Tuesday, December 30, 2008

30wks, 1day

Well, I'm past the 30 week mark! Requests have again been made for pictures, and requests to my husband to figure out how to use the darn webcam have again gone ignored. So I will try to figure out how to take pictures myself like I did last time. No guarantee on the quality.

A few details/clarifications/thoughts on the baby stuff:

At the time of the birth, there are a few things we will need to have already. Those are a place to sleep the babies and a way to transport them home from the hospital.

Ideally, I would like to buy cribs and co-sleep both babies in one crib till they're old enough/big enough to need to sleep separately. My reasons for doing so, instead of using bassinet, are threefold. 1) Space. Since we'll need two cribs anyways, and will likely be buying them both at the same time as a part of a package from the store, we save room by using them, or t least one of them, right away, instead of having two cribs plus two bassinets around. 2) I know I can fit two babies in one crib, I can't be sure I'll be able to fit two babies in one bassinet. Likelihood is I will, at first, but they'll outgrow it fairly quickly. 3) I want them to co-sleep. They're close together now, I want them to remain close. I don't want to co-sleep with them in our bed; neither Shawn nor myself are small people, so that doesn't leave a whole lot of room, plus we tend to smother ourselves with pillows and blankets and it does not create a safe environment for two infants. But I want them to have the benefits of co-sleeping with each other for as long as possible.

As for car seats, well, obviously we need a way to get them home from the hospital.

So that's what we need right away and will have to work out before the birth. Despite not being big on the bassinet idea, I will be going to Yad Sarah tomorrow to look into borrowing a couple.

The ironic thing is that even though we need the car seats before the birth, we don't need to worry about buying them till after we figure out the other furniture. The reason for that is that it takes 30 business days to order the cribs and dresser, whereas other things are kept in stock and can be bought on-the-spot. That's why we can hold off on those decisions yet have to order the cribs and dresser very soon.

What I think we will do is go in next week and order the furniture, so it'll be ready for the birth, but ask them to hold off on delivery till we call them. That way they'll have the 30 business days necessary to build them or whatever they do, then we can call right after the babies are born and ask them to do the actual delivery in time for our homecoming/not long after. As for everything else, we'll make a list of what we need/want (car seats, swing, bouncer, bath, etc.) and ask them to hold on to it, and direct any friends/family who ask about buying us gifts to the store and they can buy what they want off the list. When it comes closer to the birth itself we will go in and buy the car seats ourselves if no one has bought them yet. That way, we will at least have the car seats and the Yad Sarah bassinets in time for the birth.

If any of you are curious, yes there are a few things we want that we don't think we can buy here and would appreciate receiving from the States/Canada. I will post those shortly.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

29wks, 6days

Today we finally had our house warming party. Shawn and I woke up at 9 and began five hours of preparation before guests were due to start showing up between 2-7. I had to cook (pizza, sufganiyot, popcorn, and cookies) plus clean the kitchen. He had to scrape up the dripped paint from last week's painting extravaganza (he and a friend got together and painted out living room, entrance area, and hallway, yay!). We had to return all the furniture to its rightful position, clear off excess crap from several book shelves, toss all the random stuff into what will be the nursery, including clearing a lot of stuff from our office (which is currently my SIL's bedroom), and try to clear up enough in our room so that it would be showable to guests (which eventually consisted of just tossing the piles of clothes on the far side of the bed and making the bed itself).

I made six pizzas (crust and sauce from scratch, mind you), two batches of popcorn, and tons of strawberry jelly-filled sufganiyot, plus Shawn made chocolate chip cookies (I was too busy with the pizza and passed the job off to him since he was the one who requested cookies in the first place). Shawn also cleaned the bathrooms and our porch (all of this was done with tons of help from Esther, my sister-in-law, who also ran a shopping trip and wrote a beautiful dvar torah).

My brother brought home made beers and apfelwein, my mother baked delicious zucchini bread, and my father took pictures to document the event. all in all, over a dozen friends and family showed up at various points throughout the day, though unfortunately not a single neighbor came by. I'm quite bummed about that, since they were really the reason we felt compelled to do this in the first place. Oh well, hopefully they all at least acknowledged the invitation and appreciated the fact that we had invited them into our home, even if they decided not to attend.

