Monday, August 21, 2006

New Motherhood

With the small amount of time I have, I thought I'd give you an insider's view of my mind, in the past 2 weeks. So here are some thoughts I've had, not necessarily in order, not all of them pretty.

After 48 hours in labor, 24 hours in the hospital, 17 hours in the delivery room, 15 hours since the start of my epidural, 3 hours since they killed the epidural in order to get things moving faster, 1 hour and 15 minutes of pushing with no epidural: I now believe in love at first sight - and I'm not saying the first sight is beautiful. My baby is covered in meconium, his head is shaped like a Conehead's (after pushing on a not-completely dilated cervix), he's a purplish-red color and he's screaming - blessedly. Anything I ever thought was close to the feelings of love I ever felt before pale in comparison to the overwhelming feeling that my heart may actually explode. I look at my husband to my left, my baby on my chest and feel like I have just created the first baby in the world.

After Bryan drank all the iced-tea I had prepared days ago at home to drink during labor, kept leaving me alone in the delivery room to look for food, mincha, to take a walk, had the balls to complain that his back and shoulder were uncomfortable from the chair he was sitting in throughout my labor, then complained when I bit his shoulder before I got my epidural (suck it up- I left no teeth-marks):
Men are completely useless - they have no place in the birthing rooms. Life would be better if we went back to the 50's and the men waited outside, box of cigars in hand, then congratulated themselves on a job well-done when in fact they had done nothing at all.

As soon as I got my epidural: I love my husband - but I love the anesthesiologist more.

The morning of my baby's brit/naming: I will not give him over to those men and let them hurt my baby. My job as his mommy is to protect him, as much as possible from any sort of pain or discomfort, not pay someone 1200 NIS to cut my little boy. I feel like the worst mother in the world - my heart is breaking as I watch them cut my baby. I feel anger towards my whole religion - towards any religion that advocates this barbaric practice. I find it difficult to be Jewish today.

When my in-laws show up: Someone shoot me in the head. If my mother-in-law mentions one more time that she has "no idea where such a funny-shaped head could come from, but its definitely not our side of the family". My MIL had all her babies by C-section, stayed in the hospital for 2 weeks after the birth of each child, and came home from the hospital with a baby nurse to help care for the newborn, plus a regular maid. She's never seen a new newborn that came through a prolonged labor delivered vaginally. I finally lose it and tell her that the baby's head doesn't come from her side of the family, or mine, it comes from my vagina. Silence.

After the baby has been up all night and all day for 3 days straight, and only sleeps when someone is holdinh him. As soon as you put him down, he screams: I begin to feel sympathy for the 19-year-old father who shook his baby to death just before Pesach. Although I am nowhere near that point, I begin to think "hmmm, mitigating circumstances?". I realize I am at my wit's end, and wake Bryan up (who has been slumbering blissfully for the past 6 hours) to take over.

After Bryan takes over, touches the baby, realizes he is freezing to the touch and turns off the airconditioning. The baby promptly falls asleep and stays sleeping for hours: I suck as a mother. On the upside, Bryan is quite proud of himself and feels like Super-Dad. He does NOT mention this at all though - smart husband. I can simply tell by the satisfied glow on his face.

Now I realize I have been referring to the baby as "the baby", though of course by now he has a name. It's Akiva Binyamin - and below is the explanation we emailed to our friends.

--- We chose the name Akiva because Akiva was born during the week of Parshat Eikev. Also, I went into labor just before the start of Shabbat Nachamu, and labored all through it. Rabbi Akiva was known as a modest, gentle person, who offered consolation to the other Sages after the destruction of the Temple, in his interpretation of the presence of foxes in the Gehinnom Valley. We hope that Akiva's place in this world will be a consolation during the current war, just as Shabbat Nachamu begins the 7 weeks of consolation, following the 3 weeks of mourning. Rabbi Akiva also embodies the concept that every person has the capacity for greatness, and we hope our little Akiva will realize his capacity.

Binyamin was for Bryan's grandmother Blanche/Bluma. Akiva was born on 12 Av, exactly 2 years to the day after Granny Blanche's passing. Binyamin was one of the 4 people in Tanach who never sinned. ---

I was going to publish some pics, but they're just not uploading, time!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Still....Just Kidding - My Baby Story!

