. I told my hubby he should stay home with me. He gets a day off for the birth. We cleaned up the mess in the house together. We did laundry, dishes, swept the floor. It was like last minute nesting. My hubby slept for an hour and a half while I continued to clean. Then about an hour before my kids were supposed to come home I woke him up. We decided to go to the hospital. We double checked that we had everything, including provisions for Yom Kippur in case the labor was extra specially long.

We drove to Haddasah Ein Kerem since I was hoping the labor would be over by Yom Kippur. We got there around 2 PM. My hubby dropped me off as I was constantly having contractions. I assumed that they were contractions b/c they were pretty regular although there was no pain in the back. I was walking and then would stop every time a contraction came. I went down to the cheder kabala where I had to wait for a while. They practically ignored me b/c they were swamped. I kept pacing back and forth. I even saw a friend of mine (an NCSY advisor). I was glad that my labors took time b/c otherwise I would have had the baby on the floor of the cheder kabala. Finally they sent me to do an ultrasound and then a monitor. The ultrasound showed that I had more water than the other estimates. The monitor was fine. Finally at around 4 PM a doctor came and checked me internally. At that point he told me that I was 3 cm dilated. Boy was I relieved. Now I knew that those pains were contractions. I also knew that I had progressed nicely by laboring at home.

At 4:30 the doc told us to go daven mincha and come back at 6 PM for another check. We davened and then walked to the nice mall they built there. We bought food in the only mehadrin food place, Neeman. I had a salad and then my hubs went to daven maariv. When I went back to be checked I was still at 3 cm. I couldn't believe it. I decided to pace back and forth in the hallway so that gravity would help me open up more. I also did squats. At 7 PM I was checked again and was almost 4 cm dilated. My midwife, Avital was very nice but I knew that I wouldn't be having the baby before her shift was over at 11 PM. I wasn't advancing so fast. My doula in training arrived around 9:45. She was very helpful. She went in the shower with me and helped spray my belly while I sat on the ball. I was in so much pain when I stood that I preferred to stay in the bed. Every time a contraction came I held onto the doula and the bed and tried so hard to relax. It wasn't really happening.

At 11, Gila came in. She was great. She basically stayed with me until 1 AM when I gave birth. The contractions were coming fast and hard b/c the babies head was so low. They were coming every two to three minutes and lasting three quarters of a minute. I wasn't doing well. Gila convinced me to break my waters. She told me that the contractions couldn't come any faster or harder than the pain I was in. I broke down and finally allowed her to do it. She broke my waters and within a minute I went from 6 cm to 9 cm. I felt the urge to push. The baby's head was so low down. I pushed for 25 minutes. As soon as my waters broke I wanted to push him out and another midwife came in. Each midwife had one leg up on her and the doula had one of my hands. With the other hand I held my leg. I kept pushing with all my might. I was expecting to push once and be done with it. I was so frustrated that the babe wasn't coming out. They said to me the baby is coming, do you want to feel it. I said, "No thanks." So I kept pushing and they were rubbing with almond oil. The head was inching out and finally I gave a few long pushes and the head was out. The body was pulled out after. They placed the baby between my legs while I birthed the placenta.

They announced happily, it's a boy! I couldn't believe it. I was sure it would be a girl. My hubs didn't even hear when they said it was a boy. I said to him, "Did you hear that? It's a boy!" The baby was born at 1 AM on Wednesday morning. Wed. night was Yom Kippur. That meant we were going to have a chol hamoed bris. As soon as I thought about all of this I told my hubby to call my parents and invite them to the bris. My dad immediately got working, trying to find a flight. They were thrilled to say the least. Meanwhile, baby looked very healthy. He was 3.6 kilos. That was more than all the estimates. I tried to nurse for a while but he was really really hungry.

After the birth I felt the greatest high. I had given birth naturally. I didn't use any pain relief. I had developed self-confidence. I have Esther to thank. She was telling me that after they break her waters she gives birth quickly and easily. Once I took that leap, Hashem took care of me. It was the easiest labor I've had so far. It was the shortest. I also didn't tear b"H. This meant that recuperating would be much easier and faster. It makes such a difference. Unfortunately, because it was the middle of the night and there had been a lot of birth and a lot of c-sections that week, I was placed in the hallway that "night." I didn't get much sleep. Imagine having just given birth and wanting to go to the bathroom. You wouldn't feel so comfy going into any room to use their bathroom. So around breakfast time I asked someone to use their bathroom. That was a relief. Hubby and kids came to visit me. They were so excited to see baby. After 12 I got a room with a paranoid lady. She convinced me to place my stuff in the safe. I played with it until I got the hang of how it works. I put my stuff in and it got locked in. They called security but they didn't come before Yom Kippur. The nurses were so kvetchy. The Russian ones were particularly moody. Nobody wanted to be working there on that day.

The nurses made it very clear to us that they weren't there to serve or help us. It was our job not theirs to take care of the babies. Tough if we wanted to rest. We were all very shocked at this attitude from them. It was very sad b/c we wanted to rest. Oh well. Next time I'll have to try out a different hospital. The food on Yom Kippur was terrible leftovers from the day before. I ate b/c I was so hungry and b/c I had given birth just one day before. There was a group of frum women and about 4 English speakers. It was a nice crowd. After Yom Kippur I nudged the nurses to call the guards to open the safe. It took them a few hours to come but once they came it took 2 seconds to open it. I stopped locking my stuff in the safe and ignored the paranoid lady.

On Friday morning paranoid lady was very happy to be leaving. I was also after the nasty nurses kept hocking me. Around 11 I was released. Alll was well with baby. On motzei Yom Kippur the nurses said baby was yellow but in the end all was okay. We had to arrange for the shalom zachor. Life was crazy but I tried to stay calm. Thank goodness the nice anglos arranged all the food. Everyone brought tons of stuff for the shalom zachor and for shabbos. We had plenty of food. The neighbors helped us get everything set up. Baby behaved very well as did the guests (with the exception of the man who ate all the popcorn and then asked if we had even more). I was exhausted by the time it was over.

My dad arrived from NY on erev chag, Monday morning. He spent sukkot with us. When it was second day for him, we had the bris. The night before we had decided on a choice of two names. Only the morning of the bris did we decide the second name. My dad was the sandek. Nobody from my israeli fam showed up. My dad's two friends showed up. A few of my friends showed up. It was nice but of course stressful for the mother.

And now, for the moment you've been waiting for............and the babies name is

Uriel Yona

May he grow to merit Torah, chuppah and maasim tovim!
He is a big cutie with yummy cheeks. Holy Bagel did the bris and we had lots of food left over. No dessert however. When we got home we had to put it all away. Luckily my neighbor helped with all of that.

My dad has been here trying to help out with the kids. On Wed. hubby stayed home. On Th. hubby worked and dad hung out here. On Fri. everyone except for me and Uriel went to Jlm. Shabbos we had leftovers. Sunday hubby worked half a day and then dad went to friends. Monday, dad came back and people delivered food for us. Tuesday was Simchat Torah. Mom and baby stayed home while everyone else went to hakafot. On Wed. mom and 3 kids walked across the yishuv to hubby's shul. Hakafos were nice. Then we exhaustedly walked home. We ate lunch so late. Today dad is keeping second day and hubby went to work. Tomorrow, b"H kids will be back at gan. Hopefully then I'll get to rest. I can't wait for the quiet and the chance to be alone.

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