Sunday, July 02, 2006
The Bris:

I arranged to stay with a family who lives close to shul, so I wouldn't have to walk the 7 blocks to get there.

On Friday night, children from the neighborhood came by and said shema and the Rebbe's 12 Torah passages with the baby. The little guy slept through it all - amazing, considering their enthusiasm. I was very touched by the whole thing.

Shabbos morning I figured I had until 12:30 to get to shul, as the bris was after mussaf. This week Rabbi Speedy Gonzales must have led the da'avenen, because there was a knock at the door at noon - "Time for the bris!" Like hell! I just settled down to nurse him and was still in my housecoat.

When I finally got to shul I was surrounded by gaggles of ladies all eager to talk to me. I felt like a movie star or something. I asked someone if I could have a glass of wine, and a yenta harrassed me for having a drink. "You're nursing!" she said sternly. I told her one glass of wine was not going to hurt him - besides, he would soon be shikkur himself.

I was terribly nervous and very reluctant to hand the baby off. I started crying right away and busied myself reading names of couples who wanted to have children of their own. I was supposed to read it while in labor, but my brain had left the building with Elvis and I completely forgot. I figured reading the names at the bris would suffice.

Lots of screaming. Rav Plony held the baby for the naming. "Zalman ben Yaakov!" More crying from me. Yaakov stuck his head through the mechitza - "Are you okay?" he mouthed. I nodded. I finally got the baby back and he nursed himself into a stupor.

When the mohel came to check the bris 2 hours later, I got very upset. So much blood! Way more than with Srulik. Srulik's bris was done by a mohel who is flown around the world to attend brissim. He's quick, gentle, and there's barely any blood. So when I saw the bloody bandage on Zalman, I freaked out. After that, I couldn't listen to the mohel going on and on about what to do and what to watch for. He must have said at least 10 times, "It's not that much blood!" I was overwhelmed and angry. "Never again!" I hissed to Yaakov. "If we have another son we'll fly in the Brooklyn Ghetto mohel!"

Several hours later I had calmed down. Every kid is different, I rationalized. Plus, I had turned down the vitamin K shot when Zalman was born, something Srulik received. Maybe that had something to do with it? It could be lots of things - the mohel has made many brissim and is very experienced.

I'm still squeamish with the diaper changes, though.


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