Archive for February, 2006

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Our Little Guy is Here! Jacob Marcus February…

20 February 2006
Our Little Guy is Here!

Jacob Marcus


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February 17, 2006. 9:03 am. 6 pounds. 13 ounces. 19.5 inches

I can’t believe our little bunny is actually here. The whole birthing process was a painful, yet surreal experience. All throughout the entire thing, I thought “I can’t believe this is it!”

All day last Thursday, Feb. 16th, I was at work and was experiencing some cramping. I thought I was experiencing “fake labor” pains (aka Braxton-Hicks contractions) because our childbirth instructor described labor pains to be something that sort of emanates from the back, rather than in the lower abdomen. So throughout work, I was in slight pain, but thought it would go away. I had a check-up with my ob-gyn that night so I figured she’d tell me what was up.

7 pm, doc’s office. Everything was fine. I was exactly 38 weeks and she examined me and told me I was 2cm dilated just like the last time. She said the baby can go anyday now. I told her I was experiencing some cramps but that they come and go. She said it was normal. So we went home.

After dinner, the cramps got worse, but I just walked it off. By 11 pm, the cramps were quite painful. Up until that point, I still thought they were just cramps, but then I also figured, why are they so consistent? I figured they were coming about 10 minutes apart. Still, I think I was in denial and tried to go to sleep! The poor hubs tried to hold my hand whenever the cramps came because all I did was toss and turn and did my Lamaze breathing techniques.

Around 2:30 am, my water broke! Talk about gush of water! So I told the hubs “we’re going to the hospital!” I called my doc, told her my water broke, and she told me to report to the hospital after I gathered up my stuff. Well at that point, I had no hospital bag ready! Heck, I didn’t even any baby clothes washed or anything! We had nothing prepared because we didn’t think he’d come 2 weeks early! So we scrambled, threw stuff in a suitcase and headed to the hospital.

While in the car, both the hubs and I said “so I guess those were labor contractions after all!” They were coming in at 4 minutes apart and they hurt. I did my breathing, but realized there was no way I going to do this without an epidural!

3 am – hospital. I was in the labor and delivery room. In pain. I told them “epidural please!” We had to fill out forms and do blood work first before I got the ok for the epidural. By the time I got the epidural, it was about 5:30 or 6 am. By then, I was already fully dilated to 10 cm. Can I just say that the epidural is the best invention ever? Instant relief from the pain! And to think I was considering going “natural”! But by then though, I was almost at the pushing stage. The doc arrived shortly thereafter, and at 7 am, the nurse said “it’s time to push!” and both the hubs and I were looked at her in disbelief!

And so I pushed dammit. Pushed for 2 freaking hours. My epidural dose was low so I still felt the contractions coming (without the pain part). We pushed each time the contraction came. The hubs held me up, the nurse held me up, and each push was a team effort. I was ready to pass out. The hubs was ready to pass out! In fact at some point, he got a little light-headed and he had to sit down! The nurse had to give him some juice to revive him while I was pushing away! But then he recovered and we persevered.

I kept looking at the clock and saying “for the love of God dear baby, just please come out!” Each time I pushed, the doc and nurse kept saying they see the head and that’s what I visualized –that the baby was almost there. At the same time, I still couldn’t believe that this was it! Finally, a little after 9 am and very little of my strength left…. the baby finally came out!

After that, everything was a blur. Someone said “it’s a boy” but we don’t remember who. They placed him on my belly, the hubs cut the cord, and then they brought him to the side to get wiped up. The hubs hovered around him as he got cleaned, while the doc took care of the “after birth” and all that other fun stuff. Oh man, the carnage! But you literally forget all that pain once you hold your baby in your arms! Instant euphoria I must say, and the rest is history!

And now baby Jacob makes three….to be continued… For more pics, click here.
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Random Blurbs and Weekend UpdatesLet It Snow! So m…

14 February 2006

Random Blurbs and Weekend Updates

  • Let It Snow! So my neck of the woods got a record-breaking 26.9 inches of snow this weekend! Both NYC and Connecticut set all-time records for single-storm snowfall. This past Friday, they were only predicting about a foot of snow; but come Sunday morning, we all woke up to a veritable winter wonderland! All this snow and I can’t go snowboarding! Today would’ve been the perfect day to do it too since I didn’t have work. Alas…next season it is!

