Monday, April 23, 2012


     I am running a marathon, I am crazy...yup those two thoughts belong in the same sentence. Today is 8 weeks since I had my baby boy. This moment is actually 9 hours after I delivered Moses Kol. At precisely this moment in time 8 weeks ago, I was downing 3 Crumbs Bakery cupcakes that my darling friend Fay brought to the hospital for me to celebrate the birth, but mostly to celebrate the end of my gestational diabetes which prevented me from having any sweets during my pregnancy. (And they were not the mini ones either.) But I digress. I am running a marathon..well jogging..ok, maybe running, that’s my final answer. Running a marathon has always been on my list of things to do. Since I haven’t done anything over the last year while I was pregnant because I had really bad all-day sickness for the first 5 months. (Whoever named it ‘morning sickness’ obviously wasn’t a pregnant woman.)  

     I had no desire to pursue my career - I am a freelance make-up artist - and since I had no agent to speak of, it was all on me to hustle my little tush off.  I was rather good at the hustling but it was hard work and sometimes the money was shit or non existent. But, I love make-up!! I love the feel of it, the feeling it brings to my clients, the bright colors, the different textures and yet, I have not applied make-up on anyone in MONTHS! I was pregnant, creating a human being and had no desire to create anything else in the world I lived in.  It was strange and weird, it confused me and made me cry.  My friend Molly told me, even though it seems like I have lost all creativity I am creating the most incredible thing I will ever create in my life, my child. I listened but did not hear her and wondered if I would ever want to paint again on canvas, or paint again on faces, or if I’d ever want to paint my world as bright as I used to.
     And then the baby came. I was euphoric for 2 days and then reality hit and I was exhausted. Forget about being creative, I couldn’t think straight, I couldn’t think at all! And now it’s week 8. Moses Kol is healthy, thank god, he’s growing well and he makes my heart sing with his early morning smiles and cooing. Just as Molly promised, the creative juices started flowing. I am writing again. I want to create videos with friends. I am dancing again. I want to run a marathon... and so I signed up. The marathon is 2 ½ months away.  The other girls have been training for 3 months already, but my sister Dee and my husband Dov believe I can do it. They believe in me and that is all I need. So even though I can not seem to get to any destination on time; and that includes my bed, I will be hopefully running (jogging or walking) a marathon 4 months after Moses Kol’s birth. So yes, I consider myself slightly crazy, but in a really healthy way. And this is a good thing because I have always thought of myself as a little crazy. So Molly, you were right, I am on my way to being myself again. Wooohooo!

Sleeping like a baby

    I just want him to sleep. He is so tired! I put him down as I always do between 6 and 6:30 pm. I said our evening prayers and sang the song I always sing to him. I swaddled him and put him in his crib with his pacifier and doll/blanket thingy. He went down beautifully and closed his eyes sweetly. I walked out. Ahhhh. I grabbed dinner and turned on NBC’s The Voice. Through the struggle of the singers in their battles, I heard the first squeak...and then the kvetch...and then the cry.  Grrrrr. I lift him out of the co-sleeper and calm him down. I call in backup - my husband, Dov - to re-swaddle him, once our baby is calm.  Dov is brilliant at swaddling and I am just mediocre which is basically saying my swaddles are awful, although it’s not totally my fault since my little man is a serious escape artist.

Now he is calm, re-swaddled. And then he starts to fidget in my arms and tries with all his might to break out..again. The pacifier is in his mouth and he complains through it.  I hold him in my arms very tightly against my body. I tell him to relax, "mama is here," and he must sleep because mama knows best and I know he really wants to sleep. He gives one last cry and then, finally, calms down. Sucking fervently on his pacifier, I feel his body relax against me.  I brush my cheek against his, he relaxes further. His eyes get heavy and slowly close. I keep rubbing my cheek against his, ever so lightly. He smells amazing, that newborn scent. It smells like fresh laundry... or maybe I’m also smelling the just laundered blanket I am using to swaddle him. Either way, I inhale his scent and try to keep it locked in my memory somewhere.  I want to store it up and remember it.  They say it goes by so fast. They say your baby changes so fast.
In this moment, in this time, he is little and beautiful and calm and smells like fresh laundry.
In this moment, his body rests against mine and he is trusting.
In this moment, I am his mom and have successfully rocked him to sleep.

