Wednesday, February 25, 2009

8 days

Eliana and I are home from the hospital. Yes, that's right...if some how you have no yet heard, our daughters have names. Eliana Sarah (aka Baby A...Eliana means "God answered") and Bracha Rivka (aka Baby B...Bracha means "blessing"). They're both wonderful and beautiful. Unfortunately, Bracha had to stay at the hospital. She's in the NICU, in what they call their "intermediate ward," meaning she's not really in intensive care, she just needs extra attention. Basically, she needs to grow. She's still around 350gr shy of 2 kilo, the weight she needs to reach to be released. They estimate it'll take 2-3 weeks. It's gut-wrenching, leaving her behind, but all the grandparents (yup, all of in-laws arrived from Canada on Monday evening) have pitched in and family members are taking shifts sitting, holding, feeding, and singing to Bracha. Shawn and I are taking turns going to the hospital and staying home with Eliana.

Who, by the way, is a great kid. She never cries without a reason, and when she does cry it's very easy to decipher: she's either hungry, cold, or, most often, just wants to be held. That's where my trusty Baby Ktan comes in handy! Both hands free yet she thinks I'm cradling her.

Anyhow, more updates to come. Meanwhile you can see pictures on Shawn's Facebook page.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2 days

Two days ago I gave birth to the two most beautiful little girls in the whole world. Born at 16:30 and 16:31 via c-section, our twin daughters are perfect and thank God healthy. Baby B is small so she is being kept in the NICU till she reaches 2 kilo, but she's breathing and eating and everything. I am so in love.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Seriously, how is one supposed to sleep the night before they may or may not be having major abdominal surgery to welcome two new lives into this world?


Uncertainty still prevails. Tomorrow morning we are to report to the hospital, at which time they'll take a look at the situation and try to decide if the birth can wait another two days. The reason for that is due to my cold, which has stubbornly decided to stick around. We met with my OB yesterday who would really prefer me healthy for the birth. So I'm afraid we might have another day like last Wednesday on our hands, with the whole day spent at the hospital just to be sent back home in the end. Either that or it'll be due day. The not knowing is driving me nuts.

Meanwhile Shawn and I are both very nervous. It'd be one thing if we could just continue life as normal, sitting around and waiting till the day my water breaks or whatnot. But all of this rushing back and forth to the hospital, full of questions and uncertainty, is today the day? That's taking its toll. It makes us think more about the inevitable. I have no idea if/how I'll sleep tonight. Will I be a mommy by tomorrow night? Will I be back home in bed, waiting for Thursday?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

36wks, 2days

Okay, slight change in plans: babies are coming Tuesday, not Monday. One of the doctors I've been seeing is leaning towards having me to a c-section. I turned down a planned operation and opted instead to try for a vaginal birth since they're in position. They'll monitor me and the babies and if there are any signs of distress we'll switch to a c-section, but despite whatever complications there have been, both babies have proven themselves to be quite the troopers and I see no reason to jump for an's not like those are easy or risk-free, either. Anyhow, in case we need one, c-sections aren't done on Monday so we have an extra day (which thankfully gives me an extra day to get over this nasty cold).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

36wks, 1day

Sometimes I think how I am going to miss watching as my belly grows and as it moves and bounces with the babies' movements. Then I realize how, instead, I'll get to watch with wonder the two amazing creatures responsible for all these movements I'm feeling and seeing. I'll get to watch them grow. I already feel amazement at how I will soon get to see them and how incredible it'll be to realize that they were inside of me, that they were responsible for this, that it was their feet and their elbows and their heads and, in the case of baby B right now, their butts that I've been feeling and watching through my skin all this time.

Shawn played with them this morning :) He pushed, and they pushed back.

36wks, 1day

This cold is still going awfully strong. I'm not getting much sleep at nights which I'm sure isn't helping. It's just so hard to sleep when you wake up coughing every hour, not to mention the challenges of merely falling asleep in the first place.

My parents came by today to help us get cleaning done. I couldn't do much more than sit on the couch and direct people, but still we were able to get a ton done. Unfortunately cleaning had long ago taken a back seat to other priorities, like me spending every last ounce of energy (from what little energy a woman nine months pregnant with twins has as is) at work and Shawn busy with the end of his semester while holding down two part-time jobs. But it's really great to have this help now and to get things done in order to not come home from the hospital to a complete mess (it's bad enough we won't have time or energy left to clean after the kids arrive. At least now we can start off with a clean slate...well, er, clean apartment).

Unfortunately the electrician, who was supposed to come first thing this morning, never showed up, so we didn't get any of the bedroom ceiling fans installed nor the wall-mounted heating unit for the nursery. These are things we really need to do before the birth and time is quickly running out.

