Witness to a Birth

While taking my first real walk this morning since the birth, I realized that there are a few interesting observations from Yakir’s birth that I haven’t shared yet. While I was in labor, an Arab woman walked into the delivery room. I was pretty far along already, and was using all of my energy to focus and concentrate.

Time for a side note here already: When I was in labor with Yehuda 8 years ago, a clown walked into the delivery room to entertain me. Yes folks – you read this correctly. I guess women who have epidurals like to be entertained. But, those who don’t have epidurals definitely do NOT want to be entertained and I almost killed the clown. It was all Josh could do to get him to leave the room before I found something to throw at him.

So, with that experience under my belt, I was wondering what this Arab woman wanted. My doula had warned me that there might be students coming through the delivery rooms at Hadassah and that I should think about whether or not I wanted to accept them in. This woman explained that she was a medical student and that she was hoping to watch a birth for the first time. I’m not sure why I immediately said yes, but I told her that it was fine if she stayed, as long as she didn’t talk to me.

She stayed completely out of the way, and I really didn’t notice her again, until after the birth. Right after giving birth, when the midwife put Yakir on my stomach, I looked up to find the woman crying. It was an amazingly powerful moment and one that I won’t soon forget.

For a brief moment, in a delivery room at Hadassah Ein Kerem, we became simply people witnessing an amazing miracle of birth, rather than an Arab woman and a Jewish woman standing on opposite sides of thousands of years of fighting and differences.

She stood there crying at the birth of my Jewish baby – at the birth of a baby – and I marveled at how nice it was to be crying tears of joy together, rather than tears of hatred, strife and death.

If only it were always this easy.

But for one brief moment, at 5:11 pm on November 8th, it was.

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