Sep 16 2014
My husband and I got married young and couldn’t wait to become parents. We both come from families with two children, a boy and a girl. We assumed that we would have two children, and of course, we’d get one of each.
We were elated when our first son was born. He was the first grandchild on both sides. He hung the moon.
I was pretty surprised when we got pregnant two years later with, what turned out to be, another boy. He was born just before my older son’s 3rd birthday. We were all nuts about him. Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 5 2014
A huge mazel tov is in order–or should we say felicitations?
Scarlett Johansson (with a little help from her French journalist Romain Dauriac) just birthed a French-Jewish baby girl in New York City–presumably with gorgeous voluptuous lips like her mom.
The baby has the most adorable old person’s name, Rose Dorothy (coincidently two Golden Girls), named for Scarlett’s grandmother, whom the actress has described as “the first Francophone in my family.” Read the rest of this entry →
Photo by Stephanie Rabins
This post is part of our Torah commentary series. This Shabbat we read Parashat Ki Tetze. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.
It has been quite a summer over here. Elijah Wilder, aka Eliyahu Nachman, arrived a month ago, joining his big sister Sylvie.
I’m doing a few things differently this time around, partly in an attempt to avoid postpartum depression like I had with Sylvie. I’ve asked for more help. I’ve protected my maternity leave more carefully. And when I do go back to work, I’ll make sure I have adequate childcare for Elijah rather than trying to do some impossible juggling act. All this makes me appreciate every minute with him right now, and I am happy to say that so far, it’s working. I am loving these early days. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 25 2014
Jesse Bacon with new baby Dafna.
I was 35-weeks pregnant with my son when I became violently ill and started having contractions at 2:00 a.m. on a Saturday night that happened to be erev Purim. My husband and I decided that, rather than risk our not-yet-2-year-old daughter waking up and not having us there, I would go to the hospital with a friend, and he would stay home. I realized how fortunate I was to have more than one person I could call in such a situation, but we figured that our friend Ilana was the most likely to still be awake from Purim festivities, so she was the lucky recipient of that phone call.
Without a moment’s hesitation, she was at our house, she took me to the hospital, and she stayed with me there for hours. After a terrible night, but one that would have been infinitely worse had I been alone (or had the baby ended up being in any distress), I thanked Ilana as much as words could possibly thank someone for that kind of generosity. She said, simply, “This is what we do.”
Those words have echoed over and over in my head this week, reminding me of the unbelievable value of community. No matter how capable we are of handling our own joy or sorrow, handling it in the company of other people is just better. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 22 2014
Lately, being Jewish on North Haven–the small island in Maine where we live–has felt like a non-issue, though I still tend to think of myself as the only one. Which made it all the more surprising when, as I was getting ready to leave the seasonal bakery I run and go pick up 3-month-old Penrose, my friend Rosa, one of the nearly 1,000 summer visitors we get out on the island, stopped me.
“The girls and Mark and I were talking and we wanted to organize a naming ceremony for Penrose if you’d like,” she said. “I bet it will be the first one ever on North Haven!”
I paused, momentarily stunned. I had considered a simchat bat ceremony for her, but real life took over, and between recovery, my husband’s return to work, and opening the bakery, we never got it together. I had also never been to one, and other than the bagel and lox spread at the end, I didn’t know what it would entail. To have someone else run it for us would be amazing. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 19 2014
There are two sentences that have impacted my parenting philosophy more than anything else I’ve read about raising children. In “The Art of Loving” by psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm, he writes, “The Promised Land is described as ‘flowing with milk and honey.’ Milk is the symbol of the first aspect of love, that of care and affirmation. Honey symbolizes the sweetness of life, the love for it and the happiness in being alive. Most mothers are capable of giving ‘milk,’ but only a minority of giving ‘honey,’ too. In order to be able to give honey, a mother must not only be a ‘good mother,’ but a happy person.”
I didn’t have children when I read those words for the first time, and yet, I made a promise to myself that when I did, I would make an effort to be happy, no matter what life threw my way.
A few short weeks after I encountered Fromm’s writing, my then-boyfriend brought up the idea of starting a family, and before we realized the enormity of our decision, there was a wonderful baby boy in our lives. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 14 2014
“He needs some TLC and gentle handling,” says the assistant head nurse as she hands me the chart of a new patient. “He’s young, he’s a career soldier, and his wife just gave birth to their first child two weeks ago.”
I look at his chart. All that goes through my head is that he is seven years younger than me and has Stage 3 colon cancer. Yet again, I find myself standing there and wishing there was no cancer in this world, even if that meant, as an oncology nurse, that I would need to find a new career. I go look for my new patient in the waiting room. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 12 2014
We would like to take a minute to wish a hearty Mazel Tov to Kveller contributors Tamar Fox and Jesse Bacon on the arrival of a beautiful 1-month-old baby girl.
Tamar has written on Kveller about her and Jesse’s plans to become foster parents, and on Friday, August 1, they got the long-awaited phone call. The family is not sharing baby’s English name for privacy reasons, but her Hebrew name is Dafna Penina. Little Dafna spent her first month in the NICU, but now she is happy and healthy (she even slept seven hours through her second night with her new parents).
Stay tuned to get the full story once things calm down a little.
Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 11 2014
We are thrilled to announce that our resident Torah MOMentator Alicia Jo Rabins gave birth to a baby boy last week (much to the delight of big sister Sylvie). Elijah Wilder Hartman was born at 8:05 a.m. on Thursday, August 7, weighing 7.7 pounds and 2 ounces.
Says the proud mom, “We are all healthy and grateful and in love.” Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 6 2014
Readers beware: This post has a little TMI regarding nipples. There, you’ve been warned.
I successfully nursed two baby boys. They each got one year of the good stuff before they weaned to whole milk. I regularly got calls from friends, and friends of friends, who were having nursing problems. I was the resident expert–always proud and happy to help.
While pregnant with my third child, a girl, nursing issues were never on my radar. After all, I had two solid years under my belt. I worried about balancing three kids while recovering from a C-section. But not once did I consider that my biggest obstacle would be the painful, frustrating, and exhausting mission of nursing this baby. Read the rest of this entry →