Monday, March 30, 2009

Close Call

In the Talmud Yerushalmi it says, "...whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world" --Sanhedrin 4:8 (37a). So apparently I am the newest superhero and have saved the whole world.

My mom and I decided to have waffles for lunch, and while I was searching for the syrup, my mother started to choke on a piece of waffle. And I mean *really* choke. Not one of these "put your hands in the air and you'll stop coughing" deals. Even before I asked "are you choking," I knew she couldn't answer me with more than a nod of the head. Talk about terrifying. Superhero Elana didn't even have time to put on her bright red superhero cape before flying in to do the Heimlich maneuver. Looking back I have no idea if my hand positioning was correct, but I learned how to do this most recently in the infant/child CPR course I took with my husband this past December, so I knew what I was doing. Honestly, the only thing going through my head was "when this doesn't work, I'll call 911." (And you thought I was an optimist!) :-) Well, apparently I have really amazing Heimlich skills, because it worked. My mom coughed up the offending food and started breathing normally. WHEW! Not a skill I ever thought I'd really need in real life, and not one I ever want to have to use again, but thank G-d for knowing how to do it.

The moral of this story is: Take a First Aid/CPR course for infants, children and adults. You never know when you might have to know something important.

Click HERE for more Hebrew & Yiddish word definitions

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Eating, Sleeping & Pooping

That's basically what the babies do 24/7 right now. I'm getting spoiled because they don't really have any awake time apart from eating and I know that's going to change sooner than I'm going to like. :-)

We had our first pediatrician appointment on Friday afternoon. Both babies lost a little weight, so the doctor put us on a pretty strict feeding regimen. We tried feeding every 2 hours (10 mins on one breast, switch breasts & go for another 10 mins and then 10 mins with a bottle), but the babies were not into that. They weren't getting enough sleep, so they were too tired to eat--and then it's just a vicious cycle. So now we're just keeping watch to make sure they eat at least every 3 hours during the day and setting our alarms for every 2 1/2 hours at night, since that's approximately how often they were waking up to eat last night. Luckily with my mom here we're able to rotate shifts and get some sleep. The system does need a bit of tweaking so my hubby isn't always the one to get up when someone cries, but my mother-in-law and sister-in-law are both coming in next week, so that will make things a lot easier as well.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I just want everyone to know that Baby Boy's bris is scheduled for next Wednesday (April 1) at 7:15AM. It will be held at Congregation Chai Odom, 77 Englewood Avenue, Brighton, MA 02135. If you need directions, use mapquest. :-)

Click HERE for more Hebrew & Yiddish word definitions

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Babies are Home!

Just thought everyone would like to know that the babies are home! It took several hours for the whole discharge process, and even though I was STARVING when we got home, the babies were also starving. So I had a really quick plate of spaghetti, nursed both and then had another plate of spaghetti. I'm still hungry though, so I may go and see what else is in the fridge. And then, I'm going to try to get some sleep...zzzzz

Monday, March 23, 2009

Home, Sweet Home

I was finally discharged from the hospital today! They were keeping me for extra time because my gastric system hadn't woken up quick enough for their liking (and the gas pains were pretty horrific) and they needed to treat me for that (on top of everything else). I know you've all been waiting for pictures, and now that I'm home I can finally upload them to my blog. So here goes!

This is a picture of the happy family. You can ignore the fact that I look like something the cat dragged in...

This is a picture of my daughter. We named her Chana Brocha.

This is a picture of my son, who won't be named until his circumcision.

That's all for now. I believe my brother-in-law has much better pictures. :-)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Birth Story

Sorry this has come so late, but I had a really horrible day yesterday until we finally found a pain medication that works. :-) And now I'm a new woman! So, here's what went down Wednesday morning. This is not for the faint of heart.

I was having contractions late Tuesday night. They were somewhat painful and coming somewhat regularly, but nothing I couldn't handle. I finally went to bed around 2am and woke to more contractions at 5am. I was doing fine until 6am when I experienced the most horrifying pain I've ever had to experience. I thought that maybe I was going through transition (already??) but I had no relief in between contractions. The pain was worse (if that's possible) during contractions, but it was still a "30" on the 0-10 pain scale. I was also very dizzy & lightheaded. I woke my hubby and we were out of the house by 6:15am. I was taken right up to labor & delivery where they hooked me up and tried to find the babies heartbeats. They had a very tough time getting the heartbeats, so they brought in an ultrasound to help. My blood pressure was also quite low (70/40). Meanwhile I was begging for pain was just too intese. (And this from the same person who was planning for a natural, vaginal birth.) When they got the babies' heart rates, Baby A was at 110 and Baby B at 95--normal is in the 140 range. The OB basically said that they needed to do a C-Section immediately and I was like "where do I sign"? (This once again coming from the same person who was planning for a natural, vaginal birth.) My husband had gone home where he had forgotten the cord blood kits (which were never used), so he didn't realize I had gone in for the C-Section until he got back.

