Sunday, October 13, 2013

Haunted House

Ok, my house is officially haunted, and I think it's probably Grandpa Irv having himself a little fun. The TV turned on TWICE over Shabbos and no one had touched it. At 1am the TV went on, so Shmuel got out of bed to yell at whoever did it...except no one was there. So he left it because it was Shabbos. At 4:30am I woke up and heard the TV (I slept through the noise until then) and grumbled at Shmuel to yell at whoever turned on the TV on Shabbos. So he got out of bed again to look and again no one was there. At some point in the morning once everyone was up, one of the non-Jews living with us turned off the TV so we could have a peaceful Shabbos. Then in the afternoon Shmuel noticed an ambulance across the street and was standing looking out the window at it, Dovid was running into the other room to look out another window, Chana and Tzipora were playing on the floor, and I was sitting on the couch with Gavriella when the TV went on AGAIN. No one had touched anything, so we went looking for the remote control to see if maybe I was sitting on it or something. Nope. Remote was off on a shelf with no one near it. Super weird. Then, to top it off, I just found Chana B's glasses which have been missing for 2 weeks. I saw them on the ottoman just outside my bedroom door next to my purse. NEXT TO MY PURSE PEOPLE! No way I missed that for 2 weeks... Now I'm wondering what's next, though at least I know it's a friendly ghost.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Remembering Grandpa Irv

I lost a dear family member this week. Your first instinct is probably to ask "which side of the family was he on?" Well, he was my sister's husband's grandfather - Grandpa Irv. Many times family is created through marriage, but honestly I feel as though the Simons became family long before my sister (Shira) and brother-in-law (Ben) were married. And now, every night when my husband tucks in the kids, he goes through a laundry list of people that love them. "I love you...and Mommy loves you, and Grandma loves you, and Grandma loves you..." After Grandma and Grandma always came Grandpa Irv...even before Aunt Shira and Uncle Ben! And every single Simon gets mentioned in the nightly shpiel - Ben's parents, brothers, sisters-in-law, niece and nephew. That's how close this family is to us.

Shortly after Shira and Ben's wedding (15 years ago!), Ben's grandparents (on his father's side) moved to Rochester. Since I was still in high school at that point I had the opportunity to spend time with them, and they came to my choir concerts, plays, etc. They also became friendly with my parents and grandparents. After my grandparents died, they became a surrogate set, and I loved them just as much as I loved my own grandparents. They treated me as their own, and I think somewhere down the line Grandpa Irv probably forgot that I wasn't blood related to him. :)

Grandpa Irv and my father became close after my Grandpa Bill died. They used to solve the world's problems over lunch each Tuesday. It's quite possible that after my father became ill he told Grandpa Irv to watch over me, because he certainly did. There's a favorite story of mine that really shows how Grandpa Irv had "adopted" me as one of his grandkids. About a month after I met Shmuel I was home in Rochester for winter vacation. It was about 6 weeks after my father had died, and the whole Simon family had come over for dinner. At one point Sheri (Ben's mom) was talking about how there were so many people getting engaged lately. I sat there with a smirk on my face, and when she noticed she called me out on it. I explained how I had met Shmuel and that we were seriously dating. At some point it was mentioned that he's 14 years older than I am, and Grandpa Irv really let me have it. Here are some quotes as I remember them: "What does he want with someone so much younger?" "Your mother doesn't want you to date someone so much older! Think about how she feels with your dad gone. He was a lot older than she, right?" "You know I'm only saying this because I love you, and your father's not here to say it for himself!" I tried to explain that he wouldn't be saying these things if he had met Shmuel and to wait to pass judgment on him. I knew that once they met that Grandpa Irv would have no problem with it. A few months later Shmuel came to Rochester and met the Simon family, and Grandpa Irv fell in love with him. Honestly, I think it was love at first sight with those two. After that all I ever heard from Grandpa Irv was "how's my Sammy?" It always used to make me grin, since I knew how upset Grandpa Irv was when I first mentioned I was dating someone older, and now here he was welcoming Shmuel with open arms. But that's just how he was...full of love. He loved us, and he loved my kids. I sent him a family picture with Gavriella in it a few weeks ago, so he was able to see her before he passed. I'm just glad the rest of the kids were able to spend some time with him when we went to Rochester this past May.

I did not used to be a very emotional person. When my father died I knew it was coming several weeks in advance. But I never cried at anything back then, and I stoically sat there during his funeral and even at his graveside with not a tear to be found. I wanted to cry, but for some reason my body just couldn't. Same thing at my grandmother's funeral a few months later. Same with basically every other funeral I've ever been to or when someone calls me with news of someone's death. Until this week. I knew Grandpa Irv was sick, and I knew this phone call would be coming, but for the first time ever I couldn't speak while Sheri was telling me that Grandpa Irv had died. I was trying not to cry into the phone or betray my emotion, so all I could give her was one word answers. I loved him as if he were my own grandfather, and in many ways he was. I will miss him terribly, but I hope he's getting to spend some quality time with Grandma Harriette who he's been missing the past 6 years, and I hope he gets to go back to having Tuesday lunches with my father so they can solve the problems of the world. Goodness knows this country could use their help.

This is Grandma Harriette & Grandpa Irv at my wedding - Aug 27, 2006. Not a great quality pic, but you get the idea.

This is a gorgeous picture of the Simon family taken in May. (From L to R: Shira, Grandpa Irv, Ben, Robert, and Sheri)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

She Flips!

Sept 20 (21 days old) - She's only three weeks old, but Gavriella flipped from front to back today! Shocked the living daylights out of me... I put her down for some tummy time and within a few minutes she started squeaking, because she had turned herself over, and I think she was a bit surprised. I didn't think babies were supposed to be able to do that until they were like 3 or 4 months old! I thought it might be a fluke, but she repeated the feat the next day. Super baby!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thought of the Day

For someone with misophonia, the sound of someone eating can be like nails on a chalkboard. Poor Shmuel gets "the look" if he tries to eat carrots in my presence, and there are times I need to just wear ear plugs during a meal. Yet the sound of Gavriella gulping down mommy milk during a feed is nothing short of the most delightful sound on this planet. It brings me no end of joy. Go figure...

Seriously she's gotten bigger in the last few days, and it's not surprising. She's been eating CONSTANTLY. Growth spurt!

