May 15 2012
I’ve always felt a special kind of connection to the time of year between Passover and Shavuot, a Jewish period known as the Omer. (For Mayim Bialik’s Omer explanation, click here.) Here’s why. On Passover, the Jewish people go from being slaves to being free. Now, imagine that freedom. Your whole life, all you’ve ever known is following someone else’s arbitrary rules. And suddenly–no rules. No nothing, for that matter. The freedom must have been intense…and frightening.
But then, 49 days later, after wandering the desert, God gives the Jewish people the Torah, and with it, rules. In some way, those rules must have been a huge sigh of relief. No more crazy anarchy (golden calf, anyone?), no more feeling confused about how to build a society–God gave us everything we needed in the Torah. It’s nice to have a sense of structure to your life. Read the rest of this entry →
May 8 2012
Tamara Reese wrote a piece recently about being pregnant with her second child, and thinking about how she could possibly make room in her life and heart for baby #2. Like Tamara, I’m also pregnant, and constantly thinking about these questions. But my main question is a little bit different: how could I possibly not have baby #2?
Maybe it’s because I’m at 36 weeks now, and have spent so much of that time really thinking about what a second baby means. I’ve been lucky to watch many of my mommy friends go through the process of adding a second baby to the family, and though I’ve seen first-hand how hard it is, I’ve also seen that it’s possible. Or maybe it’s the advanced nesting–we’re ready with our co-sleeper, six bags of hand-me-down clothing from friends, and even a massive amount of newborn diapers from a neighbor. Read the rest of this entry →
May 4 2012
Figuring out a name took us a while...
Now that we’re nearing the sixth month of our pregnancy, my husband and I finally feel safe enough to try to settle on a name. I had suffered a miscarriage with my last pregnancy and didn’t want to do ANYTHING prematurely this time around. So, around month four, we started thinking about names for both boys and girls.
First came the issue of whether or not we were going to give the baby a Jewish name. We’re an interfaith couple, but my husband has no strong ties to any religion and 99% of the time defers to Judaism when it comes to life law, at least as long as we’ve been together (10+ years). That pretty much means that he’s never been a regular church-goer in his childhood, and always comes with me to High Holy Days, Passover, and the occasional Shabbat service. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 27 2012
My husband’s been noticing that I start a lot of sentences with any combination of the following: “You know what sucks/is hard/feels bad/hurts/is tiring?” The answer is always BEING PREGNANT.
The last time around, though, it wasn’t this bad. When I was tired, I’d take a nap. When I was hungry, I’d eat. When I had to pee, I’d just walk myself over to the bathroom. When I wanted to go to prenatal yoga, I’d grab my yoga mat. When I wanted to take a walk, I’d go. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 26 2012
Our first pregnancy was fueled by the tick of my boisterous and unrelenting biological clock. I was ready for a baby, I NEEDED a baby. I remember the faint, inaudible chime of my husband’s internal clock sounded something like this, “Well if we wait for me to be ready, we’ll never have a baby,” and I took that as a ringing endorsement for fatherhood and ran with it.
When a few months of “practicing” didn’t result in two pink lines, I was on a lunar mission for two weeks of nonstop sexy time followed by two weeks of waiting (wondering, crying) until one day it finally happened. And while I spent most of my pregnancy being terrified of motherhood, the moment my son was born my heart overflowed with love for this tiny person, and it hasn’t stopped. I actually think the love I feel for my son, and my husband, has grown exponentially over the past two years. Each night I go to bed beamingly grateful and content. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 16 2012
My cravings are more for ramen noodles and PB&J, but this lady's got a good thing going on here.
Pregnancy is rarely glamorous. I have a rash between my breasts, my face looks like the before pictures of a Proactiv commercial, and I bawl my eyes out in the shower for no apparent reason every morning (which is surprisingly therapeutic, actually.) My bowel movements walk a thin line between liquid and coal and on any given day you’ll find me yanking aside my maternity pants to scratch my itchy baby bump. I’m nineteen weeks and my belly button has already waged a full-on protest. I’d also like to take this opportunity to reach through the World Wide Web and slap women who perpetuate the rumor that pregnancy is a time for uncontrollable sexual desire. My babymaker is currently occupied, and dry heaving on my husband during sexy time just isn’t a memory that I want either of us to have. Sorry, babe.
And then there’s the dreams. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 10 2012
As you may have read before, this year my husband and I hosted our very first seder. At 33 and ½ weeks pregnant, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in a car for five hours to travel to my family’s house for Passover, so instead we made everyone come to us. In theory, that was a great plan. In practice, however, it was way more stressful than I anticipated.
We had 10 people coming to our seder–parents, siblings, aunts, and other family. Not huge, but not nothing either. I planned out my schedule in advance; making the chicken soup and freezing it, making the matzah kugel a few days early, marinating brisket, and outsourcing the potato kugel, quinoa salad, and desserts. I thought we had it all under control. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 9 2012
I'm feeling kicks, but it still doesn't feel real.
I was talking to a friend the other day when I felt a kick. Not like the “fluttery” sensations What to Expect had prepared me for at this stage–the ones I’ve been convincing myself I’ve been feeling over the past few weeks–but something much more substantial. Like a little foot pushing on the inside of my uterus kind of substantial. “AH!” I told her, “I think I just felt a serious kick!” She got excited and then exclaimed that I couldn’t go making her cry at work. Cry? I thought. That hadn’t even crossed my mind. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 27 2012
I haven’t ever been the best at self control. The other day I was trying to recall if there had ever been a piece of cake that had crossed my path unscathed. To be sure, I’m very good at talking up a storm about goals and the merit of restraint–I’m just not very good at putting my money where my mouth is. So when my husband and I went in for our ultrasound this week–the big 20 week Ultrasound with a capital U–I didn’t have the highest hopes for maintaining my resolve to not find out the sex of the baby. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 6 2012
I’ve been writing for Kveller for over a year now. I am not a professional writer; I didn’t go a fancy journalism school or even take a writing class in college. I’m not a celebrity or even an expert on religion. I am simply a Mama and a Jew and this wonderful site has allowed me to share my ups and downs of becoming a better example of each. Writing here, sharing with you makes me a better version of myself.
You, the readers of this site, have congratulated me on my conversion and have supported me on my faith journey. You applauded my mothering when I questioned my way through each day. You stood beside me when I shared how I struggled to find the Mama I wanted to be. You celebrated our milestones and you cried with me when I lost one of the greatest gifts that life has to offer. There are many, many parenting websites out there and a lot of places you can go for information about both motherhood and Judaism. But you choose to come here and for each post that we share with you, you share two-fold with us. The comments here continue to amaze me with their sympathy, empathy, joy, commiseration, advice and support. I am lucky to have found this community and consider it a safe place, where my friends are.
I am overjoyed to share with you a new possibility and I look forward to the day, six months from now, when I am inaugurated into motherhood for a second time. In the meanwhile kvell with me, eat ice cream with me, get fat with me, and pray with me. I’m embracing it all, and you’re invited.