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Sunday, February 23, 2003

  On Friday, we had the Bris for Max. Like most goyim, everything I knew about the Bris was learned during that Seinfeld episode.

Our Bris was a little different, thankfully. Our Mohel was a non-jittery woman named Lisa Rosencrantz who was also a family doctor. The ceremony (which included Talia) was more meaningful to me than I expected. The focus was on the Michelle's and my responsibilties to raise these children to be respectable members of the community.

Max didn't cry during the actual circumcision. People who have been to a few of these said this was the first time they had ever seen that.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

  I've altered the photo album over at Future Photo. Some pictures were removed, and nine were added. Just for those readers that may not understand, the reason the photos are there is because Sympatico (my ISP) unreasonably limits the amount of data I can store and how much can be accessed. Future Shop lets me put up 50 megabytes of photos for no charge. All they ask is that they have the option of selling prints to people that might want them. I am not making money off these cute photos of my wonderful children.
  Everything I learned about parenting, I learned from James Lileks. James has written a daily log on the internet since 1997. A few years ago he announced the arrival of his daughter Gnat. Since then I have read many amusing stories as she has grown up. Today's account is typical. Fun story of a trip to the hospital finished off with a discussion of the greater meaning of Mr. T. Read it and make sure you visit regularly.
  Okay, a couple more baby pics. In the first, we see how Max has become part of the family. In the second, Max and Talia check each other out...

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

In 1998, Michelle and I visited Epernay in the Champagne region of France. We decided to splurge on two bottles of bubbly from some of the small producers that don't export their brand. One we decided to save for New Years Eve, 1999, and the other was for the birth of our first child. We had assumed that the child would be first, but it didn't turn out that way. But finally we have the chance to open the bottle. We split it with Oma and Opa over a nice French-style dinner. Well worth the wait.

  Michelle says we should probably mention that we are all home and doing wonderfully, rather than linking to ancient rap songs. She probably has a point.
  For the last five days I've had snippets from Rapper's Delight (the long version) by the Sugarhill Gang rattling through my brain. 15 minutes of rhymes to the same beat "goin on n n on an on an ON". Of course the internet has the lyrics written down somewhere. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

  I have only a few minutes to update right now. Things have improved a great deal at the hospital. After meeting with the various brick walls already mentioned, we found a nurse to champion our cause and work behind the scenes to get these difficulties worked out. A hospital administrator even came by Michele's room to apologise! Max stayed in our room Sunday night and Talia joined him on Monday. Much less stress and must less silliness.

The big news today is that Michelle and the twins will be released at noon! I'm off to do some errands to get some of the essentials we still need (lots of facecloths!). More pictures will be posted soon. I hope to find a better solution for how to archive all this data on the web, but I haven't had a chance yet.

Got to go...

Sunday, February 16, 2003

  I stayed with Michelle in the hospital last night. Long frustrating night. Frustrating not because of our darling babies, but because of the blinkered bureaucratic attitude of some of the nurses at the hospital. The first night we were in the labour and delivery ward, which is staffed by reasonable people. They allowed us to have the babies in our room and have lots of guests. Now we are in the maternity ward. The babies are locked in the nursery. No guests allowed in the nursery. I must scrub and wear a sterile gown to hold a baby. And then change into a different gown to hold the other baby. Feedings must be three hours apart, timed from the start time. Which means if it takes an hour and a half to feed them, we will be awoken in an hour and a half to feed them again. Whether they are interested or not. (And if they're not interested, it takes longer to feed them.) Grr.

Now we've got them discharged from the nursery, but the Maternity ward doesn't want us to keep them in our room because they are technically premature. Hopefully we will get this sorted out today.

Anyways, I took some close-up photos of our little cuties last night. Check them out at the same place as before. I'm off to the hospital now...