 I lay him down slowly keeping my face on his cheek until I am sure he is in a deep sleep.  I get up and tiptoe out of the room, he stays sleeping. I stand by the door and listen to his breath go up and down, up and down, he stays sleeping. I get back to dinner and return to my show with a smile on my lips, because I am his mom, and I have successfully rocked my baby to sleep. Hooray!

Bathroom As Sanctuary

      The bathroom is my sanctuary.  For 10 minutes a day (not everyday, but I do try) I get to close the door, let down my hair and watch with excitement as the steam fills up that perfect little room.  The thought of the heat bearing down on me sends shivers up my spine.  I get in the small shower and it is as if I walked into an ashram in India.  All sounds are canceled out by the water beating down.  I can only hear my own thoughts and am forced to enjoy the moment.  I turn the knob to the right as far as it will go without giving me 2nd degree burns. I revel in the angry red splotches forming on my oh so white skin. If it is one of those days -- and in the last 7 weeks there have been many of those days -- this is when the tears start flowing.  The drops all blend together. When I emerge, my face and skin are bright red from the heat and from the tears, the difference is no matter.  I grab an extra 2 minutes to apply my Jurlique Lavender mist over my face and body. Aahh the simple pleasures of life!         

   My hair combed out, my nursing pads in place, I am now ready for whatever Moses Kol throws at me; be it happy coos or angry crying punches.  The redness fades from my skin as I step through the door into my new life.  “Welcome to Motherhood,” the cool air seems to breath.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Running in circles

     Being a New Mother is so Hard! No one talks about it. I have 11 siblings, 34 nieces and nephews and somehow I missed the memo on how difficult newborns are. I am 7 weeks and 5 days into motherhood and I am just grasping at reality. My baby is sleeping right now but, how long will it last? It could be 20 minutes or 2 hours, I have no idea. There is no rhyme or reason yet, and They say this is normal. So I circles! Should I nap? I really need the rest. Should I go out and take a nice walk by myself? It really clears my head and the exercise and time outside without the baby is so healthy. I’ve been meaning to finish the Thank You notes for all the wonderful gifts we got, our friends and family really deserve the Thank yous! I also want to return all the maternity clothes that my wonderful girlfriends and sisters lent me for the last 9 months. Which means I have to go through my closets and drawers and pull everything out, refold it and put it all in bags. These ladies have been so generous though, I only ended up buying one dress during my pregnancy and it was not even maternity. It was a maxi dress from Old Navy on sale for $12 and it covered my could i resist. So the least I could do is get their clothes back to them before my child is 1. So you see my dilemma. Shit!
(I really don’t need to curse right here, but cursing feels good. Shit, Fuck...ahhh I feel a little better.)   So in circles I go every time he sleeps. Oh yes...and what about that shower I seem to never get a chance to take? I could use that right about now and when I do get my chance, it is just utter heaven.
     In circles I go, yet I am sitting here by the computer writing this because I feel that with all those things I would love to do, what I need to do more is share with the mothers-to-be in this world what life is like after your cute bump disappears. You are left with a baby who one day may curse you - as I have cursed my mother, and one day may ignore you - as I have ignored my mother, and one day rebel against what you hold dear - as I have done with my mother. And yet, the other part of the memo that I did not receive before I gave birth (or as my sister Hindel and friend Sara tell me, they sent it out loud and clear but I was not listening) is that it gets better.  And it did. At 6 weeks, he started smiling and cooing at us, giving us something back. Now, when he’s not crying, eating, pooping or crying, pooping, or eating, he’s cooing and smiling at us and that is close enough to making the exhaustion, and hormones, and not getting a moment to talk with my husband, and getting frustrated at my husband cuz he can’t make the baby stop crying, and not being able to get out of the house, and not being able to get dressed, and having some serious baby blues, and crying while I’m nursing my child, and and and for that moment in time, when he smiles right at me, it makes it all worth it.
     So here’s the Memo, loud and clear;  being a new mother is ridiculously hard.  Almost everyone gets baby blues/ post-partum and it’s ok and it is even more ok to take medicine. You will cry a lot even onto your sweet child as he feeds from your breasts. Also, you may cry in the shower or when you wake up for the bazillionth time in the middle of the night.  This is totally normal!  All those super-moms out there just seem like super-moms but they are crying just as much as you and I are. And then, just as you are about to throw yourself out the window, the soul that you created smiles at you and you know somewhere deep down that it will get just have to ride the waves and hope that the stormy patches pass quickly.
     He’s still sleeping...I’m going with organizing maternity clothes to return to my incredible ladies..even though I know I should really nap!