Oh, and since this really is a baby blog I suppose I should post something about the twins. As of Thursday morning at least they had both settled into a head down position! I'm not really sure they stayed there, since then I've felt kicking but also a ton of the rumbling movement I feel when they're rolling around in there. But I have another ultrasound this coming Thursday so I'll see if they're still in the same position. If they are, and they stay there, chances increase for a vaginal birth, which i would like very much.

In unrelated news, Shawn and I spent the weekend at a beautiful hotel at the Dead Sea (we found ourselves a great Chanukka deal). Just to make you all jealous, we spent December 26th swimming in the Dead Sea then laying in beach chairs under a cloudless sky, enjoying the hot sun and a slight breeze.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

29wks, 2days

I went baby shopping (not that the closet will match any of the baby furniture that I chose, but whatever)! Well, price-shopping, at least. I haven't yet actually bought anything. I had to get a complete lesson on cribs, dressers, mattresses, car seats, etc. Me being the savvy shopper that I am I made the guy helping me, the manager, and the owner completely nuts. But I wasn't about to leave before I found a deal that worked for me. Getting everything I need for two babies is hard enough, working out the prices is a different story altogether.

Basically, they have these packages that are pretty good deals, but they include some things don't need and don't include other things I do need (a typical package includes a crib, a dresser/changing table, a single stroller, a baby bath, mattress, sheets, plus various odds and ends like baby shampoo, a digital thermometer, a room thermometer, burp cloths, etc.). So I needed to find a package that included the cheapest cribs available (obviously meeting safety standards), a changing table low enough to make changing a diaper comfortable for short lil me but not too uncomfortable for my taller husband, with a dresser large enough to store diapers and clothes for two babies. I certainly didn't need the stroller since I've already chosen the double stroller I want (which they sell there too).

So I negotiated the price for the same deal, without the stroller, with a second crib and mattress instead. Of course it comes out to a bit more, but getting a double deal wouldn't be worthwhile since we don't need two of much of the little things included, and we certainly don't need two dressers. It leaves plenty of small things friends might want to buy us, like extra sheets, swaddling blankets, burp cloths, etc. It leaves other bigger things, like the car seats, a double nursing pillow, baby swing, bouncer, pack 'n plays, floor mats, and eventual purchases like high chairs for us/someone else to buy later. But we don't need most of those things at first. Meanwhile it can take 30 business days to get the nursery stuff set up and they generally recommend purchasing it all 1 1/2 months before the birth. I don't know how these things work with the whole custom of not stocking up on baby stuff early, but we will need some things, at least a crib, before they arrive.

Anyhow, I now have a much better understanding of these things. That doesn't make it any easier to spend such obscene amounts of money on it, but the good news is most of these things are a one-time purchase. Plus, we can sell the extra stuff further down the line. But what we have to spend money on, I want it to last. That's why we chose the stroller we did, since it'll last for five years or so. The cribs, which convert into toddler beds, will last a good long time as well.

Right now Shawn and a friend are getting the apartment painted. Within the next couple of weeks I hope we can do the nursery. The closet I ordered (for storage, not baby stuff) is due to be delivered within the next month and then I guess the baby furniture we'll aim for being delivered some time in early February-ish?

I'm getting a little freaked out about money, considering how much this is all going to cost us. But we have been planning and saving for it so it's not unexpected. Meanwhile reality hit my mother as she was wandering the baby store with me. Yup, ready or not, two kids are on their way!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I'm getting complaints that I'm not updating enough, nor am I posting enough pictures. Well, here's a post at least. Pictures will follow if Shawn ever figures out how to take a picture properly with our webcam since I had to find some solution myself last time and I was not happy with it.

I'm doing well, getting bigger of course but still very active. The babies are growing nicely and are kicking the $h*t out of me. Today Joey and Esther (my brother and my sister-in-law) had their hands on my stomach and got to feel a couple of kicks so strong they made me jump.

