Sunday, November 22, 2009

Swirling Thoughts #85 - i'd give it a B+ but there's one thing for sure – you won’t get spoiled here!

Sometimes less is more
After a labor, epidural stabbing episode and finally, B”H, delivery – all of which I’ll spare you the details (which include someone – not me – fainting in response to my epidural stabbing episode) – I was wheeled to the maternity ward. I couldn’t wait.

Here is the Cheder Ochel (eating room) and some…jelly donuts?
They handed me a bag with a picture of a baby saying “Kef Li b’Hadassa” (literally “Fun Me at Hadassah”) filled with gifts – a towel, a lovely clean hospital gown and a package of sufganit ploos. It took me a while to figure out why they were calling maxi pads ‘jelly donuts ploos’ – in fact, jelly donuts are sufganiOt – but I can’t find any maxi pad related word to feed into google translator that will give me back sufganit ploos.

Ich bin ein Berliner
As I contemplate the urban legend of JFK calling himself a jelly donut, I am led to the (legendary in Israel) Cheder Ochel. “This is where you go to eat.” She wasn’t kidding. 3 times daily an announcement comes over the loudspeaker. “Cheder Ochel is open for the next 40 minutes. Go eat.” Sometimes a nurse would pop in and wake me with such kind words as, “It’s a shame to miss breakfast – go eat.” Other times no one would wake me and I would come out of my room starving only to find the food station of the Cheder Ochel locked up tight. There are two different ladies who alternate attending to the food station during Cheder Ochel hours – one maternal and loving, the other possessive and scary. Both take their jobs extremely seriously.

The big plate is for vegetables
My first dinner the (nice) lady handed me a tray all set up with big plate, small plate and bowl. She spooned me soup assuring me it was good for my health. When she saw me putting an apple and piece of cake on my big plate, she took both and moved them to my small plate, eating the bite of my cake that broke off in her hands. “The big plate is for yerakot (vegetables).” Then she gestured toward the cucumbers and tomatoes and waited for me to fill my plate. The whole experience reminded me of every other Israeli experience I’ve had to date – a combination of someone knowing what’s best for you and then telling you all about it. It was cute and the cake was good so I didn’t mind.

Water and hats – for tiyulim (hikes, trips) only
When you give birth in America (okay, so my experience is limited to Mt. Sinai hospital in NYC), the maternity nurses give you a pitcher of water and some paper cups and remind you to keep drinking – especially if you are nursing. They also put the cutest little knit hats on the newborns. In Israel (well, at Hadassa Ein Kerem, anyway) there are no hats for newborns. No big deal. But there is also no water for the mommy. Well, there is water – in a small room off the Cheder Ochel is a machine with cold water – but there are no cups. No pitchers. No nurses reminding you to drink while you nurse. I filled and refilled the water bottle I’d brought in when I was in labor maybe 40 times in 2 days. When I tried to take a paper cup from a drawer in the Cheder Ochel the food station lady was all over me. “What are you doing? You don’t open that drawer!” She wasn’t the nice food station lady from dinner. When my friend came to visit me with ice cream and asked the nurses for 2 cups for us to eat it from the nurses gave her a bowl from the coffee station (at which there are no cups) – it was the bowl that held the coffee grinds – and told her to wash it out.

In the spirit of ‘less is more’ I will skip over the broken hearing test machine (with which I was assured my baby had passed the hearing test – even though I was watching the machine flashing “broken” the whole time), and also I will skip over the night nurse who told me my big baby needed to eat more and will need the sides of her tongue cut loose so that she can nurse better. I mean, what more could I say about that anyway?

And then, as Bob tossed me the car seat and ran out of the room to get back to the car (because, ultimately, that is the procedure), my phone rang. It was the dryer service contract people. Wanting to schedule my appointment to fix the tubing on the back of my dryer. I laughed out loud. “I called you a MONTH ago!” She was quick to correct me – “No, you called us two and a half weeks ago.” I assured her that two and a half weeks worth of wet laundry was so much better than a whole months worth but that I no longer needed the appointment. But I had to ask her – “What’s with you guys?” And the answer – “You live in Efrat.” Okay...

Before I could have a second laugh the phone rang again. I won a contest somewhere. And now my name has been passed to this woman. She works for an agency who recruits for reality shows. Did I want to be in a reality show? Laughing, I told her, my life is a reality show.


  1. They didn't have hats?! What?! They had them the year before. I'm shocked.

    I did bring mittens with me, which was good because my son kept scratching his little face. But the nurses took them off because, "Those boxing gloves? He doesn't need them. You'll see, those scratches will be healed by tomorrow." I guess preventing future scratches wasn't a priority.

    And that food. Just be glad you had the normal stay. Those of us lucky enough to stay FOUR nights (torture), got to see that same food over and over again, assuming we made it on time/heard the announcement. I found it quite unhealthy... lots of fried shnitzel.

    Whoops, sorry, I guess I forgot this is YOUR blog, not mine. :) Mazal tov!

  2. i would have loved shnitzel! we seemed to have cottage cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner!