Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Liveblogging the birth of my sister & brother-in-law's 2nd kid

My sister Alissa is about to give birth SRSLY GUYS ANY SECOND NOW and I am very excited and very much looking forward to meeting the little baby who is FOR REAL GOING TO BE BORN ANY SECOND WHOAAAAAA!!!!111!!!

Friends of the Shtetl may recall my journalistic contribution on the morning of August 30, 2010, when my supremely beloved niece, Aviva Miriam, was born. I was able to be at the hospital on the great day of that great event, but unfortunately this time I am stuck in New Orleans while this baby is squirming its way out of utero in New York.

But Readers, geography is relative, and I feel it would be a disservice to this second child - I am, after all, a second-born child myself - to not make its birth an occasion to liveblog.

So without further ado, please join me as I wait very impatiently for the arrival of the screaming munchkin!!!

But first, a little back story:

Friday, December 7
Baby due to be born. It decides not to.

Saturday, December 8
Same deal.

Sunday, December 9
Establishing a pattern. My mom says it's staying inside, "where it's warm." IT'S 80 DEGREES IN NEW ORLEANS, KID! I DO NOT SYMPATHIZE - YOU CAN JUST COME VISIT ME. Let's go already.

Monday, December 10
For real?

Tuesday, December 11
My mom says it will come on Friday. My sister, who presumably has more insight on the situation, says "no updates." These women are infuriating.

Wednesday, December 12

12:48am CST
No baby. OH BUT WAIT! A FRANTIC TEXT FROM MY SISTER IN THE WEE HOURS OF THE MORNING: THE BABY IS ON THE WAY! Well, duh. We've been expecting this for months!

But alright, I'll bite - seems everyone is just chilling at home; they'd rather wait there than at the hospital.

I get that, but I dunno, if I were having a baby I would prolly feel a little more urgency about it? But then again, I'm not having a baby (sorry Grandma - aunting is gratifying enough for now, thank you!).

My mom, who went to my sister's house to watch Aviva, tells me to go to bed because nothing will happen for several hours. I am also informed that my dad is on duty to babysit Rudy the dog, much to no-one's surprise and probably my dad's relief.

1:09am CST
I am notified by my sister that under no cirumstances am I allowed to post about the birth on Facebook. Aha! But she has said nothing about blogging.

1:31am CST
I decide to go to bed after a text exchange with my sisters that's basically the following:

Me: How are you feeling?
Pregnant Sister In Labor: Freaked out.
Me: I'm freaked out for you.

Me: She's freaked out.
Sister Who Is Not In Labor: Yeah.

Sister Who Is Not In Labor, who lives in London and so in a time zone more amenable to these early morning events, is on call to text me updates as they come in.

1:34am CST
Texts from my sister in London:

"Mom's in Brooklyn"
"Vivs is sleeping"
"They're still in the apartment hanging out. Mom's waiting for them to leave she can go to sleep haha"

3:18am CST
More texts:

"They're at the hospital sleeping"
"Mom is sleeping. Aviva is sleeping. I am on the bus in traffic."

Riveting.

5:20am CST
Email from my pregnant sister saying that her husband is sleeping.

7:52am CST
Shit I need to go to work.

9:06am CST
Email from my aunt: "OMG OMG OMG I CANT CONTROL MYSELF!!"

I feel her on that! It's really cool knowing someone since you were babies yourselves and then they grow up and have a baby.

9:42am CST
I'm taking a mental catalogue of all the gender-neutral gifties I've bought and thought about buying for this baby. It is going to have a lot of gray.

9:43am CST
It crosses my mind that my brother-in-law was not kidding about naming it Lazer.

9:47am CST
I guess Lazer wouldn't be so bad.

9:48am CST
Yes, yes it would be.

9:49am CST
Email from my mom saying she is in the waiting room at the hospital. Glad we got all our news correspondents where we need 'em.

9:52am CST
Email from an ex. They really do come out of the woodwork at the most inopportune times. DON'T YOU KNOW I'M LIVEBLOGGING A CHILDBIRTH HERE, PAL

10:01am CST
Email from my mom: The other grandma is coming to the hospital later, presumably for a knit-off.

10:05am CST
What is with these people at work calling me and asking me for things all morning? It's like they don't know I'm liveblogging a childbirth on company time. Priorities, people!

10:15am CST
Email from my brother-in-law: The doctors say she will deliver sometime in the late afternoon or early evening. Nice to know they value precision around there.

10:19am CST
"HOORAY FOR LIVE-BLOGGING AND SECOND BORN CHILDREN!" exclaims a friend and frequent Shtetl Chic Anonymous Commenter.

I have the best fans.

"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" she adds.

11:32am CST
My mom emailed to say that my brother-in-law's mom arrived at the hospital. "Good to have company," she says. I wish I had company but all I have are these coworkers and clients asking me to do things for them. A very needy bunch today indeed.

12:08pm CST
My mom texted to say the doctor thinks it will be five more hours. She's now in the hospital room "chilling," in her words. I asked how my sister looks. My sister texted back to say "I look amazing!"

1:01pm CST
Text exchange with my other sister, E.:

Me: I asked Mom how Lis looks. And Lis texted me saying "I look amazing."
E: If she's texting obviously everything is fine.
Me: Right.

