Monday, March 30, 2009

It only feels like forever

Almost a week late, but the tenant finally decided that March 25th at 4 a.m. was the perfect time to vacate the premises. I will most likely post a birth story in the near future, but right now I am waaaaaay too tired. Due to jaundice, we were kept over Shabbat and only came home yesterday. Baruch Hashem however, the Brit will be on time, b'Ezrat Hashem on Wednesday.

The newest Settler...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Part 2 - bureaucratic circles from PT to BB and back again

Thursday's 5 hour stay at L&D left me with instructions to return on Sunday for more monitoring. From Thursday night until Saturday morning I was having frequent, but not regular contractions. I had what I thought was some 'show' and I really thought that if I didn't go into labor on my own, by the time I got to L&D on Sunday, they're examine me and tell me I was 4 cm dilated or something.

Saturday afternoon the sinus infection went into overdrive and by evening I was in agony. I managed to sleep from 1 a.m. until 2 a.m., NS woke up for a snuggle and then I slept from 2:30 until 5 and then I gave up trying to sleep with the pain.

At 8 a.m. Zach and I were on a bus and we were at hospital by 9. I gave reception the paperwork I received at discharge Thursday and she asks me where the HMO approval (Tofes 17) is.

Um.. no... I'm following doctor's order. She tells me that I have 2 options. Pay 600NIS and hope to be reimbursed by the HMO, call the HMO and have them fax over the T17. She does not have their number. Neither do we. But their offices are about 10 minutes away by cab. And thanks to past experience with NS, calling and waiting for a fax can be a most-of-the-day thing.

So we decide on option 3. Head over to the office and get it in person. We get there, I tell the receptionist what I want and she tells me... "No need for you to go to the hospital for this. We can do it ourselves. Do you want to go to the women's emergency day clinic in Ra'anana, Tel Aviv or Bnei Brak?"

(Here is a map of where we were. And where they wanted us to go.. although I have no idea which clinic in Tel Aviv they were talking about since none of them have the women's emergency day clinic).

We opted for Bnei Brak since it was closest.

We get there at 10:30. Urine is fine, no more protein. BP is high though and won't go below 140/90. Ultrasound for measurements - plenty of amniotic fluid, baby is measuring fine. Weighing in at about 3.5 kilo (7lbs 12 oz)... my biggest yet!!! Then it's wait an hour for a fetal monitor to become available. Sit on the monitor for 45 minutes. Wait 45 minutes to see the doctor. Who looks everything over, sees there are two rather alarming decelerations in the baby's heartbeat (one during a contraction, one very much NOT during a contraction). He circles these two points, taps on his keyboard for 5 minutes, prints it up in triplicate, stamps and signs it, hands it to me and says get to the hospital with this ASAP. He also said I should get my family doctor to give me a prescription for antibiotics and anti-histamin for the sinus infection.

It's now 2 p.m. And we're heading BACK to the hospital, where we were at 9 a.m. I was ready to cry.

We took a cab back to the hospital and the driver had a great CD playing... Moody Blues... so we talked music. At least that was nice.

So we're back at the hospital, urine is still clear, they finally get a BP reading that's below 140/90 and they hook me up to the monitor for 20 minutes. Some nice contractions, nothing alarming from the baby. Then it's wait to see doctor 1 so she can take a history and then wait even long to see doctor 2 and his student for an exam and a discussion.

The exam shows... I have apparently de-dilated... un-dilated... I went from being 1 cm and 30% effaced on Thursday to being closed with a 'long' cervix. And this is WITH having contractions Friday and Saturday. I'm telling you, my body just doesn't know what to do any more. I have a senile uterus... So there go all my hopes of going into labor then and there or of them sweeping my membranes to get things moving.

More ultrasound stuff... baby's head is rather low in my pelvis, which explains why there's so much pressure when I blow my nose... but being low doesn't seem to be doing much for labor...

Then the discussion... due to the previous c-section, they will NOT induce me due to a greater risk of uterine rupture. I was expecting them to say that. Basically it's more of the same... I need to be monitored every 3 days and if the baby hasn't come by next week (not sure exactly WHEN the actual deadline is), I'm looking at a repeat c-section.