Friday, September 13, 2013


I never remembered to record many milestones with the other kids, but I'm going to try better here. They may seem silly, but it's nice to have some kind of memory of how Gavriella's life progresses. For example:

  • Sept 4 (5 days old) - Gavriella's cord stump fell off, terrifying Shmuel in the process. "OMG WAS THAT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN???" You would think the father of 4 children would be expecting the cord stump to fall off, but no, this guy has heart failure about it. I assured him that it was fine and he didn't need to do anything special. Today I also realized that I'm not much bigger than my pre-pregnancy self, especially when I'm in the Belly Band-It. Actually, when I wear the Belly Band-It I am probably smaller than pre-pregnancy me, since it helps keep my abs together. I'm hoping I'll be able to fix my diastasis recti with exercise so I won't have the crazy ab muscles any more.
  • Sept 5 (6 days old) - Gavriella spit up for the first time, making me smile. I love knowing that my baby is getting plenty to eat and it's all coming from me. So a little spit up (and this was really only a teensy bit) means she's getting what she needs. Though her constant falling asleep mid-feed is driving me bonkers. 3 minutes nursing does not equal a meal!! *sigh* Today I also put on one of my favorite pre-pregnancy dresses. Unlike with my other pregnancies, where I couldn't wear this dress for months, if not a year, I was able to zip it up like nothing. YAY!
  • Sept 13 (14 days old) - For the first time I put Gavriella to sleep in one position and found her turned 90° the next time I went in to her. Looks like someone's beginning to scootch around!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Baby #4!!

Baby #4 made her arrival into the world yesterday (8/30)! She was born at 12:52pm, weighed 6lb 2oz and measured 19 in. We decided to name her Gavriella Esther. The name Gavriella comes from Shmuel's aunt (his mother's half-sister) Geneva. The name Esther comes from my father's grandmother Esther Faigl.

Gavriella's birth was just as quick as her older sister Tzipora's, but the birth story starts just about a week earlier. On the evening of Fri the 23rd I started to have some irregular contractions and thought "oh boy this is it!" But it wasn't. I went to sleep and they totally stopped...for several days. But that was the beginning of the sleepless nights. I would have a hard time getting comfortable and getting to sleep only to be woken up within hours to go to the bathroom or with a random contraction. Then it would take me forever to get back to sleep...only to wake up again a few hours later. It was horrible, and by the following Thursday (the morning of my 39 week midwife appointment) I was at my wits' end. I took herbal supplements, did acupressure and even saw someone who does shiatsu just to try to get things started, but nothing made even the slightest difference. I was starting to get nervous because with the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana coming next week I did not want to be in the hospital alone over that holiday. So, when I saw my midwife on Thursday I begged her to strip my membranes. She did and also told me that I was a "stretchy" 3-4 cm dilated, so we knew that it wasn't going to be a long birth once things finally got started.

I went to bed on Thursday night a bit defeated that nothing had happened, since I was convinced that if I didn't go into labor at night that I for sure wouldn't go into labor in the morning. But when I did get up in the morning (around 7am thanks to Dovid looking for the Kindle Fire - and I got SO angry with him for waking me up since I was running on very little sleep) I noticed that I was having some contractions. They were uncomfortable, but I didn't think they were particularly regular. And I could still do other things during and between them - like run after Dovid screaming and finish my biochemistry project (which I did). Around 8:15am I called my friends Joanmichelle and Melanie who were going to be my doulas for the birth. Joanmichelle headed over to my house and Melanie went to work, knowing I would probably be calling her soon. It wasn't until about 8:30am that I decided to actually time them, and they were about 10 mins apart.

Joanmichelle arrived around 9:30am, and she was helping me through contractions, though I still thought they were somewhat irregular - they would speed up when I was walking around and then slow down if I sat. But they were still less than 10 minutes apart. By 10:30am I had gotten quite uncomfortable during contractions and knew that we had to leave. They were pretty close together - maybe every 5 mins or so - and I was not relishing the idea of doing them in the car any closer together than that.

We arrived at labor and delivery about 11am, and they took us into a triage room. I changed, got hooked up to monitors and then got checked around 11:30am. All the while the contractions were still about 5 mins apart or so and concentrated mainly in my back, which was not pleasant. Some of the time it would also migrate to my thighs, but at least that I could use hypnobabies to take care of - the back pain, not so much. When the midwife checked me I was already at 6cm, fully effaced and -2 station. I knew from experience that it would not take long for me to become fully dilated from this point - with Tzipora I went from 4 to complete in about an hour and a half. So, they took me into a room and I got situated there around noon.

By now the back pain was really terrible, so we tried everything. I already had a heat pack on, and whoever was closest to me would press on my back, but it was getting to be even too much for that. So we tried to put on my TENS machine. That helped maybe a little bit, but if the baby would move during a contraction, it would send me screaming about my back. Oh goodness I was having flashbacks to Tzipora's birth and not liking it. In contrast to Tzipora's birth, however, my contractions never really got much closer than every two minutes apart, I never got that "I've lost total control" feeling or had double-peaking contractions. I could easily talk and function in between contractions, and I never had the feeling of "oh just give me a break!" the way I did with Tzipora. But, from experience, I knew that I might feel better sitting on the toilet, so I headed over there just before 12:30pm. Sitting there was actually a bit better, but my midwife didn't want me sitting there for too long. She suggested that if I wanted things to pick up that I should get back on the bed and lie on my left side. I grumbled but obeyed.

As soon as I got on my side, the back pain during contractions was unreal. I was basically screaming for people to press on my back and whimpering (deja vu to Tzipora's birth!). The midwife had finally found another midwife who would do sterile water injections, but then said that I was probably complete and ready to push and to try and give her a good one. I was not convinced but did it anyway. She then checked me again, and I actually was fully dilated! sterile water injections again - the exact same thing happened with Tzipora. By now it was 12:48pm. So I started pushing, but unlike with Tzipora it was agony. I was very confused since I remembered pushing being so easy and much better than contractions, but the back pain wasn't going away and now I also had lower abdominal pain with it. So I pushed as hard as I possibly could to get the pain to go away, and I could feel her sort of slip right down. So now instead of the back pain I had the abdominal pain and the "head crowning" pain. At this point I really couldn't control pushing vs not pushing even though the midwife was telling me not to. lol She's telling me to slow down and blow, and I'm yelling back "I can't! I can't!" Luckily the pushing didn't take very long, and she was born at 12:52pm - 4 minutes after I started pushing. My water broke as she was crowning, and she was born in the caul - something very, very lucky and unusual. We also realized why I was having such back pain as well as pain during pushing. The baby was turned sideways - so her nose was facing my inner thigh vs my tush - and she had a hand up by her face! Crazy baby! But since she's such a little squeaker, I was able to birth her quickly and without trouble. If she had been an 8 lb baby with a big head I don't think she ever would have come down that way.

Here are some pictures of the little cutie and the family:

Gavriella's birth by numbers:

6 hrs after waking up in the morning
4 hrs after beginning timeable contractions - though even at 9:30am it was hard to time them...
2 hrs after arrival at the hospital
1 hr in the labor & delivery room
4 mins of pushing

But here's the really cool part... The twins were born on a Wednesday on the Hebrew date the 22nd of Adar. Tzipora was born on a Thursday on the Hebrew date the 23rd of Teves. So I bet you can guess what day of the week and Hebrew date Gavriella was born, right? ;) Friday the 24th of Elul.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

New Family

How do I even begin this post? No, it doesn't have to do with the baby - she's still baking away. But I'm hoping this post and the ones that come after will explain a little bit about my blogging absence for the last few months. So much has happened, but we were waiting for a good time to talk about it...which meant that I couldn't post about anything fun that was going on!

