Birthday Sentimentality

Today, we sent Yehuda off to school with an amazing cake that Josh made for Huda’s 7th birthday. It was of an Israeli soccer shirt, and Yehuda was so excited to show it to his friends at school. Josh makes incredible cakes for the kids for their birthdays, but they are really time consuming. Therefore, we made a cut-off. Each kid is allowed to pick a crazy-elaborate cake until his 7th birthday. After that, he has to settle for a boring cake from me, his mom, or something of the sort. : )

I always find myself sentimental around the kids’ birthdays, and reflecting back on their birth. I particularly marvel at all of the things that I’ve learned from the child since he came into my life.

Yehuda was born on a Friday morning, five days after my due date. His birth was the most different from the others. When I think back on his birth, it’s definitely the one that has taught me the most and that continues to remind me of my strength and of the power of words. After arriving at the hospital since my water had broken, I proceeded to pass out in the delivery room for two hours. I remember thinking, how in the world do I plan to give birth if I can’t stop passing out? Finally, it stopped and the nurse was ready to start pitocin. I did natural childbirth with our first, Matan, and I was completely set on doing it again. My worst fear was that I would be given pitocin, and that I would, therefore, not be able to do natural childbirth. Just the week before delivering Yehuda, someone had said to me, “You know, you can actually still do natural childbirth on pitocin.” I looked at her like she was crazy at the time. From what I understood – it wasn’t an option. Pitocin meant intervention, unending pain and the need for an epidural. Period. This one sentence, coming from Marci, changed my entire birth.

The power of the mind and of determination is an amazing thing. With my fifth birth recently, I was completely terrified and got myself into a frenzy about the delivery. With the birth with Yehuda, however, I was simply determined to do it naturally. Period. And so I did. It was a beautiful birth and I worked my way through it without any drugs or intervention whatsoever. It’s truly amazing what we can do when we decide on something – and simply don’t take “no” for an answer. It’s also amazing to reflect on the power of words. Marci’s one sentence changed my attitude and my understanding. She didn’t realize, at the time, how transformative her words were. So often, we say things and don’t know the power that those words may convey. Yehuda’s birth taught me this, and it’s a lesson that I continue to learn from him.

I feel so grateful to reach this point with Yehuda. He is growing into such a beautiful, confident, happy kid and it’s such a blessing to be along for the ride with him.

It’s hard to face Yehuda’s birthday without some sadness, however, since his friend, Chanan, would have turned 7 two days before Yehuda. I think of Chanan often, and all that he has missed and my heart goes out to his parents. Life is an amazing gift, and I thank Hashem every single day that I’ve been given the opportunity to watch Yehuda grow and to be here to guide him.

May he have a beautiful 7th birthday.

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