Wishes Really DO Come True...

When Grady was born the girls received their first gift from Matt's cousin Ellen. They were silver wish necklaces. With directions stating that a wish should be made when putting on the necklaces, and they would fall off when their wish came true.

So my jewelry loving daughter Riley ripped open the bag, immediately put on her necklace, and told us her wish... that her friends would come and visit her here in California. She must have named 10 kids who she wanted to visit. Kids from her class in India. Kids from her class in Israel. She made lists.

But she always narrowed it down to two friends. The two friends she's known since she was nine months old.

When Riley got home from school yesterday I asked her if she wanted to put on her wish necklace (I normally don't let her wear any jewelry to school). Of course she did. And she told me her wish again too ... which she let me video tape.

So imagine her absolute surprise when about 20 minutes later the doorbell at our hotel rang... and the girlies waiting on the other side of the door were none other than her closest girlfriends ... Gabby and Kit. From Maryland. She was shell shocked and couldn't speak. She got teary eyed, she hugged her friends, she grinned from ear to ear.

Christine and I had been trying to figure out a way to get together while we were still here in California, but nothing seemed to be coming together. Until last Wednesday, when she came across inexpensive airline tickets, and within a few hours had bought the tickets, made reservations, and had booked her whirlwind 3 day trip out here to see us and get the girls together.

It was an AWESOME surprise, and we're so thankful they're here to spend the weekend. Gotta go now - the park is calling us!


Here We Go Again...

It's that time of year again... the never ending shopping sprees for our consumables shipment. Last year we sent approximately 1900 pounds to Chennai and we still have a fair amount of the basics left over. So this year we're only shipping around 900 pounds.

Today we went to Costco and WAY over-filled two carts, though I'm sure we'll be back there at least two or three more times before our pack-out.

Next stop... Smart & Final... and Pavillions... and Trader Joe's... and Target...


Snip, Snip ~ Let's Eat

Last Friday we celebrated Grady's first right of passage as a Jewish male ... the Brit Milah ... also known as a Bris or covenant of circumcision. The Bris is a religious ceremony within Judaism to welcome Jewish infant boys into a covenant between G-d and the Children of Israel on the eighth day of the child's life. The Bris is generally done by a Mohel or circumciser (unless the father chooses to do it... which was NOT happening in our case), and the one we chose for Grady was also a local pediatric urologist.

The Bris consists of both the circumcision and the baby naming, and thankfully the first part went rather quickly and without too much trauma to either Grady or myself. I couldn't watch the procedure, though Matt and other relatives did. It was over within two minutes, and after bandaging him and feeding him a few extra sips of Manishevitz, Grady was re-diapered and given back to me to comfort.

Traditionally Ashkenazi Jews have the custom of naming after the deceased. The immortalization of a close family member or friend is a beautiful tradition. Grady's Hebrew name is Yacov Mordecai. He was named after both of his paternal grandfathers.

As with all Jewish celebrations, they are immediately followed by a feast of mass proportions... and this one was no different. We spent the rest of the day eating the endless trays of catered food ordered for our simcha. We schmoozed with family and friends and celebrated Grady's big day.

As a side note... the worst part of the circumcision was changing the dressing the next day. Oh boy, I think I whimpered as much as Grady did. Thankfully all is well and he's healing perfectly.

Left: Tools for the Bris ... Right: Just before the procedure

Left: The Mohel performing the Bris ... Right: Our first family photo


Now Presenting... Grady Shaw Perlman

He was a long time coming, but oh-so worth the wait! It wasn't an easy road to get here, nor was it an easy pregnancy. But at 8:13 pm last Thursday night when I heard that high pitched shrill, and heard the doctor say, "It's a Boy!", I knew that all was right in our world.

On Thursday, May 14th, I was scheduled to go in to the hospital for my induction at 7 am. However, when I called at 6 am see if they had a bed available, they were busy with too many active labors, and asked me to call back in a few hours. As I was off all of my medication and had a short window to work with, the hospital (after receiving a stern call from my OB) realized that I needed to be there, quickly called me back and asked me to come in.

When I got to the hospital, I was whisked into a Labor & Delivery room, asked an hours worth of questions, had blood drawn, given an IV, Pitocin to start contractions, and settled into my bed. Unfortunately, all of the OB/Gyn's had gone back to their offices and I had to wait for one to come back in order for one of them to break my water. So I waited... and waited... and waited... while watching TV with Matt and staring at the gorgeous view of the harbor and the Pacific Ocean from my room. Around 12:30 pm, my doctor came to see me, checked my progress, and broke my water. After 3+ hours on Pitocin, I was still only 1 cm dilated, and not showing any signs of moving into active labor.

Three hours later, and now in enough pain to get my epidural, I was checked again and only at 2 cm. Lucky for me, my platelets had a smidgen of benefit from the WinRho infusion and had spiked just enough to get the epidural without needing the transfusion. Thank goodness!

