Thursday, November 27, 2008

The last coupla weeks

Saba and Savta left a week ago almost, and my parents left tonight. :( That's it - we've been soloing as Parents of Two for almost two full hours now... and they are both in their respective crib-like devices, hopefully to remain there for some time. So I have a moment to recap some of the happenings of the past couple weeks.

As an aside - Shulamis (current nickname of choice: Shulama-llama, thanks to the influence of the Llama-Llama books) turned 4 weeks old today. BOY (girl?) was this a speedy 4 weeks!!

Food: I love love love love my neighborhood and friends, because for about two solid weeks, shabbos included, other people made us all dinner. I had no concept of how much the relief of the burden of What's For Dinner would make a difference, but suffice to say it was really, really amazing. Even though I had family here the whole time, and so SOMEONE else would have undoubtedly been the one microwaving the parve shnitzel or whatever... the fact that no one else had to think about it either made a huge difference. Somehow we ended up on going to the grocery store almost every day anyway though... but that's because of item two...

I have no brain. None. Zippo, zilch. Much worse than PregnancyBrain. Much worse than post-Sarah-Rochel's-birth. No brain. Okay, I think it's getting better a little, but sake's alive, has it been patchy. Which is why I'm glad I have an...

Itzbeen - the anti-spreadsheet. As you may recall (and may search the archives of the blog for, if you like), with Sarah Rochel I kept compulsive spreadsheets of her activities, sleeping, eating, whatever... in half hour increments. Thanks to Cousin Jennifer, this time I got an Itzbeen, so I can compulsively tell you it's been two hours and twelve minutes since the baby ate (although it's much more likely to have only been an hour, so WHY is she hungry again, when I have read eight skabillion books on not feeding too often and not mistaking all cries for hunger cries, etc, etc?). Ah, the joys of information! Not that it does me much good, but I have the illusion of being in control.

Fun stuff: Sarah Rochel got lots of outings with various grandparents, to the zoo (on the train!) and all over Yerushalaim and to big parks and little parks and so on. Lots of new toys, a new tricycle, new books, new clothes...

Oops, and a new baby sister who just woke up. Hmm. No wonder my early blog posts were very brief! More later... I hope...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"My Baby Shlamisrivka"

A couple months ago we sat down Sarah Rochel to tell her that soon she was going to have a new baby brother or sister, thank you Hashem. My ever precocious, verbal child just smiled... okay, and then she asked if she could also go into Mommy's belly, and we explained that she had already 'been there - done that,' and in showing her pictures of me pregnant with her she lost interest in the baby and was more interested in herself.

Perfectly appropriate for her age.

When we went to the hospital, we left her here sleeping, and some girls came over to watch her (shoot - I still didn't pay the sitter! I had a baby and I have NO BRAIN! But I digress...). She woke up in the morning "and my orchim were there!" (we always call the shabbos seminary girl guests "orchim" and these high-school girls looked just the same). We called her and told her that she's now a big sister, and has a little baby sister, Shulamis Rivka. The babysitter told me she did a lot of nodding and grinning at the phone.

She goes to gan, and her friend's mom who had taken her says to the ganenet, "Sarah Rochel has something SO exciting to tell you!" and the ganenet says, "What IS it?" and Sarah Rochel says... "I saw an airplane yesterday!"

Again, perfectly appropriate for her age (and pretty darn funny).

When I came home from the hospital, when we were ready for her I went to pick up Sroch from the neighbor. She was totally unphased by my two day absence, which was simultaneously a relief (whew!) and depressing (harumph!). No, seriously, I was thrilled that she was so secure in her relationship with us and that we had warned her what was coming enough and she had actually gotten it that when the event happened she understood and was cool. So I come in to get her, and she's just like, "Hi Mommy." She was in the middle of a bath with her friend, so we get her out, and I take her home... and there in a car seat on the floor is Shulamis Rivka!

BIG grin on Sroch. "It's my baby?" Yes, it's your baby, your little sister. "Hello baby!"

And, bli ayin hara, it's just been that easy so far. Sroch loves loves LOVES to hold the baby (and does so well), loves to kiss her and stroke her hair ("Look, I not pushing her head, just stroking it"), loves to see if "my baby waked up!" and is totally helpful with critical parenting decisions, such as...