Let me start all the way at the beginning...over 60 years ago. My mother was born to two college students, and it was decided that she would be given up for adoption. Not many people in her biological family knew what was going on, but fortunately my mother was adopted into an amazing family. The adoption wasn't talked about, though basically everyone in my mother's extended adoptive family new about it, and for most of her life my mother really had no urge or intention to find her biological family - she had loving family and amazing parents, so what was the need, right? Then her adoptive father (Grandpa Bill) died in 2000 and her adoptive mother (Grandma Bess) in 2006, and I brought up the topic a few times to my mom over the years since then. I had even read this book about identical twin girls who had been adopted separately at birth and then found each other and, I believe, their birth family. I was pretty sure my mom wasn't a twin, but I was definitely curious about her birth family. In the fall of 2012 I saw an ad for an agency that helped get adoption records and find birth families, and I was finally able to convince her to see what we could find out.

Fast forward through several months of getting documents signed, notarized, and filed away with the agency...and, of course, waiting. In early March 2013, my mom received her adoption papers which named her birth mother (Grandma Lotta). Luckily for us her birth mother had a very uncommon name, so that coupled with the non-identifying information that we had from the adoption agency made it very easy to track her family down. Some basic genealogical searches led me right to the family within hours. Then I made a leap and contacted someone that was connected to the family on the genealogical website that I use ( I had no idea how close or far related this person was, but it was all that I had to go on.

I waited a few days and hadn't heard back from the woman, so I figured she probably thought I was totally insane. I mean, I had basically sent her a short note saying I thought this particular person on her family tree was my biological grandmother! Not exactly the type of email you expect to receive... But, in the intervening days this woman contacted one of Grandma Lotta's other children, Aunt Gina, who then used her expertise to track me down. She called my house and got my babysitter, who was completely confused. I was at school at the time, and my babysitter calls me on my cell phone saying she got a call from some random lady saying she was my sister or something. Immediately I knew it had to be my mother's sister, not mine, and I tried to keep from screaming gleefully into the phone. I don't think I was particularly successful at this, though. Luckily Aunt Gina had left her number with my babysitter, so I called her right up. And we talked...shared some basic information, tried to get our stories all straight, etc. It was March 4, Grandma Bess's birthday - coincidences like that just don't happen. In any case, none of the biological family even knew about the pregnancy, adoption, etc...except for one person - Grandma Lotta's brother - who eventually confirmed what we already had figured out. But that confirmation took a few days. I still have the voicemail saved that my Aunt Gina left on my cell phone when she got that final confirmation that she and my mom were sisters. There was no blood test necessary. The stories checked out perfectly, we had the document with Lotta's name and my mom's name, and just look at the family resemblance!

Guess which one is my mom and guess which one is her birth mother... ;) Even just looking at my mom and aunt next to each other now you can see they have the same nose and such. Aunt Gina has even said that sitting and talking to my mom feels like she's looking at their mother. Chana B has a very strong resemblance to one of my other aunts as well.

In any case, once all of this happened it took my mom a few days for the reality to sink in before she and her new found sister talked. And then my aunt went a step further and was able to track down my mother's birth father (Grandpa Joel). Unfortunately Grandma Lotta passed away a few years ago, but Grandpa Joel is still alive and well! Aunt Gina spoke with him and got his side of the story, and then eventually my mom made contact with him. In the mean time, Aunt Gina planned a trip to Boston for July so that she could meet everyone - my mom, sister and brother-in-law would all come up here for a little family reunion.

And that's why I haven't been able to update! I've wanted to post about our July adventures for ages, but I couldn't possibly do it without talking about Aunt Gina! Now that you're all clued in, hopefully in my next post I can get to talking about our fun in July and August...with pictures, of course. :) And there will be more to tell about Grandpa Joel, too.

P.S. I use the terms adoptive and biological/birth only to make things more easy to understand. Grandpa Bill and Grandma Bess will always be my grandparents who I love and miss terribly, I just happen to now have additional family to get to know, including some who live right here in Boston. The heart never gets consumed, it only grows bigger.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Oat Groats

Yes, I know I haven't posted in like 2 months. I've been busy! And exhausted. I was without child care for weeks and still having to work. I'm extremely lucky to now have family coming in to help out or I would really be up a creek. There's a lot to catch up on - like a visit from my mom, sister and brother-in-law in July with lots of kid pictures and the fact that I'm now 38 weeks pregnant. (YIPE) I haven't taken a belly pic in ages, mainly because the shirt I usually wear has been in the "laundry to do" pile for months. And when it comes out it gets dirty again before picture day. lol Anyway, to get back in some kind of writing groove before having this baby, I will tell you about my amazing discovery.

I'm not one of these organic, raw, healthy foods only people. Yes, I get some organic fruits and veggies, but I almost never shop at places like Whole Foods. Anyways, I saw an herbalist/shiatsu lady on Sunday and of course the first thing she wants me to do is switch things I'm eating. Like buying local goat milk instead of the stuff I get at Stop & Shop. HAHAHA Yeah right. And she suggests I buy seaweed to eat. Except it's like $30/lb. Heck no. Not unless I win the lottery. I have no problem eating seaweed, but I can't afford that kind of a pricetag. Then she suggests I buy oat groats to eat for breakfast instead of cereal. Ok, oats I can deal with. I like oatmeal, and she assured me it was very similar and that I would love it. Hmmmm.

So I ventured into Whole Foods, which is the only place on earth I could find oat groats. And lo and behold they have them in the bulk containers for like $1 something/lb. WOOOO SCORE! CHEAP OATS! Much cheaper than the quickie oat stuff you get in packets and with no added crud (like sugar or worse). But of course it needs to slow cook. Luckily I actually randomly have a quart-size crock pot that has never been used, so I figured I would put it to good use and have some oat groats. I set it up to cook overnight last night and served myself this morning. At first taste it wasn't bad but definitely needed a little sweetening, so I put in a little Splenda. That was a good move. Then I added raisins. That was an even better move. Then I devoured the whole bowl. OMG OAT GROATS!

My mission in life is now to get everyone to eat this for breakfast. lol If you want a healthy & cheap alternative to cereal and quickie oats, THIS IS SO IT! Yeah, you need a mini crockpot (unless you're planning to make a ton of it, which actually wouldn't be such a bad idea if you're feeding the whole family oats for breakfast) and it needs to be set up before bed, but that took all of 2 minutes. Here is my recipe for the awesomest breakfast ever:

1/2 cup oat groats
2 cups water

Put oat groats and water into crock pot. Set on low. Cook approx 8 hours. Add sugar/Splenda/Stevia/honey to taste and chuck in some raisins if you want. Makes just about 2 servings.

I think the difficult part of this is going to be cleaning the crock pot. lol Excuse oat groats are calling...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Licensed to Heal

I sent out my application for my nursing license the day before my last post here. They give time estimates on the website on how long it may take for you to receive your authorization to test, and I wasn't expecting to receive it until this past Wed at the very earliest. I got my email with authorization the day before that! So I logged in and scheduled my test. Luckily someone had canceled their appointment, so I was able to get a test date just two days later (Thursday, which was yesterday). Woo! Everything went so quickly, that it was almost a blur. I knew I was ready, so that wasn't an issue. I just ramped up my studying a bit.

