| A Different Counting Shavuos 5782 |

What I Count On      

     I count each breath, I count each heartbeat, I count each step. I wish I can just transport myself to the end goal


the beginning, the website describes my baby as big as a grape, then we progress to a peach. It feels cute and whimsical.

Seeing that what I feel is normal is validating, and the knowledge of what to expect next is empowering. I love to check it out every week and tune in to the miracle that’s growing inside of me.

Then a worrisome scan changes the experience. Now each day gets a big red mental check. The calendar is filled with appointments, asterisks, and numbers. Every star denotes crucial developmental milestones that I look forward to check off.

The focus now is on the date at which the doctor says that survival is likely. The nightly shifting from one side to another side becomes a celebration of another day completed in the mission.

Every tumble sauce within brings reassurance. With every kick I try to breathe in a message of strength: “You can do it, baby.”

Then the day dawns, and I breathe more easily. I congratulate myself and celebrate this tiny being who has the fortitude it will need.

The next visit has us hoping to make it to the date at which I’ll be given a shot to help develop the baby’s lungs.

I count each breath, I count each heartbeat, I count each step. I wish I can just transport myself to the end goal.

I carry on with a smile. Work, tend to my kids, and study the days on the calendar while serving supper and chatting to a friend.

I feel so out of control, but work hard to follow Rebbetzin Gottleib’s advice to put the crown back on Hashem and to stop trying to carry the load.

It’s hard.

It’s tough.

It’s a lesson I’m not sure I will ever learn.

I try to breathe Hashem’s greatness into every worry.

I try to breathe Hashem’s all-encompassing kindness into each check I mark on the calendar.

I struggle with believing that this is what Hashem knows is best for me.

Still, I hold on tight and crown Him as King every day.

Suddenly, on a Sunday morning, labor begins. Far earlier than it should. I feel like I’m in freefall.

I hastily pack a bag, give instructions to my son who never missed a day of yeshivah in his life, and mournfully look at the large kitchen calendar filled with checks, numbers, and asterisks. My counting system has failed me.

Then I take a deep breath and focus on reality. I know that the One I can count on will hold me through this. 3


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 795)

Oops! We could not locate your form.