Friday, April 15, 2011

15.4.11 Poupik Pregnancy and Eshchar Birth

Buckthorn fruit (Eshchar in Hebrew)
After some follow up with good doctors, by all senses, good nutrition, as well as an effective auriculotherapy treatment by mom, Omer and I managed to conceive. 
At the age of 6 weeks and 1 day, on the 15.9.10, poupik (our embryo nickname =  belly button in Hebrew) looked like this:

Honestly, this seemingly empty yolk sac you see above (the small round shape within the black circle reflecting the embryo sac), made us quiet nervous for a week. The ultrasound (US) technician told us that would be 50%/50% whether it's full or empty. After two years that we have been trying to conceive, that was a very tensed moment. Kipur was in between the two US checks and made it even more dramatic. One week later, on the 22.9.10, when poupik was 6 weeks and 6 days old, we could watch and hear the exciting  news on the US screen! There was a heart beating and of course an embryo there, in the right place!!!

It was hard to digest. The US technical screen crush a second after we heard the heart beating didn't make it easier neither. Below, you can see the tiny rice shape embryo, nurturing from the round yolk sac within the "black circle" embryo sac.
Poupik grew very nicely within his mom tummy, not making so much troubles at all.

The nuchal translucency test on the 1.11.10 (when Poupik was 12 weeks and 4 days old) came out 1.5mm thickness. That were very good news as well.

On 21.11.10, at W 15(2), we could get a nice picture from the early systems scan. Poupik had a face and a little hand. It is a "he".

During the flight to France in November 2010, I thought a woman next to me touched my tummy with her elbow. It wasn't so logical, because when I opened my eyes she wasn't moving and her elbow was not in a position that seemed to be next to me. When I stayed in Marseille, few days later, at my aunt Gilette apartment, I felt this again, as if I got some small gentle "pool" hit on my tummy. Poupik was starting to move and dance, at Week 16 already!

In the advanced systems scan, Poupik even bubbled within the amniotic fluid (9.1.11 W 22(2) ):

On 17.3.11 W 31(6), we could see poupik with a cephalic head presentation, following some time he preferred to have the head up. Estimated to weight about 2 kg.