In the C-Section room they tried to give me a spinal, but they were having a hard time and the OB had a feeling that Baby B's placenta had separated from the uterine wall (aka abruptio placenta), which means mandatory general anesthesea. (That being the one thing I wanted to avoid most of all, but I had no choice in the matter.) So while I was sleeping, the doctors were in hell. I was bleeding a lot, but the first thing they had to do was deliver the twins. They were born within a minute of each other (7:28 & 7:29am), but Baby B wasn't really breathing for almost 5 minutes. Baby A's APGAR scores were 3 and 8, Baby B's were 1 and 7. Not so good. And I was bleeding...a lot. Dr. Testa (aka the man who saved at least 3 lives on Wednesday) thought maybe my uterus had ruptured. Thank G-d that was not the case, but there was an artery on the outside wall of the uterus that was bleeding into my abdomen. My OB (Dr. Rabin) said that this ruptured artery was a complication of surgery and not of the pregnancy/birth, but I lost a ton of blood in either case.

Anyway, they worked on me for about two hours after the twins were born trying to get the bleeding stopped. When they finally closed me up, I was sent to general anesthesea recovery. Later on they transferred me to the ICU, then to labor & delivery and finally to a postpartum room. The doctors were surprised that I was doing so well seeing that I had lost about a pint & a half of blood and receieved 4-5 units of blood. Thank G-d I'm fine now and the babies are doing great! I'll have more updates with pictures later, but it's time for Shabbos soon and I must be off.

Check out my brother-in-law's blog if you'd like to see pictures now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Post You've All Been Waiting For

I'll post a much longer birth story when I'm not exhausted, but I wanted to let you know that the babies are here!!! They arrived this morning @ 7:30am via emergency C-Section (I had general anesthesia...) I'll just tell you now that my story rivals Nancy's, that's just how scary it was.

Baby A--GIRL, 5lbs 1oz, 17 3/8 in, 7:28am
Baby B--BOY, 5lbs 4oz, 18 1/4 in, 7:29am

Monday, March 16, 2009


I know, two posts in one day (so don't forget to read the other one), but I just had to tell you about what I just received in the mail. About a week and a half ago I ordered the complete set of M*A*S*H episodes--all 11 seasons including the famous last episode (Goodbye, Farewell & Amen) and the movie that started it all (starring Donald Sutherland). I think it's the best money I ever spent, and I have plans to watch every last episode. If you're thinking about calling me, don't bother...I'm busy. :-D And I plan to watch M*A*S*H during my whole labor. I'll have to turn it off for delivery because I'll be in the OR (no TV). :-(

Nothing to Report

Sorry for my lack of posting, but I really haven't had anything to report. No exciting contractions, no water breaking, no mucous plug, no nothing. Well, I did sort of figure out how to sleep relatively comfortably...I guess that's exciting. :-) I bought a maternity support belt waaaaaay back in 1st trimester, and technically it doesn't fit anymore. But I MAKE it fit! And then I can sleep w/o back's a miracle, really.

The OB scheduled me for an ultrasound on Wednesday, but I'm not sure what they'll be checking for. Probably a BPP (Biophysical profile), but I'm hoping for measurements too so we can see how much they weigh. I highly doubt they'll be checking my cervix with the probity probe seeing as we know I'm fully effaced, and I have an appt with my OB on the same day and she'll check it manually.

I can't believe I'm going to be 35 weeks seems nearly impossible. One of my friends came to visit me yesterday and was shocked with how enormous I am. (I believe he hasn't seen me since August.) He was staring at my belly with awe. lol

P.S. Bonus points to anyone who knows what book the term "probity probe" comes from.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Holy Moley

One of my fellow bloggers just got an incredible unexpected BFP. Chicklet has been trying for 3 years and has 3 failed IVFs under her belt (there's more to this story, but I don't know all of it). Anyways, she was on a "medical intervention" break this past month and just got her BFP this morning. Go leave her a big congrats comment and pray that this baby sticks!!! WOOOO!!!

