Saturday, May 31, 2008

Introducing Aviv -- AKA "Cupcake" -- Born May 28th, 2008 at 6:57 PM

6 lbs 3.5 ounces (2.8 kilos)

17 inches long

Born after 19 hours of labor, she has finally made Emiro and I a family of three. We're beyond thrilled to have her in our arms -- yes, even when she's screaming -- and we can't stop looking at her. Granted we're biased parents, but we think she's the most beautiful little girl in the world..... Our lives have gone upside down the past couple of days, and so much of it is already a blur. But we're so totally, completely, entirely heads over heels in love with this angel.... And I am so amazed and thankful that Emiro is turning out to be the most helpful, hands on daddy I could hope for!

Its not a completely smooth ride - there's the pains associated with delivering, the obvious sleep deprivation, and the ever present breastfeeding issues.... I have lots more to tell but not enough time in the day, so I will leave you with some pictures of Aviv - our precious cupcake!!!!

My last belly shot -- I still couldn't believe I was in labor at that point!!

A couple of minutes after her arrival in the world:

Emiro and Aviv

The proud grandpa

Yes, the nurses gave her a mohawk!

Monday, May 26, 2008

My journey with cupcake - 38 week update

Last week I was 38 weeks. When I had my dr's appt last Tuesday (ny next one is tomorrow, for 39 weeks!!), she told Emiro and I "congratulations for making it to full term!!". Its pretty astounding, and considering the fact that I've been getting consistent Braxton Hicks contractions since about 17-18 weeks along, I am grateful that she's still in there, thriving and growing.

BH Contractions -- still crazy! Basically, I have periods of time (sometimes hours) when I don't feel any. And then I have times when I get a contraction every 3-4 minutes. Emiro and I went to see Iron Man a couple of weeks ago in the theatre (ughh, don't ask...) and I swear I had a contraction every 4 minutes. I was scared my water might break at any moment!! After we got home it stopped. When I get a contraction, I feel part of my stomach (usually center to right side) tighten up reallllly hard, and it puffs up like a blowfish. Sometimes half of my tummy (where the contraction is) will stick out more than an inch from the rest of my tummy -- I've seen my stomach contort into many weird shapes and sizes during these "practice" contractions!! When the contraction is REALLY strong I feel like someone is squeezing on my lungs slowly. It always lasts a good 30-50 seconds.

Baby dropping? -- I don't know if she's dropped or not, but I have gone from NEVER getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, to getting up 3 times for the tiniest little trickle.

Labor scare -- two nights ago I had SUCH a bad night's sleep. I kept waking up from contractions combined with back pains. I would wake up and have to go to the bathroom, but not be able to get up from the bed because of PAINFUL contractions. Usually these pesky Braxton Hick's are just uncomfortable, but this time I was feeling pain. It took me a good minute or two (a little panic filled) until I was able to get out of bed and go to the bathroom. I remember thinking "if this is how much it hurts now, how the hell am I going to get through labor?!". Rinse repeat this experience twice again that night (to add insult to injury, I got a rude awakening in the morning from my calf muscle getting a charlie horse... ).

Beating like a drummer -- on my cervix, that is! Little girl occasionally takes turns at pummeling her fists at my cervix -- which HURTS!!! She'll roll around and kick and then pummel pummel pummel and the only thing I can do is just say "ow ow ow owo OWWWW!". I even asked her to stop it (nicely!) once, which resulted in Emiro breaking out in a fit of laughter. Geez, thanks for the support buddy!

LATESTS INFO: had my 38 week dr's appt last week and saw one of my favorite OB's.

- Lost 3 lbs - a little over 1 kilo - (how the hell did that happen?!?! I've been gorging on pizzas and chocolate cakes). Total weight gain now goes down to 21 lbs- about 10 kilos

- Cupcake's heart rate in 120's (and apparently was in the 120's 1 1/2 weeks ago, and in the 130's a month ago).

- blood pressure 70/110

- fundal height: measuring exactly on track, 38

- I went from "fingertip" dialated to 1 CM dialated, and am now 60-70% effaced

Pictures -

31 Weeks

35 Weeks

38 Weeks (last week!!!)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

ONE YEAR AGO, YESTERDAY.................

Our wedding day, as cliche as it may sound, was the most beautiful day of my life (thus far!!). I married the person most dear to me in the world, we both vowed our love and commitment to each other, and we were surrounded by our closest family and friends.