"My baby doesn't eat pizza yet. She's little. I eat pizza. When she is big, she eats pizza."

"Mommy, Mommy, the baby's crying. I think she wants to nurse. Mommy! She needs to nurse!"

"The baby wants to sit on my tricycle. She LIKES to sit on my tricycle!"

"I want to hold the baby." She's sleeping now, Sarah Rochel. "I hold her sleeping. She likes me to hold her. I hold her by myself."

Only twice now have I gotten anything resembling a territorial or, dare I say it, jealous comment. Once she asked me to stop nursing the baby so I could pick her up, and once for me to move the baby so she could sit on my lap. Now, I do not discount the TREMENDOUS advantage I still have in having both of my daughters' (hee hee - notice the location of the apostrophe! Thank you Hashem!) grandmothers here... having two kids is no sweat when you have more than one mother... and I know there may very well be all kinds of pebbles, rocks, boulders and icebergs (icebergs?) littering the path of Sibling Relations ahead.

But much like right now Shulamis sleeps beautifully, and I know that THAT will undoubtedly change eventually... I'm just enjoying the gracious gift I have now of peace between them.

Two nights ago I was putting Sarah Rochel to bed, and Shulamis was having a "I haven't eaten in DAYS" sudden cry. So I told Sroch to wait in bed, and I went to get the baby from my mother. "She may as well get used to the new normal," said I, boldly. I was worried of course, that Sroch would be upset at an intruder into our Private Time. But what was her reaction? "My baby came!" and she planted many kisses upon her head before she lay down to sleep.

Thank you Hashem!!

Now, life for my eldest daughter has NOT been totally rosy... she's a bit unsettled due to so much disruption of schedule and parties and visitors and such. She hasn't been napping, hasn't been eating well, has had her share of serious meltdowns, especially in the evenings. But the fact that none of her upset has been directed towards the baby is tremendous, and I am utterly thankful to God for that.

"Say cheese, baby!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

More pictures, few words

We're making a kiddush this shabbos, we have parents and in-laws in town (yay!), there was a local election this week... you can see why I've been too busy to blog.

Oh. Oh, and apparently I had a baby two weeks ago today. OH.

From the hospital.

"Look, Mom! I can turn my head like this!"

"Hands. We eat hands. Hands good."

After our bath tonight, all warm and clean and mellow. Delicious. Of course, since then (and it's a couple hours now) we've been wanting to eat every 45 minutes. Which is why I'm blogging with one hand. :)

And what of Sarah Rochel??? Dearest readers, we didn't forget about her. A full report on her and Shulamis is forthcoming, never fear.

And now, for the official invitation to our kiddush:


בלב מלא שמחה, נפעם מהתרגשות, ופשוט מתפוצץ מרגשי תודה לקב"ה על כל הטובות וחסדים אשר גמלנו
– ובפרט להולדת ביתנו שולמית רבקה שתחי' –
הננו מתכבדים להזמין את כל קרובינו, ידידינו, מכרינו, שכיננו (וכל מי ששכחנו) לקידושא רבא, בשבת פרשת וירא, לאחר התפילה, באולם שמחות "חסדי ד' – נגילה ונשמחה בם" בחניה. נשמח לראותכם !!

יואב דרויאן ורעייתו

With a heart full of joy, bursting with emotion and totally exploding with gratitude to the Ribono Shel Olam for all the kindness that he has shown us
- specifically for the birth of our daughter Shulamis Rivka שתחי' -
we take great pleasure in inviting all our friends, acquaintances, neighbors (and anyone else we forgot) to a Gala Kiddush this Shabbos, parshas Vayera, after davening, at the Grand Simcha Hall “Chasdei Hashem – Yippee Skippee Yahooey” located in our parking lot.

Yoav and Miriam Druyan

Friday, November 07, 2008

Shulamis Rivka: the birth story

Well, this is the modified birth story, anyway, meaning I'll try to omit some of the more colorful, that is, graphic bits, but this is essentially how labor went.

We had asked Shulamis Rivka to PLEASE just wait until my mother flew in, and then she could be born any time she liked...

I'm 39 weeks + 5 days.
I picked up my mom at the airport at 4 PM.
At 9:15 PM my water broke. Atta girl!