The night before the exam I had one of those dreams where your alarm doesn't go off, you get up too late and miss everything. That was horrific. I was so relieved when I awoke from the dream and it was only about 5:15am. Ugh! I wasn't planning to get up till 6... So I figured I would get a bit of last-minute studying in and then I left on a very early bus to get downtown.

I got to the test center extremely early (7am for an 8am start time), and I was first to get registered when they opened at 7:20. I started the exam some time around 7:30. I got nervous after the first few questions because I had a feeling I had gotten them all wrong, so I took a deep breath and calmed myself down. Then I got into my groove. 

The NCLEX isn't like other tests. First of all it gives you harder questions when you get one right and easier ones when you get one wrong. Also, it doesn't matter how many you get right. It wants to know that you can answer questions at a certain level. Once it's ascertained where your knowledge/comprehension level is, then it knows if you're going to pass. Third, the test doesn't only have multiple choice questions. It also has "alternative-type" questions like "fill in the blank" (which are math questions), put in the correct order, choose all that apply, and ones with pictures. Our Kaplan review teacher told us that all alternative-type questions are above passing level, so if you get them then you know you're on the right track. Every time I got one of these alternative-type questions, I did an internal cheer. It really kept me going because I knew that I was above passing - and I had a bunch of them! 

The NCLEX has between 75 and 265 questions. If the system has figured out your knowledge level after 75 questions then it shuts you off - pass or fail. If it hasn't figured you out, then you keep getting questions until it does. At 265 it shuts off regardless, and then I think it takes an average of your last 60 questions or so to figure out if you pass or not. I started getting excited when I neared 75, because I had a feeling it would cut me off. I knew I was above passing because of all of those questions, and as soon as I hit the button after answering question 75 I got the blue screen telling me I was finished. YAY! At that point I don't even think it was 8:15 yet, and I was very excited.

I knew that it would take about 3 business days for me to get official notification of passing, but once again someone is working over time at the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing because the next day (today) I got my license number in an email with my official letter from the state. Even though I knew I had passed, it was still incredible to see the congratulations from the state in writing with my license number. So that's it! I'm officially a registered nurse!!! Hopefully I'll be able to start an online BSN program in August and then midwifery school about a year from now. My journey has just begun.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

3rd Trimester

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted. Yikes. And I've been horrible about taking belly pictures, too. I keep forgetting until it's too late at night and then I just want to pass out. Lots of things have happened since mid-May, so I'll try to recap.

First up, I graduated from nursing school with highest honors. Yay! I got A's this semester, but because I got an A- in the fall, I didn't get my 4.0 and was not valedictorian. Oh well! But I was completely bedecked in various colored stoles during graduation, and I was elected to Phi Theta Kappa as well. Tzipora loved graduation so much that she keeps asking me to go back (even now), though she calls it "grabuations." It's hilarious.

A week after graduation, we piled everyone into the car and drove to Rochester for a cousin reunion. We had an incredible time there, and the kids are still talking about and asking about their cousins. Even though my kids were the youngest, the older kids were amazing about keeping them involved in the games and playing with them. I wish our cousins lived closer, because it would be amazing to have them together more often. These are pictures taken by my brother-in-law, of course. Though I did take some of my own, I've been too lazy to get them off my camera.

In pregnancy news, I've passed into 3rd trimester and am now seeing my midwife every other week. Yikes! I didn't even realize we had gotten that far until she reminded me at today's appointment. Baby is doing well, though she's smaller than average. Her heart issues are a thing of the past B"H, and I'm feeling pretty well. I will try to get a photo taken today so you can see how my belly has grown. I'm still doing really well on the weight gain part of things, too. My midwife is really proud of me for keeping it under control. Though with my new addiction to Starbucks Iced Chai Tea Lattes (skim milk, of course), that may change. hehe

While I'm waiting to take my nursing licensing exam (NCLEX), I'm working as a real estate salesperson. I'm actually really enjoying it, and it's great to be working with the same "boss" I've had since 2008. Though since we've known each other so long it's hardly the relationship you might expect a broker and salesperson to have - we're really more partners than anything else, and we work really well together in that respect. After 5 years we've gotten very comfortable with each other, so I'm not afraid to speak my mind, and she takes everything I say to heart. It's really great. Though I am looking forward to getting a nursing job, I know I'm going to have to wait until the baby is a few months old to do that, and I'm glad to have something to do in the mean time.

While I'm working this summer, the kids are all going to different day camps. I can't believe my twins are going to pre-school next year and that they're old enough for a real day camp. It's absolutely unreal. Tzipora has also gotten so big, and she talks almost constantly. The things that I hear my kids say could fill a joke book. Tzipora also "graduated" from Early Intervention this past week, so that was a bittersweet moment. Chana and Tzipora usually play pretty well together, and it's nice to see them interacting as sisters. Their pretend play keeps me entertained! And I'm always happy to get in on their fun. My usual roles are as patient while they are doctors or as a spa patron while someone either pretends to give me a bubble bath or combs my hair. Tzipora has this thing about hair... It calms her to play with or stroke someone's hair. Whether it's her own, grabbing a doll's hair, or running her fingers through mine, it's like a sedative. If I'm wearing a snood around the house, she will take it clean off to get at my hair so she can play with it. She's a future shaytel macher (woman who sells, styles and cuts wigs/hair), that's for sure. Though she also enjoys pretending to be my doctor and giving me a checkup, so maybe she'll do both.

I don't think I missed anything huge, and I will try to remember to post more often. It's just difficult when I'm trying to keep the kids from getting into trouble every other second. And if anyone has any tips on getting a little boy to listen and follow directions, I'm all ears.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

There were many times in the past when I never thought I would get to celebrate Mother's Day in any fashion, let alone with a brood of children running around the house. This morning I was woken up by Chana & Dovid yelling "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!" as they ran into my room. Once Tzipora was taken out of her crib, she was encouraged to come in and do the same, but instead she told me to go back to sleep. hehe When Shmuel got home from synagogue, he surprised me with a card and flowers. Unfortunately I've been suffering with a cold for the past several days, so I couldn't smell the roses. Oops. But it's the thought that counts, and they're gorgeous flowers.

