Birthing in Jerusalem hospitals.

As my third trimester quickly approaches, I’ve been getting serious about touring and registering at hospitals, considering alternative birthing options and doing the doula dance.

Yep, this is the ‘bureaucratic’ and technical aspect of being pregnant.

In the last month we’ve done hospital tours in two popular Jerusalem hospitals: Hadassah Ein Karem and Shaarei Tzedek. Truth is, all Jerusalem hospitals are popular; all four (including Hadassah Mount Scopus and Bikur Holim) are busy and at times over-populated. It’s just how it seems to be in Jerusalem, a crowded and baby-happy city.

Unfortunately, there are no longer any proper birthing centers in the immediate Jerusalem area, as Misgav Ledach shut down years ago. If you don’t want to birth in a hospital and you don’t want to travel, it seems your options are limited to home birth.

Here are my impressions of Hadassah Ein Kerem and Shaarei Tzedek after getting the inside view; I keep in mind that both tours were done on relatively quiet days.

Underground Israel.

Cute tourist attraction for kids… or even adults who miss going on school field trips. We’ve been there twice now in both formats (which, admittedly, is enough).

The stalactite cave at Avshalom Reserve, or Soreq Cave, is located right outside Beit Shemesh. It’s about an hour tour including a slideshow beforehand which will teach you all kinds of new Hebrew words you never considered before.

A day for (small-town) democracy.

It’s a day for democracy everywhere, isn’t it?

I know what you think I mean, but actually I’m talking about the Matte Yehuda Regional Council and Tzur Hadassah local council elections held today. 

Who knew that such a little town could make such a big deal out of its leadership? Apparently Tzur Hadassah is the biggest town in the Matte Yehuda region and the constant goal is independence. All that sums up to about one thing: a whole lot of campaigning around the Tzur Hadassah block.

The elections campaigns that ran through Tzur Hadassah the past few months have been humorously intense. I’ve enjoyed all the door-to-door late-night doorbell ringing (11pm last night, folks), the personalized candies, the endless waste of printed paper, the decorative mailbox-stuffing, the half-torn outdoor posters.  We read our share of mud-slinging, inaccurate polls, biased articles. All that for an area with some thousands people. 

It was a cute, quaint, small-town elections experience. Fairly quick, all things considered. 

And now on to bigger and more complex elections… Coming to a kalpi near you on February 10th.

To the pain.

It’s been six months… do you know where your gall bladder is?

These days, I’m nostalgic for the time in my life when I didn’t think the gall bladder was a real organ, just a body part for use in a humorous rant.

Apparently not. It’s a real organ, like the rest of my organs which are getting tangled and squished inside my rib cage as the belly tenant continues to grow. 

Ah, yes, the pain… from my mid-back around to just about my rib cage. Someone asked me if I’m taking medication for it. I’ve never been one to medicate pain. It’s always been something I thought was important to experience, to know its source, where it resides and when it’s there and when it’s not.  

I guess that goes for physical ailments and emotional traumas, national woes and personal plight.

Tracking Jerusalem.

The light rail project for Jerusalem has been underway for some time, as anyone who has been through town lately can attest. I rarely go to town anymore; last night was the first time in a while, long enough for me to be shocked by seeing Yaffo street covered in braces:

It’s exciting to see an Israeli construction project actually underway and making progress.

Probably not so much for all the shops that had to be closed down because they destroyed an entire building complex on Yaffo… Remember the classic Jerusalem downtown favorites like Kent and Coffee Time? I don’t think that construction is related to the light rail, but is part of the general regentirying of the downtown Yaffo area.

So… dare I ask how public transportation (bus and taxi traffic) will work on this new Yaffo street?

Baby has its uses.

In the last couple days, a blast from the dramatic past and I came into fairly close contact in yet a very distant manner. I realize how frustratingly vague that sounds, and I don’t care much to expand. 

But what I am interested in is not that I avoided encountering the drama head-on, but what lead me to avoid any direct contact with the drama.

I was debating how to react to this potentially dramatic and unnecessary situation.  The rational voice employed by my brain explained its token reasons for not getting involved, while that little curious, mischievous piece of me was still present in the background chiming in. It was like thought bubbles were being sponsored by the little angel and devil who reside on my shoulders. 

But the thought bubble that closed the issue with a very sharp *thud* of finality was sponsored by neither angel nor devil. It was sponsored by the little future-baby that currently resides in my body and currently stands (floats?) for much of how I’ve been making decisions lately.

As soon as the words ‘my baby’ showed up in my drama radar, it was case closed. The past is the past, memory is only as important as you make it, and I’m about to enter a new world, a new start, the ultimate Yom Kippur, by bringing a kid into the world.

Drama of a dual citizen.

A key element of being a dual citizen is the dual drama.

I always get homesick with these bouts of New York City drama:

Investigators believe all passengers and crew, more than 150 people, survive a plane crashing into New York’s Hudson River.

I prefer NYC drama to the Israel brand these days…

Report: Israel, Hamas agree on 2-week truce

Israel says killed Hamas interior minister

False alarm sounds in Jerusalem

Glad to hear the US Airways passengers and crew are safe. Looking forward to hearing from the pilot.

Hoping for the safety of Israeli and Palestinian citizens.

Hoping for it all to end.