I’ve written this post before, when we were blissfully unaware of the roller coaster ride of the TTC process.
Now that we’re officially 5w1d pregnant the Jewish superstitions full blown and I’m also doing a lot of un-Jewish things.
Let’s start with the Jewish things I’m doing:
Praying every day. This really old 18th Century prayer for mothers. It’s a little intense and when I say it out loud I sometimes laugh at myself and quickly spit three times (pfft-pfft-pfft) because this isn’t a laughing matter! Oh, and spitting three times.
Not naming Matzoh Ball, yes, that’s what we’re calling the peppercorn-sized embryo right now. Jewish folks don’t name their children in utero. It has more do do with superstition than tradition. And now it’s tradition. Boys aren’t named until their bris and girls are named the first time Torah is read in shul (synagogue) after their birth. (More about bris later). But traditionally Jews don’t do any pre-baby prep until there is a baby. So no registry, no baby showers, no nursery, no clothing, no diapers, no nothing until you come home with a baby in your arms. Don’t ask me how this works, because I have no idea. Leah and I are still trying to figure out what, exactly, we’re going to do. We’ve talked about getting everything set up and keeping the door shut, but who knows. And we have time.
Hamsas and Red Strings and Evil Eyes. I already wrote about our red strings, but I’m also wearing these beautiful Hamsa earrings I picked up on my last trip to NYC. The Hamsa, open hand often called the Hand of Fatima in Muslim culture, and sometimes with an eye in the palm is an amulet worn by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike for a variety of reasons. Each finger is supposed to represent the 5 books of Torah, but it’s also a fertility symbol and a symbol for protection. If I leave the house without the earrings on, no matter how many blocks I’ve gone, I turn around and to retrieve them.
Saying “Baruch HaShem” literally praise The Name” (or thank G-d) after I pee and get a nice white tissue.
The Non-Jewish things we’re doing.
I’ve made a registry. Which I know is a complete contradiction to what I wrote just a few paragraphs ago, but the level-minded, egalitarian Jewish lesbian in me knows that I’ll need stuff, especially since we’re so far away from our NYC mama friends. We had a great network of new moms there who handed down clothes, gear, and more but now that we’re on the Left Coast with very few Mama friends, we’re going to need gear. And since we don’t really have friend who will throw us a baby shower we can’t have, it’s a good idea to at least have a registry handy for friends and family members who want it. And my mother, who is not Jewish, has requested it. I should also note that Leah is adamantly opposed to registries of all types. She thinks they’re silly. I think I’d rather get just the requested number of items we need, rather than getting lots of one thing and having to do a bunch of returns with a new born.
Thinking of baby names. Since we aren’t picking names, we’re sort of in Jewish tradition loop-hole land. We’ve written down names that we like for both a girl or a boy. Family names as well as names that have special meaning. Ashkenazi Jews often name children for relatives of family members who have passed away, with the hopes of instilling the new child with attributes of the person they are named after. I, of course, would like to name our child after positive attributes of my sister, so I’ve been doing a lot of research into her name meaning. As well as names that mean artist or creativity, since she was an artist. We have a healthy list.
In terms of how I’m feeling; absolutely grateful. Yesterday I was walking down the street and felt so much gratitude that I started crying. I’m still scared as all hell and I know that this is something that we’ve been working on and waiting for for a long time. And even though we have 35+ more weeks to go, I’m trying to take it one week at a time. Appreciative of the gift that I’ve been given, thankful for my body’s ability to create life and happy that this little soul has chosen me to be its Imma.