Friday, September 28, 2007

BIRTHday post

I'll start slowly working on this now (Tuesday) and see how long it takes me to get it pulled together, little by little. Maybe we'll have a name chosen by the time I'm done.

Jaan and Raia woke up at 7:00 monday morning, right as the baby was born. As they stumbled in to meet her, Raia's first response was "Малышка? Отдай!" ("Baby? Hand it over!") Since then, every time I've said something about "our baby," she insists, "No! Mine!" Jaan loves the baby, and wants to hold her constantly, but right at first he was more interested in the details of how the pool got into the room, where the hose came from, if he could go swimming, and so on.

First meeting
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

The baby cried right away, but she calmed down very quickly to the sound of my voice and Will's. I was amazed at her reaction to Jaan and Raia. As soon as she heard them, she lifted her head and tried to look at them!

With big brother
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

. . . and big sister
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

She has feet!
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

"But then why can't she walk? Or at least stand up?"

After a few hours together as a family, Jaan and Raia went to visit friends for the day. Soon after they left, a midwife that we had called from Moscow arrived to check us. She said her trip was pretty much useless; it's rare that she sees both mother and baby in such perfectly good shape. But she did weigh and measure the baby for us.

54 centimeters long
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

So far, the baby seems to be pretty fussy, but very sweet, of course. She wants to eat all the time, so I'm hoping she'll be happier once my milk comes in. She has dark hair, and looks a lot like a fatter version of a newborn Jaan. She's has very alert times, and loves to be talked to. It sure looks like she focuses right on our faces and wants to interact with us. Like all healthy babies, she has a great pair of lungs, but unlike others, she also has a funny shriek, unlike anything I've ever heard before.

Oh, I heard Will muttering about Murphy's Laws of Birth. Some of our last words before bed Sunday night were from Will, "I should have asked Pasha for the pump today" (to blow up the pool) and from me, "It would be really nice if those welders would come tomorrow." (The hot water for our building had been off for a week or so, because some welding needed to be done on the pipes outside. Of course, they came Monday morning, after Will had heated all the water on the stove, just like he had to last time.)

I think I spoke too soon in saying that Asya is fussy. She was her first day, but she's settled down already. She sleeps most of the time, as she should. I know it can probably be explained away as gas, but yesterday (Wednesday) she looked right in my face, met my eyes and smiled. . . twice!

And, yes, Asya is much happier with real milk!

By the way, this time the church has decided that they're going to help us with our new baby. I've been very encouraged by everyone's involvement, even if it is a little much sometimes. We had several helpers a day, almost every day this week! Most people have never seen a baby this small, so it's quite interesting to see their reactions to Asya. (Especially in the old days, even mothers weren't shown their babies until later on than this.) Also, the newborn stage is when I do everything "wrong" by Russian standards, so. . . like I said, it's interesting.


Carrie said...

What sweet photos. Isn't it great to watch Jaan and Raia interact with Asya? Abigail is Caleb's baby as he says, =). Oh, she looks so cute and chubby. Hope Asya and Abigail can meet soon.

Ellizabeth said...

Ura!!! Asya's here, and everyone's healthy!! thanks for the post, Phyllis--I laughed hearing about Jaan wondering if he could go swimming too!! :)
P.S. unfortunately, the Anne books didn't make it into my suitcase under the weight limit this time...but the Anne dvds did! any interest in those?? the books are among the first things I want to ship over...we'll see if they make it...

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! It fills in "gaps" in our thinking! I love Raia's, "Baby? Hand it over"! She must be a real character! I know she and Asya will be close and good friends! And, I know Jaan is a fabulous big brother, as well! (He's already had two years practice!) It's so nice the people of the church are helping you all! You mean a lot to them, I'm sure! Love y'all lots! Julie

Mom said...

Thank you so much for all the specifics; I know I will read the post several times today, trying to catch each detail clearly.

Much love to each one....

Mrs said...

It sounds as if your labor proceeded quickly from gonig to bed Sunday night to Jaan and Raia waking in the morning? When did labor begin?

Thank you for all the photos! I keep coming back to this site to peek at her!

Rebecca said...

My mother told me those smiles were never gas ... that if they were awake they were smiles at you, and if asleep, they were playing with the cherubs. :)

WestKalGal said...

