Dec 26 2012
Last week, Julie Satow expressed her disappointing experience with doulas during her first two births. This week, Avital offers a different perspective.
When I was six months pregnant with my son, my husband and I ended up moving to another state. We moved for a variety of reasons, and despite looking forward to our new location, it meant that we were now further away from both sets of parents as well as countless friends.
Our move shook up my plans for a homebirth. We didn’t have a support network in the area built up yet, and I couldn’t imagine we would get there in the three months left before my son was to be born. I wasn’t sure if we could pull one off without one. In retrospect, I had a very uneventful labor and birth that would have been perfectly suited for a homebirth, but ah… hindsight. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 20 2012
Forgive me a few minutes to vent about doulas, those crunchier-than-thou pregnancy helpers that are as necessary now to the Park Slope set as a baby sling or Babycook steamer.
But I’m pulling the Boppy pillow from under those mommy helpers. In my house, they are don’tulas.
I have hired two doulas in my life–one for each pregnancy. But for all their talk of the beauty of birth and the exhilaration of labor (not to mention their $1500 fees), neither was present for the birth of my children.
Let me explain: Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 31 2012
Do I need a birthing ball?
On Friday I went to my OB for my regular check up.
Unlike my first birth, where my husband anxiously held my hand each month in the waiting room and smiled excitedly when the thumping of the baby’s heartbeat came over the sonogram speakers, eight months into this birth and he has attended only a smattering of check-ups. The reason? I usually don’t tell him about them. Why have him leave work and trek across town to witness a 10-minute check of my vitals and weight gain?
So maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised when my doctor chastised me for failing to book a tour of the new hospital the practice had recently moved to. Or realizing that at 32 weeks, it was now time I see her twice a month. Her actual words: “You are in denial that this baby is coming.” Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 26 2011
I grew up in a fairly complicated and very secular latchkey home with Hanukkah bushes, Chinese take-out, and a sick mama.
My mom passed away a couple of months before the Twin Towers fell, when I was 23. Around this time I started practicing vinyasa yoga in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. I got dumped just days before both of my roommates moved out to live with their boyfriends. Yoga helped me feel calmer and healthier, and allowed me to sit with my various sadnesses. It was different from anything I grew up with.
As I continued my search for meaning, I figured I should check my own Jewish background. Though familiar, I didn’t know an Aleinu from an Aleph. I also thought something about Israelis reminded me of what I found edgy and compelling in 90s era hip hop, so I decided to learn a little Hebrew and went on Birthright (a free trip to Israel for 18 to 26-year-olds). I said the Mourner’s Kaddish for my mom the year after she passed, and it served as a mantra that brought change in my life.
I was working in music marketing when I met my husband Jonah on Jdate. When he showed up I thought, “this guy is wearing a kippah, he’s way too religious for me, he’s moving to DC in a few months, and he really doesn’t seem like one-night-stand material.”
And then I got past all that and was present. We both loved hip hop, and comedy, and spirituality (admittedly in a sort of distance-learning way).
People ask if I got more religious because of my husband. I think we wouldn’t have connected if I wasn’t already interested. Read the rest of this entry →