Many things about this pregnancy and eventual (Gd willing!) birth have made me feel like I’ve come full circle. Most of these thoughts will be shared after the baby is born. There is one, however, that struck me recently and that I wanted to share.
When we first arrived in Israel 6 years ago, I was pregnant with our third boy, Amichai. We obviously knew nothing about the birthing procedures in Israel, about the hospitals, about finding a doula – or even about the vocabulary of birth. How do you say “Push!” or “epidural” or “contractions” in Hebrew? Hmmmmm…..
So, one day we were sitting at Pizzaria Efrat when the owner, Ann Goodman, sat down with us. We had never met her before, and she suddenly started telling me about giving birth in Israel. With nine children, Ann was certainly an experienced mother and the perfect person from whom to gleam advice. She was so cute. She took out one of those boards that you use to put your pizza on, and she created a glossary of necessary birthing terms for my use. We carried that pizza board to the hospital with us and actually checked the terms at times through the birthing process. I certainly won’t forget her enthusiasm, kindness or help!
So, last Friday, Josh and I were at the mall in Talpiot when we stumbled into the Body Shop to buy some creams. Rather than allowing me to look at the creams, the young, clearly pregnant sales girl started firing questions my way. She was 8 months pregnant with her first, and when she found out from Josh that this was going to be our 6th, she simply couldn’t stop asking questions. Was I happy at Hadassah, Ein Kerem? Would she be ok at Sharei Tzedek Hospital instead? Had I hired a doula? What was natural childbirth like? How long was the recovery after birth? and on and on and on….
I enjoyed the conversation, and really felt like I had come full circle. Four births in Israel later, I was standing there as the “expert” rather than the “novice” and offering my advice while using the extensive birthing vocabulary that Ann had started for me six long years ago.
So often, we simply go through our day without the time or energy to evaluate where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. It is moments like these that remind me of the incredible journey of aliyah that we’ve been on – and of the progress and changes that we’ve undergone in our six plus years here. Soon to be four births in Israel later, I can’t wait to welcome another sabra into our family, our community, and our country and to sit back, for even a brief moment, and marvel at the length of the journey we are traveling and the process of growth and change we have experienced.