  • Cabin Fever: The hubs and I stayed in all night Saturday and all day Sunday since there was a snowstorm and all. We were very productive though and worked on moving furniture out of the nursery-to-be and into our room. This is what we did: 1) Move our TV and stand out of our room; 2) Move our bed to the middle of the room to make space (this meant taking out the spring box, mattress, and pushing the frame); 3) Move a 9-drawer dresser and mirror into our room; 4) Clean the furniture involved and vacuum the floors; 5) Move back the TV to where it was, and then 6) Put the bed back together again. I felt bad for the hubs who had to do most of the heavy lifting (of the TV and the dresser), but I was happy to help. We also used furniture moving discs which worked great. The only time the hubs had to lift the dresser was to go over certain floorboards.

  • Baby Shower: My co-worker organized a “surprise” baby shower for me at work last Thursday, Feb. 9th. It would’ve been a great surprise, had it not been for the fact that she had to tell me about it because I actually had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon of Feb. 9th! Since I was planning to be out of the office, she had to tell me to reschedule my appointment! Haha… The shower turned out to be lovely, though it was a bit intimidating to be the center of attention at work. There was cake, drinks, and other goodies and there was a big turn-out. I received some very lovely presents including a kick-ass rocking horse from another co-worker of mine. I love it! And yes, I even sat on it already as did the hubs! It’s the coolest thing, and I’ll post a pic as soon as my Adobe Photoshop stops acting up.

  • What the Doctor Said: So during my latest visit last Thursday, the doc informed me that I was almost 2 cm dilated! Being 2 cm dilated doesn’t really mean anything –you need to be a whopping 10-cm dilated for the baby to come out! So for me, there is no rush to go to the hospital yet. I have had no contractions (not even the “fake” kind aka Braxton-Hicks contractions), no pain yet, and am definitely not in labor at the moment. Most docs will advise you to go to the hospital for 2 main reasons: 1) when your water breaks and 2) when your contractions are about 5 minutes apart for about an hour (barring any other type of emergency, of course). Unlike in the movies where it seems water-breaking is common, only about 1-in-10 women have their water break spontaneously. Most women experience contractions at home and then go to the hospital. Yikes. I am so not looking forward to the pain! So I’m definitely on track, but who knows when I’ll actually go into labor. Since I am 37 weeks preggo, the baby can definitely come at any point in time now –my family thinks I’ll deliver a bit early. Let’s see what the doc says again this coming check-up on Thursday.

  • Only 17 More Days to Go! According to our baby counter, it’s only going to be a little more than 2 weeks before the little bunny comes! Physically, I’m pretty ready to have the kiddo. It’s really feeling very tight in my belly –whenever the kiddo moves, I feel like my belly is stretching to the limits and the kid’s going to come out Alien-style! Plus, getting a good night’s sleep is harder to come by since I’m just not comfortable and even switching sides is a big production. Emotionally ready? Hm…that’s another story and another post altogether.

  • Shopping Spree: Since I was cooped up all weekend, I went out today for a little shopping spree. So far, the shopping I’ve done for the past 5 months or so was dedicated purely to the little bebe. I’m still intent on getting stuff for the nursery and baby clothes. I’ve been meaning to get a rug for the kid’s room and today, I actually found a decent one for a great price! Man, I love Target! To think I was actually going to shell out $300+ for a rug at Pottery Barn (I was willing to splurge a bit). I also bought a Valentine’s Day present for the hubs today, and I splurged on a new bag for me. I don’t know why, but I really dig the new tokidoki line for LeSportsac. I got me the Buon Viaggio style tote which I figure I can also use a diaper bag since it’s roomy enough. I think it’s cute and whimsical. Very non-grown up and very anime-ish (I’m a big anime fan).

  • Happy Valentine’s Day! I baked some chocolate cupcakes today and bought candy to give out to my co-workers tomorrow. I also wrapped up the hubs’ present. We’re not actually going out to dinner tomorrow, but we are going to have dinner together this coming Friday at L’Ecole. I can’t wait!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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A Weekend of Decadent Eating I’m a food lover –a …

8 February 2006

A Weekend of Decadent Eating

I’m a food lover –a food whore even! I love to eat. Even the hubs is surprised at the amount of food I eat. He said that before he met me, he never even ordered desserts when he eats out (nor did he frequent so many restaurants). I, on the other hand, love to try out new places (and here in NYC, there’s always someplace new to go to) and re-visiting favorite joints. I don’t discriminate. I can eat at a dive joint, a hotdog stand on the street, a fancy upscale place, a neighborhood diner, a trendy new spot, and anything in between.

This past weekend was all about eating. Friday night, I went out with my chicas Girlie and Trish and treated them to Aquagrill to thank them for helping out with our baby shower. Aquagrill is one of our favorite haunts. I also brought my other friends Jill and Chris along so they can try it. We had a great time and ate up a storm. I had spicy tuna tartare for my appetizer (and was thisclose to ordering oysters but I thought I’d save those for after the kid is born); for my entrée, I had Seared Diver Scallops with Homemade Potato Gnocchi, Sauteed Spinach and Leek and Wild Mushroom Fondue in a Mushroom Sauce. For dessert, I thought I’d try something new (I usually get the chocolate tasting platter) and ordered the Chocolate Crusted Deep Dish Walnut Pie with a Chocolate Ganache Topping and Vanilla Ice Cream. The other girls ordered different appetizers, entrees, and desserts –between the five of us, we sampled and shared each others’ food and had a sublime time eating. Check out Girlie’s blog for the other dishes we had.

Saturday night, the hubs and I went to out local Chinese restaurant Sally Ling’s for great, authentic Chinese fare. The hubs ordered the General Tso’s chicken (it’s his favorite) and I ordered my usual pan-fried flounder with ginger and scallion sauce. Yum. Afterwards, we went out for ice cream at our local Baskin-Robbins. I usually go for a hot fudge sundae, but this time I got pistachio ice cream instead. Not my usual pick. I have pistachio probably twice a year!

Sunday, I had an amazing brunch at the Soho Grand Hotel with my law school friends. It was an appropriate place for a reunion of sorts considering the hotel is only a few blocks away from our old law school. The food was stellar! I’ve never been there before and didn’t know quite what to expect. They had the usual breakfast spread that most places have (i.e., cooked-to-order omelettes; bacon and sausage; homefries; and melt-in-your-mouth pancakes). However, they also had mac-and-cheese, sushi and other seafood specials like shrimp cocktail, this amazing braised steak; sliced pork tenderloin; a whole slew of French pastries (chocolate madeleines! buttery brioche! and more!); tons of desserts and unlimited fresh juice and coffee. It was a bit pricey ($30 per person), but worth it in my opinion! Heck, I should’ve brought a ziploc baggie so I can take some of the madeleines home! Hehehe…I am not beyond “pilfering” buffet food. I am a food lover after all! I liked the brunch so much that I’m toying with the idea of bringing the hubs there for Valentine’s Day (but on a Sunday) instead of going through with our reservations as L’Ecole. We’ll see.

L’Ecole is the restaurant of the French Culinary Institute here in NYC that serves pre-fixed dinners. I’ve never been and always wanted to go and I made reservations for Feb. 17th –partly to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and partly to celebrate my last day at work. I’ll let you know how it is!

Since I love food so much, I hinted to the hubs (well, more like told him point-blank) that instead of flowers, he should get me some edible treats. I found so many cute places your can order Valentine’s day gifts from. Here’s a few you should check out:

I’m also going to tell my friends that in lieu of flowers, they should send me edible treats at the hospital when I give birth. Did you know you can’t eat or drink at all during labor? And you have no idea how long your labor will be! So I’ll definitely be starving! This is when a great basket of baked goodies will come in handy! *hint-hint*

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Pregnancy Potpourri #2 1. I’m starting to feel th…

