Motherhood

I’m a mom of three…

Reflections on Motherhood pt. 3

Hi. Now that I’m a mom of three, I took my time to share this post. As I wrote posts for my first and second child too (click links to read) I owe you. So in short: I enjoyed three months of our ‘old life’ with my newborn – a third amazing fast and natural birth, a great Brit Milah celebration, family visits from around the world, dining out, concerts, spa treats (yes with days young baby) and many other things that since March became ‘our old life’ and are on hold until further notice…

October 2019 – 30 weeks

So let’s go back to the beginning: a third pregnancy. If you ask me if a boy’s pregnancy is different from a girl I’d say yes; but I’m not sure if that is the reason for an ‘easier’ pregnancy. Maybe I was in a better ‘place’ and maybe it didn’t leave me much time to think about it. So no, I did not enjoy pregnancy, ever. I just let it pass step by step, semester by semester, with a lack of appetite for anything and only gaining 7 kilos. It’s long and there are no shortcuts. The whole 9 months, everyone kept complimenting me how good and skinny I looked, but who cares? I’m the opposite of many moms: I gain weight AFTER birth when I start breastfeeding and regain my taste of food and life…

My 3rd child Raphael was born on December 12th 2019 in what I consider the fastest birth. Both my girls were born naturally at week 38; therefore I assumed this one would clearly be the same. Everything was planned and calculated for a 38-week-pregnancy. Family from overseas came even earlier, all my plans for home and the girls were set. But then baby Raphael reminded us of a first major life lesson: let go of control, the baby knows when is the right time! I became so impatient others kept asking ‘any news? Et aloooors?’ In the last week of my pregnancy I did various attempts and tricks to induce birth. Now I’d like to advise you trust the timing of the babies: THEY KNOW. It was a Tuesday evening at my house with my family; I was having contractions but not more or less than the last few weeks. Around midnight everyone fell asleep and my parents and brother walked to their nearby apartment (approximate 9 minute walk) leaving their phones on as they did for the last month. One hour later the fast forward button hit me and all at once: very strong contractions, an immense pressure on the lower back and the only thing I could say: He’s coming out. I quickly woke up my man and called my parents apartment telling to come NOW. At 1:15AM I called my parents apartment AGAIN saying COME NOW COME FAST; RUN. I realized we wouldn’t make it with the car and we started calling MDA. We both started dialing numbers it took us a few before the right one: 101 (See screenshot below I even dialed 911 LOL). At 1:17AM we called the right number for Magen David Adom. Raphael was born in the hospital birth room at 1:50AM. That is exactly 33 minutes since our phone call. They came super fast: 2 motorcycles and 2 ambulances – I guess it was quiet and they were excited to get a birth. My mom ran from her flat and of course panicked when she saw the ambulances! She saw me briefly as I was in a rush 🙂 The girls were sleeping didn’t notice a thing. The ambulance drove fast with the siren and burnt all red lights (first time in an ambulance). I can tell you it those bumps are pretty uncomfortable when you are in active labour! Arriving at Ichilov hospital a few sleepy women tried to register me and ask questions. I threw my file at them and said gotta no time now. I was week 40+5. God bless Amir my love who managed to be my partner in crime/birth, schlep the bags, do the bureaucracy, AND film the whole ride (I haven’t watched that video yet). Within seconds we were up going up the elevator to be met by the midwife I knew was the right one for this birth: her looks and vibe were exactly what I needed. Beautiful, tall, smiling, blond and good serene vibes. Her name was Sheshi, she said she’ll check opening and in a push he’ll be out. I was opening 10 and she was right…

I wish I could remember the smell of a newborn baby forever. What a feeling. The most powerful moment ever. You feel like a superhero. You’ve waited all your life for this moment and especially the last 9 – even 10 – months you were counting down to this. The rest of my 36 hours at Ichilov were spent quietly and connected to my baby despite the fact that Yoldot A (the new luxurious wing) wasn’t available. Still went up there with some wine in the evening with my family and friends, felt like I crashed The Norman Hotel Lobby. I was also a remotely running a big dj production and my team of girls were updating me of the whole night by Whatsapp messages…By the morning Amir went home and a few hours later my daughters parents and brother came to meet the youngest member of our family. No need to explain the emotions and pride…. By Friday noon time I was out and by the evening we were dining at TYO in Neve Tzedek. Finally I had my appetite back, a big glass of cold white wine. I know some people and traditions refuse to take a newborn out. Well I do. I did it with my girls too. Raphael went out everyday since he was born including to a rock show 4 days later. I was on such a high of finding my body back, of having met him finally, of having had such a powerful birth. Of not being pregnant anymore.

