Friday, February 25, 2011

The Shuk

Ah, shopping in he shuk, you either love it or hate it. For those who have never visited Israel, the shuk is like the loudest, most crowded crazy farmer's market you've ever been to. You can score outrageous deals on just about everything, but it can be a challenge to navigate, particularly for non-Hebrew speakers.
I both love and hate the Shuk. it depends on the day and my time. As long as I'm wise enough to stay away during peak hours (after 4 any day and pretty much all of Thursday and Friday) it's a fun experience to go and pick my lovely produce, baked treats, and whatever else you're looking for. The girls always demand treats, which are usually the nice-looking apples or bananas. Sometimes we are tempted into buying the lovely strawberries, and just this week I bought fresh peas in the pod as a fun project. I'll put up some of my favorite shuk photos next week. It's a lovely place, as long as you know when to visit.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

a somtime blogger hits the big time...

Well, not really, but it's big for me anyway. I'm actually writing a guest post at Mother in Israel this week. Crazy, right? The first half of the full story about David's birth is on her site, this is just the part about my c-section.

It took 2 hours to get me checked into a bed after my water had broken, and I was subsequently ignored for the next 4 hours, as I wasn't in active labor. Finally someone stopped in to check my dilation. An hour later they applied some gel to help me along and then ignored me again for 4 hours. Finally 12 hours after my water had broken, they decided to put me on pitocin. I was OK with this, having had it on both prior births. I started having gentle contractions over the next hour or so. They upped my dose to hurry things along, and the next time I was checked, the midwife got the "panic" look on her face. She felt not a head, but an elbow. not the end of the world in my mind, but she seemed to think it was VERY problematic. So, they backed off the pitocin to give the baby a chance to re-adjust. Then they (the 2 on-duty midwives) felt again and still felt what they thought was elbow, and one doctor who also said elbow but the doc they called in said it was a heel. They brought in the mobile Ultrasound (my nemesis) to look at the baby's position, and one said the baby was head down, one said he was feet down, one said she couldn't tell. They were all yelling at each other in the delivery room about what should be done and who was the most incompetent. It was a nightmare for me, having gone through so much to get to this point and being so opposed to surgery. They decided to do another ultrasound, my 3rd in less than 24 hours, and this time the one doc overrode the midwives and said I needed an emergency c-section. It was 3 AM, I'd been awake for almost 24 hours and I was worn down. So, I signed the papers and was wheeled, sobbing, into surgery. They refused to let my husband come in with me, which only made things worse. I spoke with the anesthesiologist and he told me he'd give me something to calm me down as well as for the pain. from that point on, I remember only hearing the baby cry as he was born, being told I couldn't touch him, and even if I had tried I realized my arms were strapped down to boards and spread out crucifixion-style. All I wanted to do was comfort and nurse my crying baby, who was instead being held by this stranger-doctor. I still have nightmares that the baby is crying and I can't get to him because my arms are strapped down. My only comfort at the time was that my husband would be able to hold him, which I later found out was not what happened. They let him only touch the baby for a moment before wheeling him away into the nursery and telling him he couldn't come. It would be another 14 hours until they would "let" me have the baby.
The next day I was even more upset to have one of the consulting docs tell me in a very superior way that the baby had been head down after all, so I probably could have given birth normally. The day after that, the doc who had tried to convince me to abort the baby came in while I was nursing. I didn't even want to speak to her, but I did want to show her that my boy was just fine thankyouverymuch. All she had to say to that was, "we'll see" in an ominous tone.
I am still very upset about the way things went down. I definitely want to do VBAC next time, even if I have to hire a private doctor to ensure it happens. After 3 years here and 3 births here you would think I would know how to work the system, but I still don't, and now I'm more nervous than ever about medical intervention during pregnancy and birth. My husband isn't excited about the idea of a home birth, so that's not really an option either.

Any one used to the Israeli medical system care to weigh in?

I edited this to add these links to my Husband's reactions at the time. Part one, Part two.

Friday, February 11, 2011

a post per week...maybe.

My DH decided he is doing a post a day on his blog and he challenged me to write a post per week. I think I can do it. I hope I can.

This week was dominated by my second daughter's second birthday. I did some balloon decor, which I think turned out pretty well.
And I made a cake, which always turns out well because it is an awesome recipe. Thanks to Hershey's for coming up with it!
Perfectly chocolate cake:
2 c sugar
1 3/4 c flour
3/4 c cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Whisk these ingredients together in a large bowl
then add:
1 c milk
1/2 c oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla.
mix until smooth.
then add:
1 c boiling water
stir until just mixed

pour into 2 greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans and bake at 375 F for 30-35 minutes. I also put rounds of baking paper into the bottom of each pan, as this is a very moist cake and sometimes sticks despite my best efforts at flouring.

I make a different frosting from the one in the recipe. you can use either, both are wonderful.