Thursday, February 18, 2010

In delivery room now with wife having our baby (yes, the bris if its a boy will be on DAY 3 of the NY bar exam.)

We are literally days away from the bar exam, and I'm sitting in the hospital waiting room down the hall from the delivery room where my wife is sharing our third baby with the world. She's giving birth now as we speak.

Until now (and even up to and including last night), I was really worried that she might have a boy, and being Jewish, that would mean that his circumcision (being on the 8th day) would fall out on the day of my NY BAR EXAM. This has been a joke between us. "Don't have a baby on the Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday before the bar exam, or else I might have to miss it because of the bris." Of course, this has only been a joke until last night, when at 3am, I heard her talking to her doctor on the phone.

I half thought to myself that if I went back to sleep that she wouldn't want to wake me and she'd go back to sleep too and she'd have the baby another day. Haha no dice. We went to the hospital at 4am this morning because she was having regular contractions. Now, almost 10 hours later (it's been a long, but calm labor), she's doing the final pushing. Why am I not in the delivery room with her? Because we're in Niddah, silly! Chassidic Jewish men don't watch the births of their children. (This is probably why we have so many of them - we don't have the image of the crowning burned into our brains and so when our wives heal, we see them in the same way we've always seen them -- just like the day we were married.)

Anyway, so if it's a boy (and we both think it will be a boy), the bris will fall out on DAY 3 of my bar exam. If that is the case, I will have to have the bris NEXT THURSDAY before DAY 3 of my bar exam. I don't know how this can work out because I would have to stay up the night before saying tehillim, and we would have to have it early early in the morning (or perhaps the evening beforehand? is that even done? I have to call my rav) and then I would have to drive as fast as I can to the bar exam around an hour away from our house. Next Thursday is also TAANAS ESTHER, a FAST DAY (to add to the interesting details of the day).

With all this, I can't deny that this was all G-d's plan. It was his plan for us to move to Crown Heights. It was his plan for me to have the bad experiences I did these past few months. It was his plan for me to be sued causing me weeks of trembling nervousness on top of having to study for the bar exam, and lastly, (if it's a boy), it'll have been his plan to have the bris next Thursday on Taanis Esther and Day 3 of my bar exam. I'm rolling with all this. I don't know what will come of it, or how it will turn out, but I'm calm now that it's no longer in my hands.

...I wonder if this means that I'll have to withdraw from the bar exam altogether. I wonder why everything has happened exactly as it has. Oh well, this is our life. Baruch Hashem!

One question I have for the ladies and happily married men out there -- I was supposed to check into a hotel this afternoon (Thursday afternoon) and stay there until the end of my bar exam next Thursday. Now that the baby will have been born, I'm no longer leaving a pregnant wife, but a wife with two children and a new baby. The plan so far has been that we're all moving into her parent's house 10 minutes away from our apartment for the next few days so that they can help her with the new baby. What I'm wondering however is whether I should cancel the hotel or postpone checking in (regardless of whether I'd lose money) until, say, after Shabbos, or until Sunday or Monday. The bar is Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. What do you think? What kind of man would I be if tonight I drove off to the hotel to study? Truthfully, I really NEED to study, and I completely lost today's study day because I've been at the hospital all day. I fear that I won't pass without going. ...but if it's a boy, I might not be able to take the bar anyway if I can't arrange for the bris to work out.

Please share your thoughts.


...gotta run. The nurses have called me back into the room. Delivery is complete!


Ahuva said...

Chassidic custom might prevent you from being in the delivery room, but niddah does not. Talk to a MO or yeshivish rabbi. I believe my friend's husband faced the wall as he sang, but he was physically present in the room.

Mazel tov on the birth. Enjoy shabbos with your family.

Zoe Strickman said...

Um, yes, technically correct. There's one huge difference between the guy who sings to his wife while looking at the wall and me -- I WOULD CERTAINLY TURN AROUND AND LOOK. Cheers to your friend's husband's strength!

PS - My wife didn't want me in the delivery room for any of our kids; no reason to think this one was different.