Wednesday, November 4, 2020

I'm back, and I'm a grandma

One thing this world can count on is that changes will happen. Nothing stays the same for too long!

The biggest change I have just experienced is that Dov and Achinoam ("DnA") had a baby, and made us grandparents! Not only that, but I was present at the birth. What an experience.

Dov called me Saturday night directly after Shabbat to tell me they were already in the hospital with good strong contractions. So I hung up the phone, got a bag together, took my doula "bag of tricks", and started heading up to T'veria (Tiberius) to meet them at the hospital. It's a three hour trip for me, so I knew I wouldn't get there before 9pm or so. I got there at 9:15pm.

The contractions had been coming since the night before, so when I got there, 24 hours after she had already been having contractions, she was very tired and getting discouraged. But she was strong and the baby (from the monitor) was doing well, thank Gd. Achinoam's mother was there, too, and because of Corona the midwives wanted one of us out of the room, only two people accompanying the laboring woman. Since one of them was obviously Dov, the mothers had to sort of take turns being in the room. They didn't want us to switch off; they wanted it so that they are exposed to as few people as possible. I knew that Achinoam wanted her mother there really more than me, so I kept back a lot. I waited in the hallway, or in my car, a lot. I wanted to give her the space and privacy she wanted. I was in there for a few hours here and there, I did some massaging, and reflexology, but much of the time I was supporting by just being there, even from behind a wall. It was a learning experience for me.

The baby is a beautiful girl. She seems to have Achinoam's black curly hair and Dov's big puppy dog eyes. I'm completely in love. I can't wait to see them again! I think we are going up on Thursday when they name her.

I think I haven't updated about my newest undertaking, which I've been doing for about a month now... I joined a college called "michlelet laledet"; birthing college. I decided that I wanted to renew my doula license, to get certified for childbirth education, and learn more about supporting breastfeeding moms. I signed up for a course. It was a big step for me, to finally make a decision that will move me forward, but I realized that I can't do anything with my birthing knowledge and career until I recertify, and get certification for teaching pre-natal classes. You see, I gave my pre-natal classes many, many times in the past. But 13 years ago when I was actively working (before NF got me, and even afterward for a while), the national health insurance wasn't giving any cash back for private birth prep classes or doula care. Now they are. Things have changed, couples can get a refund for private birthing care now. So, I really need certification if I am going to be able to provide couples with the care they need and have them be able to get their money back from the national health insurance. So, actually Robert found this college on-line, and even called up the founder of the program to see if it's right for me. It was, and is. I've had three classes already. It's on Mondays, and will go on for about a year. At the end I'll get all my certifications I am looking for. Then I can get back into business! One step at a time, gradually, I am coming back. 

That reconstruction surgery I had last summer at New York University in Manhattan was a miracle for me. I am not in any abdominal pain except twinges every now and then. And my scars, well they aren't skin grafts anymore! They are large, but just scars. And out of all of the scarring, only one inch of it (one inch!!) keeps getting rashes and itchy. It's the same place that there used to be rashes on the skin grafts. Interesting, there must be something active under it that is making it get a rash on it a lot. I just treat it topically and go on my way. Compared to what it used to be, this is small potatoes!

And my hip is getting much better. It still hurts with certain movements or overuse, but it is getting better. When I go out for a long walk it is actually the *other* hip that winds up hurting me, not the one I had replaced five months ago. I am not going there. I know that one has to be replaced also, I just can't handle another setback and all that pain again. I will put it off for as long as I can.

I am still doing the silversmith training, and very much enjoying it. I made a silver engagement ring with a cubic zarconia over the last few weeks, and now I am working on making a case for a mezuzah (the tiny scroll that Jews put up in their doorways) out of brass and silver. It is a very nice work environment, it's theraputic for me. It is very much like ongoing occupational therapy, just very focused on one skill- silver (and gold and all other metals) smith-ing. Here are pictures of the ring I just made:

And here are pictures of the new baby! Be still, my heart. She is gorgeous, the photos don't do her justice. These were taken about fifteen minutes after birth. She was born 3.3 kilo (about 7 pounds).

Princess just chilling on daddy's chest
When the midwife handed Dov his baby,
he opened his shirt
so she could rest her face on his bare chest
 and feel comforted.


I don't know when I'll write again, it is very sporadic at this point as you've noticed. My needs are very different now, and keeping the blog is becoming less and less necessary for me. Thank Gd my medical dramas and traumas have *vastly* decreased, and as you can read here I am getting some new goals and directions in my post-NF life. It took 13 years of not working, and lots of blood, sweat, and tears, lots of surgeries and pain (so. much. pain.) to get through the aftermath of NF, but I think I can finally say I have turned a big corner in my recovery. Sarah is coming back. Different than before, and not playing horn (at least not now), but delving into the birthing work. This, I can do.

I will bid you farewell for now. No promises on when the next blog will come out. I'm playing it all by ear. 😉