As for my cold, it's been getting worse and worse, and the sinus pain became so unbearable that I called the doc today. And when I say unbearable, I mean it. I took two Tylenol around 4:30am...didn't work so well. Caved and took a Percocet around 9:30am...worked better, but still in pain. Took a 600mg Motrin (yes I have a prescription for it) a little after noon, and FINALLY my face does not feel as though someone has taken an ax to it, though it still hurts somewhat. The doc prescribed antibiotics for a sinus infection. Ugh. Not how I wanted to spend this week, but hopefully I will start to feel better asap. I have waaaay too much to get done in the next two days, and feeling this sick does not bode well for me getting any cooking done. Besides, I'M GRADUATING ON FRIDAY and need to be at my top game. :-) No, I'm not valedictorian because I screwed up my GPA last semester by getting an A-, but I did pull all A's this semester and will be graduating with highest honors (3.96 GPA!) I was also inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, which is the community college version of Phi Beta Kappa, the honors society. And at the honor's assembly for people on the President's and Dean's lists I had someone who was insanely impressed at the fact that I had pulled off President's List while being pregnant. Then she found out I already had 3 kids, which floored her. lol Eh, I couldn't do it without Shmuel and Michelle. They make it easy for me to get good grades.

Now I just need to take my NCLEX, get my license and find a job...somehow. How I'm expected to find a job at 7 months pregnant is beyond me, but I have to at least try. Because I need about 6 months to a year of nursing experience before applying to midwifery school I'm considering doing a (relatively) inexpensive and (relatively) short RN to BSN online program. It would make it easier for me to get into midwifery school, I'd have less of an application process, and it would mean I'm still a student for another year (yay for being in deferment on my original student loan and getting a break on my taxes!) But oh how much I just want to be DONE!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What Else Is New?

Well, for starters I'll give you my latest belly pic. I feel like some weeks I don't change at all and then others I'm growing like mad. This pregnancy is so different from my other two, it's pretty uncanny. For starters, I began the pregnancy 10 lbs lighter than with the other two. I've also be insanely conscious about not gaining an extraordinary amount of weight. I was very careless with both of my other pregnancies and wound up gaining 50 lbs with each. For someone who started off already overweight, that's just way too much. And then afterward I'm not the kind of person who breastfeeds and loses it all. When I breastfeed, my body holds onto every pound as if it were gold. It's an incredible struggle to lose anything when I'm breastfeeding. *shakes my fist at those women whose weight drops off when they breastfeed* Anyway, I did eventually lose the weight, but it was a lot of starvation to do it. My body can only take about 1000 calories per day if I'm trying to lose weight, otherwise I gain. It's so hard being short...

Luckily I started off this pregnancy with 3 months of nausea. That definitely helped! Not only didn't I gain in 1st trimester, but I lost about 3 or 4 lbs. Baby grew, mommy didn't. Score! Now that I'm hungry all the time, I'm very aware of how much food I'm putting in. I still have to be really strict about my calorie intake, or I'll gain a lb in one joke. Now that I've reached 20 weeks (almost 21) and have only gained about what I lost in 1st trimester, I'm planning on 1/2 lb a week in gain. That way I will have only gained about 10 or 15 lbs by the end, which is appropriate for someone who has started off overweight. Plus the fact that I know how much weight I lose when I give birth - just about 10 lbs per baby, including the baby. So after I had Tzipora, I lost 10 lbs in that first week or so and then plateaued. With the twins I lost about 20 lbs and then plateaued. So if I can gain only about 10 or 15, then I will have lost the necessary baby weight and not have to starve myself down to a normal weight postpartum. YAY!

In other news, we spent last Friday on lockdown so that the Watertown (and Boston) PD could catch the marathon bomber suspect. It was an incredibly tense day, and honestly I was terrified enough to not even want to go outside! So forget about being told to stay in, I didn't want to go anywhere anyway. Of course we had to prepare for the Sabbath anyway, so we were kept busy. We are all so grateful for the tremendous effort that all of the first responders put in. I drove by the Watertown PD today and saw that people had hung up balloons and signs outside the gates. It was such a nice feeling to see that. I know a bunch of people on Facebook wanted to send the police pizzas after the suspect was taken away - and I believe at least one person did. I live in such a great community, can't you tell? You can't keep Boston down!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon

Every year the third Monday in April is Patriot's Day here in Massachusetts. It's also Boston Marathon day. I seem to forget this each year and have to be reminded that I won't be able to cross Beacon St. This effectively limits where I can go in the city. I do have a test tomorrow, but I decided to take a chunk of time out of my day to go visit some cemeteries down south near the border of Rhode Island where I wanted to take pictures. I headed out just after lunch, and it took me about an hour to get down there. I did my thing, and just after 3pm I headed back to the city. On my way back nothing seemed amiss. I felt like I drove past more police cars than usual on the highway, but nothing out of the ordinary. There was one police car with what was more like a van than an ambulance that passed, both with lights and sirens. I shrugged it off and made my way back home. There was no more traffic than usual, and I had successfully avoided all of the marathon craziness.

I get back home, and Dovid is sitting on the couch not feeling well. I took his temperature and then spent nearly half an hour trying to get him to take some Tylenol. *grumble* When I had finally gotten most of the correct dose in him, I looked at my phone and saw a text from a friend of mine. "Oh my god please tell me you're ok" Umm...what? I looked at it with one eyebrow raised and replied "I'm fine, why?" It's not like I was missing or something... I had been on Twitter earlier in the day, so I couldn't imagine why she was freaking out about my safety. Then I log into Twitter and see numerous tweets sent to me from various friends:

"some jackass blew up the boston marathon finish line, you want to stay well away from the whole area, will be clogged up with EMTs"

"Are you alright?!"

Then from the friend who had texted me who was obviously more than a little worried. She only got more worried when I didn't respond right away:

"hey are you okay? I heard something about an explosion in Boston.."

"Has anyone heard from Elana recently?"

"God I wish I had Elana's phone number or address or something right now.."

"I won't be okay until I know that Elana is okay.."

"Watching the news, scanning every face, praying that I see Elana just so I know she's okay.."

Yep, those are all from the same person. I logged in just in time to see that last one and was still clueless as to what had happened. I got a lot more "I hope she's ok" type tweets just after that, but luckily by then I was online and could put everyone's fears to rest. I'm also lucky that Shmuel made it home before I even found out about it, otherwise I would have been worried sick. I'm actually a bit surprised that the T was running, but I guess he got lucky, too.

I'm still in shock that anyone would set off explosives at the Boston Marathon. It's completely ridiculous that this would happen in the place I've called home for over a decade. I consider Boston to be exceptionally safe, and now? It's unthinkable! I'm just lucky I don't ever have anything to do with the race. I don't live near the start or the finish lines, though the runners come right through my neighborhood, and I could technically walk over and watch them run through. I never go out to see them, and I don't think I've ever known anyone who's actually run it. But I'm in the minority with that. People all over Boston are looking for family and friends who might have been in the area.

I feel like this can't have been my city. MY city! Twitter's exploding with #PrayForBoston and other such hashtags. And I just can't even connect that this happened in my Boston. My home. This is where I raise my children! Parents took their kids as a treat to see the runners finish, and they were treated with two bombs going off, injuring several dozen people and killing at least two. One of them was an eight-year-old child. Who would do this? And why? It just doesn't make sense to me...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Squishy Baby

We got to see our cute little baby girl on ultrasound today. Yep, she's still a girl, no doubt about it. Shmuel got the eye of doom when the ultrasound tech showed us the tushie shot. I went "yeah, that's a girl" and gave him a look. The ultrasound tech was like "yep, it have a girl already?" and I nodded. She asked "do you have only girls?" And I shook my lonely boy. Poor Dovid. Well, he will just have to remain outnumbered for now.