One year later, and we're about to become parents for the first time any day -- what an amazing present. She's hiccuping inside me as I write this right now, and I just feel choked up with emotion. Our first year of marriage has been quite an amazing ride - we dealt with ALMOST buying a house, getting the HUGEST surprise of our life (a positive pregnancy test result), Emiro transitioned into a new career that he loves, we moved into a larger home, we prepared for the arrival of our little girl.

Wow, if this was our first year of marriage, I can only imagine what future years hold for us. Has it always been peachy and roses and newlywed magic? No. Emiro and I have been together for 11 years and we know that relationships take hard work, patience, compromise, respect and much more. It has been an amazing year, full of happiness, tears, firsts, love, growing up. This year gave us a little baby girl, whom we will meet soon, and I can't wait to see us grow into a family of three.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Feeling more accomplished

Spent a good hour browsing around Target after work last night - picked up alcohol swabs (for umbilical cord), 1 nursing bra, 1 nursing tank, 2 shirts with buttons (for easier breastfeeding), and a bunch of misc. travel size toiletries. Then I spent an hour at home packing my hospital bag, and I'm almost done! Still need to get a birthing ball, but other than that I'm pretty much set.

Here is what I packed:

* toiletry bag
* boppy
* extra pillow
* 1 yoga pant, 2 short sleeved shirts with buttons
* 1 underwear (assuming I will be wearing hospital ones mostly)
* robe
* 1 pair of socks
* going home outfit for baby + me
* change of clothes for Emiro
* (need to add birthing ball once I buy it)

To be added right before going to the hospital:

* ipod
* camera + recharger
* iphone + recharger
* computer (rooms in hospital have wireless internet)

I'm pretty much banking on the fact that the hospital will be supplying everything else and my milk won't be in yet, so I think thats all I need? Fortunately we live 5 minutes from the hospital, so Emiro can always run home to get anything we need.

Also, Emiro and I bought a small changing table for the first floor (so we don't have to run upstairs to the nursery every time we need to change a poopy diaper). We went to IKEA and bought a basic changing table for $35..... Perfect for what we need (also bought a matching changing pad & pad covers). Its small and fits in a niche in the foyer. Still waiting on our changing table for upstairs (which is also where we will put all of the baby clothes) - hope it doesn't take TOO much longer!!!

Emiro putting together the table:

I need to take a picture of the final product -- it came out really nice!

ACK! Whats going on with this weather?!? Its so gross outside, and raining, and chilly! Seriously, this is the end of MAY. Can we get some Spring, please? Or are we going to go straight into 100 degree weather? I'm seriously abusing my long sleeve maternity clothes - but I REFUSE to buy anything new right now. Oh, well!

Weekend and other updates

It was a rather relaxed weekend - weather wasn't cooperating on Sunday, but luckily Saturday was a sunny day!

The cats enjoying the view from the nursery (we only let them in when we're in the room - otherwise the space is off limits to them). Isn't that blooming tree beautiful (and pink)? The flowers are starting to fall so pretty soon we'll only have green leaves, but its gorgeous to look at while it lasts!

We started off Saturday by picking up Rachel at 9am in Manhattan and driving to her storage unit in the Bronx to pick up the AMBY swing which she is kindly lending to us (this is where the baby will sleep in the first couple of months, in our bedroom, before we transition her to the nursery). After dropping Rachel off, we parked the car on 94th street and walked through central park all the way down to 75th. Had a quick lunch, and then met up with our photographer to check out the proofs for maternity portraits we took last week (I will post some of those - she took some really great belly photos!).

Afterwards we just piddled around the city - coffee at Starbucks, a small dinner at a cute restaurant in Columbus Circle. It was fun to just spend some time walking around with Emiro and not have a set agenda - I forgot what thats like!

Putting the tummy to good use:

We then proceeded to walk from 56th street to 93rd street (with a stop for some yummy Gelato on the way) for an evening of babysitting Rachel's son Eli. It was a pretty mellow evening (Eli slept the entire time) - we watched a movie ("bee movie", which sucked IMO) and then Rachel and Omer sent us off home around midnight with their Papasan Swing for cupcake to borrow.

Sunday's weather was REALLY gross. Instead of doing the usual weekend runs to buy things we need (because we're almost done?!?!) we spent the day at home accomplishing small tasks -

- washed ALL of cupcake's newborn clothes, plus most of her 0-3 clothes, plus all of her sheets/blankets etc
- assembled her Snap 'n Go stroller (this is a cheap $50 stroller that only holds a car seat - very light weight and easy to take around, so its an alternative to our full size stroller) and made sure we knew how to put the carseat in and out
- put together the desk we bought at West Elm for the dining room work station
- hung a shelf above the desk
- threw away our old Ikea dining table we were using as a makeshift desk
- put up the new curtains we bought for the living room
- put together the swing and the Amby swing
- ordered new sheets for Amby
- ordered wedding pictures of Shutterfly that I will be framing and hanging in the living room (one year later!)

