Happy Birthday, Ken!

Last night, for the 9th year in a row, I managed to pull off a surprise birthday party for Ken!  His actual birthday isn’t until the 26th, but since he was on a Clinic Week this week, I figured this would be the easiest time to do it.  I also wanted to make sure some of the folks from his firm were able to join us.  This one was probably the easiest party, as far as planning goes.  We had a nice dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant with about 10 friends, and then we had a delicious cake from Whole Foods! Ken's Birthday 4

Ken's Birthday

Ken's Birthday 2

Ken almost ruined it yesterday though… in the morning I said, “we should go out for sushi tonight!” since my plan was to just show up at the restaurant with Ken and have everyone surprise him, but then Ken said, “no, let’s stay in tonight.”  So in my mind I started to panic… I had already made a reservation for 10 people and everyone had already confirmed that they would be coming… what was I going to do?  Luckily, Ken was doing surgeries yesterday morning with our Ophthalmology Resident friend, so I put in an emergency call to his wife who happens to be pregnant (so I figured she could be “craving” sushi), and she told him the problem.  Two hours later I got a text from Ken informing me that we would be going to get sushi with them.  Little did he know… I already knew! 🙂  So in the end, it all worked out and we had a great time!

I actually gave Ken his birthday present a couple weeks ago since I was too excited to hold on to it until his actual birthday.  My mom and Julia helped to make it!   Ken's Birthday 3

8 Years Ago Today…

8 years ago today it was Sunday, September 12th, 2004.  It was 3 days after my 19th birthday, and I had just started college classes less than a week before.  When I first arrived at college, I knew I wanted to become involved with the Jewish community on campus, so I went to Hillel and signed up to participate in their H2O program, which stood for “Hopkins Hillel Orientation.”  They had a bunch of events… a bagel brunch, an ice cream social, and a trip to an Orioles game, just to name a few.  I had always been into baseball so I signed up and got a ticket to the Orioles game… it was against the Yankees.  On the bus on the way there, I sat next to this girl, Jamie, who had been trying to convince me to audition for the Jewish acapella group on campus.  At the game I sat next to her, and she was sitting next to her friend, Ken.  Jamie kept trying to engage me and Ken in conversation and the three of us spent the first 4 innings talking.  At some point, Ken and Jamie got up to get lunch and when they came back from lunch, they switched places so that I was sitting next to Ken.  We talked the entire rest of the game, we sat next to one another on the bus heading back to campus, and that evening after my audition (I did get into the acapella group!) we went out to dinner.  The next day we went on a long walk around campus, and we had both lunch and dinner together… three and a half years later, we got engaged (December, 2007), then we got married (July, 2009), and now we’re expecting our first baby! 

It’s amazing to think back to the little choices that you make in life and how much they can affect your life in the long-run.  It’s also amazing to think how different things would have turned out if you had made slightly different choices, but it’s important to be grateful that each of the choices you did make put you where you are today.  I’m so happy that I got into Hopkins off of the waiting list, that I ultimately decided to go there, that I participated in the H2O program, and that I decided to go to the Baseball game that day 8 years ago because otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am today. 

I love you, Ken!  (Even though (as I like to remind him all the time) he was wearing a Yankees jersey on the day I met him!)  He quickly renounced the Yankees and became an Orioles fan!  And here he is at his most recent Orioles game, earlier this season:   

NBR & My Vent on the Bump

NBR = Not Baby Related: 

I have a story to share from this morning… on my way to work, I drive by an area under the highway where a lot of homeless people hang out during the day.  Especially during rush hour, there are often people out there asking for money.  Ordinarily I don’t like to give money to people asking on the street because I figure you never know what they’re going to use it for, and while I’m sure that not all of them are alcoholics or drug addicts, I have this very negative assumption (prejudice?) that a lot of them use the money they’re given for alcohol or drugs and frankly, I don’t want to help fuel their addictions.  I would much prefer to give money to an organization or group that will provide services for them–that’s why I like to donate our old clothes and other things we’re getting rid of to Bridge House and Grace House, residential facilities for men and women, respectively, recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.  It’s an organization that provides services, job training, housing and medical treatment to people in need.  I would much prefer to give to an organization like that or to a homeless shelter, or a battered women’s shelter than to give directly to an individual asking for money on the street. 

This morning though, on my way to work, there was a boy out there asking for money–he couldn’t have been older than about 17 or 18 (he barely had peach fuzz on his face) and he had a sign that said “Homeless and Hungry.”  Suddenly this wave of maternal instinct (?) or guilt (?) or something came over me and I immediately started thinking… this kid has parents somewhere, possibly siblings, aunts and uncles, and he’s here in New Orleans, under the highway asking for money.  I know nothing about the circumstances that got him here (did he run away? was he kicked out of the house? did his parents die?  is he a drug addict?) but if I were his mother, I would be worried sick about him.  If my own daughter ever ended up in a situation like that, for any reason, I would want people to help her out because even if she makes mistakes, even stupid ones that get her into a situation like that, I will always love her and care about her and want her to be safe and healthy and cared for.  There was no way I was going to give this kid money, in case he was going to just go spend it on drugs, but I instinctively reached across to the passenger seat, where my bagged lunch was sitting, and I grabbed the plum I brought for my afternoon snack and I gave it to this boy.  At least he’ll have something to eat today, and something healthy at that!

