Music

Unwind Rewind 93 This is us (continued)

This Unwind Rewind is inspired by the theme and music of the TV-show ‘This is us’. We revisit the songs and emotions that accompany us through all stages of our lifetime. How our childhood shapes our personalities and defines our later choices in work, relationships and life. So let’s create those special memories and traditions together… cherish them forever.

Click on this link to listen to the first This is us Unwind Rewind from April 2018

Ringo StarrPhotograph
Bread Everything I own
Jackson C. FrankBlues run the game
Gillian WelchThe way it will be
Warren ZevonKeep me in your heart
John MartynDon’t think twice it’s alright
The Teskey BrothersCrying shame
The WhoTommy Can you hear me
The VerveBitter Sweet Symphony
Noga ErezYou so done
Billie EilishEverything I wanted
Anthony Hamilton & Elana BoyntonFreedom
Pharrell WilliamsFreedom
Marcelo CameloLiberdade
CartolaPreciso me encontrar
The Gypsy KingsLove & Liberte

Listen to all the songs compiled on my Unwind Rewind Spotify Playlist – without the talking
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.

Motherhood · parenting · Personal

I’m a mom of two now…

Reflections on motherhood part 2

Hi… I’m a mom of two now… And I’d like to share some thoughts with you.

First a few words on pregnancy, but I’ll be short cause what comes after is much better. Obviously, every pregnancy experience is different. For me pregnancy is just no fun, it means 9 months of no appetite; indigestion, fatigue and nausea. Both my pregnancies were exactly the same season – so good news for outfits and familiar timing, for dresses and open shoes from about 30 weeks. Bad news for another sweaty August towards the end, not knowing if you are peeing or sweating or if your water just broke. And you see these proud mothers and their strollers and envy them. Everybody kept saying how good I looked during this pregnancy so OK thanks I only gained 8 kilos but that’s mainly cause I was suffering. Yes, second pregnancy goes by faster but how uncomfortable is it when you want to have your toddler on you, lift her or play on the floor. And please all these websites: who cares if my baby is now the size of an avocado or a lettuce! I also found it weird how some people are super pregnancy friendly and some just don’t realise there’s more to it than a big belly and that you are not able to be 100% fit like others. So please, why aren’t there more reserved parking spots for pregnant women and strollers? Women in government are you reading this? Oh and another good thing is you can blame the farts on your toddler 🙂

source: Babycentre Uk
source: Whattoexpect
Nellie getting ready for her baby sister with daddy’s childhood’s anatomy book

A few thoughts on giving birth: just like babies have a deal with Murphy, I tend to believe labor has a deal with Karma. As much as pregnancy is tough on me, giving birth is something my body is very good at (and proof that I have a high pain tolerance); or maybe I am just very lucky – or it’s the compensation of those 9 months. Both times the babies came at week 38, naturally and super fast. Including an easy and fast recovery. Both times we went home within 24 hours and my body was back at its old weight and look. Remember; breastfeeding is very helpful here (faster shrinking of uterus and such). Breastfeeding gives me appetite and cravings and does NOT make me lose weight – fell in that trap the first time. I am also a big fan of Tel Aviv’s Ichilov hospital and system, the staff and their natural birth room; not so much for the useless accessories or nice curtains but for the time and space for intimacy and privacy before, during and after birth. When Nellie came to meet her baby sister barely an hour after birth, we have experienced the most beautiful moment of our lives. She had brought a gift we had wrapped together and was so sweet meeting her for the first time. The next day when we came home, we had a big balloon and gift for Nellie from Noa. Another amazing moment of true happiness, and the beginning of many more…

victory… the day after Noa came

The first few days post-partum are very different the second time. There’s less chaos and you are not in shock from becoming a parent for the first time. You kind of know what’s next. The challenge is now to divide your attention between both and it takes time to get used to this new situation. There were three of us and now we are four! Major adaptation, new equilibrium. You thought you were a multitasker with one? Here’s a new challenge! (Guess moms of 3,4 and more kids are laughing out loud now). Do you also feel like your brain is drunk? I’ve heard that’s normal. It’s scary to notice you are not as sharp as you used to right!? Anyways, now it’s all about juggling and making sure you are organised and assisted in the right ways. I’ve learnt that the hard part is not the kids; it’s the logistics around it. Some people are more depending on paid help and some are very hands-on-independent-allrounder moms, it is your job to figure out which kind of mom you become. I tend to believe that the anxiety of failing or the fear of not knowing what to do, can lead to a lack of mommy-confidence when assisted by ‘professionals’. Or let’s put it this way: every time I’ve had to overcome a challenge I thought “I’ll never be able to do this alone” but I of course did. And I came through feeling stronger and more confident. Didn’t you have moments thinking: where is my medal, trophy, street name and then just hugely enjoyed some chocolate or wine as a reward?

