Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Swirling Thoughts #174 – when the ordinary is extraordinary

One year ago today I visited Kever Rachel on a rather urgent impulse. In fact I was on the way to see my obstetrician. I had my mother in law in tow. We jumped in the car and I said something to the effect of,
We’re running a little bit late but it’s okay. The doctor will be running late, too. Let’s stop at Kever Rachel.
And so we did.
Later that day we enjoyed my sonogram, lunch and a lot of iced coffee. Later that evening there was the drama of my water breaking. In front of the kids. In front of the sofer. In front of the security hut at Hadassa Ein Kerem. Breaking breaking breaking.

There was the triage station. Where the Israeli triage doctor asked me questions I simply could not answer because I’d left all my important papers behind. Questions like my blood type, my previous children’s birth weight in kilograms, the result of my glucose testing. There were the midwives. From everywhere but Israel. Mostly Russian. It’s funny how a thick Russian accent sounds the same in English and in Hebrew. There was my doulah, walking me around, talking me through contractions in a thick British accent. And then the orders came down from above. My doctor had ordered petosin and an epidural. My protests were overruled and on we marched. To a new room with an IV drip. And an anesthesiologist. An Arab doctor, trained in Russia. Five spinal punctures later, the anesthesiologist finally nailed his target. But not before some intense screaming on my part and some intense fainting on the part of someone who shall remain nameless. From there it was the standard miraculous progression from woman in labor to woman with baby. Enter Rachel Merav.

While I bonded with my slimy little black haired angel I listened to Israeli women giving birth all around me. I’d never heard the screams of anyone else giving birth. They must keep the birthing room doors closed in Mount Sinai. Here at Ein Kerem they were wide open. Scream, scream, scream….wah, wah, wah. Over and over I listened to the miracles around me as I held my own close to my heart.

Today I visited Kever Rachel. On an urgent impulse I tagged along with a women’s group on their weekly bus trip. At some point I realized the significance of the date and the poignancy of having Rachel Merav in tow, though it’s not her first (or second or third or even fourth) visit.

Happy birthday, my Jerusalem-born Sabra. My Kever Rachel buddy. My sweet Rachel Merav.


  1. A wonderful Blog...loved reading it, as ususal.

  2. This one really made me smile.

    Some days I completely take it for granted that my four beauties were blessed enough to be born in Israel. And some days it gives me goosebumps to realize that they are the first generation in my family in over two thousand years to be blessed enough to be born in Israel.

    Happy birthday to your little Scorpio!

  3. Are dudes allowed to tear up? Wait, don't answer that. - David B