1 February 2006

Pregnancy Potpourri #2

1. I’m starting to feel the fatigue that they say preggo women get. It started a few weeks ago. So far, my pregnancy has been very smooth and non-eventful (aside from #2 below). I didn’t get morning sickness, didn’t get sleepy and tired during the first trimester, and so far, I have not gotten the puffy legs and swollen ankles that some women experience. But now that I’m in the home stretch, I do feel more tired that usual. I try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night, but now I think I need at least 8 hours. I’m tired at work by 3 pm (and not the usual tiredness one feels at work). I’m tired as in I need a nap and my belly feels very heavy. Somedays, I even wake up with my belly very crampy and already heavy (like it’s about to fall down or something!). At work, I walk around like a penguin by the end of the day and my feet are killing me by the afternoon! Wearing heels (even my low 1.5 inch ones) is a pain and even my maternity jeans are too tight to be comfortable.

2. The hubs and I had a mini-discussion about the car seats. We registered for a car seat and got the Britax Companion Infant Car Seat. As far as car seats go, it’s considered top-of-the-line because of all its safety features (hence it’s pricey-ness). It also fits the stroller we registered for (the Britax Preview Stroller) and functions as a complete travel system (i.e., the car seat fits onto the stroller). The discussion we had was over the whole infant seat versus convertible car seat issue. A convertible car seat is designed to fit babies 5 pounds to 30 pounds when it is rear-facing and then you can “convert” it to a forward-facing car seat once the kid is about 30+ pounds up until he/she is a toddler (some fit toddlers up to 65 pounds). An infant seat is usually good only until the baby is about 20-22 pounds. The obvious benefit to having a convertible car seat is that you don’t have to buy a new one once the baby is over 20 pounds. However, convertible car seats aren’t a good fit for newborns and are not easily portable. An infant car seat can be detached from it’s base and you can use it to carry the baby around (or attach the seat to a stroller). Most people say that if you can afford an infant car seat, then why not go for it? Anyone have any opinions?

3. The hubs and I have been taking childbirth classes (aka Lamaze classes). It’s a 6-week course and we go once a week. Tomorrow will be our 4th class. So far, it’s been ok. It’s been educational in terms of what to expect when it comes to labor, and they teach you breathing methods to help manage labor pains. I just don’t know how on earth you can manage to employ the breathing methods once you are in labor! They showed us an old video (we’re talking circa 1981) the other day of women in labor and then giving birth. One lady did not have an epidural at all and she was able to manage her pain quite well. I haven’t quite decided on whether or not to get an epidural. I haven’t even made up a birth plan yet. For the most part, women nowaways treat it as the norm –but this wasn’t the case as early as 10 years ago. I’m going to do the wait-and-see method –if I can handle it, then I won’t get one. If I get too tired and my labor isn’t progressing, then I will probably get one. If labor is a bitch, I will certainly get one –heck I’m not trying to be a hero. But like I said, if I can manage the pain and I’m progressing well, then I’m down with natural childbirth. Of course, this is just me talking shit at the moment. All bets are off when the real thing comes!

4. I am so looking forward to my maternity leave! I cannot wait! Especially after today since I had a case from hell (and am still in the middle of it). I was originally going to work up until the weekend before my due date, March 2nd. However, I changed my mind after I heard about my co-worker’s story of how her water broke about a month early as she was driving to work. I’d rather stay at home when that happens! Also, I figured I may as well relax and take some “me” time because I won’t have time to do that once the little bunny arrives! There’s nothing wrong with taking time off and being leisurely. So I’m taking about 1.5 weeks off before my due date. Of course the baby may come early or late, but I certainly don’t want to be at work when anything happens!

5. The hubs and I have been preparing the little bunny’s room. We painted it a neutral beige around November/December (I did one coat and the hubs did the finishing coat) and then the hubs put up a border earlier in January. I chose a Classic Pooh theme because I like it and the designs are not overly “cutesy.” So far, the room’s a bit of a mess since we just crammed all the stuff we got from our shower in the room; for a while, it was just spewed all over the floor. I recently re-arranged it and unpacked some stuff. It looks a lot better now, but still not complete. We’re waiting for a crib and a dresser (for the kid’s clothes) and it should be done. I can’t wait to work on it when I go on leave.

Okay, I think that’s enough stuff for now. More updates to come.