Two weeks ago, I witnessed the most amazing, phenomenal, fantastic, beautiful, wonderful, incredible, breathtaking event. I watched a miracle happen right before my eyes! On one hand, I am speechless. I feel there is no way I can put into words what I saw. On the other hand, every time I try to repeat the story, people tell me "Ooh, that's gotta go in your blog!"
So, here I am. Blogging it. But there is no way I can give justice to it.
First, the history.
My first "meeting" with Ariella was online. She posted a funny little comment on the Ariel Aliyah Facebook group. Something about how her name is Ariella and she is moving to Ariel and isn't that funny? And she is getting married to Yisrael (who lives in Yisrael....) And she is available to babysit.
We tease her about that post to this day. Of course, we repeat it in a very blond, goofy voice. So, hello? My name is Ariella, and I am moving to Ariel, and isn't that soooo crazy? Heehee.....
Then we met Ariella and Yisrael when we were all registering for Ulpan and got to know them a little bit through Ulpan and at our various small Ariel Aliyah events.
Our next big interaction with Ariella was when I had to go to the hospital in the middle of the night while I as pregnant. We didn't know what to do with our 2 sleeping children. So, we called Ariella. We knew she wasn't working yet and hoped maybe there was a chance she was even still awake, watching a movie with Yisrael. At 3 am.....when Yisrael had to work the next day..... Well, she wasn't awake but she came over anyway, stayed with our kids, and took them to Gan and daycare the next day. And didn't even charge us for her babysitting services!!! It was REALLY helpful and gave a glimpse of what a good friend she would become.
Over the next few months/year, we became closer. While they lived near us, we had them over for many Shabbatot in a row. Seudah Shlishi became a regular happening. It was nice. Then they moved. That was sad. But we give them enough grief about it so I'll move along.
Ariella knew that I have dreams of becoming a doula. However, I have never experienced a natural birth - natural meaning the way the baby is meant to come out as opposed to a c-section. Granted, I am a mom 3 times over but all my children have been surgically removed. :) While that in itself is a miracle, it's not the way I grew up thinking I would deliver my babies. As much as my husband loves the "ease" and "convenience" of c-section births, I feel robbed of something. And I will never know if I would have been able to actually push a child out of my body....
But I digress....So, about 9 months ago, Ariella got pregnant. I was one of the first people she told - so you can see how close we had gotten at this point. Some time after that, I think I may have offered to be her "doula". It was my dream to be there when someone gives birth. I used to hope for it when I was an EMT, always hoped to be there for any of my friends, and was just waiting for the opportunity to present itself. She agreed and I think we both thought we were getting a great deal! She was thrilled to be getting a free doula. The fact that we are close friends and she trusts me and felt I could help her through labor was more important than the fact that I didn't have any training. And on my end, I was so excited that I might actually witness a birth!!!
We talked about it through her whole pregnancy and she did a lot of reading and I did some reading and we talked about how it would play out and how to make sure we incorporate Yisrael so he doesn't feel left out.
The last 3 weeks before she finally went into labor, I slept with the phone next to my bed. I must have woken up as many times as she did every night. I would grab my phone, to make sure I hadn't missed a call!!! Shabbas was really difficult and although they had gotten permission to call me (without me answering) to give me the signal they were on their way, I was sure I would miss a call.
I finally did get the call. Although not quite in the manner I was expecting.......
TO BE CONTINUED...................