Monday, September 20, 2010

It's a new day

Just taking advantage of a few spare minutes to tell that all is well, and we are adjusting to life as a family of four. Days pass in a sort of a blur, that's how busy we are around here. I must say, I'm now wondering how come I don't remember, from those first days/weeks with my firstborn, how easy things must have been with just one baby around. ;o)) I suppose that's what you call adjustment. ;o)

In the meantime, things continue to roll on, with laundry done, and meals made and served (I'm so grateful to the neighbors who brought the timely and thoughtful gift of homemade meals in our first days at home), and dishes washed, and a little cleaning and yard work thrown here and there... and some moments of respite throughout the day.

Two playmates in the back yard.

Exploration.

The last of the kittens. All her siblings have already spread out and left, to find their place in the big wide world. She sticks around for now. 

Thanks to everyone for your kind and thoughtful notes you sent via the blog and email. I will try to reply to all who emailed me, but right now time is rare and precious and I simply need to prioritize... I'm sure you understand. 

I'm wishing all my Jewish readers a very happy Sukkot, and remain yours truly,

Mrs. T

Thursday, September 16, 2010

While He watched over us…

… I was in labor, and every contraction was a blessing, because it meant I went into labor on my own, with no need for an induction (which would surely be considered a necessity by every medical professional for someone who went past 43 weeks, counting from LMP – which only proves sometimes that way of counting, can be way off track.)

Labor was shorter this time, and very intense – I could hardly believe how fast I approached the time to deliver. Like last time around, I used warm showers, a birthing ball, movement and prayer to get through. I also ate and drank throughout the labor to keep up my energy levels.

I truly feel as though I have no right to complain, now that I'm holding such a beautiful baby in my arms, but there was one thing I learned, which is: a hospital is a hospital. Even having a good experience once does not guarantee it will happen again, because you never know who's on shift when you arrive.

Physically, my labor was unhindered. There were no drugs, no i.v. poles. Emotionally, however, I felt very disturbed by being questioned, in length, about details of my pregnancy during intense contractions and by the presence of staff in the room who weren't necessary for the actual delivery. Also, instead of handing me the baby right after birth, the midwife immediately whisked her off to get weighed on another side of the room. There are many other details I'd rather not go into, but the whole experience lacked peacefulness and intimacy. If my first birth was something I fondly remember, this time is something I would rather forget soon. I woke up shaking on the morning after, thinking I'm still there in the delivery room.  

This time, I had my baby by my side nearly the whole time, except for a couple of hours. However it didn't come easy, because for some strange reason, babies are viewed as hospital property that is "borrowed" by their mothers – a situation which, oddly, is seen as normal by most of the mothers. Except for me, there was only one other mother who chose to have her baby in her room. I don't like having to make a "special request" to be with my baby day and night. They also kept making ridiculous requests to bring the babies to the nursery, for things like having their diaper changed (!).  

I stayed in the hospital for a total of about 72 hours, which was far too long – however we couldn't go home due to it being Rosh HaShana followed by Shabbat (for those who are unfamiliar with Jewish customs, we don't drive on Shabbat and holidays.)

I feel that if I'm blessed with another pregnancy, I will probably feel a strong desire to have a home birth with a midwife I know and trust. Despite the risk of being far from the hospital.

Time will tell.

PS: We haven't decided on the name yet. :o)

Monday, September 13, 2010

New arrival

Dear friends,

I don't have more than a few minutes right now, but I wanted to check in and tell you all the happy news: we are now parents to two precious little girls. Our second daughter joined our family 5 days ago, 1-st of Tishrei, the evening of September 8-th. I just had time to light Rosh HaShana candles before we felt it's time to head off to the hospital. She was born around 22 p.m, only a couple of hours into the new year. We spent just about 3 hours in the delivery room, and my dear husband was very supportive all along. 

I went to 43 weeks and 3 days (!), but praise the Almighty, we had the patience to wait and I went into labor on my own and gave birth with no intervention. Just a note of encouragement to all the "overdue" moms out there! 

We are still unsure about a name. I hope to post another update with the name and the full birth story soon. Just thought I'd mention our internet connection has been a bit wacky recently, which is the reason why it took me a while to update and might take a while to update again. 

In the meantime, we'll be spending our time resting, recuperating and adjusting. 

Wishing all my Jewish readers a wonderful beginning to this new year! 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Suspense

I packed my bag, scrubbed the floors, stocked the freezer until there is no room left; I updated my birth plan, washed all the baby things, charged an extra battery for my cell phone, and answered a round of calls from people who are all waiting for the Big Event to take place.

I have re-read all the pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding literature I could get my hands on, visited dozens of natural midwifery blogs and websites, watched The Business of Being Born and What Babies Want; I'm nearly unable to concentrate on anything that doesn't have to do with labor, birth, and babies. I'm so restless I could hardly keep my mind in one piece while reading out a bedtime story to my daughter tonight.

I admit that every morning when I wake up, I look at the calendar and can't help but think, "another day and still no regular contractions in sight." Every twinge makes me get my hopes up that perhaps it's the real thing, but it isn't. I always knew that my "official" due date was a far-off shot from reality, but now I'm literally expecting things to start rolling every minute of the day, and I'm getting to the point (which, I know, has been shared by many expectant mamas) when it illogically feels I've been pregnant forever - and will be pregnant forever!

I know that in an environment that pushes women to induce once they're a day over their EDD, the only thing that can save my sanity is knowing it's highly unlikely my body  has "forgotten" it should go into labor. Oh, and I have not had any examinations done to know whether things are "cooking". It won't help the baby be born sooner.

All that is left to do is pray, and I'm praying. I know the wait won't seem so long once I'm looking back at it from "the other side of the tunnel", but right now, it feels like an eternity.

In the meantime, if you want to laugh, cry, tear out your hair or feel your blood reach boiling point, visit My OB said WHAT?! - a collection of ridiculous, infuriating, or just plain weird things told by OBs and nurses to mothers.