That was about it -- a bit boring, but at least knocked a couple of things off the to-do list. And the most essential things for cupcake (should she choose to arrive today or tomorrow) such as clean clothes, a bassinet for our bedroom (she will be shacking up with us for the first months!), hospital bag and installed car seat (Emiro's car only so far) are DONE. And that feels good.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Now that I posted a small pregnancy re-cap (see previous post - new belly shots!) here are some more pictures from the past couple of months. I'm really sorry I haven't been consistent in updating this journal -- its been crazy trying to get everything organized AND juggle work at the same time.

Anyhow........ Some pictures for your amusement. Last week after a long day at work I collapsed at home feeling like a beached whale - tired, large, ACHY. I'm at the point where I need assistance getting up. Emiro thought it would be funny to take a photo of me in my finest moment.

"help! I've fallen and I can't get up!"

"you suck for thinking I'm funny when actually its pretty tragic"

A couple of days later we received our STROLLER! WOOOHOOOO I absolutely adore it. We rolled it around the house a bunch of time until we got tired:

Maxi thinks my tummy is a nice accessory right now. Case in point:

Plato massages my belly with his paws. I wonder if they know I have a baby inside??

My parents came to visit us for Passover and stayed with us for two weeks. This is the first time they were able to stay in our home so I am VERY thankful we have a 2 bedroom home!! During those two weeks Ima helped me arrange/sort/organize everything and I went from having piles of stuff to categorized bins and boxes labeled "0-3 months" "3-6 months" etc... We also did several runs to Babies R Us and bought just about EVERYTHING we need - from soap, to clothes, to sheets, to first aid items, to diapers, to bottles........... I feel so much more prepared now that I know I'm stocked on all of the basics.

A couple of days after my parents arrived we flew to California to spend the Passover holiday with my aunt and uncle Dana & Yossi. The 5 hour flight was ok - not comfortable at 8 months pregnant, but not horrible. I did get quite a few looks from fellow passengers who were worried I might give birth in the aisle, and received some "hahaha, you're ready to pop any minute, right? hahahah" to which they received a cold smile and a tight lipped "I actually have about 6 weeks to go" answer. We stayed at my relative's (amazing!!!) home for 5 days and it was such a relaxing vacation.... All we did was eat, talk, laugh, shop, and rest. Emiro and I had just purchased a brand new digital SLR camera (in preparation for cupcake's arrival!) as our early "anniversary gift" so I got to play around with the camera and its features a bit.

The trip to California seems like a blur now - we didn't have a set agenda other than relaxing and having fun. I'll touch on some of the highlights :)

Views from the house:

Emiro soaking in the landscape:

My flip flops making their first debut for the 2008 year:

We went out for brunch one day at the "Original Pancake House" -- my uncle ordered all of the food and it was DELICIOUS! I took the following pictures with a different lense -- the 50mm /1.8D lense -- which doesn't auto focus so I experimented around with the manual focus:

We celebrated Passover with my relatives and their friends - I think we were a total of 20 people. It was fun to get gussied up a little bit for the event :)

My dad & Dana preparing the Passover meal

Before the Passover Seder, enjoying the outside

The Seder was really nice -- light hearted, not too long, lots of laughter -- and the food was delicious!!

Afterwords we hung out in the livingroom, just talking and enjoying each other's company

We got to enjoy a Duck's hockey game (my first hockey game ever) during our visit, which was really interesting. I have never been to an event like this, and was amazed with the high level of energy!

Duck fans waving their orange flags

Emiro enthralled with the game

Dad & Yossi

We took the red eye back to Newark airport, came home and rested for a couple of hours, and then I headed straight back to work (I couldn't take that day off from work, unfortunately). The rest of the week was spent hanging out with my parents in the mornings & evenings, and working during the day (which sucked). My dad went to a meetings in NYC and worked from my apartment the rest of the time while my mom relaxed and read about 5 books. Then on Friday, after a glorious 2 week visit, they left :(

Here are some photos from the day they left... We took this in the courtyard of our new apartment - everything was in full bloom for Spring and absolutely beautiful:

I can just imagine little cupcake crawling/running around on the grass one day soon!

Their rental car, all packed and ready to go :(