In other news, I am going home! No change to my cervix--still 3cm and paper thin, Baby A is at a 0 station. Doctor says come in when I'm in labor. :-)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I saw my OB this morning, and she says that she'll send me home on Friday if there's been no change. It's infinitely easier to be at home for Shabbos than at the hospital, and she knows that. I'll probably go back in to see her on Monday and possibly will be re-admitted for next week. That's obviously if I don't go into labor first. We'll see! The contractions I do have are stronger than my previous Braxton-Hicks, but they're not regular and even if I have a whole bunch in an hour, they'll stop altogether after a little while. I'll let you know if anything interesting happens in the meanwhile!

I actually had a relatively decent amount of sleep last night. I slept from 1am to 6am straight w/ no interruptions. At 6am my bladder was at its exploding point, so I got up briefly for a bathroom break. I got back to sleep at 6:30am and slept almost straight until 8:45am (with a brief half-wakeup around 8am when they checked my blood pressure and brought in my breakfast). 7 hours and 15 mins is not too bad!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I did it!

I made it to 34 weeks! Which also means I've reached the end of my complications chart. I guess after 34 weeks the rates of pre-term complications are all nearly zero. SWEEEEET!

Survival: 97%
Respiratory Distress Syndrome: 14%
Intraventricular Hemorrhage: 0%
Sepsis: 4%
Necrotizing Enterocolitis: 3%
Intact, long-term survival: 97%

There you have it folks. And on top of it all, they should weigh nearly 5 lbs now. That means we'll be able to use the carseats we bought when we bring them home from the hospital! WOOOO! Now babies, I'm large and viciously uncomfortable. You can come out now so I can get 2 hours of pleasant, deep sleep instead of 2 hours of uncomfortable, non-deep sleep each night. :-) As much as I'd love to cook you both another two weeks, I think I might have a nervous breakdown from lack of quality sleep. Now I don't expect to have amazing sleep once you arrive...I just want the little sleep I do get to be comfortable. I also want to be able to sit and lie down comfortably instead of having a painful back 24/7. I promise to make really delicious breastmilk for you and cuddle you the way only a mommy can. And I might let your daddy hold you if he sits down first. ;-) We have really comfy cribs all ready for you and I promise not to make either of you sing the 4 questions at the Pesach seders this year. Now, isn't Purim a nice time to have a birthday? It also happens to be the full moon...

Click HERE for more Hebrew & Yiddish word definitions

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hospital Again

Well, here I am, back in labor & delivery. I came in Friday morning for my scheduled non-stress test and haven't left. The babies did great during the non-stress test, but the doctor didn't like that I was contracting so much, so they admitted me for longer monitoring. The contractions continued--not painful, sometimes I didn't feel them at all--and eventually the doctor came in and checked me. 1cm and 90% effaced...oops! The doctor was a bit concerned about my cerclage and decided to keep me overnight until my OB was in the next morning.

Saturday morning my OB came in and decided to take out the cerclage and start me on IV fluids. She checked me right before she took it out and I had progressed to 2cm...oops again...and the cerclage was basically hanging off, not really doing much. I don't even think she needed scissors to cut it, so she just pulled it off. It didn't hurt at all--I've had pap smears that were worse--and I only bled a teensy bit. She checked me again and now I was 3cm and 90 % effaced...big oops. She and the nurses were convinced that I was just going to go into labor, so they moved me to a bigger room. They were wrong, though. After getting the fluids my contractions basically stopped. When they checked me later on in the day I was still 3cm. :-)

So, I'm still here. Amniotic sacs are both intact (yay), and I believe my mucous plug is still hanging in there, although I don't really know how... The doctor says she may send me home if I reach 34 weeks (on Tues) and haven't progressed at all. So, I'll be in the hospital until further notice. We spoke with a neonatologist yesterday and he reassured us that babies born at this point do very well (especially since I got the steroid shots last week). The babies would have to stay in the NICU until they get released from the hospital, and that usually happens between 36 to 38 weeks gestational age--most likely closer to 36 since they're not *so* early. As the neonatologist said, "There's preemie and there's really preemie." There's also a difference between pre-term and premature.

Well, that's all for now. Back to watching Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family. :-D

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sooooo Furious

A few of my fellow bloggie friends (Murgdan and Lollipop) posted this yesterday, and it made me so angry. Check out what the Georgia government is trying to do to us poor infertiles.

Georgia Reproductive Specialists along with other Atlanta fertility clinics, RESOLVE and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) oppose both of these bills. Firstly, Senate Bill 169 would restrict doctors' ability to perform IVF in accordance with best medical standards.