Honestly, at this point, my personal deadline is when this sinus infection clears up... I'm not stupid enough to want to risk my health or the baby's health and go 'for as long as possible' just to have a natural delivery. I'd just like to be able to be as pain free as possible... coughing and blowing one's nose after abdominal surgery hurts like a bitch.

Tuesday morning I'll be seeing the nurses here at the local clinic (couldn't get an appointment until late Wednesday afternoon, AFTER the OB). Maybe I can convince them to let me do the monitoring here and on Wednesday I see my OB.. even though I think he's an incompetent ass. Worse comes to worse I will BEG the local office to give me the T17 approval so I can do the monitoring at the hospital.

Oh, and the OB at the hospital took pity on me and gave me a prescription for antibiotics...

Sick as a dog and still pregnant... Part 1

The lease is up yet the tenant is showing NO signs of vacating... today I am officially 40 weeks and 4 days.

I have a raging sinus infection that left me in tears for most of Saturday night.

But before that, there was Thursday...

My 10:40 appointment with the GP turned into 11:40.. she is notoriously a late runner...

I have a sinus infection. She took my blood pressure and it was pretty high. Tried again and while it was lower, it was still high so third time... it's still high.

So she prints up a form and orders me to L&D at the hospital for monitoring.

Now I gotta say, for all that she tends to arrive past her first appointment and then actually spends TIME with her patients so she ends up always running late, she was the FIRST person at the clinic to actually be concerned about the high blood pressure. The nurse who checked and saw the high BP the day before didn't seem concerned. Neither was the OB.

So I now have orders to head to the hospital. I called SR. Her phone was off. Called TC and HER phone was off. It took me about 15 minutes to finally reach TC and she headed home. SR was reached a bit later and she also headed home. TC got home within an hour thanks to some great rides...

So then it was my turn to head out. Luckily I caught one of the jutnies that run between here and Petach Tikvah. It's marginally more expensive but they're faster. I met Zach at the mall across from the hospital, we had something to eat and then headed across the bridge to L&D.

Blood was taken. Urine showed a bit of protein. Was running a slight fever (with the sinus infection, I wasn't surprised) and then they took my BP 3 times before they got a 'good' reading. They asked me a bunch of questions... no headaches but I've been seeing floating spots in my vision the past couple days.

Then 40 minutes hooked up to the fetal monitors. That was fine.

Then wait for the blood tests to come back so I can be seen by the doctor and then we decide what next. Doctor did an ultrasound (everything was fine), he checked me (1 cm dilated, 30% effaced YAY!!!!), blood tests all came back fine. Except according to the monitors, I wasn't actually in labor.

Before they discharged me though, they wanted me to go to neurology and then opthomology because of the spots. And I had to go by wheelchair. So off to the ER, saw a neurologist and that was fine, then on to opthomology and I had a complete eye exam (which meant for the rest of the night my eyes were dilated and out of focus) and that was fine.. I think the official diagnosis for the spots is a combination of sinus pressure, high BP, possible dehydration and being at the end of a pregnancy.

So back to L&D we go. Before I can be discharged, the doctor needs to review the printout from the monitors.

Whereupon we discover that at some point, the printout had gotten lost. Which meant I had to go back on the monitor for 20-30 minutes...

Now since the eye doctor, I started having some contractions when I sat or stood, but when I had to lay down for the monitoring, they stopped completely. So they let me go.

But I have to go back on Sunday. For BP, urine and monitoring. Which is what my stupid OB should have ordered.

And then since we got home... I've been having contractions basically every 10 minutes or so. They last for no more than 30 seconds but the pressure is pretty intense at times and it hurts to pick up NS now (whether I'm in the middle of a contraction or not).

So here's hoping that new baby will finally make an appearance some time REALLY SOON!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pregnant forever...

Went to the nurses today. Weight is WAAAAAAAAAY up. She took my BP three times because the first 2 times it was also elevated.. by the third time it was more acceptable. She didn't seem concerned about the weight or BP. Urine showed nothing to be worried about.

Then on to the non-stress test. It took her almost 10 minutes to find the baby's heartbeat. Then I sat for 30 minutes while one doppler monitored the baby's heart beats and a second monitored any contractions.