Anyhow, that's that. I go back to the hospital tomorrow morning for more tests and observation and really really hope they say I'm good enough to go back home for the weekend, though I guess there's always the chance they might decide to keep me there or, worse, induce me (not that I'd mind getting these babies out already, but I really want this darn cold to leave my body first).

Any home remedy suggestions? I'm already drinking tons of soup, staying very hydrated with lots of water, drinking plenty of hot water too with honey and lemon, and gargling warm salt water. Oh, and ice cream, for when I need something to cool the burning left in my throat from all the coughing (I love it that my lactose intolerance has disappeared during the pregnancy...I'll be sad when that comes back).

Monday, February 9, 2009


What an exciting weekend.

Thursday night I came down with a cold. Fine, I thought. I canceled my Friday morning plans, slept in, and hoped it would pass. Instead it got worse and my Friday night I had quite a fever. So for the first time this pregnancy I took tylenol, which brought it down though I had a miserable night. The next night, fever-free, the coughing began. I barely slept. But I had an OB appointment Sunday morning so I got up to go to that.

The OB (who was sick himself, poor guy) thought it'd be best for me to go to the hospital. Not because of the cold, but since I was already so close to term (term with twins is much earlier than with a singleton) and there's a size difference between the two babies. He wanted them to check me out and decide whether to either induce labor immediately, or to keep me for observation to make sure there's no signs of fetal distress.

At the hospital most everything checked out just fine. There is the size difference, but otherwise the heart rates, amniotic fluid levels, etc. all looked good. They decided I should go home, come back on Wednesday for repeat testing, and if all still looked fine to wait till I was at 37 weeks then go in to be induced, if I don't go into labor sooner.

So I'm home. I called work to tell them I won't be back, not that I could work with this cold anyways (the coughing has been so aggressive I've lost my voice entirely and I can barely sleep). If I don't go into labor within the week then next Monday will be the twins' birthdays!

For those of you local, on Monday please don't call us - we'll call you. I want Shawn focused on me during labor, not busy with a ringing phone. Since they're still small and there are chances of complications, we will start making calls when we are ready, so just sit tight and be patient please.

See, dad? I promised you February babies :)

Next thing you know Shawn is going to complain about being the only September birthday boy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

35wks, 2days

I am blown away at the idea that my children will be born and raised in Jerusalem. It's amazing enough to me that this is the city in which I got married and in which I live. Not only live, but actually own property! My husband and I had very different journeys to Jerusalem. I've been here over seventeen years, and he left his family and came all on his own four years ago. It was here we met, here we married, here we forged a new family with a new family name. Here we bought a home, here I got pregnant, and here I will give birth two our two children (well, two for now, hopefully more to follow).

We hope our kids appreciate and take advantage of the US and Canadian citizenship they will have. We hope they have excellent English as a strong mother tongue, though they will go to school and eventually become fluent in Hebrew, probably more so than their parents.

I'm thrilled that they will be able to have a relationship with their grandparents that I never had. I saw mine two or maybe three times a year, if that. Often less. Meanwhile my parents live one bus ride away from our apartment. My kids will be able to visit Saba and Savta whenever they please. It is sad that my in-laws don't live as close, though we do hope they'll eventually make Aliyah.

It's just as exciting that these are the first grandchildren on either side. Both families' futures now lay in Israel. Shawn and I were the first on either side to get married, and the first in either family's history to be married in Jerusalem in over 2000 years. Now we are going to bring the first new lives into Israel, into Jerusalem.

35wks, 2days

I'm still here. Having frequent but irregular contractions. I can't imagine this pregnancy lasting much longer, my body feels like it has just about had it. Still, I try to do all I can. I still work every day, do the occasional shopping trip, and whatever cooking and cleaning I can (which isn't much but then again, I've never been great at cleaning).

We checked back in with the baby supply store yesterday, hopefully our order will be ready in a week so I need to hold off at least that long. That'll give us time to finish up the nursery and maybe get this place a little more organized. I can't believe though that within the next month I will have my babies. It's incredible to me that I get to keep them, that at some point their real mother is not going to walk in the room and ask for them back. I love thinking about times when someone else will be holding them and they'll lean, crying, towards me, wanted ME to take them, finding the most comfort in ME.

I'm a little confused about how the process of naming a baby is conducted, perhaps someone can give me some advice. I know for boys there's obviously the Brit Milah, and for girls usually a Simchat Bat, and the name is officially announced at these events. But seeing as they take place up to eight days after the birth, and more if there are God forbid complications, what do you do about naming the child beforehand? Do you just call them "the baby"? Do you use their name? If you don't use the name till the official naming, how does this work for twins? Will our kids spend the first week of their life still being referred to as A and B?