Thanks to my brother we had great photos and graphics. And my dream was a brunch at The Norman with my family, friends and work colleagues. It was so hard to wait and not be able to plan, but the minute he was born we were on it. It was the perfect celebration and I’m glad I listened to moms advice: to separate the actual Brit Milah from the celebration. We did a small intimate family gathering at our house with the mohel. I cried a lot. The baby was fine and then we walked to The Norman Hotel and had a great festive brunch, and I had a lot of bread pudding. Baby slept through the whole thing and I couldn’t show off his bow tie and ‘schleykes’…

A third child is like what I was used to hear from others. Lovey Dovey. The first three months were pure bliss. He completed us but at the same time the girls weren’t too disturbed by his arrival. We prepared them well by using the usual tricks: lots of talking, a baby gift to/from him, involving them in his life yet maintaining their routine and attention. I got my girls a personalized Peppa Pig Christmas book as baby was due around Hanukkah. In the early months it’s easier, babies eat and sleep mostly so he was with me, on me and the girls loved caring for a baby brother without feeling their mom or dad were less available and nothing in their routine changed. The Japanese Spa in Jaffa was a true treat and amazing birth gift as Raphael came with me and enjoyed every second…

But then came March, Purim and Covid19 invaded Israel too. Overnight my work ceased – yes I was working during my ‘maternity leave’ on upcoming shows that sadly never happened. And as he turned three months, he had his first fever. A third baby with two older siblings in daycare in winter would of course create viruses other new babies wouldn’t be exposed to. But this one was scary because we were just catapulted into our first lockdown. And god bless my amazing friend and pediatrician Dr. Herman who is always there to evaluate and comfort. You never get used to a sick baby. God bless the inventor of the suppository – I looked it up and it’s as ancient as the Greek and Romans – when my baby has the highest fever I’ve seen I just cry and worry, seeing your baby suffer is just unbearable and one never gets used to it. At least now I don’t fear the suppository anymore. A short praise for breastfeeding again. I would never judge you if you don’t but I’ll always encourage you to try. For short and long term benefits, for bonding aspects. I believe what I read when breastmilk adapts to the baby’s needs: more fluids, more antibodies to fight diseases and I believe they regain their power faster. I also see how they start eating solids with more force as their sucking reflex is very developed. Another thing I praise and again, doesn’t mean it works for all of us is co-sleeping: I never felt tired with this baby (remember the concept of breastsleeping for both mother & child). From day one, Raphael slept on me, then later next to me and a year later he still refuses his bed. I don’t mind, I breastfeed in my sleep and I wake up fresh every morning. We always end up all together in bed. I remember a parent with teenagers once telling me how his kids don’t want him to enter their room so for me it’s clear: let’s cuddle and co-sleep as much as we can as long as they let us….

A few words on our months in lockdown mode: I consider my kids to be in the ‘ok’ age for a pandemic meaning we have it relatively easy. Let me explain: first lockdown was easy as baby was just 3 months young and we created a great routine at home together focused on the essentials: food, home and us. Second lockdown was a bit more challenging as Raphael was already crawling, eating food and touching everything (needless to mention the amount of danger with two older siblings i.e Barbie shoes, beads etc. That’s when I finally took that online CPR Class) By the way, why do babies always want to play with dangerous objects instead of their own toys? What does this say about the consumer society we live in? I’ll refer to my first post on motherhood: false needs created by society…

As much as I miss my work and live shows, timing was fine for managing three kids. Instead of being the show production team we became the home production team – multitasking as in handling the house the garden the kitchen and keep the kids fed, alive and happy. I hope we can all see the silver lining of this pandemic. See what it’s teaching us: to connect to the here & now with our families. The joy of basic and simple family time. To be able to just play with the kids despite laundry, mess or other home chores. As a mom with a radio show called Unwind Rewind I wish I could tell you I master the art of just being. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I feel so blessed and grateful when I see my girls get along so great and play for hours with each other in their own imaginative and creative world. They are two years apart and so different (maybe that is the secret to such a fun and complementing connection?). Maybe the parents deserve some credit here too. They started as lovers, then became a couple and now a family (and a production team). When man and woman team up and can complete each other kindly; they can see the fruit of their labour in their children.

