"My name is Shifra. I married Assaf on August 18th. On Oct 12th I shared the news with my husband that I was pregnant. The over whelming excitement brought happiness and fear into our hearts. That is when Shoshanna Goldbaum enters the story. Because I knew Shoshanna from childhood I had heard “the scoop on birth” at a very young age. My mother even learned labor coaching from Shoshanna. However Assaf and I were still very scared about the unknown experience of childbirth. Twenty-four hours in Shoshanna’s class made us feel much more confident and informed about this beautiful miracle.
I remember my husband saying, “Do you really need to know all this? All you need to do is just sit back and listen to what the nurse tells you to do”. After the birth he changed his tune. Now he says, “It’s amazing how much more we were prepared because of Shoshanna’s help”.
July 5th 2005 (the day that we had all been waiting for) finally came. Late at night I started getting some light contractions. I tried going into the bath and even drank a little red wine just as Shoshanna had told us to do. However nothing helped. We decided that we need some reinforcements so we decided to drive to my mother at 1 am. My contractions were about 5 minutes apart. At this point my husband went back to sleep! He was the driver and he said that he needed to save his energy!Now, my birth wasn’t like your ordinary birth. We chose Ilana as our midwife and we planned a private birth at her birthing cottage near Rechovot.
At 3 am Tuesday we arrived at the birthing center. We were greeted with our midwife’s big smile. She was still in her pajamas! I thought surly I would be ready to push by tonight or maybe early in the morning. Boy, I was wrong! I was only 2cm dilated. Now the contractions were stronger and they were approaching 3 minutes apart. I had to be on an IV every few hours because I was a strep carrier. Through every contraction I would lean on my mother and we would swirl together. She reminded me about how to breathe. We breathed together saying “La Shoo Hoo”. Through every contraction I thought “Its only for a minute. It’s going to be over soon.”
Before I went in to labor my mother had told me to hold an ice cube and in my hand for one minute and practice how to react. During my contractions I just kept that in mind. Its just like the ice. Contractions don’t last that long. In the morning Ilana checked me. I was sure I was really close to delivery but she told me I had progressed to 4 cm and I still have some time. My husband went for a little nap again! My mother and I decided to go out in the beautiful garden and paint pictures to pass the time. Every time I had a contraction I just jumped up doing the swirling exercise I learned in Shoshana’s class.
A few hours later my husband woke up and we decided to go shopping. We returned at 3:00pm. Now I was at 5 cm! I just kept on working with my contractions but I was feeling very tired. I wanted to go into the Jacuzzi after lunch but Ilana said the Jacuzzi might slow down the contractions. She said at 7cm I would be able to go into the Jacuzzi . We tried to do other things to pass the time. I took a walk with my husband. We swung on the hammock. We listened to music. I kept telling my mother and my husband how lucky they were to be feeling good. I wanted this to stop already and I couldn’t get a break.
Ilana said if I am not 8cm at 10 o’clock I am going to the hospital to get an epidural. When she returned she said I was almost 8cm. They encouraged me. You are almost there. Why not keep on going? I decided to try and continue a little longer so we went outside and stood by the pond. Every time I had a contraction my mother would tell me your baby IS coming. Its gliding…… That really helped me take my mind off of the contractions.
I went into the Jacuzzi for a while. That was relaxing. We sang through those contractions at the top of our lungs. Just to keep my mind off the contractions we did ANYTHING. If I noticed that my mother or my husband were dozing off I would tell them, “ You can’t sleep! I can’t do this myself!” So my mother and my husband were really up the entire time. At 8:00 am Thursday morning my mother called my father. She told him to get “pesicha” for me.
Then I started going through rough difficult labor. I started vomiting. My legs were shook violently. I was happy because I remembered learning in Shoshana’s class that these are good signs. At 10:00am Ilana said that was ready to push. I felt I had no energy so she gave me an energy drink. I asked Hashem to please help me, and B”H He did. I started pushing on a birthing stool for a half an hour but I felt it wasn’t working. I went on the bed and within 25 minutes I had pushed out the baby.
MAZAL TOV at 10:50 am!!!!!!!! A Beautiful baby boy!!!!!! This was the biggest miracle I have ever seen!!!!!" Shifra, Ramat Beit Shemesh