Monday, May 21, 2007

Welcome to the World, Ada Rose!

Born Thursday, May 17th at 4:00pm
Weighs 9lbs
Length 20 in
Ada was my mother's grandmother's name
Rose was my father's grandmother's name
Star Sign: Taurus

My due date was Monday, May 14th, and as I watched it come and go I was able to wax philosophical and figure that this baby would come within a day or two. This relaxed attitude lasted until the next day, when at my doctor's appointment he pronounced that it probably would not happen very soon and that if I hadn't had the baby in the next WEEK to come back for another appointment. What? But this baby needs to be born SOON! To make matters worse, my doctor cavalierly mentioned as I was leaving that he was leaving on vacation the next day for ten days and that Dr. Handaya (I still don't know his name) would actually deliver the baby. What?? But this was the entire reason I had chosen again to go with Dr. Robert: for all he lacks in bedside manner, he was stellar when Emmerson was born. I trusted him completely, and now he tells me, days before this baby was to be born, that he wouldn't even be around? I dealt with this unpleasant news by heading to Plaza Indonesia, eating by myself at Hard Rock Cafe and buying a few fancy Indonesia coffee table books to display at our eventual home in Chicago.

So when I woke up the following morning at 4:00am with a contraction, all I could do was second-guess myself: "But Dr. Robert said I wasn't ready!" After about five hours of steady contractions, however, I figured that maybe he didn't know everything. I called my friend Alison who was vacationing in Vietnam and is a doctor, and she agreed that we should get ourselves to the hospital. Oh, and I should mention that Ian and I have been on a highly organized schedule for the past several weeks, trying to arrange for movers, plane tickets, real estate searching, and a mortgage preapproval. In the pre-dawn hours as I was waiting for Ian to wake up, I figured that I could get something done, so I completed our mortgage application! Between contractions, of course.

Emmerson's nanny came over to take watch her for the day (Thursday was actually Ascension Day- the ascension of Jesus- and was a public holiday so no one had to work). We arrived at the hospital around 11:00am, waited around for a few hours, and then Ada was born at 4:00pm. It was amazing because we were expecting a repeat of Emmerson's birth, which was hours and hours of waiting before anything actually happened. This time around was mercifully quick and relatively stress-free, even with the unknown Dr. Handaya! He actually turned out to be pretty cool, regaling us with stories of eating clam chowder in San Francisco, all the while resting his arm on my propped up knee. A very casual guy, which helped us relax. Although I still thought that Ian could have passed out at any time, but he was a trooper and very helpfully fanned my head while facing towards the wall.

We had a little time with Ada, and then she was whisked away to the baby room for measurement and so that she wouldn't be "dinggin" (cold-- Indonesians are obsessed with the idea that babies and young children need to be bundled to within an inch of their life). By that time it was about 5:00pm, and "American Idol" (the results show-- the one where Melinda was kicked off-- I think she was robbed) was just starting, so we ate our hospital dinners and kicked back for some mindless entertainment. We looked at each other in amazement and deep appreciation for this wonderful experience and thanked God for blessing us in this new and miraculous way.

Here are some shots from Ada's first four days of life:Ada Rose on Shutterfly

Leaving for the Hospital

Reading Oprah while I Wait

Ada and Ian

Doctor Handaya and Nurse

Ada and Me

Sisters. Emmerson has been a great big sister. First thing in the morning she always wants to "go see Baby Ada!" She is very gentle with her and enjoys describing what the baby is doing. She is very observant. While reading the nursery rhyme "Georgie Porgie" this morning, when we got to the part where he "kissed the girls and made them cry", Emmerson commented, "like Baby Ada!"

The Three Duell Girls

First Night Home

Indonesians present these giant floral signs at store openings, weddings, funerals, etc. They are extremely tacky and, in addition to the real thing, are usually adorned with mounds of fake flowers. One of the tackiest aspects of these signs, however, is that who the sign is from is often as big or BIGGER than who the sign is for. Our friends here at school followed this rule of thumb, as you can see! This giant sign is sitting outside our apartment door and gives us a good chuckle every time we see it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mother's Day and 40 Weeks

Today marks 40 weeks and 1 day! We are getting anxious for the arrival of Baby D. 2.0. Mother's Day was nice. Emmerson's school had a little program which I was able to attend, then we went out for brunch on Sunday with some friends.

Here are these photos and those from the previous post on Shutterfly: May 2007

40 Weeks +1 Day

Little House at Emmerson's School

Emmerson's Friend Marena

Welcome Song for Mother's Day Program

Eating Noodles

Clapping With Marena

Mother's Day Brunch

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Chinese Jammies and 39 Weeks

Monday marked 39 weeks. Any day now, and it couldn't come sooner. I'm ready! Actually, I'm on maternity leave now and have been enjoying the extra time by preparing for our impending move, setting up baby stuff, playing with Emmerson, and relaxing by myself when possible. It's been a nice time.

These are Emmerson's favorite pajamas. Ian thinks that with the slicked back hair, she looks like an actor out of an old Kung Fu movie. Enter the dragon!

Chinese Jammies

39 Weeks

Handy Table

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

38 Weeks: The Countdown is On!

One of the most interesting aspects of living overseas is the culture differential. Some things that are perfectly acceptable in the U.S. are considered rude in Indonesia. Personal confrontation, for example, is not looked upon as a potentially good, healthy way to resolve differences. Indonesian people put on a happy face and would NEVER consider confronting someone with a complaint or criticism. HOWEVER, where we Americans enthusiastically embrace the "little white lie" in circumstances of personal appearance, etc., Indonesians (and many other Asians, I've been told) will not hesitate to tell you if you look "fat", "tired", etc. All very cheerfully, of course, but still, it does make you stop and think. Anyway, I had my very own "Indonesian experience" the other morning in the staff lounge. It was 7:30am, I just gotten to school and was pouring myself a cup of coffee. Two of the Indonesian staff (Asrael and Wi Wi, for you ex-NJISers) started staring at me and discussing whether they think I'm having a boy or a girl. Finally, the man says, "We think you're definitely having a boy!" "Oh, why is that?" I asked. "Because we Indonesians believe that if you're having a GIRL, you look "cantik" (beautiful), but if you're having a BOY, then no, your face is rough, and not so beautiful." "Oh. And you think I'm having a BOY?" "Yes, yes! With Emmerson you looked beautiful, but now it's different!" At this point, I am ready to burst into tears (remember I am 8 1/2 months pregnant and certainly already not feeling like I'm going to be making the cover of Glamour anytime soon, and a little extra emotional to boot). Another Indonesian staff member (Risna) then comes in and realizes that I'm perhaps feeling a bit sensitive. She starts saying, "No, no, SAME as with Emmerson! She's having a GIRL!" But the other two didn't catch her social cue, so they actually ARGUED with her, "No, no, different! With Emmerson so nice, but now different!" I finished pouring my coffee and practically ran (as fast as a hugely pg lady can run) out of there, straight into Ian's arms where I blurted out the whole story. He then proceeded to tell his 8th grade students the story as an example of cultural conflicts, and then told it AGAIN to the people he interviewed with for a high school social studies job that night!!! He ended up getting the job, so I guess it was a worthwhile sacrifice. Hmm, on a funny note, Asrael just walked through the library. I gave him a big smile, all the while wanting to give him a few "critiques" of my own. So anyway, much ado about nothing, really, but just a big funny story about the clash of the cultures!

38 Weeks

Lilypie 2nd Birthday Ticker

Lilypie 4th Birthday Ticker