The first few weeks with second baby are all about primary needs: eating and sleeping. I was lucky enough to have a mother around who can cook – even though my parents live abroad. I was so excited as I got my appetite back, went out every night for amazing dinners including good wine and with the baby quietly sleeping in her pram. And yes I sometimes dared to order two dishes and I survived the waiter’s judgmental look. Yes the baby blues may occur and you may wish there was a bar around the corner to go in for a glass of white wine and to cry it all out. As much as I am happy with the way society and the medical system guides us through pregnancy and birth, I wonder why there is no moral support system after birth. As a mother you feed and nurse babies, you give yourself fully, body and mind but you also need to be embraced and supported. It gets lonely. You need to take the time to listen to yourself and take a break from it all. So who do you call? Ghostbusters? Dads are great but can they understand you in those hormonal rollercoasters? Your friends? Those without kids: they can try but they can’t truly understand you. Those with kids are probably at other stages in life and only a few remember what you are going through and even less can or have time to provide support. So here again you feel lonely. I am someone who needs to talk, to share and I’ve learnt how and with whom I can do that. Comes with a bunch of disappointments too. Remember that not everybody is able to open up as honestly and some will just lie about sleeping through the night and baby schedules, which creates even more social pressure. My first few weeks of sleep can be resumed in one word: breastsleeping. In general, what worked for me was – just like with my first – to go out as much as possible from day one. The big heat was calming down and we took her with us to the pool, the beach, the park and most of our other habits. What also works out well for me is to be able to still have enough quality and quantity time with my toddler; I pick her up after daycare and we do a daily activity together – just the two of us – enjoying the journey and not only the destination.

at the Pool on Noa’s 3rd day
source: Mommy needs vodka

A word about the working mom. Yes, some people will take advantage of your absence or weakness during pregnancy, birth and maternity leave. Why isn’t there more universal solidarity between women? We are all the same, we will go through things that men will never ever know, then how come women are so cruel to each other then? But what comes around goes around. Luckily, I know my priorities now and I know what truly matters. That is one of the perks of not being a very young mom. I call this the NO-FO-MO-asset: No Fear Of Missing Out. I feel accomplished: had more than enough time for personal, social and professional achievements. I have worked with my all time favourite artists and toured the world with mister Leonard Cohen. So for now, I am content and devoted to any precious moment with my kids – yes that includes the tough ones. And whoever doesn’t understand or tries to interfere can get lost.

The 5 main differences I noticed between first and second child:

  1. You don’t panic at every cry and calmly finish what you were doing (including eating your plate, showering or being on the toilet). Calm parents = calm baby, cool parents  cool baby.You have much more mommy confidence to start with and that is an asset for the mood and mind. You trust your baby to know its needs without interfering which means you let go of control a lot – also great for mood and mind. And congratulations, you achieved the level of “expert” in multiple departments: strollers, carriers, breastfeeding and pumping, clothing and other practicalities that make life easier…
  2. You know there is no routine at first so you don’t lose any time on speculating on it. You don’t obsess at analysing and planning her diaper, sleep and feeding schedule in order to feel you are a good mom. No need to overanalyse and study each phase by the book because by the time you think you got it, baby is already at the next; there is no now.
  3. More than ever you enjoy the small things and moments you get for yourself including going to the bathroom alone! That feeling in the shower and when you get out and it’s quiet? No one screamed or cried while you were in there? Woo-hoo!
  4. Many things you said NEVER to for the first are now being ignored: watching tv, letting baby with babysit or other family members, in the car without the security isofix car seat, breastfeeding* in car… *Let’s see how long I’ll keep breastfeeding (First baby was breastfed till 19 months) You don’t change yours nor baby’s clothes on every spit up, people even give compliments on your hair while you know there’s spit up in it.
  5. You still get very angry when someone says “don’t cry” to the baby, that never changes, let the baby cry it’s her only way of communicating ALL of the emotions she has!

