It seems like this happened just yesterday. I have always had strong feelings before things happen but this is one of the most amazing intuitions I have ever experienced.
Here I was about eight months pregnant with my fourth child. It was a Friday morning and we had come to Telstone to celebrate Purim. We had just moved to Jerusalem from there. We had decided to rent an apartment for Purim to be near my sister and a very dear friend. When we arrived it was early Friday morning and we had to unpack quickly hear the megillah and give out shalach manos. Since the seudah for Purim was to be on Sunday because it was Purim mishulash we had planned to stay over until then.
This pregnancy had been very difficult and I had spent the three months in the hospital fighting to keep it viable. I had also been ill with hepatitis at the same time which was a high risk factor for both me and my baby. After returning home I was on complete bed rest until what was determined to be my eighth month.
As we unpacked I got a funny feeling that overwhelmed me. A little voice in my head kept repeating “It’s time”.
“I think I better call my labor coach,” I nervously told my husband. “Why,” he asked,”you have at least another month to go.”
“I just have a feeling I should let her know we are here. Thank G-d she lives here.”
He shrugged in resignation and went to get the three little ones ready. He was used to my premonitions. So I called my labor coach she said she would bring her car close to where I was staying.
The rest of Friday passed in a blur. I saw my adorable children enjoying the time with their cousins. Before we knew it the time to light Shabbos candles arrived. We had a lovely meal. It was lively and fun but I still felt strange. I could not shake the feeling that something was about to happen.
By nine that night the children were safely tucked in and sleeping peacefully. I collapsed on the couch and tried to read a new novel I had just gotten. The words blurred and I started to doze. My husband gently woke me and told me to go to sleep. I started awake for a moment, “Maybe I should sleep here; I think I might need to leave soon.”
He sighed deeply and sent me off to bed. As soon as I lay down I fell fast asleep.
At 1 a.m. I started awake. Abruptly, I jumped up. Lo and behold my water broke.
Relax you are ok, you know the drill; this is your forth birth. You can do this just stay calm b”H.
Not wanting to wake my husband, I went back to the couch and drifted in and out of sleep. By 6 a.m. I was starting to have some real contractions and I woke my husband.
By 10 a.m. I saw that things were moving along. We were supposed to go to a dear friend for Shabbas lunch but for me it was not going to happen.
Wanting to labor at home for as long as I could, I decide to wait a bit more.
Finally around 11 a.m., I asked my husband to run and get my friend to take my children. She came right over. She was shocked, “You’re early; are you sure its labor?” I nodded my head in affirmation. It was getting difficult to speak. I tried to bravely smile at her and the children while at the same time motioning to my husband to get my labor coach. I had no choice. It was time to go.
I hugged the children and off they went. They were still so young – the oldest was just turning four – they were confused and scared. I tried my best to tell them mommy had to leave for a happy reason and that she would see you soon.
I was calm and excited along with feeling slightly nervous. I should have been frantic but my background in nursing was certainly a plus here. I knew the risks of preemies but I also knew the technology the Borei HaOlam had given us.
I had made it through a difficult pregnancy and now I just knew I was going to have my baby on Purim, a day full on nissim. I had emunah; all was going to be okay.
About twenty minutes later my labor coach came and we rushed out to the hospital. By late afternoon when I was already 6 centimeters my labor stopped. The staff wanted to induce me but my labor coach asked for some time to walk around and to see if the labor could restart on its own. They gave us an hour but were not particularly optimistic.
Chasdei Hashem, after an hour or so the contractions started again. It was already almost sunset. About 5 minutes after shkiyah on Purim mishulash my beautiful daughter was born. She was bright yellow but otherwise healthy. She was small but she was a fighter. Her liver was still very immature and she needed to go under the lights. I sat by her bedside as much as I could. The hospital very generously let me stay to be with her. I was able to nurse her on demand. Amazingly, she was able to go home one week later.
My own personal Purim miracle has grown into a beautiful young woman. Ashreinu!