Saturday, July 11, 2009

More Birdie pictures (again!), and other stuff

Here are some more pictures of Birdie for you to enjoy! Lydia is a sweet big sister, and always wants to help take care of Birdie. She especially always wants to give her the pacifier!

On the 4th of July, we had a chance to celebrate the day with several other expat Americans. It was planned as a cookout in a park, but the weather did not cooperate. However, the good thing was that it was held in the new school building instead! It was a treat to get to see the new building. The school had been looking for a new location for a long time, and they really needed to find something for next year. After several other possibilities fell through, they finally found a place that looks great!

Here is the new school building!

On Tuesday, we decided to enjoy the nice weather in a new place. We took a bus to an island in the gulf, where there is a town called Kronshtadt. It was nice to take a relaxing stroll in a smaller, quieter town, and to see the beautiful cathedral there.

We've really been enjoying having "Mimi" (Aaron's mom) here for the past two weeks. Yesterday "Poppi" arrived as well! Lydia is loving the extra attention (and ice cream treats whenever they go to the park!)

Friday, July 3, 2009

More Birdie Pictures & Sailboats

Birdie continues to be a peaceful baby, now a week and five days old. She's doing well, and she has even slept for a few 5-hour stretches at night. Not consistently yet, but it's a good sign! Here's another slide show of Birdie pictures:

Here's something else neat that happened here recently: On Saturday, June 27th, the Volvo Ocean Race ended here in St. Petersburg. I was still in the birth hospital, but Aaron, his mom, and Lydia went to enjoy the festivities on the bank of the Neva River, by the Peter and Paul Fortress. The sailboats came in through the raised bridges and paraded in front of the fortress. It was the end of a race around the world that started back in October.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Our daughter is born!

Announcing the birth of Birdie Vera Miner, born on June 22 at 9:30pm!
3.468 kg (7 lbs, 10 oz)
52 cm long (20.5 in)

Birdie was the name of one of Aaron's great-grandmothers, and Vera is a Russian name, which is also the Russian word for "faith."

Here's the story:

Thursday, June 18- I have a doctor appointment in the afternoon. He checks me and says my cervix is "preparing," and that he thinks it won't be much longer... He wants to see me again on Monday afternoon.

Friday, June 19- In the morning I wake up feeling contractions coming regularly, every 10 or 11 minutes. I think, "This is the day!" Aaron cancels his language lesson with the man he is tutoring in English. Later in the morning, though, the contractions stop. False alarm!

Saturday, June 20- Feeling good. Aaron and I have tickets to see a ballet at the Mariinsky Theater. It's a performance of the graduates from the St. Petersburg ballet academy. Unfortunately, Aaron has a bad sinus headache, so I go with my friend Alyona. We have awesome seats (row 3!) and really enjoy it.

Sunday, June 21- I announce at church that my doctor thinks I'll have the baby sometime this week. Someone comments, "Maybe tomorrow!"

Monday, June 22- Doctor appointment in the afternoon. Surprise! I'm already dilated 4 cm! My doctor says he thinks we'll meet at the Roddom (birth house) at 5 or 6 that evening, and the labor will be starting. (It's like he has it all planned out!) Later on, I'm feeling more contractions. I call him and he says, "Meet me at 6:00." At 6pm, Aaron and I walk to the Roddom (only about 5 minutes away). We do a load of paperwork (couldn't some of this have been done earlier?) They take us to the delivery room, hook me up to a monitor to watch the contractions, and right away they start getting stronger and closer together. After about 15 minutes, the doctor comes back in and says it's time for the epidural. Just about the time the epidural kicks in, it's almost time to start pushing! At 9pm, Aaron asks the nurse how much longer she thinks it will be. She says she thinks maximum 12am; minimum 10 or 11pm. Birdie was born at 9:30pm!! I couldn't believe how fast everything went! Praise the Lord! A much different experience than when Lydia was born.

Here's a slide show of the birth pictures. Aaron was quite the photo-journalist and captured the experience well!

I would have been able to come home from the Roddom on Thursday, but when they checked my blood, I had a high leukocyte (white blood cell) count. So they kept me longer and started giving me IVs with antibiotics. They thought I must have some kind of infection, although I felt fine the whole time. The only symptom was a slight high temperature one night. I finally got to come home on Monday (the 29th). I couldn't wait to get home, but at least the long hospital stay gave me plenty of time to rest and recover. Birdie was in the room with me the whole time. Aaron was the only one allowed to visit. I could have had other visitors, but they would have had to have a recent chest X-ray to be allowed in.

Aaron's mom is visiting right now. She arrived on the Thursday after Birdie was born. It's been great to have her here to watch Lydia and help out with cooking & cleaning. It was good to come home from the hospital and find everything in order in the house!