She is definitely a cutie, though. I think she has the Chana B pouty mouth going on here. Can't wait to see who she looks like!

While the main part of the ultrasound at 18 weeks is usually to check growth and structures, our ultrasound had all that plus an in-depth look at baby's heart. A week or so ago I checked her heartbeat with a doppler. I had done a lot more exercise that day than I usually do - out shopping and cooking. When the day was over and hadn't felt the baby as much as I had the previous days, I was worried and used my doppler to find the heart rate. I could tell that the heartbeat was somewhat irregular and incredibly fast - somewhere between 210 and 240 bpm or so. I made sure to rest extra and then retested in the morning. No longer irregular, but still definitely over 200. So I checked again that night, same thing. At that point I would have sworn it was going above 250. The next morning it was regularly irregular. Like going beat, beat, small pause (repeat) - almost like a missed beat, but maybe not quite enough time for one. But this time it was super slow - like 110.  The day after that I was finally able to go to the midwife's office, and it was around 150 but still regularly irregular (beat, beat, beat, pause, repeat). Since we already had this ultrasound scheduled, and since there's nothing they can do about it so early, we waited the week to see what her heart looked like structurally and to determine what (if anything) was causing this irregularity.

Fast forward to today, B"H her heart looks structurally normal. We could see that it was beating irregularly, and everyone from the ultrasound tech to the MFM doctor agreed that her heart was having what's known as PAC's (premature atrial contractions). The doctor explained that most likely it's because all of this baby's "wiring" is brand new and hasn't matured enough yet. So, we're going to keep a watch on it. I'll have another ultrasound in two weeks to check that and also check my cervix again. (Cervix was looking fine today.) I was also given permission to go back on the beta blocker I was using to control my migraines before pregnancy. This might even help the baby get her heartbeats on track, but the big side effect that they want to check for is IUGR (growth restriction). I use the lowest dose, so hopefully it won't affect her, but they need to make sure anyway, and I'm not going to turn down a perfectly good ultrasound opportunity.

In other news, I just started my last clinical rotation of nursing school, and it's on the maternity floor at the hospital I go to. So far I've only been on the floor one day, but I actually got to participate in a birth (and hang with the mom postpartum). It was pretty sweet, and probably the best clinical day ever.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Passover Keeping Me Busy

Sorry I have been so terrible about posting, but Passover, among other things, has made life a bit crazy. I'm just about to start my last clinical rotation of nursing school. I get to spend the next 5 weeks on the maternity ward where I'll be delivering this baby! YAY!

Speaking of this baby, we've had some concerns over the last week and hope to get some answers at our fetal survey ultrasound this Friday. I'll keep you guys informed on whatever happens.

And now, for the newest belly pic. I do actually look bigger than I did 2 weeks ago, so that makes me happy. Enjoy!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Newest Belly Pics

I posted my newest belly pics on my Tripod site. I am decidedly smaller than I was at 12 weeks, so I must assume that I was bloated that week. Haha But we know baby is growing fine, and I just started to feel her kick this week - literally exactly on the stroke of 16 weeks I started feeling real taps. This morning I woke up and could feel her bouncing around, so I put my hand on my belly and actually could feel it from the outside! Very neat. But anyway, I think being so much skinnier this time around has made a difference. My belly is SO much smaller than it was with Tzipora, and looks more in line with how I was with the twins. Enjoy!

Friday, March 15, 2013

It's a...

We had our gender determination ultrasound yesterday, and I figured I would share the news with all of you.

Now don't forget to make your official baby pool guess!

Btw, I know I haven't posted my 14 week belly pic yet. I did take it, but I'm too lazy to get it on the computer. I'll do it along with the 16 week one next week.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

We're Going on an Adventure!

Well, we "went" on an adventure. Chana's been asking me to see the baby, so we took her and Dovid to our nuchal translucency ultrasound yesterday. We were a bit nervous because we didn't know if they would behave or not, but they did pretty well on the whole. They were quite interested in the fact that we were in a hospital (and one they had never been to before). Dovid kept insisting that we were at the dentist, though I'm not sure why.

At my hospital they have big TV screens on the wall so the mom (and anyone else in the room) can watch the ultrasound in progress without craning their necks to look at the tech's screen. So we encouraged the kids to watch on the screen, and they loved it! We got to see the little one bouncing all around (and causing trouble for the technicians). Heartbeat was around 160, as usual, and baby was measuring a few days ahead at 12w5d. Nuchal fold came in at about 1.5mm. She measured it several times and that was the absolute largest measurement she got - average was probably 1.2mm. So, that was well within the normal range. Yay! They also took my blood for that portion of the screening.

All in all it was a good visit, and they want me to schedule my "big" ultrasound for 18 weeks. So there's less than 6 weeks to go until then!

I think this baby looks a lot like Dovid's 12 week ultrasound. Baby was also bouncing around a ton and is measuring ahead, which also leads me to think it might be a boy. I'll keep my fingers crossed on that one. ;-) If you haven't already, don't forget to enter my baby pool!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Belly Pics #4

It is that time, again. Time to begin the belly pics! I've got such a cute little bump already. In looking at my comparison pics from last time, I think I'm looking pretty comparable to how I did at 12 weeks with Tzipora.  I can't tell if I'm a smidge bigger or a smidge smaller, considering I weigh more than 10 lbs less than I did when the 12 week pic was taken last time. What do you think? Click on my belly pic in the sidebar to look at the side-by-side pics.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Purim Carnival

It was freezing and snowing this morning. Not weather I would usually go out in, but I had sent Shmuel next door to help the kids pick out Purim costumes last night, and I wanted to make sure they would get worn...

The holiday of Purim is coming up next week, and my synagogue holds a little carnival every year for the kids. I never had any reason to go before I had kids, of course, but I always knew when it was, and it was just another reminder to me of how much it stunk not having kids and not knowing when or if I would be able to attend the carnival. And so it went for two years of infertility. The third year I was heavily pregnant with the twins at carnival time and not allowed to go anywhere. In searching through my emails today for the info about this year's carnival I came across an emailed conversation between myself and a good friend of mine. She had invited Shmuel and I for the Purim festive meal that year, and I had commented to her that I wanted to go to the synagogue to hear the megillah read but would need a ride. As luck would have it, I was in the hospital during Purim and was therefore unable to go to both her meal and to hear the megillah. But the rabbi of my synagogue actually came to my hospital room and read it for me. That was pretty incredible, since it was late at night, and I'm sure he was exhausted. By the next year the twins were almost one and crawling all over the place. I was beyond determined to get to the carnival, so I bought them costumes, dressed them up and went.

This picture is actually from the Purim party at the Chabad house at Brandeis, but it's the same year and the same costumes, so you get the idea. It's so funny to see Chana B small enough to actually fit on one leg of my lap! Anyway, they didn't get too much out of the carnival that year since they were much too young to play the games, but at least I could show them off and let them crawl around in their costumes.

