Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Hummus, Lafah and Contractions
From 4:00 a.m. - 5:30 a.m. this morning, I got freakishly closer to Mommyhood. To explain, I have to go back to Tuesday night's childbirth education class. As you know, we're taking a class with Joani THE anglo doula expert of Jerusalem. She came highly recommended as both a doula and educator, so we shelled out the 600 shekel and joined her Monday evening class. What usually happens in this class is that she lectures, we ask questions, she pauses to answer her cell phone in case someone is in labor, we nosh and we learn. We are in the class with 8 other expectant couples - most are due in November - with one due at the end of October and another one at the end of December. The group is very nice, it's informal, and our husbands are certainly getting an education.
This week's class was condensed by 2 hours because Joani had a birth, so she did a bit more lecturing and we did more listening and less asking of questions. What I really found interesting was the parts about contractions. She went around the room and asked each of us if we're experiencing Braxton-Hicks (the contractions that don't indicate you're in labor but just prime your uterus for the real thing). I was pretty sure I hadn't had any of these based on what people were describing and then Pidgeon told her that sometimes my stomach is hard in some places and soft in others and so she said that was Braxton-Hicks. I don't think we explained the sensation well to her because what he's really feeling is where the baby is lying. Basically, if it's hard, that's the baby and if it's soft, the baby ain't there. So, I just figured I'm one of those ladies who is either
1) not in tune with her body and doesn't know when I'm having contractions or
2) just haven't had any Braxton-Hicks contractions
And then Joani told us about this great test for determining if you're really in labor or if you're having false labor. She said, once I feel the contractions, to drink some alcohol. If, after a few hours, the contractions stop then it was false labor and I basically just got a nice buzz going during the contraction. If, however, it stops for a bit and then starts up again, I'm really in labor and it's show time.
Well, I basically told Pidgeon I'm going to spend my nine month drunk cause I'm going to take a shot of scotch each time I get a contraction to see if it's real or not. (Note, Joani recommends using white wine and not scotch. But, since I'm allergic to red wine and just can't stand the taste of white, she said scotch was ok. As long as the alcohol content is above a certain percentage, I can go for it. Obviously, depending on the percentage, I have to figure out how much to drink).
So, I was pretty happy when we walked out of the class Monday night because I had my new how-to-deal-with-labor game plan.
Fast forward to last night. Pidgeon and I were both busy all day yesterday with work. I had a press release I had to get to a client and Pidgeon was working on his final project. The only thing on our schedule was to go to Chasdei Shmuel and put a 35% down payment on the baby stuff we ordered. Pidgeon, in the interim, had a dentist appointment and so when he got back in the late afternoon, we quickly ate some lunch, I got dressed and we drove to the Charedi neighborhood. We removed some items from the list at the suggestion of both of our parents (they keep saying people will buy us presents, but I don't have such good friends here who are willing to shell out 900 shekel on a baby swing) and then I used my American Express for the deposit.
A number of years ago, when my older sister and my older cousins were all getting married, my Zaydie (ZT"L) told my Mom and Aunts that he wanted to pay for his future Great Grandchildren's cribs as a baby present. At the time, I was no where near getting married, and I think my little brother was in his pre-pubescent stage. But, Zaydie dolled out the cash for each of his 9 Grandchildren and gave them to his daughters to put away in the bank. At the same time, he also gave money for each of us to buy Sterling silverware as a wedding present, and that too was put away for those of us not ready to walk down the aisle. I knew this money was in my bank account and I've been careful all these years not to spend it. So, when we walked into Chasdei Shmuel and put the 35% down payment on all the baby items we purchased, it made me happy to know that my Zaydie was the one who bought the crib. And, P"G, every time I look at the crib it will be a reminder that Zaydie is still a big part of my life even though he's no longer physically here with us.
As you can imagine, I was a bit emotional after Chasdei Shmuel, so I asked Pidgeon if he wanted to go out to eat for dinner. He was thrilled and I was thrilled cause it meant that I didn't have to cook another meal. We went to Emek and found a great parking spot and then went to a restaurant we've been to MANY, many times in the past year.
We sat down and I didn't really need to look at the menu, I pretty much knew what I wanted to eat. I ordered a hummus with chopped meat as an appetizer, while Pidgeon had the stuffed eggplant to start. Then, I had the fried chicken pieces, a side of french fries and steamed vegetables while Pidgeon enjoyed a skewer of steak, a skewer or chicken, okra in tomato sauce and steamed vegetables. I chased my meal down with a Fanta and Pidgeon had Diet Grapefruit juice.
All foods we've eaten before. At this restaurant. Many, many, many times.
