Lots of Family and new Friends

We’ve had an eventful and pleasant stay with our new daughter. She has been absolutely amazing. What a dream little baby she is. She eats so well. Sleeps so well and is content the rest of the time. Moustapha and I both slept pretty well last night. The first night I was on such a high from delivery that I only slept for 2 hours. Moustapha and Trinity were both sleeping and I was wandering around the room cleaning and fixing Trinity’s baby book and laying out candles for visitors. I don’t know what I was thinking…I was in a fog! 🙂

On Monday Trinity had some special visitors. Her Aunt Leila and Aunt Amira both came by. Leila just delivered a handsome baby boy of her own- our nephew Cesar, on August 27th. We also had visits from the delivering doctor, our registering nurse. Bakri came by with Grandmother and they brought a birthday cake for Trinity. Grandma and Jiddy brought Maddux over later that evening and he also sang happy birthday and enjoyed some cake.

Aunt Leila with Daddy and Trinity

Aunt Leila, Momma, Bakri & Trinity Maddux goes in for a kiss!

We loved our Nurse- Tricia!

Aunt Amira with Trinity

Dr. Rosen delivered Trinity because Dr. Manning was out of town. She was on her way to the hospital- arriving at 7pm, but Trinity came at 6:34pm. Thank you, Dr. Rosen for a great job!
Leila and Trinity Grandmother and Trinity

Grandmother with Trinity

Labor and Delivery


September 21st, 2008

Here is a “brief” summary of the events yesterday. When I finished my last blog we were on our way to the hospital and I was confident that I was in labor.

* Moustapha and I arrived at the hospital around 11:30 am with Bakri and Maddux. I was placed on a monitor- to monitor the baby’s heartrate as well as time and measure the strength of contractions. After I was on the monitor for about an hour, the nurse checked me and my cervix was 2 cm dilated and 30% effaced. This was about the same as it was the week before in Dr. Manning’s office. The contractions were approximately 5 minutes apart, regular and strong. The doctor on call – Dr. Rosen- wanted to continue to monitor me. So, we waited. My parents and sister had arrived by then, so they were able to take the boys out of the room and keep them occupied.

We continued to be monitored and I was hopeful that there would be change the next time I was examined.

* At 3:20pm Dr. Rosen checked me and there was little change in my cervix. I was disappointed. But, since my contractions were very strong and only 5 minutes apart, there was no way they were sending me home in that condition- thank God! So, I was being admitted and at that point I was told that I was in “early labor.”

* Dr. Rosen suggested that I might like to walk around the floor some which sometimes helps labor to progress. I was eager to get things going.

* At 3:35 pm I walked out of the maternity wing to find Bakri and Maddux. I only took a couple of steps in the hall and my water broke. It wasn’t like a big dramatic scene out of a movie. Just some uncontrollable leaking. 🙂 I am glad it broke at the hospital. It is probably one of the least embarrassing places to have that happen.

* Nurse Tricia was just finding me a new room. So, we met up with her in the hall and I immediately had to get back in bed. Unfortunately, they don’t allow a patient to walk around once their water breaks, because there is risk for infection. So, I got settled in my new room and got mentally prepared for labor to intensify. And boy, did it! The water breaking really made the difference. Things were going to move very quickly after that.

My dear friend, Jamil loaned me her Wonder Woman power wristband. I put it on to remind me of my inner strength. And also, just to make me feel better. Whatever helps, right??

Jamil also gave me some visualization tips. The one that I liked the best and used throughout labor was imagining that I was riding a wave as each contraction came. Knowing that although the wave may be big, it is going to crest and eventually it will end. And I can ride it to the top and at the strongest point, it will go down. That really worked for me….most of the time.

Here I am “riding the wave.” I am seriously picturing this and it really helped. Thanks, Jamil!

* So, after 1 hour at 4:30 pm; Dr. Rosen checked me to find my cervix was ~4cm dilated and 80% effaced

*At 5:00 pm the boys came in to visit with their new longhorn hats. My parents brought them gifts to pass the time and also give them something fun to do while I was in labor.

* At 5:15 pm my dad visited with me briefly. At this point I was really having hard, painful contractions.

* At 5:33 pm it had been 1 hour since I was last checked and labor was getting more intense. I was feeling like I needed something to take the edge off, but I didn’t want an epidural. Dr. Rosen recommended Nubane, which would help me to relax in between contractions. Nurse Cynthia checked my cervix and I was now at 5 cm dilated and 80% effaced. I took the Nubane and it definitely helped me to relax and feel very sleepy in between contractions. It didn’t ease the pain of labor, but just having those more relaxed moments of rest in between contractions, made a difference for me. My mother-in-law visited with me during this time. I remember wanting to answer questions and talk, but I just couldn’t.