The year after that, Tzipora was still quite little, I didn't feel comfortable taking all three out at once, and the twins weren't even 2 yet, so I wasn't sure they'd be able to play games anyway. The year after, I believe I was just being lazy and didn't get costumes for anyone. That's what nursing school will do to you! So we just didn't go.

This year I was going to get them to that carnival, because the twins are now definitely old enough to play and enjoy games, and even Tzipora is big enough to play! Besides, I knew the kids would love dressing up in costumes. But of course then it started snowing, and it's beyond freezing outside. We weren't even sure the carnival would still be on, but I didn't care and bundled everyone up anyway. We made it to the carnival (which was still running - this is Boston!), and the kids ran around playing games and having fun for almost an hour. My huge proud moment was Chana B telling me she had to use the potty and doing so. YAY! I might just say she's potty trained, but it makes me nervous to say something like that out loud...don't want to jinx it. But the fact that she stayed dry even outside the house was huge. We got lots of tickets to redeem for a whole bunch of prizes, half of which were broken before we even got home. LOL But Dovid got a little truck and a little airplane (big surprise there), Chana picked a fan and a pair of sunglasses, Tzipora got a strange pair of glasses and a spinning top, and I nabbed two pinwheels to give to the kids for being well behaved. They also all got pastries while we were there - chocolate cupcakes for the twins, a brownie for Tzipora. So all in all it was a successful trip. It cost me just over $20, but to watch my kids having fun at the carnival was priceless.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I may have felt the baby for the first time today. I know it's crazy early, but I got that buzzing feeling that I remember from being pregnant before. I know it was in the right place for where the baby is, because later in the day when I was at the midwife's office, that's where she found the heartbeat (in the 160's). We won't know for sure unless it happens again, but I figured I would just put this down here for posterity in case it is the baby. I can't remember the first time I felt Tzipora move because I didn't write it down anywhere. Oops. I learn from my mistakes!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Heartbeat Fun

For a few days I've been trying to see if I could get baby's heartbeat on the doppler, but I wasn't having any luck. Until this morning when I tried and found it almost immediately! I found it toward my left side, so I think that's where baby must have implanted. I listened for a while, calculated the heart rate (which was in the 170's), then posted gleefully on my Twitter about it asking if anyone wanted to hear. Of course people did! Ugh...that meant I needed to try to get it AND video. So I then spent the rest of the day trying to locate baby again. LOL Just because I could find it easy once didn't mean I would again. I tried like three times over the course of the day before finally getting it. Yay! So, I made a little video, and you can watch it. At the beginning I say it's "just for Sarah." I was going to say more, but then the baby moved, and I had to relocate the doppler, so it threw my attention. Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Let it Snow

Winter Storm Nemo is upon us! It started snowing before I woke up this morning and has been coming down steadily ever since. You can still see the grass in some places, but in others it's covered over. They pre-salted the roads, so as of an hour or so ago it still wasn't sticking there. Boston sure knows how to do snow! Luckily I have nowhere to be today, and neither does anyone else in the house. We're in for the long haul.

The beginning of my semester has gone really well. We started off with learning about postpartum, labor and delivery, and newborn. Talk about the perfect start to something! lol We took our first test earlier this week, and I'm itching to get the results back. I've never felt so close to 100% on a test in nursing school before, so I'm really psyched to see if I pulled it off.

Other than that, I'm still suffering with the nausea and now the mother of all yeast infections on top of it. My nose is still running from the cold I got a month ago, too. I'm falling apart at the seams! lol But it's ok, honestly the nausea is the only thing that bothers me greatly. I'm not much good to anyone when I feel sick, which is difficult because I need to be studying, and I just don't want to do anything except sit and veg out. I forgot how weird first trimester is because you can't feel the baby yet, you can't get the heartbeat on doppler, and this time around I'm not even really noticeably showing yet. So the only thing I have that's cluing me in to the baby's well-being is this overwhelming nausea and exhaustion. At 10 1/2 weeks I'm getting very close to the end of the embryonic stage, so baby will look humanoid at the next ultrasound. I still have 2 weeks until then, but I'm really looking forward to seeing that. :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Secret

As you might remember, I first hinted to being pregnant with the title "Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe". Well, now here is the reveal of "the secret" and everything that's been going on for the last month or so.

We started TTC #4 at the beginning of October. I randomly got my period that month even though I was on progesterone-only birth control pills, so I figured I would ask Shmuel if I should refill the birth control pills, and he said to chuck I did. We didn't know if it would be one cycle or ten or even more, considering our history. With the twins it was two years and numerous infertility treatments before we got pregnant. With Tzipora we tried naturally and got pregnant in three months. I guess Shmuel wasn't convinced that Tzipora's conception wasn't just a fluke. And to be honest, there were times I thought it was a fluke myself. But honestly I had faith that it would work again this time...the "regular" way. And I was right. After three cycles (again!) I was staring at a BFP in disbelief. I had an inkling at 7 dpo when my temperature chart showed an obvious implantation dip, but I didn't want to get my hopes up at that point. But on 10 dpo I took a test, and I would have sworn I saw a very, very faint second line. At 11dpo I took more tests...and I figured that they were all defective. That I was imagining things. That since these tests were expired they were completely useless. I mean, it didn't matter every other cycle they were completely blank and now they had second lines... So I popped into CVS after Shabbos (12/22) and bought a slew of non-expired tests and a package of digital tests as well. And I took them...

Ok, fine. I couldn't really argue with that. So I figured it was time to tell Shmuel, and I brought in the digital test to show him. He was skeptical and asked if it could be I brought him the one you see at the bottom. He was still skeptical, so I offered to show him the other ten tests all with second lines on them. He declined that... lol

Since I was planning to leave town on the 24th, the only way to get a beta drawn was Sunday the 23rd. And the person I spoke with on the phone also offered to give me a "prescription" for more blood work that I could take with me on my trip. I wasn't sure how that was going to work, but it was something. Either way, at 12dpo (12/23), my hCG was 80 mIU/ml, and my progesterone was 26 ng/ml. If you're keeping track, both levels are higher than Tzipora's at the same dpo. However, I believe I implanted a full day earlier than with her, which can definitely make the difference.

I left on my trip to Missouri on the 24th and then had a great first Christmas Eve and Christmas celebrating with Heavyn, Toby and the Curtis family. I think Sister Curtis had the best reaction to a pregnancy announcement that I've ever seen. I wish I had a video of it, because it was classic. She basically screamed , jumped up and down, and started dancing. She was then recruiting her daughters to dance with her all around the room. Toby and Kaleb were both trying to get me to name the baby after them. Good luck with that, gentlemen...

I was taking HPTs the whole time from Christmas Eve onward and was incredibly frustrated and nervous when they were going lighter then darker then lighter then darker. I couldn't get my next blood draw till the 26th because of the holiday, but luckily my doctor had written an order for it and the hospital near there took it with no problems. I went back and got my results in person the same day... 273 mIU/ml! Perfectly doubled, almost exactly - doubling time of 40 hours. If you remember, Tzipora's and the twins' levels doubled more quickly, so I was hopeful it might be a boy this time. (Some people say boys have lower hCG levels and that the numbers double slower than with girls.)

