I wanted to write a bit about the more practical aspects surrounding Israel’s birth. Circumstances worked out in such a way that in the last months of my pregnancy we spent very little time at home. There were certain things that needed to be fixed in order to make our house habitable, and though it was all supposed to be arranged in good time, stuff like that has a tendency to take longer than was initially planned.
We ended up staying with my mom right up until the day I went into labor, which wasn’t easy. In the last few days, I was overwhelmed by a powerful nesting instinct that made me tell my husband I want to go home right now so that I can begin fixing things up - though it would have been totally pointless, as the work wasn’t done yet and everything was still in too much of a disarray for me to attempt anything. Looking back, I should have known it was a sign I’m about to go into labor. I really felt deprived because I couldn’t scrub floors, arrange closets and stock the freezer at the very end of my pregnancy!
Well, as we came home from the hospital with our new baby, everything was just as I dreaded – things all over the place, tools lying around, the furniture haphazardly piled in the middle of the living room and covered with nylon sheets. Strangely, though, I didn’t seem to mind so much anymore (perhaps because I had such a sweet distraction in my arms!). Our bedroom was more or less in order, and so I retired there with the baby while my husband tidied up. Over the next few days, bit by bit, we put the house in order (a process that is still ongoing).
Another worry I had was that of having a January baby. We’ve been through that with Shira, and though the electricity bill was staggering, at least back then we lived in a place where electricity was reliable. This time, I wasn’t sure we’d have an adequate heat source at all. Everything worked out just fine, though.
The weekend after we came home was the coldest of the year. On Friday afternoon it began to snow, and the snow continued throughout the night. As we looked out of the window and saw everything covered in a white blanket, I was overcome with a profound sense of peace. We got a gas heater just in case electricity would cave in, and the warmth radiating from it was lovely. We had plenty of good food to heat up in the course of Shabbat. The girls were delighted with the snow, and when morning came I bundled them up and they got out to play and toss snowballs. It was, truly, a magical night and day. I like to close my eyes and re-live it, time and time again.
All of this was an important lesson for me. My husband kept saying, “it will all work out, trust me” – and I did, outwardly, but I should have paid deeper attention to the bigger voice saying “trust Me”. I spent literally months worrying myself silly over things which were, in the long run, inconsequential – and in the end, it all worked out beautifully.