* At 6:07 Dr. Rosen popped in the room and said he would be back to check my cervix at 6:30. But, that didn’t happen. Within a few contractions, I was no longer getting a break in between and I was literally moaning, trying to breathe through it, but having a really hard time, because they weren’t letting go. Dr. Rosin came back in the room and said that I was ready. This was before checking me, but just because of the way I was acting.

* At 6:22 pm, my cervix was dilated to 8 cm. And I was miserable! 🙂 Within minutes I was completely dilated and ready to push and when I say ready to push I mean, there was nothing or no one that was going to stop me from pushing. It is an absolute crazy feeling. I think that we really caught the doctor and staff off guard. Things were just going so fast. I was calling for help, saying “help me, help me” because they were telling me to hold off on pushing because they were getting everything ready and I couldn’t hold off from pushing. It is just impossible.

* So, at 6:34 Trinity Rebekah El-Hakam was born weighing 8 lbs. 10.2 oz.; 20 ¾” long

I am so happy that I was able to experience labor in this way. It was something that I’d never been able to do before and something that I really wanted to do. God gave me strength and thankfully my body and the baby cooperated and it worked out. My mom and Moustapha were there with me throughout labor and were so supportive. I know it’s hard to know what to do when someone is going through labor. But, they were both so patient and kind to me. My mom was praying and Moustapha was the emotional support that I needed. Thank you, Momma. And thank you, Moustapha! You’re a wonderful dad. We are so blessed to have our sweet baby girl.

Having Contractions

So, I thought it would be fun to blog about the contractions I’ve been having all morning.

I have been having “braxton hicks” contractions since July. The first time I timed them was July 17th. That was 9 1/2 weeks ago…just to give an indication of how long I have been dealing with this. I’m really used to it now, but a little afraid of not knowing when I am in true labor.

This morning I woke up around 1:15am hearing music and talking outside. (that’s another story about having college students renting nearby) After that I started having more painful contractions. At that point they were about 10 minutes apart. This went on all morning. Fortunately, I was able to sleep in between contractions some. Because I have been contracting for so many weeks and the contractions come at regular intervals, my doctor wanted me to be in a substantial amount of pain before going to the hospital- her description “can’t walk through them, can’t breathe through them” type of contractions.

I think I am there now. Since, I have been writing this, I’ve had 4 more contractions at 3 1/2 minutes apart. And I definitely can’t walk through them…she didn’t say anything about being able to blog through them. 🙂

My doctor is out of town- returning today. I’m not sure what time, so I am about to call the doctor on call. I imagine he’ll want me to come to the hospital to be monitored. So, here I go….I just left a message with the doctor on call…waiting for a call back….still waiting….ok, he just called. We’re on our way to Methodist Hospital. Wish us luck!!! and pray….
The doctor also said that my doctor will be back this afternoon “go slow and maybe she can deliver the baby!”

40 weeks pregnant…oh my!


Well, I can honestly say…”I’ve never been THIS pregnant!” Tomorrow is my official due date. It is also my mother-in-law’s birthday. Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. So, I was thinking today would be a good day to have a baby…do you think my daughter agrees??? I am starting to think she just doesn’t want to come out. She was probably freaked out by the hurricane and now she doesn’t want to meet us until our electricity gets turned on. Which, we hear should be by Tuesday! – UGGH! Tuesday?- I really hope to have this baby by then.

We played outside this morning in Moustapha’s parents backyard. The boys did a great job playing baseball. And Bakri was amazing at taking turns. It’s so fun to see him maturing. (of course, then he will surprise us by doing something totally immature the very next minute!) BUT, that is just kids, I guess…

Every night I go to bed wondering if tomorrow is the day we’ll meet our daughter and every morning I wake up and wonder the same thing. When?

Psalm 37:7 says “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” and Psalm 40 says “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.”

I know patience is a virtue. I am praying to be a little more virtuous!

Our neighborhood- Richwood Place

This is a photo of our backyard after the storm. The rest of the pics are in our neighborhood. We just have 3 streets (each with 3 blocks) in our neighborhood. The majority of the homes were built in the 30s (ours was built in 1928) and overall the neighborhood did very well.

Unfortunately, most of our neighborhood is still without power- including us. I just hope we can get power before we bring our baby home from the hospital. I really want to be able to bring her home and not have to travel with her to my parents or Moustapha’s parents’ houses. Anyway, we have been extremely blessed throughout all of this. There are so many families that lost so much. I hate to complain about electricity. It just makes our home uninhabitable and with a newborn, you just can’t live there without power.