Friday, February 14, 2003

  Okay, I think I have a way for people to look at some of the other shots I've taken. Follow this link to look at an online photo gallery. Coincidentally, there is a way for you to order prints from this site if you are interested. These shots were taken with our nifty new camera and are of better quality than is shown (even if you follow the 'full screen' link). There is an option to download the original though.

Okay, I gotta get some sleep...
  When last we left our story, it was decided to induce labour in Michelle due to the possibility of eclampsia. This happened Thursday afternoon. Michelle was given a catheter, confined to bed, hooked up to monitors, denied food and water, attached to an IV, and given a dose of special magic induction goo.

Since she was not very effaced, we knew it would be a long process. To pass the time, I ran a movie on our laptop (Metropolis), that I had downloaded off the internet. Rene dropped by for a couple of hours around dinner - then came later to stay most of the night.

Progression towards labour? Not much. Michelle was sore and tired and was given a shot of happy juice to relax her for awhile. More magic goo was applied. Still nothing. Rene left around 4:00.

By the morning, not much had happened. Michelle was very sore and tired. Because of the monitors attached to her and her huge belly, moving was difficult. She was given another happy juice shot and told that they would decide what to do at noon.

This sounded like a good opportunity to head home, have a shower and change, and pick up some stuff we needed. But just after arriving home, Michelle called to say they were going to perform the C-section now! I grabbed a quick shower anyway (which may not have been a great idea), and sped back to the hospital in time for the procedure.

The operation went well, and the babies came out within a minute of each other, screaming and shaking their little fists.

Oma and Opa were there waiting, along with Rene, when I came out of the operating room. The babies were moved into the neonate ward to take a look at them. They had a little trouble regulating their temperature, so it was a few hours before we could take them into our room. Frustrating hours for Michelle - she had little more than a glance at them after they were born.

Michelle and I had them on our own for a little while. We tried breast-feeding, but no luck yet. They're not particularly hungry right now, I guess. Maybe next time we'll try using Michelle's breasts instead of mine.

Marjolein, Robert, and Rene returned around 8:00. I used this opportunity to head home to get the news out on the internet, and maybe get some decent sleep.

And that's all for now. I plan to be back there early tomorrow. More news will follow...
  Note: the first two photos are of Talia, the second two feature Max...
  Many people have already heard that Talia Charlotte and Max Joseph were born around noon today by caesarian section. Both babies and their mother are doing fine. Talia weighed (from memory) 4 lbs, 10 oz, and Max weighed 5 lbs, 9 oz.

There's a lot to say and a lot of photos. People want to see the babies now, so I'm going to finish this post with a few pictures, write a longer post with more about what happened, and then figure out a way to get more photos available.

So. I present to you, Talia and Max Gottfred...

Thursday, February 13, 2003

  Well, the doctors have decided to begin inducing Michelle this afternoon. It will probably take a while, so the babies will be born on the 14th or the 15th. I'm heading down to the hospital soon, but they have a coin-op internet terminal that I can use to keep this site updated. I'll announce any important developments...

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

  Breaking News! Michelle is showing some symptoms of pre-eclampsia. As a result, she has been kept overnight at the Ottawa General Hospital. The treatment for pre-eclampsia is delivery, so there is a chance that the babies will be receiving their eviction notices tomorrow.
  I haven't updated for a while and some people are starting to get cranky. So here's a couple of new pics. In the first, Michelle has toppled over in bed and is unable to get up. The second is after she has been rescued by her valiant husband.

Michelle spends most of her time in bed these days as her doctor has told her to take it easy due to a rise in her blood pressure. She's been racing through books and watching the movies I rent for her. (Today, Margaret's Museum and Waiting for Guffman.) Not the kind of life she enjoys, but it will all be coming to an end within a couple of weeks.

Last week's ultrasound revealed the boy to be 5 lb, 11 oz, and the girl to be 4 lb, 4 oz. That was at 34 weeks. This Friday will be 35 weeks. They're at good sizes to make their escapes...

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