Sunday, December 11, 2005

Little Miracle

This has been a rather crazy week - we moved to Ra'anana (though realized halfway there we forgot the housekeys), Bryan started his new job, and I have been sans internet almost the whole week.

However the most exciting thing that happened this week was that I was present for the birth of my friends JJ and Bayla's little boy. And though I must have seen about 50 kids born (more on that in a minute), each birth always makes me cry and each birth is different in its own way.

Because I hang out in a major Jerusalem hospital all day, every day, whenever friends come into the hospital for one reason or another, I usually get a call to come visit (or translate). So when Rachel (who drove JJ and Bayla to the hospital) called me in the middle of class on Monday, I knew before answering that Bayla, who was close to a week overdue, was at the hospital and I was right.

When I was in college I used to want to work in midwifery/obstetrics in some capacity. (Funny how you can never really suppress life's dreams - just save them for later) I had a summer job working in the office of a large gynecology/OB practice, mostly doing filing and stuff, but one of the doctors knew I wanted to be a midwife/OB so she ivited me to come along with her when she had on-call days, either for delivery or surgery. Through her (Thanks Dr. Cramer) I got to see all kinds of deliveries and surgeries and it was a wonderful summer experience. I discovered I was really good at keeping the parents-to-be calm during the delivery. Since it was a fairly low-class area in the South, there were some young moms giving birth, and I got to help them out too.

Eventually I became a delivery whore - I would convince doctors I knew to let me come watch. Sometimes they'd even let me do exciting things - like hold retractors, or the mother-to-be's hand. I got to follow a neonatalogist around while she was on call (and thus saw quintuplets being born!). In the university cafeteria I made friends with some guy who it turned out was an infertility specialist and he let me come to work with him and watch IVF procedures (and hold the needle!), egg collections and then the results of all those procedures being born.

So when Bayla and JJ showed up, I had had some experience with birth (plus I delivered my dog's puppies (including a breech) and some calves on kibbutz). Little did we realize Bayla was in for a long haul. Do to some medical complications, Bayla was induced into labor, but it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

I'll save you all the gory details, but suffice it to say they arrived at the hospital at 11:00 am on Monday and the kid wasn't born until 5:15 p.m. Tuesday!

The most amazing part of the birth was the look on Bayla and JJ's face when the baby finally made his way into the world. It was such a look of shock, more on Bayla than JJ I think. Like she couldn't believe that at the end of all the pushing and pain and 10 months of shlepping there was a actually a little boy waiting for them. JJ was so stunned he just sat there staring at the baby. It was a really beautiful moment. Another little miracle (as all healthy babies are). When you learn about all the things that can and do go wrong for other people all day, you really appreciate the true miracle it is to have a beautiful healthy baby. When you realize how many tiny little things the human body does to make growing such a child possible, how many normal physiologic body processes have to be altered to allow for pregnancy, how incredibly brilliant the body is, then you really get to appreciate that having a baby is nothing short of a miracle.

I'll be the first to admit that there was a point in my life when I'm not so sure I believed in G-d (and no, it wasn't during any specific "bad" point in my life). But the more I learned science and biology, the more I saw all of those things I told you about above, the more I studied the human body, the more I know that we are no accident or even the work of evolution. I know with perfect certainty that a greater being was responsible for my existence and the fact that my body functions the way it does.

Mah Rabu Ma'asecha Hashem [how great is Your handiwork, G-d].

And the first thing JJ and Bayla's little miracle did once he made it out into the world was to pee all over the midwife!


Blogger Jeru Guru said...

Inspirational post and well worth the wait. I missed you.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to Raanana!

Whereabouts do you live? I'm not asking for your exact address, of course, but what part of town are you in?

I hope you enjoy living in this great city.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Wow!! Great post! Ya know, Einstein said that same thing you did in relation to his belief in G-d. Pretty cool.

9:25 PM  
Blogger maharal said...

Mah Rabu Ma'asecha Hashem !!!

2:44 AM  
Anonymous Philip said...

I'm just hoping that when you say midwife, you weren't referring to yourself... :-)

2:32 PM  
Blogger lisoosh said...

You really like getting in there don't you?

3:13 PM  
Blogger gils said... good to get an update...I missed my 2nd nephew's birth by an hour...tell Bryan his friend here in Sydney, does not stop talking about him! Miss u!

12:22 PM  

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