By 6 pm, I was only at 2.5 cm. I was starting to get anxious that we weren't going to see a baby until the next day, so I encouraged Matt to get out of the hospital room and go down the street to his parent's house where he could have dinner with them and the girls. The nurse discouraged him from going, telling him that my body was going to start moving things along, and once it did, it was going to be a quick delivery. It sure didn't seem like anything was quick up until this point.

The nurses had their shift change at 7 pm, when our nurse did one final check and told me that I was between 3.5 - 4 cm and was about in active labor. Now we're getting somewhere.

Less than 45 minutes later our new nurse came back in to check me and shockingly enough, I was now fully dilated and the baby was ready to come out. I was asked to do one push, when the nurse immediately told me to stop and hold on. The doctor was paged, called, and paged again. Within minutes, what seemed like the slowest of days was suddenly moving at lightening speeds and my room was changed over from a labor room to a delivery room.

The doctor walked into the room at 8:08 pm, scrubbed up, put on his gown, his mask, and barely had his gloves on before the nurse had me starting to push. One long push and the the head was out. I was then told to slow down because the baby was coming out too fast. One slow push and the cord, which was wrapped around his hand was quickly unwrapped, and the rest of his body was slowly pulled out. At 8:13 pm, "It's a Boy" was all I heard, followed by the beautiful sounds of a newborn baby. I looked over and Matt was alternating between smiling from ear to ear and wiping away tears. I think I was just in shock that the 38 weeks and 4 days of growing this little munchkin were finally over, and the new stage of our lives was about to begin.

The baby was cleaned up, weighed, measured, checked out, and then passed back to me. I didn't even take the time to inspect him, I just held tight and didn't let go. Matt made the phone calls to the girls, his parents, and mine. We were both choked up when he told everyone he now had a son.

The rest of the night was a whirlwind. They unhooked my epidural, cleaned me up, and brought me a sandwich before moving me over into my post partum room around 10 pm. Once settled in, Matt left the hospital to go home and get a good night's sleep. Thankfully one of us got one.

My stay at the hospital was quick, and fairly uneventful. We had several visitors on Friday including both of our parents, the girls, and my aunt and uncle. What a hoot it was to see the girls faces when they first met their little brother. We left the hospital by lunchtime on Saturday, which was not a minute too soon! While the nurses on the labor and delivery side were fantastic, I could go on a tirade about some of the nurses in the post partum side. I'll refrain as it would only frustrate me.

Now we're home. Adjusting to life with three kids. And boy parts. And sleepless nights. And feedings. And it's awesome. And oh-so worth the wait!

BTW - I returned home to over 175 comments and e-mails... and obviously can't get back to anyone right now. Please consider this my sincerest thank-you to all who sent us great wishes and wonderful notes.

Now come take a peek at our newest addition. Our swan song. Our son...


Late Night Addition - Take 2

This is Jill's Dad. She's having internet access trouble at the hospital but wanted to update her public with the vitals.

Without further ado

Let me introduce...

Their SON

Grady Shaw Perlman

Born at 8:13 PM

Weighing in at 7 lbs. 7 oz. and measuring 20 inches

He's practically perfect in every way!

Details and photos to follow on Saturday.

Late Night Addition


The Post Where I Show You My Stomach...

So if you don't like viewing pregnant, large, bare bellies, you may want to delete this before it burns holes in your eyes.

Here are the final photos I took of my ever growing belly. In total I've gained 32 pounds in 38 weeks 3 days. I'm hoping to leave the hospital at least 15 + pounds lighter... though I'll gladly take 20!

Eleven hours and counting!


Less Than 36 Hours Left...

before I head to the hospital to have baby Perlman. Oh we're so excited!

I had my last non-stress test and doctor's appointment on Monday, where we confirmed that the baby is still head down, though nowhere near dropping. We've been warned that Thursday will probably be a very long day. We asked my OB a lot of questions, and were given a plethora of instructions. We're ready... we're definitely ready.

Today I had my last blood test at the hematologist's, where I found out that the WinRho Infusion did not work. In fact, my platelets are even lower than they were on Friday. Darn It!! So, we now proceed with plan #2 and go into the hospital with the knowledge that I'll be doing a platelet infusion whenever I'm ready for the epidural.

Aside from the baby news, the girls are still reeling in the excitement of daddy being home. They've been introducing him to anyone who will listen, have enjoyed showing him everything they've been doing, and are just plain giddy to have him drop them off at school and pick them up at the JCC in the afternoon.

As for Matthew, he's doing okay with the time change now after not sleeping so well the first night. He also arrived with a horrible stomach bug that has plagued him for the past 2.5 days. All the help I thought I was going to be receiving somewhat went out the window, as I've been taking care of 3 people instead of 2. He's starting to improve, though not as quickly as either of us would like.

To add insult to injury, Matt has his final gum surgery tomorrow. He is not looking forward to it.

We have a busy last day tomorrow, so you probably won't hear from me. However, I understand that the hospital has Wi Fi, so we'll be in touch as soon as we can.

