Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Returning To The World

This last delivery was more harrowing than those for our first two children. Lasting twelve hours total, the last two hours were exhausting for my wife since she spent this time pushing through the contractions with the baby faced upwards, not wanting to come out. At times I noticed the nurses looking into each others' eyes with a look of panic when they could not detect the baby's heartbeat on the fetal monitor. This sense of uncertainty made it hard for my wife and I to remain calm, especially after the doctor told us shortly before the baby emerged that its umbilical cord was wrapped around its neck.

Despite being born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, our daughter was born healthy in every way, thank G-d. My wife and I immediately started crying tears of joy when we learned that our new baby was a little girl because our three-and-half year-old daughter had been telling us for weeks that she wanted a little sister.

After a receiving a brocha from the Melitzer Rebbe and enduring nine months of hyperemesis, we now had a beautiful new addition to our family.

My older daughter was absolutely ecstatic when I came home from the hospital and whispered into her ear that her mommy just had a baby girl. Weeks before she told me, "If it is a boy, I will pretend it is a girl because boys are yucky." When I told her that we were going to give her new sister a name at shul on Shabbos, she suggested the names Snow White, Princess Basya, and Chocolate Banana. She was horrified when I suggested that we should call her sister "Bruce" after the shark in the movie "Finding Nemo".

My wife stayed in the hospital for two nights before she was allowed to go home last Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. The two nights away from her mommy were especially difficult for my older daughter who sometimes cried herself to the point of hyperventilating. One night, after I held her and calmed her down, she asked me, "Daddy, when you were little did you ever feel sad?" I told her that sometimes I still feel sad even though I am a grown up. I explained to her that at times when I don't understand what is happening and am worried about something I daven to Hashem to help me. When I told her that her mommy would be coming home soon with her new baby sister, she then sweetly added, "Then we'll be a family again."

Both my children have been amazingly accepting of their new sister so far. My two year-old son screamed, "Babeeee, Babeee, Babeeee!!" when he saw her for the first time and then ran upstairs and returned with two baloons; handing one to the baby - his ultimate expression of acceptance. My older daughter constantly sits down next to the baby's bouncy chair and stairs at her and speaks to her with a soothing, gentle tone.

Despite the blessing of sibling acceptance and the outpouring of support of people from our shul, the first days home were still overwhelming. Somehow my wife picked up a cold at the hospital and I made sure to take our two older children out for a few hours each day to allow my wife to get some rest.

Today my new daughter is eight days old and I am returning to the work world. Before leaving for work, I davened to Hashem to help my wife today during her first day alone with the kids. I also davened for His help adjusting to our new life which is certainly busier, more hectic and chaotic, but now full of new blessings.


At June 6, 2006 at 6:19:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

Thanks for sharing this with us! Please make sure that your wife gets plenty of rest so that she fully recuperates. Here in Israel, many women go to a "Beit Havra'ah", a recuperation center, after giving birth.

The umbilical wrap-around is not uncommon. B"H' all is OK.

Your kids' reactions seem very normal & quite healthy. May you both have only joy & nachas from your wonderful family! And may we be together in Yerushalayim REAL SOON!!!!

At June 6, 2006 at 6:29:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

My pleasure, Yitz. Thank you for your words of support :)

At June 6, 2006 at 9:15:00 AM EDT, Blogger Mottel said...

When my sister was born, I -then five years old- wanted my parents to name her Rainbow Taco.

At June 6, 2006 at 9:20:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Now thats a good name!!

At June 6, 2006 at 11:00:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oy! I once heard:

"Everyone has to expirience tzaar gidul banim (hardships of child rearing), some early in life & some late. Better to get it out of the way early..."

You should all get your rest and smile a lot! May y'all enjoy loads of Nachas.

And it's good to see you back online...

(I vote for "Chocolate Banana")

At June 6, 2006 at 11:33:00 AM EDT, Blogger torontopearl said...

Beautifully written, ASJ.

It is with awe and a multitude of thanks that we watch our children come into the world; it is with awe that we watch siblings welcome the babies into their lives.

When my youngest was born my other two stared with a wonderment and a mutual adoration at this baby when they saw him for the first time. I'd like to think that they still have these moments, even if they're fewer and farther in between...6 1/2 years later! ;)

Hopefully women and teenage girls in the community can help your wife for a few hours a day with the other children, just to give her a break while you're at work.

At June 6, 2006 at 12:37:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Chabakuk Elisha: It is good to be back online. It is certainly easier than being at home ;)

As for tzaar gidul banim, Rabbi Brody once said that difficulties we experience are meant to be a part of our tikkun in this world. It certainly helps put it in perpective.

I too liked Chocolate Banana!

Pearl: Luckily my older daughter has nursery school 3 days a week and will be going to camp for 5 days a week when school finishes in another 2 weeks from now. This should help my wife somewhat...

At June 6, 2006 at 5:32:00 PM EDT, Blogger Jack Steiner said...

Very well done- best wishes to all.

At June 6, 2006 at 6:30:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ASJ, Baruch Hashem everyone is ok. I am sincerely feeling for your wife. She is surely a brave and deserving woman. It would be nice for her to have some additional physical help around the house (hire a nurse via an agency for just this purpose). It will relieve your wife so she can regain her strength. I have a friend who had twins (first birth), and her husband who happens to be a doctor, hired a woman to be with the babies from 9 pm to 9am so THEY BOTH could get rest and be able to handle the needs of every day.

Ask her doctor to write a prescription for the home help, in light of her difficult pregnancy and birthing.

B"H I am so relieved and happy about what you wrote. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I feel like we are also your extended family.

At June 6, 2006 at 8:10:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Jack: :) Thanks

Neshama: I have recently hired a house cleaner to come once a week to help her with things around the house.

At June 6, 2006 at 8:25:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baruj HaShem!!!!
We are expecting for the nameee!
(why not rut ?)
May H' Itbaraj bless you and old your family and have a lot of nachas from de new baby girl.
Kol tuv, from Buenos Aires whit love, ilán.

At June 7, 2006 at 6:26:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks Ilan. E-mail me, and I will tell you the name.

At June 7, 2006 at 9:36:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A note -I went over the dates . . . I was three and a half.

At June 7, 2006 at 9:37:00 AM EDT, Blogger Mottel said...

The anon should be under my name

At June 7, 2006 at 9:41:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

ok, thanks :)

At June 8, 2006 at 9:38:00 AM EDT, Blogger Stacey said...

Thank G-d your wife's difficult pregnancy and labor had no effect on the health of your beautiful baby girl.

Mazal tov, again!!

At June 8, 2006 at 9:41:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Amen! Thank you, Stacey,

At June 8, 2006 at 11:11:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So good to hear things are settling down.

Shalom Aaron


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