I had a few contractions but the monitor says they're not 'labor'.. Sigh.

NS was a pure angel the whole time... Thank you!!

The nurse then took the readout to the OB and she said the OB says everything is fine. I then asked her 'What now?'... she got this confused look on her face... I was like.. "Look, tomorrow is my official due date. Do I need to make another appointment for this or what?"

I mean seriously... there have been no indications that this baby is ready to be born any time soon and yes, I realize that I can go from 0-10 in an hour with no signs beforehand, but come ON! Her reaction was like... "Do you expect to still be pregnant?"

She suggested I make an appointment with the OB for next week. So I did. Not sure if I should also make an appointment to see the nurses to make sure my urine is free of glucose and protein...

Later today I have an appointment to see the GP for this cold.

I think my body forgot what to do at the end of a pregnancy...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pesach cleaning

Here is NS helping me get a start on the Pesach cleaning by emptying his toy bucket...

English radio from Israel!

Rusty Mike Radio

Monday, March 16, 2009

Birkat haChama

If anyone is interested, here are the prayers (in Hebrew and English) that is said for Birkat haChama.

Birkat Hachama will said at sunrise on April 8, 2009 (Hebrew date: 14 Nissan 5769).

For more info, head over here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Overweight, Pregnant, didn't know, in the Army

A Mother In Israel posts about a young woman named Meital who... never mind, I'll just copy and paste what AMiI wrote:

This morning on Channel Two radio show Seder Hayom, host Keren Neubach interviewed Meital, 19-year-old mother of a four-month-old baby called Amitai. Amitai was born while the mother was doing basic training in the Israeli army. Meital had no idea she was pregnant, and none of the army’s doctors considered the possibility despite Meital’s many medical complaints. She was already pregnant when she began her service.

Meital didn’t realize she was pregnant for the following reasons:

1. She is overweight, and didn’t feel the baby’s movements or notice the weight gain.
2. She has irregular periods.
3. She was on birth control pills.

At one point she got off the bus and crawled to the infirmary, where the doctor laughed at her and sent her away. Other times doctors prescribed antibiotics and painkillers. The army even required her to do another thirty days of basic training because she did not pass the first session. Meital was pregnant when she began her service.

When she began having contractions, Meital called her parents to bring her to the emergency room. The nurse diagnosed a urinary tract infection, and when the membranes ruptured, the nurse claimed it was urinary incontinence. Meital’s mother suggested that perhaps her daughter was in labor. A gynecologist checked her, and the healthy baby was born within minutes.

She received NIS 800 from the army, a release notice, and no further contact.

I really don't understand a couple things here. I'm overweight. I'm about 5'2" tall. According to a BMI weight:height chart my ideal weight should be between 50 and 60 kilo. When I started this pregnancy I was 84 kilo. At 39 weeks pregnant, I am now 94 kilo. So it's safe to say I was overweight when I began this pregnancy. Over 20 kilo from the high end of 'acceptable'.

HOW overweight does a woman need to be to NOT KNOW SHE'S PREGNANT??? How overweight does a woman need to be to know know she's 7, 8, 9 months pregnant? I didn't feel the baby all that much until about 20 weeks because of the way the baby was laying (arms and legs facing inwards). But man-o-man by week 30, I felt everything.

I do know of a young lady who found out she was pregnant... at 20 weeks. She suffered with infertility right from the start of puberty, had gone through fertility treatments to get pregnant the first time (which resulted in adorable twin boys) and just resigned herself (like many of us who have IF) to the fact that she'd need treatments to ever get pregnant again. So imagine her surprise when the ultrasound she went for because she was experiencing weird 'pains' showed an almost 5 month old fetus.

In addition to this new mother's issues of not knowing she was pregnant, what are the IDF guidelines for accepting overweight/obese kids into basic training? If a woman is that overweight that she doesn't feel fetal movement, how can she be fit (BTW, I realize one can be overweight and fit, yet this girl had to do extra basic training because she WASN'T fit) to go through basic training and then into the service?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Purim Sameach!

