Wednesday, May 7, 2008
It's Yom Hazikaron in Israel, and since it's 7:20 a.m., the Country has 12 hours left to mourn. Last night was very sad, Pidgeon and I held off dinner until after the siren. We stood together in front of our TV in silence, and I cried. I blame it on the jet lag and the pregnancy hormones-gone-wild. The TV is full of stories of lost soldiers, and the families left behind to mourn their hero children. It's difficult to watch, especially since now I'm B"H going to be a Mother myself too. I can't fathem this type of pain. Pidgeon has to meet with his Professor for a few hours today in Shoresh, and I'm going to be staying close to home. We hope to go to shul tonight for Yom HaAtzmaut tefillah and then a BBQ at his parents home. It's not easy for me to go from super sad to jubilant in a matter of minutes. I don't know how Israeli's do it year in and year out. That's really one thing about Israeli culture I hope to adapt to, the immediate and acceptable shift from Yom Hazikaron to Yom HaAtzmaut.
Yesterday was surreal, I walked around under the jet lag haze and tried to do what needed to be done but failed pretty miserably. Pidgeon's car battery died and no amount of boosting could resurrect it. So, with 25 minutes to go until our Dr. appointment, we made the decision to hitch a ride to the Dr. and deal with the car battery when we returned. Our wait at the Dr.'s office wasn't too long, and when he finally took us in I told him just how lousy I've been feeling lately. He smiled for the first time in the 6 months since I've been his patient and then recommend acupuncture as a known remedy for morning sickness. One needle a day is enough for me (explanation to follow) so I decided to pass and just pray that this nausea will subside on its own in a few days. We went into the examination room and he decided to do a belly ultrasound, which I was thrilled about since I'm not a fan of the internal ones. Pidgeon came into the room with us and suddenly, there was our baby! We watched as the baby played with its feet and both of us just kept saying: Oh my G-d, Oh my G-d, Oh my G-d!
I'm keeping a scrapbook of all our ultrasound pictures, and you can really get a better sense of what the baby looks like at this stage of my pregnancy. It's so amazing sometimes to think that this little baby is growing and alive inside of me! I called my Mom when we got home and told her the news. She decided to dub the baby Tater Tot because I had the stronger urge for Tater Tots when I was home and almost ate an entire bag myself. Which is a pretty good indication as to why I put on 7 pounds in 3 weeks! That's not a healthy number and so I have to figure out some sort of eating plan that doesn't include Entenmenn's, potato chips and Tater Tots. I ate some watermelon and cherry's for breakfast but boy did that just bring on the morning sickness! I'm hoping to be able to keep my eating more in check once the nausea subsides. Otherwise, I'm just going to have to eat a bag of chips a day and pray the weight doesn't pile on!
Meanwhile, now that we're back, I've been so overwhelmed with planning for the baby. I was so wiped from the Dr., I napped for 5 hours in the afternoon and picked up enough energy to unpack all four of our suitcases. I left the shoes for Pidgeon to put away before it's painful to bend down sometimes, but I was proud of what I accomplished. I even managed to make a nutritious dinner for us (peas, Lentil pilaf and chicken cachatorie) before giving in to the exhaustion and sinking into the couch that I didn't leave until after my shot. During those hours, I numblessly watched TV and thought about all the questions you have to think about at this stage of pregnancy.
How do I want to deliver? Who do I want to deliver me? Where do I want to have this baby? What about all of my health issues? Does it pay to go private? What about a midwife or a doulah?
Fortunately, my MIL is a doulah and I plan on asking her to be mine as well. With the language barrier for me, I really want someone in that room who has a bit more invested interest in my health and our babies, who knows how to navigate "the system" and will really just help me out. When I mentioned to my friend Shulamit that I was going to ask my MIL to be my doulah, she was shocked and tried to talk me out of it. Believe me folks, if I was having this baby up at Einstein where I'm surrounding by English speaking Dr.'s, my American gynocologist and with my American neurologist a phone call away, I might make a different choice of doulah's. But this is Israel. My Hebrew is deplorable. I don't understand necessarily how birthing works here, I don't always understand what people are saying to me. Besides Pidgeon, I will have no one from my family here to support me. You bet your ass I'm having my MIL in that room helping me out when she has the experience with these situations. Granted, having her see me in that type of situation is not necessarily something I'm gung-ho about. But sometimes, you just have to suck it up and make difficult choices. This is not an easy choice for me, but I honestly do think it's the right one.
In Israel, your OBGYN is not necessarily the person who delivers you. Unlike in the States, when the Dr. who has been following you your entire pregnancy is the one delivering your baby. That frightens the heck out of me, for many reasons.
Reason 1 - I have pseudotumor cerebri, which I pray is still in remission even with the massive weight gain, and therefore my Dr. needs to be aware of my condition and take that into account during delivery and throughout the pregnancy.
Reason 2 - As if the PTC wasn't enough, I was recently diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder. That means, every single day, I give myself a shot of Clexane (generic for Heparin) in the stomach. People. I shoot myself with a needle in the STOMACH every day. If I really, really thought about what I've been doing, I wouldn't be able to do it. Fortunately, we have it down to a good routine, and Pidgeon is absolutely amazing. Together, we ice the area with a bag of edemame that I promised I would cook up for him once the shots are over. Then, he brings over the shot (still sealed) and an alcohol swipe. I look around for an area of my stomach to pinch enough fat to cushion the shot. But first, I have to measure 4 fingers width away from my belly button. That's the no-shot zone. Once that's done, Pidgeon opens the alcohol wipe and I pull it out with sterile fingers. I swipe the pinched fat area (B"H, I've got plenty of belly fat, which really helps) with the alcohol and then Pidgeon helps me position the shot at a 90 degree angle. That's the most difficult to do, figuring out 90 degrees from the pinched fat portion of my stomach. Once we're set, I take a deep breath, and just insert the needle. Sometimes I draw blood, which really sucks because the bruising can be really painful. The worst part of the shot, though, is the medication itself. It burns like a mother@#%$%r. We then wait 10 seconds after the medication is in (the needle hole is TINY and so you have to wait 10 seconds after plunging to make sure that all the medication goes into the stomach) and then I pull it out, hand the used syringe over to Pidgeon, and try to ice the pain and bruising away. It's a 15-20 minute process, minimum, each and every day. It doesn't get easier. It doesn't get better. And knowing that I have to do this every day until 2 weeks before the baby and then 6 weeks after the baby is born, is not helpful. But I want a healthy baby so badly, that this is a small price to pay for P"G our future children. So, I need to make sure the Dr. delivering our baby is familiar with a blood clotting disorder and would be able to rush in if G-d forbid something when wrong with me.
Reason #3 - Seriously, reasons 1 and 2 should be more than enough. Bottom line is that, with all my medical issues, I don't want someone I never met before who isn't familiar with my conditions, to deliver our baby.
Oh, but did I mention that if I want my current OBGYN to deliver our baby it would cost us 10,000 shekel!!?!?!
Dude, that's just a lot of money.
We're looking into our options right now, but I never thought it would be something I'd have to look into. I'm just happy that at least I know about this now, otherwise, I would be in for a really big surprise when I P"G went into labor and my Dr. didn't show up when we called for him.
Anyway, the nausea is getting pretty bad right now so I'm going to go and forage in the fridge for something to keep the morning sickness at bay. I'm not holding my breath.
May today bring some comfort to all those in mourning as we spend these hours mourning with our fellow Countrymen.