A New Baby!

There are few things as amazing as having a baby. I’ve been quite cranky for the last few weeks and ready to have the baby already. I always find it nerve-racking not to know when the baby will be coming – and now I always assume it will be late because the last four were born five days after their due dates.

So, Josh and I were caught by surprise when the baby looked like it was on its way on its due date – August 8th, 2008. Nevermind that I had told Josh wishfully that it would be so cool to have the baby on 08-08-08!!! And it looked like we would. We quickly started to form plans for the boys during the day on Friday and headed to the hospital at about 6pm. Josh thanked me for heading to the hospital at a time when there was no traffic on the streets as everyone was getting ready for Shabbat! Our doula was driving behind us and we were ready to go.

We had an “only in Israel” moment when we got to the hospital and went through security. It was almost exactly the moment when Shabbat started and the guard looked at us when the doula said “Laboring woman coming through!” and said “But Shabbat is starting!” We thought that was very funny.

We went to get checked and got our delivery room by 7:30 or so….we were put in room number 8 (and the baby was born on the 8th of the Hebrew month of Av as well)! So, then Josh and Chaya (our doula) decided we should deliver by sometime in the 8:00 range to keep working with the 8 theme. Well…that didn’t happen, but we did deliver at 9:50, a beautiful 8 pound boy. They put him on me right away, all sticky and adorable and we admired him and relaxed. We had an amazing few hours after that. They left us virtually alone until about12:30 and we realized we had brought everything except wine and challah to make Shabbat. Chaya went down the hall to get us provisions, and right there in the delivery room Josh made Kiddush, we sang Shalom Alechem and Josh gave the baby his first bracha (Friday night the father, and sometimes the mother, blesses every child with a blessing). I’ve always found the first bracha very powerful – and we’ve always done it when we are home for the first Shabbat. But, here we were doing it within an hour of the baby’s birth there, enjoying him in a quiet environment. They made me some tea and we relaxed and laughed and enjoyed the baby. He barely cried at all when he came out, and didn’t cry much all night.

Since it was Shabbat, Josh didn’t rush home to the kids the way he usually would. This gave us an incredible gift of a Shabbat together in the hospital with the baby. Hadassah has a great hotel attached to the hospital and he was able to get a room. He slept a bit, went to shul in the morning, had breakfast, lunch and Seudat Shlesheet there and was able to hang out with me the rest of the day. It was quite a treat – since I’m usually alone in the hospital with the baby! The care in the hospital was great and I had a really nice stay.

We came home in the afternoon on Monday to a sea of open arms (quite literally). The kids are all trying to hold the baby 24 hours a day and they are very excited about him. Even Eliav is doing well. He’s been giving the baby kisses and he wants to get to hold him as much as the rest of them. Never mind that I just saw him perched on top of the baby’s crib with a screwdriver in his hand….I’m sure that was an isolated incident : )

We are all doing well and looking forward to the Shalom Zachar Friday night when people will come to our house to celebrate the baby. Then we have a busy Shabbat with the brit during services at the main synagogue and a large Kiddush afterwards that we are sharing with a family having a bar mitzvah. Next Shabbat we are going to sponsor Kiddush at a smaller shul that we usually go to so that we can also have a more intimate event.

What a miracle a baby is – and we look forward to bringing this one into the covenant and into our community this Shabbat!

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