I share this because this was very uncharacteristic for me… ordinarily when people ask me for money on the street, I try to avoid making eye contact, I ignore them, and I just walk by quickly and say something like, “Sorry, not today.”  But today I felt differently when I saw him.  I don’t know what it was but  maybe it was the soon-to-be-mother in me speaking up and wanting to protect this kid.  Hey, I’d say that was my mitzvah for the day!

And now in more baby-related news, today I wrote a vent on the Bump about inductions and I thought I would share it with all of you… no, you’re not allowed to quote me because I’m sure that when I get to 38/39/40 weeks (if I make it that far), I’m going to be miserable and begging to be induced and to just get the baby out as quickly as possible in whatever way you can, but today this is how I was feeling in response to reading a few posts on the “3rd Trimester” board from women who just want to be induced because they’re feeling impatient and uncomfortable… so here’s what I said in my vent:

“I don’t understand why SOOOOOO many women want to get induced?!?! 

I understand that towards the end of pregnancy we’re all going to be miserable and feel huge, and we’re going to be tired and not sleeping well and in pain and swollen, but we all know that when doctors estimate your “due date,” it’s just that, an estimation… the average is 40 weeks +/- 2 weeks, so anywhere from 38-42 weeks is “normal.”  So why do sooooooo many doctors and so many women opt for inductions right at 40 weeks, or just a few days past 40 weeks?

(I understand that in certain situations it is absolutely necessary–take a woman with Gestational Diabetes who has a very large baby, for example, or a woman whose husband is in the military and is scheduled to be deployed on X date, I can understand in those types of situations why you would absolutely want to induce, but I’m talking about situations where there’s no medical reason to induce and people opt to get induced a few days before or after their “estimated due date” just because they don’t want to be pregnant anymore.)

I know a lot of you have mentioned the movie, “The Business of Being Born” as being very eye-opening for you, and it certainly was for me.  It seems to me that women have been going through labor and delivery for thousands and thousands of years, our bodies are designed to do this, and the best possible outcome is to let the process unfold as naturally as possible.  Inducing a woman to go into labor seems to be asking for complications… you’re artificially starting her contractions, which then make the contractions worse, often cause the baby to react negatively to labor, and cause the need for an emergency C-Section.  Why not just let nature take its course and let things play out the way your body is designed to let things play out?!”

What are your thoughts?

Movin’ on Up!

No matter how you count trimesters, I am now officially in my 2nd trimester.  Whether you say a trimester is 12 weeks, 13 weeks and 3 days or 13 weeks, I am now definitely in my 2nd trimester because today I am 14 weeks pregnant.  The baby seems to be going through a Citrus phase because this week he/she is a lemon and next week he/she will be an orange.

I don’t really have much news this week… nothing very exciting has happened except that on Sunday we went with our friends Caitlin and Tyler to the Angola Prison Rodeo.  That was definitely one of those “only in Louisiana” kinds of experience.  Basically, it’s a rodeo that takes place on the grounds of the Louisiana State Penitentiary.  All of the participants in the rodeo are inmates, and they compete for money.  Some of the events that were most memorable were the last one, called Guts and Glory: they attach a poker chip to the forehead of a bull, and about 15 inmates were in the arena when the Bull was let loose.  Whoever was able to grab the poker chip from the bull’s forehead won $500.  Another event that was very memorable, was when they put 6 hoola hoops on the ground, and there was an inmate standing in each one.  The last man standing was the “winner.”  The bull would just sort of charge at each of them individaully, so it was really a question of when the bull decided to give up and stop charging.  In addition to the rodeo, there was also a crafts fair, and all of the crafts were for sale.  The most impressive thing we saw was all of the woodwork.  Apparently there’s a woodshop on the prison grounds where inmates are taught how to work with wood.  There was some beautiful furniture, some beautiful bowls and cutting boards and some free-standing kitchen islands with butcher block surfaces.  If we had known that there would be such amazing furniture available for purchase, we would have been sure to take a car with plenty of room in the backseat or trunk, or we might have even considered renting a truck for the day.  Some of the pieces were quite impressive!  The only thing we bought was a little Fleur-de-Lys print.  It’s very pretty, and we’ll always be able to say that we bought it at the Angola Prison!  So other than that I don’t really have much to report… I’ll be seeing the MFM doctor again on Thursday, so hopefully I’ll have some good news after that.  Until then, have a great week!