Two days later (17 dpo) I was back at the medical center for my next blood test. I actually waited there for the results, and they were done in an hour. Very fast work! We were now up to 620 mIU/ml! Still doubing in just about 40 hours. I was so relieved that all was going so well so far and that my numbers were doing exactly what I was hoping they would.

I had to wait the weekend for my last blood test (20 dpo). It was snowy, and the Curtises were out of town for the holiday, so I actually borrowed Heavyn's car and drove myself down to the medical center. The roads actually weren't that bad - they got much worse that evening. That result was 3245 mIU/ml! Nearly double what I was expecting and now doubling in 30 hours.

All went well for the end of my trip, except of course that I hate flying and was nervous and nauseous all that evening (the 3rd). Unfortunately for me it didn't end there. At that point I was only 5 1/2 weeks pregnant, but I was starting to be nauseous each evening, which each night getting progressively worse. Until the 8th (6 weeks) when I was just nauseous all day long...and the 9th it got worse. I'm honestly the worst person when it comes to nausea. I just can't take it. And I was super lucky with the twins and Tzipora. It was never all day and usually just struck at dinner time. And it really didn't peak until about 10 or 11 weeks and then quickly dissipated. But this is a whole new ballgame. I don't know if it's because I was dehydrated or what, but I gave up and went to the ER for fluids and IV nausea meds. I had been taking oral meds (the same stuff they give in IV), but it wasn't working...not even a little bit. I felt LOADS better after getting some fluids in, and of course the doctor insisted I go for an ultrasound...and who am I to argue, right?

They don't have neat ultrasound printers in the ER, so I snuck this pic in with my phone. You can see the gestational sac in the middle and a little baby blob at the bottom. Baby #4 is an overachiever, measuring in at 6w4/5d when I was just 6w1d (or really 6w2d since it was nearly midnight). And little baby had a heart rate of 118 bpm, which is perfect for how far along I was.

My morning sickness (well, it's never in the morning, though, just the rest of the day and especially evening) has been a nightmare this time around. When I started dry heaving one evening at around 7 1/2 weeks, I gave up and went back to the ER for more fluids. Unfortunately, while I felt better initially, I felt just as rotten going home as I did when I was on my way there. The fact that it was 2am probably had something to do with that, though, as I was beyond exhausted. The one good thing that came out of it was another ultrasound, which the tech let me tape a little part of. She was super sweet, too.

You can see the heartbeat going along at about 160bpm, and the baby was measuring about a day or so ahead. So, just perfect!

I've already had my first prenatal appointment with the midwives, and I'll see them again around 12 weeks. I'll also have my next ultrasound at that point for the nuchal translucency screening. Can't wait to see the little one then! In the mean time, if you've stuck around for the whole post, you can now go and join in the baby pool. Winner will get something cool, though I don't know what yet. Probably will get to hold the baby or change a diaper or something. :-D

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


No, Shmuel doesn't want me telling people, but you know how often I listen to him regarding this topic. (So if you see him in public or talk to him on the phone, don't say anything to him yet...wait until the end of Feb unless he happens to mention it himself.) I have a whole huge post just about ready which tells alllll about it, but for now I'll just let it sink in...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Missouri Trip

Yes, I realize I have not posted in a month. There's a very good reason for this, but you won't know for a few more days. Sorry! But I can give you pictures from my Missouri trip to keep you happy until then...

I went on my trip to Missouri and had a great time with Heavyn and the Curtis family. I even got to see Toby again for my first day while I was there, which was awesome. I "celebrated" my first Christmas while over there, complete with a tree and presents. Now you may wonder why on earth a Jewish girl would celebrate Christmas. No, I'm not converting or anything. I read a fantastic book called Kosher Jesus by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. It basically solidified everything I ever personally believed about Jesus - that he was a good man, a great rabbi and teacher, and someone to be respected and looked up to. Many Jews celebrate the birthdays and death anniversaries of certain great rabbis, so I decided that Jesus really deserved just as much. I didn't go to church or anything, but I put up a tree so we could pile presents under it. *wink wink nudge nudge*

Behold, the very first (and probably only ever) Colin Morgan Christmas tree. LOL Though he's not the only person on it, he got the most baubles. There's plenty of Bradley James, a few of the guys from Supernatural and, of course, pictures from ColdCon.

Christmas Eve we had dinner at the Curtises, though I wasn't feeling well and couldn't really eat much. I really, really don't like flying, and I was still feeling a bit queasy from the whole thing.

From the left and going clockwise you can see Heavyn (in profile), then the tip of Ammon's nose, Corban drinking, Solana pouring, Caleb, Elder Clements, and then the back of Toby's head. The empty chair next to Heavyn is mine.

I snuck a picture here of Kaleb in the rocking chair falling asleep. Just after this we prepared to perform the nativity for a woman who lives in the city. Heavyn, Toby and I were recruited to be the three wise guys, complete with costumes and everything. We were completely perfect at it, of course.

After doing our performance, we went out caroling around town and giving out cookies. I knew some of the carols and faked the rest. :-D Christmas Eve was probably the most excitement I had during my trip, though I did get to see the Curtises several times and, of course, I hung out with Heavyn quite a bit. There was a lot of movie-watching, tweeting and driving around town looking for something fun to do. On one of our searches for the best place to eat in town, we found a restaurant called The Palace which has several Camelot-themed menu items. It was so epic! Sir Lancelot (it's a pizza), Round Table (that's an appetizer), Guinevere's Salad, Dragon's Breath (that's a sandwich), and The Gauntlet (another sandwich) are some examples. We were just disappointed there was no Merlin salad.

On my last day in town, on the way to the airport, I went with Solana and Christa to the Mormon visitors centers in Liberty, MO and Independence, MO. The one in Liberty has a replica of the jail where Joseph Smith was imprisoned for several months over a cold winter.

The presentations were very informative and interesting, and I really enjoyed learning more about Mormons and their origins. You'd think being from upstate NY that I would know this stuff, but I knew absolutely nothing until very recently. In fact, I had no idea the religion even started in NY! Yeah, I know...I'm so bad. 

That's Solana on the left, me in the middle and Christa on the right. After our escapades at the visitors centers, they took me to the airport. I had upgraded one of my flights to first class because the upgrade was SUPER cheap and gave me free checked luggage, so here's the view from first class...

I forgot that tray tables don't come out in front of you in first class, they come from your arm rest next to you! The only down side to being in first class on this particular airplane is the fact that the bathroom is allllll the way at the back - no first class toilets. So even though I had to pee like mad, I had to wait for the lady with the drink cart to serve everyone in the back of the plane before I could go. *cry* It was really, really awful. But, I survived my flights and got back home.

My next post, hopefully, will give you more of an idea of what I did during the bulk of my trip.