1:35pm CST
My coworker is playing Christmas music loud enough so that I can hear it's Christmas music but low enough for me to not know what song it is. I am trying to counter it by playing all the versions of Adam Sandler's Chanukah Song that I can find on YouTube. One of them inexplicably is some kind of mashup with the "I'm Blue Da Boo Dee Da Boo Dai" song. This is going to be a long afternoon.

2:23pm CST
My people have made a number of important contributions to the world, but this song is not one of them: "'Oy' is just 'Yo' backwards! [Hey Ya!] Hanukkah! Why don't you meet my rabbi / He isn't such a bad guy...."

2:24pm CST
E: Is anything happening 'cause I'm getting nothing
Me: Nope

2:45pm CST
Texts between me and my dad:

Me: Did you tell Grandma and Pops?
Dad: Of course That's why they are calling so much after I told them I would call with news.
...
Dad: Just saw Lis at her request and she and Aaron look relaxed. We are all just waiting.
Me: That's good.

2:51pm CST
Texts between me and my sister E.:

Me: Dad is at the hospital now.
E: Someone's going to have to feed Rudy at 5:30.
Me: Dumpling [ed: Rudy's nickname].
E: His nose is very dry [ed: This is true].
...
Me: Dad says Lis and Aaron look relaxed. They are just waiting. Grandma and Pops know.
E: Why is she waiting? Shouldn't she be pushing? Confusion.
Me: No. Doctor says 4ish more hours. Prolly 3 at this pont.
E: Well looks like I'll be awake this evening! But I am le tired.
Me: Ahah That thing still cracks me up.
E: Me too

4:48pm CST
Breaking news! My cousin the firefighter got into GW! What a day in the Schecter family.

4:50pm CST
There is some back-and-forth between my mom and sister E. about how much dilation is required for a baby to be born. Something about "roosting" - -  to be honest, Shtetl, it all makes me a little squeamishy.

4:52pm CST
Our lovely anonymous fan from before sent us this article about the significance of today's date: "12/12/12 Is A Good Day, Say Astrologers." And if there's a group that's never wrong, it's definitely astrologers.

5:31pm CST
It is very irritating that my sister and brother-in-law are not telling us the potential names for the baby. I have tried to trick them into telling me, but it hasn't worked yet. When she was pregnant with Aviva, I even went so far as to entertain the idea of going into their apartment when they weren't home to look at the baby naming books and see which names they highlighted. "Aviva" came out of nowhere for everyone. Rumor is, this one will have a "J" name but who knows.

Text exchange between me and Alissa:

Alissa: Mom thinks I know the sex and am just not telling anyone. Why would I ever do that?
Me: Mom thinks a lot of crazy things. I just had a client named Jonathan. Will that be the baby's name?
Alissa: No comment!
Me: No comment? That's a stupid name.
...
Alissa: Grandma asked what side the baby kicked more on and I said the left. She said "Hmm, the left, very interesting. And I said, "What does that mean?" And she said it means the baby kicks more on the left side.
...
Alissa: Somehow today also managed to be the day I hit my texting limit. Bad timing.
Me: Haha how is that possible? And I am impressed that you are texting while in labor.

5:40pm CST
My dad emailed to say my cousin got into GW. I don't understand how I found out from my mom before he did, when he and my mom were in the room together when my mom found out? Communication - not always a strong suit in my family.

5:43pm CST
Despite my efforts to keep Alissa from knowing I was liveblogging her reproductive activity, she sent me the following text:

"And your blog says Dad was on babysitting duty but supposedly Rudy hasn't been walked since 4am."

Totally busted! This is typical Alissa behavior - sitting in a hospital bed, while in labor, correcting factual inaccuracies in my blogpost about her sitting in a hospital bed while in labor. Love her.

5:54pm CST
E: She said it's going to be a while
Me: Yeah
E: At this rate there will be no 121212 baby
Me: I was thinking that
E: Well there will be some. I just don't know them.

5:56pm CST
Me: Who told you I was blogging?
Alissa: I get it on my Google Reader feed.
Me: Ohhh busted by a true fan

6:34pm CST
My parents are leaving the hospital because they think it's going to be a few more hours. My sister in London is going to bed. Well, Unborn Child, you see your Aunt Arielle is the only one who really cares!

7:22pm CST
Making applesauce for the latke party I'm having tomorrow. You should come! And hopefully by then you can say nice things to me like, "Wow, your sister had a baby? That's awesome!"

8:10pm CST
Talked to my mom. Got some gory details about amniotic fluid, contractions, et al. Everyone hopes the baby has a 12/12/12 birthday. Otherwise I'm afraid it will be resigned to a life of, "Oh, you were born December 13th, 2012? One day earlier and you would have had 12/12/12!" ...Sigh, yes.

9:16pm CST
Mom's going to bed. Anonymous Friend of the Shtetl sends best regards, saying she raced home from grad school to see if the baby had been born yet. Alas. This fetus is calling the shots today.

10:00pm CST
One hour to go to land that coveted birthday, Baby!

10:25pm CST
My sister says there's been no progress. Off to bed for me. If the baby decides to make an appearance anytime soon, I will be sure to let you know!

December 13, 2012

12:04am EST still 12/12/12 in New Orleans!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSHUA NATHANIEL!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU ALREADY!
YOU'RE A BIG SISTER, AVIVA!