Monday, September 23, 2013

It's a boy!

I always turn my cell phone off before Shabbat. Sometimes I do forget, especially if we are running late getting things ready. This past Shabbat (Friday night) was like that- I forgot to turn it off. When I realized it was in my pocket and "on", I just took it out of my pocket and put it on a table in my room.

At 4:45am it rang.
Huh?? What the...?
I got scared when I heard it. I immediately thought of bad news from my family (Gd forbid). The ringer on our house phone in my room is off, so I thought that if they were trying to reach me, they'd resort to the cell phone.

I got up and went to look at the lit screen to see who is was. No, not from family.
From a woman who I have known for years now, and I know she is pregnant, and near the end of the pregnancy. She keeps Shabbat, also, so I knew that if it was her on the phone at 4:45am, it only could mean one thing- she's having her baby. But, I wasn't the one who was supposed to be her doula (remember I'm not working?). Of course I answered. She was in a bit of a panic. Her doula wasn't answering her phone, she wants to give birth in Tel Aviv as planned, but if she can't get a hold of her Tel Aviv doula, could I meet her at Soroka? She was there already, and alone (single mom). She wanted to sign herself out and take a cab to Tel Aviv, but her doula wasn't answering her phone.

So, I said, of course, "sure!". I wouldn't think twice about a woman who needs a doula and is in labor at that very moment.

I drove to her. (Side note: one is allowed to drive on Shabbat if they are driving for the purpose of saving a life. You'd think a doula is not someone who saves lives, but we are. If a woman is stressed out laboring with no support person, her baby can go into distress. It is very serious to leave a woman in labor all alone. A woman's emotional state during labor effects her and her baby's physical state. With hospital midwives very busy and taking are of 4 or 5 women at a time, a doula is exactly what is needed to help and support a woman so she can give birth in a calm and positive atmosphere.)

So, I went to her.
I got there about 5:30am, and her baby was born at noon. It was a perfect birth. Completely natural. It was her first regular birth, although her second child. Her first was born by cesarean, so this was really a first birth for her. I was so honored to be there, and so proud of myself for rising to the occasion.

Then, at 2:30pm, I started out on an hour walk home. I left my car at the hospital. I thought that one wasn't supposed to drive if there was no life emergency, so my choices were to stay there until 7:30pm when Shabbat was out, or find a ride with a Beduin (no thanks), or walk. So, proudly, with my new-found pride in my abilities, I set out to walk (with my doula back-pack).

I got hone at exactly 3:30!
I was **exhausted**, but exhilarated. Shortly thereafter, I showered and crawled into bed. I feel deep asleep with one short wake-up around 11, then through the night.

Today, I woke up tired still, but quite functional, with pain a tiny bit stronger in my hip (left), but not too bad. I went back to the hospital to see my lady and her baby. Helped with breastfeeding, went back home.

Took the kids to the Be'er Sheva zoo (a new butterfly house opened up there!), and that is where my hip started acting up more.

After the zoo, we went to the mall to eat, and my hip was really starting to yell at me.
Didn't feel like having any mall food, and it was too loud for any of us, so we went out to another place. Hip screaming by the time we got back out to the car. It is a huge mall.

Went to eat at a cute small sushi place, and I was just about crippled by then.
Came home, and I barely got myself upstairs and into bed. PAIN.

I think it wouldn't have been this bad if I had driven home. I learned today, after I did the walk home, that I probably could have driven home. There is a clause for doctors and health workers that they can drive themselves home, even when the crisis is over. Reason being that if they were forced to stay at the hospital, or walk a long distance home, they may not want to do the job the next time they are called on to help people on Shabbat. I could have driven home. Oh well, next time. :)

My husband and kids asked me if I am planning to work more now.
I just don't want that question. I don't want it asked, and I don't want to answer it. I will come to the right decisions on my own, whatever they may be.
One emergency call on Shabbat and I do the birth, and all-of-a-sudden I have to say if this means I am working again? Well, the answer is: just don't ask. I feel a lot of pressure around that issue, and only I know what my body (and soul) can handle. I cannot make myself available 24/7 for pregnant ladies anymore. I also am not in a space now to play in an orchestra again, although I miss it very much. Just please don't ask me what this means in some global way. I went to assist with a birth, had a really positive experience, and I thank Gd for that. That's all.

I'll just post a few pictures of our succah... this is the holiday of Succot. We are spoiled to have two succot in our home... one to eat in, with our table and chairs etc, and one to sleep in. Here are pictures of them:

we've had some wonderful guests and meals in here!


no sleeping succah is complete without the Lego boxes!
Tomorrow we are headed to Jerusalem... the Holy city. A pilgrimage of sorts on Succot.
Chag sameach (happy holidays) to everyone who has these holidays in their lives!


  1. No mention of the future. But I want to say that you are an AMAZING woman to have helped deliver a baby without any advance warning, and that you somehow walked all the way home afterwards, given your condition.You are SIMPLY AMAZING!

  2. wonderful you had this beautiful experience, and you just lived up to it! hope that nasty pain goes away quickly! your succah looks soooooooo comfy and fun! chag samaech! refua shlaima, rochel,

  3. great way to start the year...hope you don't have to make any decisions but get a few more nice surprises like this in the coming year!