Then you hit some milestones, 3 months, 6 months and so on. As a temporary conclusion I’d like to share the following wisdom I learnt:

  1. One of the secrets of happy motherhood for me is what i called NO-FO-MO earlier: it’s not an age thing, but you have to feel you are ready to be devoted to this. Whether on a social, personal or professional level, you have to feel that this is ‘the here and now’ you want to live in, that your baby is the center of the world right now, and you’re not thinking of what you are missing in the outside world – traveling, partying or being anywhere else, because then you won’t stand the crying at night.
  2. My second advice may sound easy but isn’t and it’s called CONNECT & DISCONNECT: connect to the baby and disconnect from the world, you, your schedule, your logics, your plans… and your phone. There are days you may feel you have lost yourself completely and your labels have been reduced to ‘mom only’, but these days happen and pass too. You sometimes ask yourself what you have done all day huh?
  3. For breastfeeding moms another thing that works for me is PUMPING from the early days-weeks: breastfeeding is amazing. Besides giving the baby all she needs nutritionally, it also creates a great bond of intimacy and it’s easy everywhere you never have to worry about bringing anything. But breastfeeding is very time consuming and some struggle with this dependence. Therefore pumping can buy you freedom. I just did it right from the start and am very proud of the stock I have in my freezer now.
  4. I learnt it takes (another big cliche) a strong relationship with your partner to make it work and the secret is called PARTNERSHIP: it’s all about communication and taking time to listen to each other (which not always works as we all fail at times). When you are both busy with the kids, days can easily go by with barely exchanging a few technical details about the kids. And you can easily fall into isolation. So whatever it takes, make sure you make time to communicate. Doesn’t have to be a forced date night where you both fall asleep at the table though.
  5. GUILT AND AMBIVALENCE Can’t hide or lie about this one: moms know these feelings. Guilt of sharing attention, guilt of our own needs… Ambivalence of the nostalgia to our old lives, our freedom, our old habits. But I wouldn’t trade what you have now for even a second.
  6. And again, the hardest thing is to adjust your needs to the baby. Sounds cliche and with my first I couldn’t. Now I managed to be able to LET GO of logics* and the schedule I’m used to, the home tasks to be done, the pseudo-urge to do things right now. It’s a big challenge to overcome that the laundry or dishes can wait for now. It’s hard to fall asleep cause there’s nothing more to long for now the baby is here. And to feel you circle is full. For daytime naps, what helped me was breathing exercises (I don’t like the word meditation), going to my acupuncturist and listening to music. Even though those kids tunes were humming on repeat in my head (“Mummy finger mummy finger where are you”….) And at night after the babies are asleep, i see my window of me-time shrink and deal with the dilemma of crashing in bed versus me time. *With logics I mean the tendency of planning and negotiating with yourself (if she ate now she will probably be hungry then, if she sleeps now she will waker up then): no need cause babies have their own logics and will surprise you so why bother guessing. Don’t forget to enjoy every little moment cause time flies…
  7. THE OTHERS (again): advice of others is the worst. Most people really mean well but we get easily frustrated and pressures if things are not the same for our babies. Now can only I hope I don’t sound like all those mothers I hated when giving their advice as if they have all figured it out.
  8. Get over the OCD: They say one kid is one and two is twenty. No it’s not. This only applies on the laundry. Tidy people like me may get in major conflict with an OCD tendency and it’s hard fight: if you fall in the trap of slavery to the cleaning and tidying the house at your pace you may get stressed when it interferes with kids needs. But if you don’t do it, you get stressed and it doesn’t leave your brain. so again here, find balance. as this cool mom said as long as she can pave a way between the toys without stepping on any lego to make it to bed and bathroom she s ok with it.
  9. YOU CAN DO IT – it’s in these times you realise you are a superpower and you can overcome anything that once scared you. People will nag, even unintentionally and you’re wondering how you’re gonna handle. And then hop, you just did! What a satisfaction when you finished your day and juggled all things.

Becoming a mom made me the happiest I’ve ever been.

As much as I would love to share photos of my gorgeous two daughters Nellie & Noa that are 2 years apart, I have to respect their daddy’s will to not share anything online. Respecting him and respecting their privacy…

Liked this post? Read part one here and part two here

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