On our way home…

Well, we’ve spent the last 2 nights at Moustapha’s sister’s and brother-in-law’s house in Sugar Land. Thank God they had a place for us. We’ve had great food, good company and warm baths. We’re still without power at our house. But, we’re on our way to take care of some things that need to be done there. We have to empty our fridge and hopefully put the trash out.

Over all, we were very blessed during the storm. We had no real damage to our property. Part of our garage roof was ripped off and we lost some huge limbs, but nothing that damaged our home. We are really blessed. So many of our neighbors have trees in their homes. I just heard from my mom, and they have power. They’re neighborhood was hit really hard too. Unfortunately, they have huge pine trees everywhere and many of them are now on houses. My parents were blessed too. Nothing landed on their home, only a neighbor’s tree that landed on part of their garage as well. Their neighborhood suffered a great deal of devastation. It is really sad.

I am hopeful that we will have power restored soon. I was really nervous about going into labor with the kids not having electricity at home. But, now that both sets of grandparents have electricity, I feel much better about that.

I am due in 3 days…and still really really pregnant….what drama!!! 🙂

Bracing for Ike…

Moustapha, Maddux and I headed to the hardware store this morning to pick up a couple of things to prepare for IKE. My mom is staying with us tonight to help when the storm hits.
We’ve taped up our windows….Bakri says “I don’t like that. Take it down.” I don’t blame him. It does look a bit strange. And it is super scary for little ones preparing for a storm. We’ve tried to keep things light. But, obviously kids have a sense about what is going on. He tells us he is going to be very scared when the storm comes. We’ve mainly just talked about preparing for the winds and that we’ll be safe inside.
Here is a photo of our new kitchen window. Let’s hope it doesn’t get broken.

So, the big thing I am trying not to be worried about is the fact that I am 6 days away from my due date. What is a due date? It is a prediction within 5 weeks (37 -42) of when your baby should be born. So, that means I am due anytime.
We took Bakri to the local Fire Department yesterday. They are 3 blocks away (thank God) and we brought them some cookies and introduced ourselves. They put my information on their board so that everyone is aware that I am very pregnant and ready to deliver anytime. My doctor actually suggested that I go down there and meet them in case I go into labor during the storm. I am making preparations in case this happens. Moustapha is afraid that since I am getting things ready in case I have to deliver at home, that I will be more likely to go into labor during the storm. I hope that is not the case, but I have to prepare in the event that happens.

Please pray for us. God knows when this sweet baby girl will arrive. Pray that it will be a healthy and safe delivery in God’s time.

Hope you are all staying safe….

Moustapha’s Surgery and other happenings around here…

Moustapha had his surgery on his left hand Thursday morning. The hand surgeon said everything went well. He had soft-tissue replacement surgery which required his injured finger to be bent into his palm and attached at the tip there. This is to create new soft tissue that will grow there, so when they separate it, his finger can be formed normally.

Unfortunately, Moustapha felt a pulling on his palm this afternoon and fears he may have loosened some stitches. We are returning to the doctor tomorrow morning. Hopefully he will not need additional surgery tomorrow morning, but we are prepared just in case.

Grandma and Jiddy are having a blessed evening tonight, because Maddux is staying with them. We took him over just in case Moustapha has to have surgery in the morning. If everything is ok, we’ll pick him up after Bakri finishes school tomorrow. Bakri is doing really great at his new preschool. He loves it there. He only attends 3 hours a day, but he already seems to be maturing.

I’m not sure if his school will be closed on Friday…I think most people are getting pretty nervous about Ike…all I know is we are not going ANYWHERE. We live so close to the Medical Center, and there is no way I am chancing going into labor and not being close to the hospital.

So, here’s a question: Do you think I’ll go into labor when the hurricane hits Friday or Saturday OR Do you think I’ll go into labor on Monday with the FULL MOON??? I’ve heard that both of these factors increase the number of women who go into labor…we’ll see! 🙂

Baby Shower at Jamil’s House

My sweet dear friend Jamil, my SIL- Patricia, my sister-Melinda, and my MIL-Mary hosted a baby shower for Baby Girl El yesterday. It was such a special day. Every detail was thought of. The theme was being a girl and a woman. There was a lot of focus on Baby’s El’s family history as well as a game that let the guests give their advice and thoughts to me and Baby El about life, spirituality, money and love. Each guest received a candle with a request from Maddux and Bakri to light the candle to celebrate the birth of their baby sister. I loved that!
She got beautiful gifts- blankets, clothes, bibs, bedding, etc. Lots of pink and brown…the colors we’ve chosen for her room. I ran home (well sort of) and washed everything right away. I’ve now packed her bag for the hospital too. So, she will be fashionably wrapped and dressed for her ride home…
Isn’t this cake adorable!?!