Here are the key provisions:
  • No more than 2 or 3 eggs could ever be fertilized in a cycle; if a woman produced more eggs, they still could not be used.

  • Only 2 embryos could ever be transferred to the uterus, unless the woman is age 40 or over (then a max of 3).

  • No extra embryos could be cryopreserved. If they are created, they have to be transferred.

  • No financial relief, such as insurance coverage, is proposed to help with the added financial burden of using less effective treatment. Patients will still have to pay out of pocket for less effective treatment.

  • Bans all financial compensation for donor gametes, such as egg donor, sperm donor, or embryo donation, which would reduce the pool of available donors in Georgia.

SB 204/HB388 is an embryo adoption bill. It would subject embryo donation to all the same provisions as required by law for adoption of a child. This would subject infertility patients needing an embryo donation to go through the judicial proceedings, home visits, and other procedures required for an adoption. We do not believe that such treatment is appropriate or needed for embryo donation.

This is truly an outrage, and I encourage everyone to oppose these ridiculous bills. Can you imagine? If they had allowed me to fertilize only two of the eggs that we harvested during our IVF cycle, we may not have ended up with ANY that continued to divide, and we almost definitely would not be having these twins right now. You can read some more about why this is such stupid and hurtful legislation on Murgdan's & Lollipop's blogs.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Doctor's Appointment & Ultrasound

I saw my OB today. She checked my cervix and says that it's completely thinned out. :-) But somehow the cerclage is still holding and not strained...I have no idea how that is possible. She doesn't want to take the cerclage out until I'm either in labor or the cerclage starts pulling at the cervix. Because the cervix is so thin and Baby A's head is so close to the other side, if she were to go in there with scissors, she might nick the amniotic sac or the amniotic sac might rupture on its own much quicker. She's very proud of me for making it to 33 weeks and hopes I can go a few more. I, on the other hand, am so ready to be done. :-)

Then I had an ultrasound. The babies are sooo big, measuring in at a hefty 4 1/2 lbs each. Baby A is actually a teensy bit bigger than Baby B now, which I think is really funny. :-) Baby B also decided he's going to be a good boy and is now head down!! WOOOO!!! Baby A's head is so far down into my pelvis they nearly couldn't measure it. heh They also confirmed that my cervix is pretty much non-existant (ie fully effaced), but not really dilated. The doctor noticed that Baby B's umbilical cord blood flow was a bit sluggish, so she sent me down for a non-stress test. Both babies passed that with flying colors, so they sent me home after about an hour. Unfortunately, they want me to repeat the non-stress test on Friday morning. urgh!!

I posted a new belly pic last night, so go take a look!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

33 Weeks!

Wow. I still can't believe that I made it to March. I'm really psyched for my ultrasound tomorrow, because they'll do measurements and I'll find out the twins' estimated weights. I also wonder what my cervix looks like, but I don't think they're going to check it. My contractions have definitely calmed down since I started on antibiotics for my UTI, but I still get a few every day. (Much better than a few every hour!)

I also thought you all might want to see how awesome the complication rates are at 33 weeks (yeah that sounds weird, but I couldn't figure out a better way to put it):

Survival: 96%
Respiratory Distress Syndrome: 34%
Intraventricular Hemorrhage: 0% (yay!)
Sepsis: 5%
Necrotizing Enterocolitis: 2%
Intact, long-term survival: 96%

Not bad, eh? And I'm not really worried about respiratory distress because I had the steroid shots last week. Woooo!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Doing OK

I've been doing ok since being discharged from the hospital. I got nearly no sleep on Friday night. I kept waking up every hour and there was a spot on my back that hurt SO badly! I tried everything...changing positions, cold pack, tylenol, and finally a hot pack. It was the hot pack that took away the pain, but I still couldn't sleep. Last night I did MUCH better! Slept all the way from approx 1am to 6:30am! I also have to make sure I keep my legs right ankle is way swollen. I'm going to start wearing the compression stockings I got, and I need to consciously remember to keep it elevated. I never realized how uncomfortable swollen ankles are! It just feels so funny.

My mom came to visit last week and brought us a ton of baby clothes (including hand-me-downs from my sister and me). My mother-in-law also keeps sending us packages with clothes in it. Man, baby clothes are SOOOO cute! I'd take pictures of all of it, but it would require me to stand for a long period of time in order to show you everything. We also had all of our furniture delivered last week, so we actually have a nursery! How cool is that? Now I just need to get all of my clothes out of the nursery closet so I can fill it with baby clothes. :-)