Thursday, July 10, 2014

B’sha’ah tovah

Updated and modified from Derekb cc
Yes, I'm still pregnant.  And as any woman who is waiting for the natural delivery of her child knows, these last few weeks when you are near your due date can be amongst the most stressful.  Not only are you trying to ensure that you are really ready for said child to arrive, but you are also constantly facing a barrage of well intentioned but stressful inquiries about whether the baby has arrived.

So, I say we all take back the Jewish tradition of B’sha’ah tovah.  At a good hour.  May the baby come at the time that is right- for G-d, for you, for the world.  Not because you've called me for the 6th time.  Not because 9 months ago some ultrasound technician claimed it would be today.

Because it's the right hour...

As I wrote in my post yesterday, being at the end of pregnancy is a scary place to be anywhere, with each twinge of the baby a possible sign of something.  The constant pressure we get from friends and family about what's happening often adds to the stress.

But where does B’sha’ah tovah. come from?  It's not in the torah proper, but rather found in the misdrash commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes.  It's taken from the verses in Ecclesiastes (which you probably all know), as a commentary on the fact that only G-d knows the right hour: 

"A time to be born, a time to die" as it says, and as many a famous song has been written.  

And honestly, I'm pleased with the idea.  As I've discussed with EG's birth, it was stressful and scary and I'm not sure that I'm really ready for this baby to come.  I have a deep seated fear that maybe this time we won't catch how much blood I've lost by 9am.  Maybe this time, despite being in America with good healthcare at the hospital, they might miss something.  Giving birth isn't a walk in the park- it's serious business.

At the same time, I try to remind myself that my body was made for this.  That G-d made the world, and in his wisdom and creation of it he gave women a position that men don't have: the creation of human life.  That for the last nine months I've been blessed to have been creating eyes, and lungs and ears and a teeny tiny nose.  And that when the baby is ready, and G-d is ready that this living being will enter the world.

Ecclesiastes is actually a great portion to read before going into labor.  A bit of an oddity with both signs of great wisdom and interesting contradictions, there are many pearls of wisdom.

So today, I also say to sisters B and K these G-dly words of wisdom:

Ecclesiastes Chapter 2:1-2:2

Everything has an appointed season, and there is a time for every matter under the heaven.
A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot that which is planted. 

Chapter 2:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time; also the world He put into their hearts, save that man should not find the deed which G-d did, from beginning to end.

**I realize that these verses are often referred to as Ecclesiastes 3:1 in the New International version.  I've taken these notations from a Jewish source, rather than the King James sources**

Special thanks to this Grandma- for knowing the time will come...

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