On the sixth day…

And on the sixth day, man… And on the seventh, they rested (sort of).

Our baby girl was born in our home this past Friday, just in time for Shabbat.

The labor took less than a third the time it took with Koala, and she beats her brother by 150 grams at 2.85 kilos – and way more hair (if that was possible). And baby girl shares her Jewish birthday with Zayde and cousin.

And so far, her utter chillness is making it really easy to write all this down…


An unlikely metaphor.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine something you’ve never done before. I imagine this impending adventure… to be similar to a bad trip I had many years ago. 

A friend and I were spending a few days in Amsterdam. These were college years, so you can imagine what we were doing. The evening before we were departing back to the States we experimented with a ‘pastry’ that turned out to not be whatever easygoing vegetation we had expected, leading to what was the worst – and I guess only – bad trip I’d ever had.

I don’t remember a lot of it; it went on all night and into the morning and then remnants of the experience continued into the flight home. What I do remember is this: At some point, I was curled up in a ball on a lobby couch of a hostel, holding myself in perhaps a fetal situation, in and out of pseudo-clarity, thinking to myself: ok, ok, body, you need to do what you need to do to end this… Only my body and time can end this… 

All in all, it was a very physical experience. I don’t really have many physical experiences in general, outside the obvious daily routines. I’m not a very physically-oriented person.

There wasn’t much my mind could do but hallucinate and wait for my body to work itself out. Mind-me had this subconscious or lower-layer trust in body-me.

And that’s what I keep hearing in birthing class, birthing books, from friends with positive birth experiences: trust the body; the body is built for this; it will work itself out the way it was designed to. Mind-me will give way to body-me and all of us will experience something we’ve never known but have always been prepared for, somehow.

Ok, so I don’t know that any of that is actually true. And comparing labor to a bad trip might be kind of mean and insensitive. And at the end of the former, you get a baby… not a hangover.

But for the sake of trying to imagine something I’ve never done before… that’s what I’m thinking.

Homebirth in Israel.

UPDATE (April 2011): After this post was written, down the road, for my second child, we did a home birth in our apartment in Tzur Hadassah. I’ve got more info on the subject now from firsthand experience and am happy to share:

At this point, I’ve dipped my toes into the third trimester and thus far have read a lot of too much research, visited two Jerusalem hospitals and met with one home birth midwife.

Needless to say, the water’s cold.

I’m caught in this tiring cycle of not knowing whether I should do the home birth thing or not. I mean, I do know I should, but between all the reservations of the people around me and the looming status of ‘first pregnancy’, my birthing confidence is crushed.

I figure, maybe if I can hear from women who have done it/do it, as opposed to just midwives and people who are anti, I could feel better about making a confident decision. Because either way, I feel confidence is key and I need to find it in myself within the next 10-12 weeks.

So… if you’ve been there, done that, labored through it at home, feel free to chime in with a comment about the following (or you can email me if you’d rather):

  • Where did you do it? Where did you live? House, apartment?
  • Did you use a midwife and doula?
  • Was your husband/partner into it? What kind of a role did they play at home?
  • What did you do about pain relief?
  • Did you check into a hospital after?

I’d love to hear thoughts from women who have given birth in Jerusalem hospitals, too. I realize it’s a very realistic situation that I could end up choosing to be in a hospital or end up needing to be in a hospital. Talking to women who are satisfied with their experiences either way and are willing to share can really help me at this point. Unfortunately, there aren’t many Israeli birthing stories on the web, at least that I could find.

I guess the problem is right now I’m so open minded, I don’t have any direction.