So, get our stuff together, write a card for Sroch to read when she wakes up, call the babysitter, la la la, and off to the hospital. Baruch Hashem, the (big) girl was already sleeping for the night (and indeed, she slept through the night), so some teenaged girls came to spend the night, and we could leave relaxed-ish (like we even drove our car, rather than take an ambulance). On the way the contractions started.

So - get to Shaarei Zedek, contractions are irritating but tolerable. I'm at 3 cm, 80% - not too bad for someone who was induced from 0 at two weeks overdue last time! So I'm in kabalah, I ask for fluids because I know I need a bag before I can get an epidural, and I'm gonna want an epidural!

They say I need to wait... either I need to progress more, or they're just busy.. I don't recall.

Another hour goes by, contractions getting more intense, MUCH more intense, I'm exhausted, my poor mother is having to rub my back hardhardhard constantly (my contraction pains are all in my lower back, and all I want is the dumb bag of fluids so I can get ready for an epidural.

They check me again. Still at 3 cm. Despair, despair! They won't move me to a room until I'm at 4... I explain last time, I didn't progress past 3 until I had the epidural... but they were busy (a woman actually came in and delivered in the kabala while I was there, so they really were busy), my husband is being great and advocating for me but nothing is happening.

Another hour passes. Apparently they came to give me fluids at one point, but it was a two minute break when I was actually asleep and they didn't want to wake me. I tried to stand up (I had been laying on my side all this time), to move things along (since I know laying down isn't an effective position), but I immediately have to lay down again, as I felt faint when standing. I just didn't have the strength.

That brief moment of standing seems to have done something though. The contractions are bad. Badder. Really bad. Sometimes there's a break of a few minutes, sometimes they just run into each other on and on...

The hardest part was it being late at night and my perception that I wasn't getting anywhere, that I was just in non-productive pain. So I'm in pain and exhausted and feeling futile, which is a depressing combination.

I'm hollering to the nurses for fluids, because darn it, if I don't get fluids I don't get an epidural and then I will be in pain FOREVER (you see the logical connection). They holler back they're coming, they're coming. I holler that I'm dying. They holler back I'm not dying, I'm just in labor, it's easy to confuse the two. :) Oh, good, so we all still have a sense of humor, but owwwww!

And then... I tell my mother I feel the need to push, or rather, I feel that my body is starting to push and I can't stop it! She (remember, my mom is the BEST all around, but incidentally she's also a labor and delivery nurse!) says if I need to push, maybe I'm ready to push. And what do I say?

"But I read online that if you push too early you can rupture something, and it's still too early!"

My mother begs to differ, says that maybe it's NOT too early, but remember, I'm tired, depressed and in pain, so cannot be rationalized with. (No comments about how I CAN be rationalized with the rest of the time, please.)

And then, gentle readers, I was indeed pushing. The kabala staff finally decides to move me into a delivery room.

Wheeling into the room, a dozen midwives in the hallways are calling, "Don't push yet!"

We get into the room. I move onto the bed. Mom at my side. The midwives start putting on their gowns, etc, and I say, "I need to push!" and they say, "Don't push!" and I say... "BABY!"

And indeed, there she was, on the bed. :)

As you may expect, THAT got their attention!

So I went from 3 to delivery within one hour. Now, had I KNOWN all that really, really hard stuff was the last phase and transition and the pushing was REAL... it would have changed everything. The pain would have been okay, because I would have known it was productive. I would have LOVED pushing, not have been totally scared of it (because I thought I was damaging something). So that is unfortunate. I'm over it, thank God... but it was challenging.

Shulamis Rivka was 3.4 kilo, a good healthy size. She was crying from the start, a good healthy sign. And boy, does she look like Sarah Rochel. I shall be posting comparison shots shortly. She was a bit yellow, which resulted in some mild concern and a blood test a couple days ago, but it's going away now nicely. And as previously mentioned, unlike her big sister's infancy, we got some nice poop going on. Not a lot, not like those 10-dirty-diapers-a-day babies, but nice, healthy amount.

Baruch Hashem! Baruch Hashem! Baruch Hashem!

Have a few more pictures, and I'll try to post more next week. I am (slowly) coming out of my just-had-a-baby fog.