We finished dinner at 7:00 p.m., got back to the apartment full and satisfied and slightly exhausted. I poured myself a cup of orange juice and took my pre-natal vitamin and my iron pill. We then logged in, downloaded the first two episodes of the second season of Gossip Girl and had a chill night. At 11:00 p.m., I did my Clexane Shot and we were both asleep by 1:00 a.m.
I woke up at 3:45 a.m. in a cold sweat, thinking I needed to throw up. Its been a while since I've felt that way and I thought maybe something else was going on. But no, I definitely needed to vomit. I quickly removed my bite plate and put it away in the case, moved the shower rug in front of the toilet, and just let things go. Since Pidgeon normally sleeps like the dead, I didn't shut the door to the bathroom cause I didn't think he'd hear anything. I was wrong. He jumped up in bed about 5 minutes into me being sick and was very alarmed. He wanted to call his Mom and ask her what to do. Then he wanted to call Terem (24 hour emergency care clinic in Jerusalem) or the hospital. I told him to call my brother-in-law, the Pediatrician, who was for sure awake at 9:00 p.m. in Cleveland. He picked up the phone and called my brother-in-law, who basically said Why the heck are you calling me? Call her OBGYN! and I was not happy with that response. So, in between heaves, I took the phone and told him that I thought it was just bad food poisoning. He said, just to be on the safe side, I really should talk to an OBGYN since I'm B"H already in my 29th week.
Well, I hung up unhappy with his advice (I just wanted to puke everything up and then get back to bed, I wasn't thinking about anything else being wrong) but we called Terem and they told us to call the Maccabi (my health care provider) nurse. She gave Pidgeon all these directions about drinking water and boiling water and putting ice into it, etc. It didn't really sound so helpful especially since any water I was drinking in between puking, I ended up puking. So, Pidgeon again wanted to call and wake his Mom, but I asked him to hold off for a bit longer. I then told him to call the Dr. on call at Wolfson Medical Center. Since we're both members of the Medical Center, I didn't feel too bad about making that call. Fortunately, the Dr. got back to us right away, and Pidgeon talked as I wretched in the background. His advice was very good. He said not to drink anything if I was just throwing it up. He said to monitor my vomiting and if it continued past a certain hour, I should come into the morning clinic to assess the situation (i.e. if I needed an IV fluid drip). It was now 4:30 a.m. and I wasn't letting up at all. My throat at this point is absolutely burning, my esophagus on fire from all this disgusting stomach acid and vomit, and I was really wiped.
And that's when I had my first contraction. It was 5:00 a.m. at this point, and the contraction was not pleasant. At first, I didn't realize it was even a contraction. But then, about 3 minutes later, I had another one. Now I was ready for Pidgeon to call his Mom. He woke her up and she was very alert and had some great advice. She asked if I had Pramin in the house - which I had since I needed it during my 1st three months of puking. She told Pidgeon to call the Dr.'s at Shaarei Zedek, explain my situation, tell them I was having contractions, and ask if I could take a Pramin to help stop the vomiting. Pidgeon somehow managed to get a nurse at Shaarei Zedek on the phone, she gave him the go-ahead with the Pramin, I took a pill and slipped into bed.
The Pramin worked and my vomiting finally stopped! But, the contractions didn't, and I had 3 more in the span of 15 minutes. Pidgeon wanted to call his Mom again and bring me into the hospital, but I told him to just give me a few minutes to relax and to see if it would just stop on its own. Obviously, at this point, the alcohol test was out but boy did I want a shot! We both dozed off and, when I woke up a few hours later, was thrilled that the contractions were done.
My dreams, on the other hand, were super disturbing. I dreamt that the baby had salmon DNA and that my friends were trying to eat it. I was running, and running to stop them from eating our baby and just kept screaming that our baby wasn't a salmon but was a baby. It was so weird, I blame the vomiting and whatever poison was in my system for the messed up dreams. You can imagine how happy I was to wake up out of that dream this morning!
So, now I'm in bed. Our Ikea trip was cancelled for today, but Pidgeon and his Mom went to an interior design trade show in Tel Aviv. I think it was good for him to get out of the house, he would have just gone stir crazy staring at me in bed. I was feeling a bit better when I woke up this morning, and was even able to keep a cup of tea down. Pidgeon's Mom suggested I put in some sugar, even though I really try to avoid sugar in general, and I complied. She then told me I have to figure out a way to get some salt into my system today. I might just make myself some powdered soup mix, which isn't the healthiest but is loaded with sodium. Other than that, I'm just taking it easy.
It was a big scare for me, though. And, even though the Dr. at the Medical Center said "At 29 weeks, you can deliver a robust baby", I'm just not ready for this one to come out yet! I think this baby still needs 11 more weeks to do what babies do in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Well, I'm pretty tired, so I'm off to take a nap.
Yom Tov from Baka!