So yes lockdowns had their ups and downs and triggered some deep rooted issues to be solved and that’s where the holy me time comes in. Not to be defined in time or space but essential to any mother-woman. I always had trouble hearing parents complaining how hard it is. Yes there are challenges and your me time is often compromised but I repeat: as long as our kids are healthy and happy nothing should be defined HARD. I know one of the secrets to our parental success may be our age:. I had more than enough time before to do all of that – traveling, social, personal and any other achievements. No FOMO Yes JOMO. Being a mother to Nellie, Noa & Raphael is the greatest gift I could ever get and the light & love they bring goes beyond my imagination. Every day I love them more than yesterday but less than tomorrow. Whoever knows me knows I wasn’t really into kids before having my own. So when it gets a little intense, just take a deep breath; before you know they’re all asleep and you’ll be looking at their photos before crashing (and canceling all those other things you intended to do: Netflix, bath, dishes, read, knit etc)

Every baby phase has its perks and its challenges in the first year. I cry over many moments that pass and will not return. Oh please, if I may give you a tip: write things down! Look at their huge baby books on the photo: weekly notes during pregnancy, drawings, souvenirs, little anecdotes, achievements etc. So how to conclude? Only you know which parent you are or want to become. Listen to your gut and follow the cues of your child(ren) instead of trying to control the situation at all times. The children know and they teach us if we connect to them. The key to successful (or conscious or mindfulness) parenting is to be present; be in the here & now with them. And yes, there is a big difference between your approach towards your first second and third child. First you can tell by the dirt and the amount of stuff in your stroller. The biggest challenge is to balance the guilt of sharing – or let’s say juggle – the attention between all kiddos. And not only to the one who screams the most or the loudest.

Music

Unwind Rewind season 2 episode 18 ‘It’s a family affair’

1 Paul Simon 50 ways to leave your lover
2 Adam Cohen Put your bags down
3 Rufus Wainwright Complainte de la butte
4 Johnny Cash & Rosie Nix Adams Father and daughter
5 Norah Jones Seven Years
6 Deva Mahal It’s down to you
7 Meir Ariel לא יכול להוריד ממך את העיניים
8 Gidi Gov Yesh Ei sham
9 KALEO Can’t go on without you
10 Love Alone again or
11 Charlotte Gainsbourg Just like a woman
12 Jakob Dylan Something good this way comes
13 Tom Petty Free Fallin (live)
14 Eric Clapton Tears in Heaven (live MTV unplugged)
15 Billy Joel Vienna
Music

Unwind Rewind episode 32 special guest my daughter Nellie

1 Don McLean Genesis
2 Gabi Shushan Bereshit
3 Assaf Amdursky Bereshit
4 Meir Ariel Can’t take my eyes off you
5 Don Mclean Jerusalem
6 Roy Orbison You Got It
7 Rufus Wainwright One Man Guy
8 Alessi Brothers Oh Lori
9 Steve Forbert Romeos Tune
10 Carole King Home again
11 Labi Siffre My song
12 Aretha Franklin Muddy Water
13 Ray Charles Twistin’ (Blues Brothers)
19 B.B. King The letter B (Sesame Street)
20 Idina Menzel Let it go (Frozen)
21 Bill Withers Lovely Day
History · Israel · Judaism · Uncategorized

Chag Sameach & Happy Passover

The Jewish people celebrate Pessach (Passover) to commemorate the story of the Exodus, their liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt and their birth as a nation under the leadership of Moses. According to the Bible, God helped the Children of Israel escape slavery by inflicting ten plagues upon the ancient Egyptians: the Plague of blood, frogs, lice, flies, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts*, darkness and the death of the firstborn. (*I’m not superstitious but Egypt and Israel had a big plague of locusts just last week, weird) The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb so that God knew to pass over these homes and spare them from the curses, hence the name of the holiday. It is said that when the Pharaoh freed the Israelites, they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread dough to rise (leaven). Therefore, during the eight days of Passover, no leavened bread is supposed to be eaten, only Matzah.

The rituals unique to the Passover celebrations commence with the Passover Seder. In our family tradition we celebrate the seder with never less than 25 people, gathering over a big meal and some adapted Haggadah reading and singing. In Tel Aviv the Holiday is both observed and ignored, as usual in paradoxical Tel Aviv. On a daily level this mainly means that locals are going away on vacation, tourists are taking over the city, inaugurating beach season and that way too many youngsters from out of town (B&T) come in to party. I like some of those annual traditions; the family Seder, remembering school memories and childhood traditions; where was I last year, what has changed since. It’s always a good occasion for some in(tro)spection. Passover also symbolizes the celebration of freedom. Inner freedom means personal happiness. We don’t have control on most things in life, but the part we do have in our hands, is the liberation from our own barriers, monsters, defenses, roles, patterns and expectations. Being free means being you, the true you.

