Sunday, June 29, 2008

Brand New Niece!

My brother and sister-in-law, M and A, had their baby yesterday -- a little girl. Last fall, after trying to conceive for more than 2 years, as S and I were newly navigating infertility waters and quietly undergoing all the various tests, M called to tell me that he and A had decided their lives were not complete with only 2 happy children, and were going off birth control that month to try to conceive #3. Three weeks later, as we were mourning yet another failed cycle, M called back to announce that A was pregnant. (Yes, that's right -- child #1 and child #3 were both conceived during their first month trying; child #2 was the frustrating one -- she took them two cycles.) At the time, I was barely able to congratulate them without bursting into tears. It became easier once I got pregnant, even easier as my pregnancy has progressed so uneventfully.

So, I am happy to report that I am now, without any conflicting emotions at all, 100% happy for them. Surprised that it was a little girl (my money was on boy) but happy nonetheless. Not the least because them having a little girl means that they can't steal the name that S and I picked out for baby Barack, which M has been threatening to do for the last several months. And, true to form, the labor went as smoothly for them as the conception had gone. A's water broke at midnight, the baby was born at 7am, no interventions required, weighing 7 ounces and change. All just one day before the official due date, so right on time. Neat and tidy. The only "sad" part is that, since they live several thousand miles away, we won't be able to visit and meet the new addition until after I give birth. The plan, at the moment, is for everyone (me and S and Barack, and M and A and all 3 of their kids) to all visit my parents around Chanukah for a week-long visit to acquaint all the cousins, and introduce the babies to the extended family. (For M and A et. al, that will be a 7-hour drive with 3 kids; for me and S, a 2-legged flight with a 3-month old -- who do you pity more?)

In other news: for the past week, I've been feeling increasingly short of breath, which is having the unfortunate psychological side effect of making me feel constantly anxious. I had been blaming it on Barack pushing upwards and compressing my lungs, but couldn't explain why it had suddenly gotten so much worse. As I stood outside gasping for air after a fairly short walk, I noticed that S wasn't doing much better, despite being in excellent health. When I asked him what was wrong, he looked at me like I was completely nuts and pointed to the sky.

Remember how I mentioned that we've had no rain and intensely high heat for the past few weeks? I forgot to mention the huge numbers of wild fires that resulted from that combination. None of them are too out of control, as these things go, and none are threatening any homes, so they're not really making news. But, they are fairly close to us, surrounding us on several sides. The result is incredibly bad air quality for the last week. As in, the sky has been perpetually grayish-yellow. The mountains usually visible from the street have quietly disappeared in the haze. The air has an odd pungent smell. The sunsets glow an unnatural orange. And just about everyone, pregnant or not, has been having difficulty breathing normally, because of all the particles in the air.

The odd part, of course, is how I failed to put together my shortness of breath and chest-tightening anxiety with the fact that the air was noticeably visible and smelly. Apparently, I'm just that stupid. Now that I've been avoiding doing much outside, and using the re-circ feature when in my car, I'm starting to feel better. And as the fires are extinguished one by one, the air quality is slowly improving. I'm also feeling sorry for the poor saps who live in cities like LA that have bad air quality all the time. Seriously -- I don't know how they do it.


  1. your not stupid, your pre-occupied!

    I am glad that your bil and sil had a girl and will not be using your name!!!

  2. Very good news on the girl, as I'm glad there will be no name stealing! I hope the breathing problems get better though.

  3. Congrats on your new niece -- I'm so glad she was a niece and not a nephew so you don't have to stress about them using your name.

    And I'm glad you figured out the cause of the shortness of breath -- that is bad enough during pregnancy as it is!


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