It's countdown time.
"The final countdown...."
"Let's get ready to rumble..."
"ARE YOU READY???"
And all of the above.
Although I'm not technically due for another two weeks, I feel like I could have this baby any day. As I clearly know, man plans and G-d laughs - so I am clearly not in control.
What I would do if I was in control? Hmm... for starters I would have had this baby already and put an end to my aches, pains, and late night insomnia antics. But I'm supposed to be holding off for two important reasons: #1 - my mother is coming tomorrow night G-d willing and #2 - Josh ends finals of his first semester in medical school this Friday.
Both reasons have a special, if not infamous place in my heart.
My mother planned to come to Maryland to be with me when I had my first, Aviva. I was due April 21 - a full two weeks after Pessach and after much debating, my mother decided to stay home in Detroit for the second days of Pessach and come to Maryland right after to make sure she didn't miss the birth. G-d had other plans. On April 8th, As Josh and I welcomed in the second days of Pessach with a beautiful kiddish and the breaking of my water at my in-laws Yom Tov table we knew the plans had changed. I was going to have a baby within 24 hours and Yom Tov just started. Not only would my mother not be there, but we will have a child, possibly name it if it is a girl, and not inform her or my father until two days later.
And that is precisely what happened.
Aviva was born at 11:30 AM on April 9th, the first day of second days of Pessach. After sitting through what turned into a teary-eyed, emotional, anxious meal with all eyes on me - Josh and I headed out to the hospital in a taxi at about midnight.
(It was a miracle we made it. We almost lost our minds with the taxi service. The shul had a special code in the back of the phone book when calling a cab on Shabbos/Yom Tov so one would not have to pay the driver at the time. In the phone book, the code was labeled "The Aleph, Bet, Gimmel, Daled, Hey" code. Hmmmm... ok????
So when Josh was speaking frantically to the cab driver of Indian or Lebanese descent he kept on telling them the Aleph Bet Gimmel Code. Naturally, they thought we were crazy. But alas! Josh figured it out -- he tried again saying the "One, two, three, four, five code!!"
"Ohhhhhhhhh, the one, two, tree, for, faive people" said the taxi driver with the thick middle-eastern accent. "Sure!! Sure!! I know cho you are!" I'll be right there!
Oh, it's no wonder my husband got into medical school.)
So after Josh called the taxi, ran to his Rosh Yeshiva's house to have a 4.5 minute crash course on Halachos of dealing with your wife when she has a baby (which of course his wife begged him to attend weeks BEFORE she went into labor) - we were successfully off to the hospital.
And Thank G-d, 11 hours later - our most beloved daughter was born.
After all the excitement, adrenaline, and fatigue, I remember sitting in my hospital bed on the postpartum floor thinking one thing: My parents have no idea I am holding my child in my hands.
You have to know my parents. My mother would have sold her right arm to be there with me. Josh kept saying he envisioned her receiving vibes all the way from Detroit and SPRINTING down the Pennsylvania Turnpike in snow, sleet, rain, or shine to be there in the hospital. But she was not.
And as you may have guessed, since Aviva was born on the first day of Yom Tov - Josh walked to Shul on the second day to name her. We could have technically waited, but we already knew we were going to name her Aviva Bracha (Bracha after my father's mother) and we believed it was the right thing to do. Besides, I'm not a huge fan of calling babies "Herbert" or "Bob" before they are properly named.
"If I could control life...."
I obviously could not control when I had Aviva and I surely could not control flying my mother to Maryland on a magic carpet eating Matzah of course, since it was Pessach - to be there with me when I had the baby. Thank G-d, I had my more-than wonderful in-laws who were there every step of the way. They enjoyed the entire experience from beginning to end and will always remember that crazy night/day.
(And no words have to be said about how amazing my mother is - and I know she was there with me in spirit.)
The second reason why I have to hold off on having this baby is because of Josh's finals.
Yes, Josh is almost finishing his first semester of medical school. He can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. ALMOST. I told him that despite what he thinks, he cannot go this entire week without sleeping AT ALL. Knowing him, he probably can't think that far ahead and will begin the trend unknowingly. I was quite pleased with him when he tracked into bed at 3:30 last night. The definition of a good night's sleep definitely alters when you are a medical student. 3:30 -7:00 is a relatively normal night's sleep.
Although this baby is more important than school (depending on who you ask... just joking) - it would be nice if Josh could finish his finals peacefully before the baby. Let me remind everyone that Josh took his MCAT FIVE DAYS AFTER AVIVA WAS BORN. Yes, that's right. It wasn't great timing - but he chose to take it that month. He slept by my side at the hospital on the couch with the baby in one arm and his MCAT book in the other. Of course the four nights leading up to the exam gave him little sleep - but of course, he was the happiest new father anyone could ask for. The MCAT however, will remain a less fond memory in his mind.
Point being - I feel like I owe him to a certain extent. I feel like he deserves a break. Either that, or we have to do a better job planning things because this baby/exam relationship isn't going over well in my head. Babies and books should have nothing to do with each other if you ask me.
But once again, I cannot control my schedule. It is in G-d's hands. Josh believes that I am convincing myself I will have the baby early since Aviva was two weeks early. I am not convincing myself and despite what he thinks, I cannot MAKE myself have the baby (although I would if I could) - I just feel ready any day now.
One thing I can control is making sure Josh is accessible this whole week in case I DO need him. Whether that be handing his cell phone to the professor during his 5 hour anatomy exam or wearing a pager that says "MY WIFE IS IN HER NINTH MONTH AND ABOUT TO POP" - I expect him to be somewhat accessible. And besides, it's not like I'm going to begin my labor and have a baby within 2-4 hours of his exam time right??? I should only be so lucky.
There are so many other things I wish I could control. What if it's a boy? Where will we get a Mohel? We're in Des Moines. What if it's a girl? Who will come to our Kiddish? Our friends live so far away. I also would love to control is Aviva's reaction to the new baby, but I know that is out of my hands. I hope she is understanding and compassionate - as best as a 21 month can be with a baby sibling. I have confidence in her though, she never ceases to amaze me.
I cannot control any of these things. We're here in Iowa and if a bris or kiddish will consist of Lander's Bagels and jelly so be it (although I'm sure my mother and mother in law will work at all leanghts to make everything beautiful!) We'll miss our friends pouring in the Simcha, but we know we're in their hearts and they're in ours -- miles away!!
So just as a note to self: wait for my mother and wait for my husband to take his exams in peace.
Easier said than done. My mother is coming tomorrow night - I think I can accomplish task #1. Task #2... will be in G-d's hands.
"If I could control life..."