I had been eating and eating and eating. 
During the pregnancy, I managed to get 16 kg extra and that could even get easily higher.
Since week 13, I had been practicing Yoga lessons for pregnant woman. I learnt very important tools in order to be more in control during delivery and ease the labor pain of the contractions. There are few exercises called "stations" which are like a toolbox. There are 3 types of respirations, very  important for most of the delivery phase. 
Except some heartburns in the last weeks of the pregnancy, things were going on the best side and I could really enjoy being pregnant.
Unfortunately, I don't have much pictures of me in this period, but here are a few:
Taken about two weeks before delivery
Celebrating the 40th marriage anniversary of friends in Jerusalem
My expected delivery date was the 18.5.11. One year and a week after Ginette's passing. It was very symbolic for me.
However, unexpected things happened.
On the 14.4.11, I went for a regular check at the nurse. The nurse found high blood pressure. It persisted for a while so she told me to go to the hospital. 
I remember that during those days, I was trying to memorize in which case I have to stop everything and go to the hospital. Omer and I took an informative preparatory course for delivery at the "Assaf Harofe" hospital, in Beer Yaakov. The course was fun and introduced important things to know about pregnancy and delivery, that I didn't encounter in the books I had and my web surfing on the subject.
To the hospital??? I was sure they were just leaving responsibility to someone else, to be on the safe side, but there were at least 4 more weeks to go and Omer didn't finished his Master thesis.
I took a public Taxi and met Omer at his work. He picked me up to the hospital where we were used to go for the course. Blood pressure was still high. The nurses told me it must be the "white or green robe effect". Blood pressure still remained high, even after the Yoga respirations and just resting. 
When my turn arrived to the senior doctor, he stated: "We are delivering you".
WHAT??????????????????????????? Delivering me?????? Are you nuts? Omer didn't finished his thesis writing and I have still 4 more weeks to go. I just came for a check! We don't have yet plenty of stuff we need to take care of for poupik. No bath, no chest of drawers, no trolley, no infant seat and no many other things. What delivery? What do you mean? That was a shock. Yes. One of the most unexpected things that happened to me so far. It was disappointing at first for many reasons, one important of them being the fact I so much wanted to have a natural birth and how could it be natural if they deliver me instead of me delivering? It was also frightening since each minute that passes that poupik is still inside puts me in danger. I made urgent phone calls to my parents and my doctor which all agreed to accept that delivery must be done.
I even didn't finish to prepare nor to print the "delivery plan"!
No bag with me, nothing.
They inserted me a balloon to urge delivery and contractions. It worked very timely. I had contractions appearing  on the paper, but didn't feel a thing. I thought to myself. "It can't be, so many contractions and I feel nothing? But that's supposed to hurt? Ok. I wish it continues this way." But then it started coming, after several hrs, the pain started and I was moved to the delivery room. A doctor blew the amniotic fluid and I was arrested on my bed , only being allowed to lie down on my back, with a monitor attached on one side and an infusion on the other. What about all those Yoga exercises using movement with respirations? How can I use them if I am not allowed to move, but only breath? Luckily I could breath and make the respirations (2/3) which was very helpful. At this time Omer went back home to rest and mom stayed with me overnight. I refused to get oxytoxin nor epidural, though the nurses were really pushing me to. I tried some exercises in the given situation, but the nurse warned me about umbilical cord fall-off if I exercise while standing. Mom was of a tremendous help, I will be grateful to her for my whole life. She sat next to me, encouraged me, made me hypnosis, auriculotherapy, calmed me and was just there for me. In a certain point, I was just doing the respirations and living in my own world. Some time later I asked the nurse how long am I going to stay in this 4 fingers aperture with those pains? She said she can't know and mom said it can take hrs. I couldn't any longer. The pain was too hard. I asked the nurse for epidural. She looked at me and told me it's been hrs she proposed that to me, why didn't I listen to her and now I will have to wait till the doctor gets available. After she inserted me the infusion which took ages to empty even if it was only 20-30 minutes in reality,  she then asked if I want to have a warm shower. A WARM SHOWER? You mean getting up from the bed? SURE!!! I want! Mom helped me all along and I could finally exercise several Yoga exercises in the shower. After the shower which took about 20 minutes, I came back to the bed to discover that from 4 fingers aperture I arrived to 9!
The nurse just opened a bit more and it was already 10. It took 15 minutes for Poupik to come out. Not easy, but I was so blessfull that he came out 2.4 kg only and not more. No intervention had to be done, but only some sewing which was to my opinion the most painful part.
Poupik was born healthy, with dark black hair and reminded me of Omer. He was so cute and gentle. Mom said he looks long and noble. I immediately loved this new creature which was still a stranger to me. The nurse immediately put him on my chest for a few minutes. Omer who was supposed to arrive when I will be in 6 fingers aperture took his time and arrived later. It took him few days to realize he had a son and he hasn't finished writing his Master thesis yet.
Eshchar was born at about 06:30 on 15.4.11 and given his name at his Brith Mila on the 24.4.11.
Look at my little prince.
Eshchar means in Hebrew a small shrub or tree from the Rhamnus genus (Buckthorn). It produces in the Israeli autumn some small edible sweet fruits with proportionally large seeds inside. You can see pictures of the fruits in the beginning of this post.
After birth, blood pressure came back to normal. We spent few days at the hospital and were ready to get out for Passover at my parents. While waiting for Omer to bring the car seat, just one moment before being released, the blood pressure came back. I was then asked to stay at the hospital for follow up. That was so disappointing! One day later, I complained about possible urine infection. I was immediately given a treatment and told that since it is not clear when the infection started, it is warmly advised to give Eshchar 3 types of antibiotics, until the exact bacteria will be diagnosed. I had to pass though tough discussions and decisions since my parents weren't for and I trusted them. The hospital doctors were very astonished I wouldn't agree to give him antibiotics and told me that it is very dangerous for the child sake. Some of the antibiotics they wanted to give can bring deafness or all kinds of fatal or very bad consequences at this stage of life. I decided not to give a thing just because of the suspicion. It was frightening since they told me some fatal sudden crush can happen if there is an infection, that is primarily asymptomatic in the newborn. After a week in the hospital, I refused to stay longer and asked to be released. I was released with a high blood pressure treatment for several weeks and we got out with Eshchar. 
However, during the stay in the hospital, I learnt there from the nurses plenty of important things about being a new mom. So did also Omer. I am very grateful to them for this. I could learn with Omer how to change diapers, how to feed properly with a bottle, good holding positions to calm the baby if he suffers from gases or need to burp, how to clean the baby and initial learning on how to breastfeed. Aposteriori breastfeeding wasn't such a success for me, even if I did till Eshchar was about 6 months old. I had almost no milk, even if I visited a breastfeeding consultant, took Hilbe pills and used a pumping machine. 
Omer practices his being dad
Out from the hospital, we drove to our apartment to show Eshchar his new home for the first tine. He behaved so nicely that it was a pleasure. It came out that he is of the angel type babies or easy baby. 
1st day at home
On the same day we packed a few things and went to stay at my mom for a week. That was very helpful.
On his 1st week, see this impressing head raising