Wow. Flash forward 4 months.
You know how most people take a legitimate maternity leave from perhaps a job, position, professional commitment, etc? Well I took a maternity leave from blogging.
For those others out there watching two kids full time (in Iowa shall I add) or acclimating to some other life altering experience that combines exhaustion, sleep deprivation, a ridiculous amount of patience, creativity, and physical stamina, not to mention a bit of seclusion would understand why I've been preoccupied.
I'm not complaining...in fact I don't ever remember being happier now that I have two kids. Skinnier, yes. Less bags under my eyes, perhaps, more time to focus on myself, maybe. But nope, never been happier. That's because on January 1, my little boy graced us with his presence and added a new element of joy (and unfortunately less blogging) to my life.
Now, I'm not a fan of sharing labor stories with the general public, but I believe you all deserve to hear a bit of this one... in Iowa and all. Let's start with the fact that I could not BELIEVE I went three days overdue with Yehuda. Aviva was two weeks early and surprised the world on her Pessach debut (remember the last blog about my mother missing Aviva's birth? This time around, I was nervous three weeks prior to my due date wouldn't be early enough for my mom to arrive.)
Boy did I learn my lesson. NEVER think you're going to be early. It'll destroy you. It'll make you impatient, grouchy, and feeling one hundred times bigger than you are. Believe me, I was all those things. When the Dr. told us at our appointment on my due date that I must be having a boy because he's "a mama's boy" and doesn't want to leave the womb, I just laughed and envisioned a mama's boy son attached to my apron strings for the rest of his life. Fine, I thought, I can live with that...just get it out of me ASAP, I can't stand being pregnant anymore!!
Well, on January 1st, one hour after my mother in law arrived in Des Moines, my water broke and I was officially in labor (Thank Gd!!) There must be something about my in laws that induces my labor. I'll have to remember that the next time I consider requesting pitosin. (No thanks about the drugs... I'll have my in laws instead). To spare you all the details, I had a very interesting and quick labor. I dilated from 4 to 10 centimeters in FIVE MINUTES no exaggeration. (I had a super effective method - call me if you want details.)
The nurse couldn't even believe how quickly I progressed. In fact, she told the Dr. to relax at home during my earlier stages of labor. Hey, enjoy New Year's, right?? Then.... five minutes later...when I was ready to push....she MANHANDLED ME back into the bed, called the Dr. frantic to get over to the hospital ASAP, all the while keeping me calm that the Dr. is on his way.
I vividly remember looking the nurse straight in the eye while she refrained me from pushing until the Dr. arrived and asking veryyyy sternlyyyy, verryyy slowwllyyyy: "Ok. Tell me, wheeerrreeee doooooessss heeee liiiiiivvveee?? Translation: How quickly can he get here?!? She assured me he'd be there in 10 minutes.
Silly me, this is Iowa.
In the words of my husband, no destination is more than 10 minutes away in any direction. Besides, it's 11:30 PM, New Year's Day. That means, either everyone is home sleeping off a hangover which means no traffic for my OB (or at least I hope.... he's not one of those people himself) or - everyone was so bummed New Year's was so dull in Iowa - they decided to sleep the whole day through... until the 2nd, which again, means no traffic for my OB.
Either way, the ten minutes my nurse assured me felt like 10 years. After a grand entrance from my OB running into the room, he graciously bowed his head, extended his arm, and told me in a calm, regal prince-like voice, "You may push."
Two pushes and 7 lbs, 3 oz later, our Yehuda Aryeh was born.
All in all, it was a great experience. I must say in Des Moines' defense... the hospital was WONDERFUL. The staff and accommodations were wonderful. Although they definitely were not used to Orthodox Jews in that my Dr. couldn't believe we weren't naming him for 8 days and the nurse was confused why we kept asking her to turn the lights on and off in the hospital on Saturday, everyone was very lovely. In fact, at Yehuda's first pediatrician appointment, the Dr. took one look at his Bris Milah and said - geez! that's the best circumcision I ever I saw! When I proceeded to tell her it was done by a Rabbi and not a Dr, she simply said, "Well I think your Rabbi could teach some of my Drs. a thing or two!"
Hey, Kiddush Hashems come in all shapes and sizes... and body parts!
So yes, my son was born in Iowa. We had a Shalom Zachar and a Bris. Our wonderful family came in from Detroit and Silver Spring, which made it just like home. So we had 10 people Friday night instead of 100 and the Bris was home made by our Shul instead of by a professional caterer, but beautiful nonetheless. When life throws lemons at you, you make lemonade. Besides, with a family like ours, there's no need to be lonely or upset. Someones only a plane/car ride away.
I still laugh about having Yehuda grow up telling everyone he was born in Iowa. Aviva will roll her eyes, his Rebbaim will smile, his friends will laugh, we'll probably do all three. Either way, we're thankful that everything went smoothly. And yes, we are excited to bring Yehuda back into civilization in a few years.