Congrats!!! (I know I already said that on facebook, but I wanted to do it here too!) And I asked you question on facebook (as a comment under your photo) that got answered here... home waterbirth... AWESOME! I did that with both my girls, after hospital births with both my boys.

I think it's hysterical that Raia said that as soon as she saw Asya... it's similar to what Olivia said when Kevin put her in bed with me to see Afton after the birth... "Mine, I take it!" Little ones are soooooo funny! Was Raia very possessive of your pregnant belly before birth? Olivia was of mine... she wouldn't tolerate anybody but her giving my belly attention... ha ha!!! There are 27 months between Olivia and Afton... what is the age difference between Raia and Asya?

So, I'm very interested... why don't Russian mothers see their babies right away... and what all do they consider you to be doing "wrong"?

Anyway, thanks for putting pics on here... they are great... you have such a sweet family! :o)

Oregon Criss's said...

I'm SO glad things went so well! Am I to assume Will and You did the delivery yourself than? You mentioned the midwife came later but it sounded like she hadn't been there yet...or maybe just that she realized you were doing well enough without her. I have to agree about the smiles. I believe babies feel more than 'just gas' and though sleepy one's i'd account to that, I believe that if they are looking at you than they are trying to express what they feel :)
SO THRILLED PHYLLIS! Hilarious about Raia's responce. My boys were too close together to be that way and now they are too far apart from Ella. Yesterday was her immunizations and she weighed in at 9 lbs. Course the scale is different than the nurse that comes in every week but I'll take 9 lbs! Our doc also said Ella has the go ahead for getting her ears peirced!! Ya Hoo!!! So when she feels better we'll head in to do that! I'm SO excited!
Enough jabber from me! I'm SO excited for you!!!!

macphil said...

I finally figured out your video on DropShot. It doesn't work with Macs or Windows. Here is a link to the copy you sent me by email. It will work with Macs or Windows as long as QuickTime is installed. Free from Apple.
Anyone with questions feel free to email me at . I might even answer.

Alissa Maxwell said...

Phyllis - whenever the church ladies are giving you a hard time about your parenting, you should just point at Jaan and Raia. How could anyone argue with your methods after seeing those two healthy, happy, and well adjusted children? Well, I suppose Russian grandmas can argue with just about anything! =)

Martha A. said...

Congratulations! How can they argue, because it is different, and the russian way they have always done it is best, right? I hope you are recovering well!

Phyllis said...

Mrs, I never know how to answer those questions. . . how long was labor? Oh, about nine months. :-) I have contractions from the beginning of pregnancy to the end, so it's hard to say when I actually go into labor.

Jennifer, Raia and Asya are 27 months apart, too! Russian birth hospitals are mostly stuck in the dark ages. It's getting better in some places, but standard practice is at least a one-week hospital stay, no visits from papa, babies might be brought around for feedings every three hours (but in our city even that can cost a bribe), mothers aren't allowed to unswaddle them (my friend Carrie posted a great photo of a properly wrapped baby). . . . Again, it is getting better. What I'm telling you is mostly from local horror stories, and our birth hospital is the worst in the region. Carrie, halfway across Russia from us, in a big city, just had a great hospital experience. As to what I'm doing wrong. . . it's a pretty long list. :-) To make a broad cultural statement, America is a country of individualists; Russia is NOT. For most things there is one Right Way to do them, and to me it seems like that's especially true with babies and child raising. We don't swaddle properly (with Jaan we only swaddled at night! horrors!); we hold our babies upright; I feed when the baby is hungry; I eat food "with vitamins in it" while nursing; I've even been known to open windows!

Alissa, you're right. Babushki can argue with anything. Once when I pointed to Jaan and said that I'd treated him just the same way, I was told that I was just lucky had hadn't turned out a hunchback or cripple! :-)

I'm sure I probably missed answering something. Sorry! If you're still curious, ask again.

Anonymous said...

I just emailed you and then checked your blog (should have done it the other way around:) ). Oh, God is good!!!! I am so very thankful that she is here, healthy and beautiful. Praise the Lord!!!! ~Ericka

DaDaHaZaReJe said...

So glad you are doing well! What sweet kiddos you have - I love the look on Jaan's face as he looks at her feet. Baby feet are wonderful, aren't they?

Will gets an award for filling your pool, heating your water and ... delivering Asya! I know you helped! ;-)