Until then...


Guess Who Made It To Dinner

Well lunch actually....

Matt arrived safe and sound (albeit tired and sticky) around 1 pm today from Chennai. The girls were so excited to see him that they immediately jumped into his arms and attached themselves to him with glue .... which they haven't undone the entire day. They filled him in on every single thing they've done since their arrival 6 weeks ago, despite the fact that they've talked to him every single morning before school. They are obviously over the moon that he is finally here.

We had a yummy lunch at In-N-Out, where Matt keenly observed the cleanliness of the restaurant, the parking lot, and even the bathrooms. I think he's in culture shock. Then when we sat down at the table he asked me to pass him the Purell. It just may take him a few days to get used to being back in the States.

We're all thrilled that Matt is with us for the next 6 weeks. Let the vacation begin!

What a GREAT Mother's Day Gift For Me!!


TMI From A 4 Year Old...

On Friday, I attended the Mother's Day event at Sheridan's preschool. The kids gave the moms tons of "gifts"... roses, cards, necklaces, and these beautiful posters that are all about their families. On the front of the poster is a family portrait and an answer to the question, "What do you like to do with your parents?" On the back is a small questionnaire that was asked to the kids and filled in by the teachers. How they kept a straight face while filling these in is beyond me.

My favorite? Question #4 ... because we RARELY watch TV...


The Tides, They Are A-Changing!

The baby flipped on it's own - so operation "External Version" scheduled for 5 pm today was canceled. Thank goodness!

My scan on Tuesday was great, and according to the numbers, baby P is weighing approximately 8 lbs 1 oz (though I'm not sure if I really believe that). The perinatologist said that it could be a pound off on either end... Despite my small stature, the baby is in the 81% for all its measurements.

I received confirmation this morning about our induction. Assuming baby P doesn't arrive any earlier on its own, we'll be heading to the hospital one week from today. As long as it waits at least 72 hours for Matt to get here, I don't care when it arrives. Anything after Sunday is pure gravy...


Okay... So Here's The Latest

On the bright side, at 37 weeks yesterday, baby Perlman is officially "full term". On the flip side (pun intended), baby Perlman has yet again turned breech. So where do we go from here? Let me fill in some of the blanks.

As far as I can tell from comments my OB, hematologist, and perinatologist have made to me, the hospital where I am delivering is extremely conservative and risk averse. And unless there is a good enough reason, they will not approve an induction prior to 39 weeks unless the OB performs an amniocentesis, or can adequately justify a reason for an early delivery. No worries, right? Except, the doctor is becoming anxious to get this baby out due to the ever changing of events ... and honestly, so am I. And due to my issues, he isn't comfortable doing an amnio.

So where does that leave us? With a highly document and justified induction either next Tuesday, May 12th or Thursday, May 14th... unless baby Perlman makes its own unscheduled arrival on its own before then... which could happen based on the serious contractions the OB has told me have made my body ready at any time. However, there are a lot of things that need to take place before next week in order to prepare for the delivery.

First, I have to schedule my WinRho SDF Infusion for 5 days prior to delivery. This immunoglobulin treatment is to help increase my low platelet count so I can enjoy the benefits of an epidural during delivery. As we all remember, I wasn't able to have an epidural during Sheridan's birth due to my thrombocytopenia, and darn it, I want one this time! The hematologist administers the infusion in his office, and once completed, I go back about 2-3 days later to check my platelet count for any improvement. If there is - fantastic! If not, then the hematologist will write the orders to have a platelet transfusion once I check in to the hospital for the delivery (which he already did, and I'm now carrying them on me at all times - just in case!)

Next, I have to go to the hospital this Thursday to have an External Cephalic Version performed, otherwise known as kneading the hell out of my stomach with the high hopes that it turns the baby from breech to head-towards-crotch position. Sounds like fun, eh? Due to the increased amniotic fluid, the baby keeps rolling and turning, and has yet again managed to wedge its head up into my ribcage. Awesome feeling, let me tell ya. I am doing the exercises the OB mandated, which include getting on my hands and knees, tush high in the sky, 3 times a day for 20 minutes at a time. I'm sure I'm quite a sight. We're hoping that by Thursday, the baby will have moved on its own and I don't need to have the External Version done. Wish me luck. Neither I, nor the OB, want to have a C-Section as I have too many bleeding issues to complicate things.

Tomorrow I go again to the perinatologist for another scan and to see how baby Perlman is growing. Looking at the size of my stomach, I'm sure it's quite fine... However, I'll be happy to entertain guesses as to the final weight and length of the baby next week. As a reminder, Riley was born 9 days early and weighed 7 lbs 5 oz and was 20 inches. Sheridan was born 2 days late and weighed 7 lbs 12 oz and was 19 inches. Baby Perlman #3 will be born at either 38 weeks 2 days or 38 weeks 4 days ... you fill in the blanks!

Until I have more answers, I leave you with a photo taken tonight by Riley.

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