Mishloach Manot: home made roasted garlic hummus and home made lavash crackers

Monday, March 09, 2009

Spirituality in the 9th month

There is a Segulah (an action that is reputed to lead to a change in one’s fortunes/luck/circumstances, etc) in some communities for a woman in her ninth month to immerse in the Mikvah (ritual bath) for an easy, safe, fast, etc. labor and delivery. I self-define as MO so going to the Mikvah in the 9th month certainly isn't something that is regularly done. But I'm also not the type to let 'what others think' stop me from doing something I feel is important.

There is also a lesser known Segulah that if a woman immerses after a woman in her ninth month, she has a 'better' chance of conceiving that month.

Now when a woman goes to the Mikvah after her period, there are all these rules and regulations and guidelines that need to be followed - from when she can go, to the preparation process and personal grooming that takes place before the immersion... the prep time can be upwards of 2 hours or more.

For my purposes however, I simply showed up, took off my jewelry, stripped, showered quickly and immersed. After my first dunk, the Balanit (woman who watches to make sure every millimeter of hair goes under) showered me with blessings. I then dunked a second time with a silent prayer to God that all should go well and finally a final immersion with a prayer that the women who followed after me should merit what their hearts desired.

This may sound stupid or silly to some of you, but I now feel more... spiritually prepared for this birth, which for an Orthodox woman, is just as important, IMO as being physically ready... which we all know I've been ready for the past 2 weeks or so....

10 days until EDD... I've been hoping for a Purim baby though. Maybe now it will come.

Random Purim things

Mishloach Manot: home-made roasted garlic hummus and home made lavash crackers with multiple toppings.

For the family from shul we're giving to, they're going to get a walnut-cinnamon-raisin bread and a bottle of wine.

Tomorrow's Purim meal will be deli and dinner will be monster burgers.

Later I need to make the vegetable-barley soup for the break-the-fast party tonight the shul is having down the street.

Oh... and make NS's tunic...

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Fun Purim Table Idea

The past few years, whenever I get a chance to do this, I do.. it's so much fun and I always get compliments. Purim Seudah and weekday Sheva Brachot tend to be the only opportunities...

Use white paper tablecloths and decorate with crayons. If you use disposable, have everything in different, bright colors.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


There's a fine line IMO regarding Segulahs and Kamayas and Avodah Zarah. Unfortunately I know way too many people who put way too much importance in the 'power' of the Segulah and Kamaya yet they're so desperate for whatever they're wishing/praying for, they refuse to see it.

When I was pregnant with NS and we discovered he was breech at 32 weeks, I cannot tell you how many times I was told about 'the Segulah' about checking all my Seforim and making sure they were all 'right side up'. I was told a dozen times about a particular well somewhere outside of Jerusalem where, if my husband were to draw the waters and give me a cup to drink, that would turn the baby...

I checked the Seforim and made sure they were all facing the same way. I didn't drink any well water. I ended up with a c-section because he never turned.

So now I'm 38 weeks pregnant and I feel like I'm a million weeks pregnant :)

And there's a Segulah for a woman in her ninth month to go to the Mikvah and she should be Zocheh to have an easy, safe labor and delivery.

And then there's another Segulah for a woman who wants to conceive (or is having problems conceiving) to dunk right after a woman in her 9th month has immersed.

So I'm thinking of going on Sunday to the local Mikvah (which is just down the street)...

It's not that I believe or disbelieve in Segulahs (Kamayas are a different story). I just feel.. it can't hurt, right?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Nice to see honesty isn't totally dead...

Someone bought a digital camera, second hand. Only to discover there were over 400 photos on the camera's memory card. Based on the photos, it was obvious someone's Israel vacation photos so he posted a few of the photos and his contact info on this site.

FYI, someone recognized the people and the original owners have been reunited with their camera and vacation pictures.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A sad commentary...

Typos aside, I think this is one of the saddest posts I've come across on Imamother in a long time and quite frankly makes me quite happy that I am not ultra-Orthodox.

I'm for months after birth and I have been feeling depressed lately. I believe I might have PPD and I want to get help. However, we do not have any extra money and the world being the way it is I want to get help without having to worry about future shidduch repercussions for the baby and our other children. Where can I go?

So... if she ends up going off the deep end because she has untreated PPD, THAT would be better on the shidduch resume for her kids?