2013-03-251IMG_10682013-03-25IMG_11152013-03-252All photos taken with my Canon EOS M

Food · History · Judaism · Tel Aviv

Hanukkah, a festival of lights

Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Every night, we light the candles of the Hanukiah to commemorate and celebrate the miracle of Light: the Jews only had enough oil to create light for one night, but the miracle made it last for 8 days…

 photo 2-1Jewish family spirit, Tel Aviv December 2012 – photo by Sharon Erde www.twitter.com/sharonerde

Being a secular Jew doesn’t mean I don’t honor values and follow rituals of the Jewish holidays. Families always gather around a big food table.  Family & food. Celebrating the miracle of oil also means eating fried food. While some of us yearn for Sufganyot (they’re like doughnuts and come in various shapes, colors and with many different fillings); some rather eat Latkes (Yiddish word) or Levivot (Hebrew word) which are a kind of potato pancake.  Here’s my favorite recipe for you to try at home – thank you Ameloush and thank you Doda Anny from Belgium…

Ingredients:photo 1

  • 5 potatoes (big red ones preferably)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • salt, pepper and white pepper
  • canola oil to fry in

Preparation:

1. Heat +/- 1 to 2 cm of canola oil until boiling and ready to fry
2. Meanwhile, start peeling and grating the potatoes (feel your muscles?)
3. With your hands, squeeze out all the water from the potatoes (very important!)
4. Add the shredded onion, eggs, flour, salt&pepper and mix with a spoon or  photo 2with your hands
5. Make flat round shapes with your hand/spoon and fry till golden brown 6.Before serving, make sure you use a lot of paper roll to remove as much oil as possible.
7. Bete’avon, you can eat your latkes with sugar, mustard or whatever other weird family ritual you have.

Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song, part. 1; there’s also part 2 & 3 if you want more…

Lyrics:

“Put on your Yamakkah, here comes Hanukkah… so much fun-Hakka to celebrate Hanukkah. Hanukkah is the festival of lights… instead of one day of presents, we get eight crazy nights. When you feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree, here’s a list of people who are Jewish, just like you and me.

David Lee Roth lights the Menorah, So do James Caan, Kirk Douglas, and the late Dinah Shore-ah. Guess who eats together at the Carnegie deli, Bowzer from Sha-na-na, and Arthur Fonzerrelli. Paul Newman’s half Jewish; Goldie Hawn’ss half too, Put them together–what a fine lookin’ Jew. You don’t need deck the halls or jingle bell rock, cause you can spin the dreidl with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock-both Jewish!

Put on your Yamakkah, it’s time for Hanukkah… The owner of the Seattle Super Sonic-ahs celebrates Hanukkah. O.j. Simpson- not a Jew… But guess who is…hall of famer Rod Carew-he converted! We got Ann Landers and her sister dear Abby, Harrison fords a quarter Jewish-not too shabby! Some people think that Ebenezer Scrooge is, Well, he’s not, but guess who is: all three Stooges.

So many Jews are in show business… Tom cruise isn’t,but I heard his agent is. Tell your friend veronica, it’s time you celebrate Hanukkah…I hope I get a harmonica, on this lovely, lovely Hanukkah. So drink your gin-and-tonic-ah, and smoke your mara-juanic-ah… If you really, really wanna-kah, have a happy, happy, happy, happy
Hanukkah! Happy Hanukkah!”

Happy Hanukkah…may the light shine… in and around you….

Antwerp · Music · Tel Aviv · Uncategorized

Play that funky music white boy

When you grow up in a musical family you’re not aware of how unconventional your life is. With a concert promoter father who’s also an amateur blues performer and stage animal I thought I’d seen something. Until my little brother became a soulbrother and joined the stage.

Last week, Nathan, better known as N8n, gave a special performance at the coolest spot in Tel Aviv called Rothschild 12. Every time he comes visit me in Tel Aviv, we set up a gig. And when Antwerp and Tel Aviv join forces, our blog celebrates.

We put a band together via email and text messages thanks to drummer and socialite Ori Raz: Shlomi Maya – keyboard, Nitzan Berger – Guitar and Avishai (Avsha) Back – Bass. N8n landed in the afternoon so we went straight to the venue to meet the band and do soundcheck. A few hours later the boys rocked the place! The venue was packed with lots of beautiful people, Belgians, Internationals and Israelis.

N8n started with some alternative versions of his own songs from the first record in order to warm up the crowd. Then the cover songs came in, the audience stood up to twist and shout. Later on I was invited on stage to do one of my personal favorite songs of all times: ‘Sympathy’ by Rare Bird. That doesn’t happen very often. I mostly stand on the side and admire the men of my family doing it on stage. I love their music but if I play and/or sing it’s mostly another type of songs. Sad songs. So this time we combined best of both worlds and after a lovely introduction I managed to reach the stage and play my song, accompanied by N8n. And then it was time to bring on the patron of the family, the well known Boogie Boy. He took over the mic, the piano and the audience for some classic Ray Charles and B.B. King tunes. And that would be a typical Ambach family music night, only shared with an amazing crowd.

Thanks to all the lovely people who came out and joined the good vibes.

video credit Sharon Erde

For more info about N8n and Boogie Boy: www.n8nmusic.com –  www.boogieboy.be

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