After getting sound advice from our OB (who I am glad we stuck with) on which hospital would be best equipped to handle any potential complications, Shawn and I went on a tour of the maternity wards at Hadassah Mount Scopus today. It's a small hospital, and much older than the other Hadassah, but it has a better NICU. I'm not really in this for my own comfort so I don't care if the birthing rooms haven't been remodeled...if they serve the purpose they're meant to, that's all that matters. I got some good info on the hospital's policies (no acting against the wishes of the mother unless they think mother or baby are in danger, no induced births unless deemed absolutely necessary, no standard pitocin injection until after birth to help expel the placenta, the availability of birthing balls and birthing stools, allowing mothers to give birth in whatever position found most comfortable, no standard episiotomies, no standard enemas, only occasional monitoring unless signs of fetal distress are displayed or unless using a pain medication that can effect the fetus, allowing women in labor who aren’t hooked up to a monitor constantly to move and walk around, the availability of various alternative pain “medication” such as a TENS machine and the option of sterile water papules, etc.).

While there we registered for the birth so I have a little envelope with all my information I am supposed to carry around with me at all times. When I do go in to labor I can head strait to the maternity ward, I don’t have to check in or go to the emergency room. At the maternity ward they’ll monitor me and if they indeed discover I’m in labor they check me in right there.

In similar news we contacted a birthing coach who has twins herself and we will likely start childbirth classes with her in a few weeks.

Meanwhile we are both continuing with our regular schedules, though Hanukka has slowed work down a bit for me as I only work limited hours during the holiday. This weekend we are headed to the Dead Sea as we found a great little holiday deal at a nice hotel and are going to take advantage of the last time in a loooong time that the two of us will be able to get away alone together. We haven’t done anything like this since our “honeymoon” (two nights in a romantic cabin up north…nothing fancy though). This will be short and sweet but it’ll be much appreciated. Life is so overwhelming these days, it’ll be nice to get away and just be a couple, to forget about the rest of the world and even the babies for a weekend, to just be together. Plus, it’ll be the first time we’ll have gone to the Dead Sea together, which will be great (oh, and the spa is included!!).

Chag Sameach!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

28wks, 1day

I have officially entered my third trimester! It's amazing that there is (relatively) so little time left in this pregnancy. But of course this is, physically, the hardest stage. Were it not for all the emotional strain it'd have been very easy to ignore the pregnancy entirely the whole first half as I had no signs, symptoms, or problems really. But now everything (and I mean everything!) is a challenge. Who'd have known rolling over in bed could be so difficult!?

Things are, thank God, still looking good. I'm being monitored more closely by my doctor, which is natural at this stage of pregnancy, especially with twins. As far as belly, I'll try to get another pic up. I basically look full term. Some of my maternity shirts are already starting to ride up a bit in front...I hope I don't outgrow them!! Luckily, my parents brought me back a Bella Band from the States which I can wear to help hide tummy (of course, reading the label when putting it on I discovered they're made...guess where...you'll never guess...in Israel!).

On Friday my mom and I are going to start scouring the baby stores and perhaps start a registry for gifts since it's getting time to start thinking about how we'll take care of these two when they show up. My dad has been helping us assemble a storage closet in the nursery so we can start getting the room cleared of all the random crap currently in there in order to finally start setting it up properly. It's great having my parents back.

Friday, December 5, 2008

26wks, 4days

It's finally December! I'm glad for so many reasons. First and foremost, because my parents are coming home in just a few days. It has not been easy being so pregnant and being away from my mommy, and I'm really looking forward to being able to spend the weekend at my parents apartment in my old bedroom, to escape from being a grown, responsible adult with a mortgage and two kids on the way and spend a Shabbat being a kid myself, being taken care of by my parents.

I'm also happy because December means Chanukka, which means my first break from work since Succot. It's a long stretch of non-stop, full-time work and while thank God I'm able to keep up, each week it gets harder to muster up the energy so I am very grateful I am nearing a bit of a break (I work reduced hours during the holiday and take a day or two off entirely).

December also means my birthday, whcih is fun, though turning 29 feels a bit scary. It's my last birthday in my twenties...I am starting my thirtieth year of life. Wow.

But most importantly, it means the end of 2008, an amazing year in which I got pregnant, bought my first home, my sister got married...and the end of 2008 means the begining of 2009, the year my children will be born. The year I become a mommy myself. The year I make four amazing parents grandparents, and five siblings become aunts and uncles, four of them for the first time ever.

One of the greatest rewards of being pregnant is being able to share the joy, being able to reward our family and loved ones with new titles and new teeny tiny relatives to love and adore (and to shower with money and gifts *hint* *hint*).