A quick posting and a picture, while my baby is between feedings.

After 47 hours of labor (26 hours in the hospital, 17 of which in the delivery room), and being so close to a c-section I had already signed the consent form and was on my way to the operating room, I gave birth to a beautiful (I am biased) healthy (3.195 Kg = 7 lbs even) baby boy at 16:58 on Sunday, August 6th.

I'm healthy (not a nick or tear or stitch to be had) and exhausted, and Bryan's okay except for where I bit him on the shoulder during labor, before I got my epidural.

Here's a pic of the new fam:

And here's a picture of, gulp, my son.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Still pregnant...

I've stopped calling people on the phone. Inevitably, when someone answers, they immediately assume I must've had the baby - why else would I be calling? Maybe because I'm sitting home on my ever-expanding butt and need to talk?

I (sort of) finished my exams on Sunday. I still have two leftovers from last semester. One of them is August 24th, obviously will be post-baby, and the other one is this Sunday. However, the teacher doesn't want to make me take it, so has told me that if I am not well, or have had the baby, or whatever, she'll just give me an oral make-up exam at my leisure (which I think is code for passing me).

I got started on the TV show Sex and the City long after it was on television. My friend Sima sent me the first season as a gift a little over 2 years ago, and I got hooked. As of last summer I was more or less finished season 5. I told myself that when I was pregnant, the thing I would do to pass the last few days/weeks of pregnancy would be to rent all of the final season of SATC and watch it through, preferably in the company of Haagen Dazs. How fortunate for me that Blockbuster carries all the good flavors of Haagen Dazs, and is located relatively close to my home.

So, I've 3/5th of the way through the final season and halfway through a tub of Tiramisu flavored Haagen Dazs, which actually has little bits of mascarpone cheese and cookies in it. I must say - I am so in love with Miranda! I think she's the SATC character I most identify with - even though I see bits of Carrie and Samantha as well.

Surprisingly, I am required to fast tomorrow/tonight for Tisha B'Av. The doctor has told me this will likely put me into labor - and I sure as heck hope he's right. If not, I have purchased a bottle of castor oil. Although some may claim its an old wives' tale, and it doesn't really work, I've seen enough anecdotal evidence in the past few weeks to the contrary. I belong to this online chat room of other preggos, all due around the same time as me, called The Baby Center. Plenty of the women there are equally as fed up being pregnant in the heat of the summer, and one brave woman started quite the trend. She posted the recipe for the Castor Oil Milkshake and agreed to be the guinea pig.

The recipe is:
2 scoops of ice cream (any flavor)
2 oz. Castor Oil
1 c. milk
2 raw eggs (which are apparently necessary for the binding effect of the castor oil)

Anyway, she posted hourly updates after drinking the shake - keeping all of us informed as to the amount of diarrhea she was experiencing, and then left us hanging. Turned out she'd gone to the hospital to have her baby. Next thing you know, everyone is trying it! And for most of the women, who were pregnant enough, it works. They go into labour between 4 and 6 hours after the shake, and all have had relatively quick labors too.

Of course, my hubby, ever the party pooper, was quite upset about my taking the shake. I promised I would wait until all my exams were done, and that I would ask my exceedingly cautious OB/GYN what he thought of castor oil. He gave me the go-ahead! He said if it doesn't work, it won't do any harm, and if does work, the baby is ready to come out.

So I'm saving the other half of the tiramisu ice cream for after the fast - if that doesn't put me into labor, that is.

My in-laws arrive in one week, and this baby had better be out before then! I can't imagine how fun it will be with both grandmas hovering around the waiting room. My mom thinks she's coming with me to the delivery room. She's been so panicky the past few weeks its scary. She's not normally so clingy - but now, if I am taking a shower and hence don't answer the phone, by the time I call her back she's got her "hospital bag" packed and is dialing a taxi. All I can say is - if you weren't there when the quarter went into the slot, you can't be there to watch the candy bar come out!

Here's hoping that by my next post, I'll be a mommy!