A Holy C-Section

I received this letter from Tali, a mother who just had her fourth child and her first C-section this month. After struggling with disappointment, Tali managed to reinterpret her birth in an innovative and spiritual way that I just had to share with you. Mazal tov, Tali!
Hi Chana,

My name is Tali, and today I celebrated the Brit Milah of our 4th child, and 1st son, whom we named Sha”i (Shmuel Yitzchak) Yehuda. I wanted to thank you so much for you amazing work, Expecting Miracles. I really wanted to use the opportunity of the pregnancy and the birth to go through my own personal and spiritual growth, and the book was a wonderful tool.

Just something that I thought I would share with you – I think that in the book you may have related to the idea of connecting the birthing woman’s chavlei leida or birth pains to the suffering of the Jewish people in the times leading up to the Redemption. That was a very powerful idea for me, and during the labor I tried to focus on my personal redemption that would come when I would hold my baby in my arms, and at the same time I prayed for the geula (the redemption) of the entire Jewish people.

However, for some reason, after having dilated to 9.5 cm. and having pushed for almost 2 hours my baby just didn’t enter the birth canal and they carted me off for a cesarean.

Near the end of the pushing, when the doctors were deciding whether to operate or not, and it became clear to me that all my pushing was for nothing I became very despondent, and after the birth I kind of felt that the imagery of my personal redemption and the redemption of the Jewish people had fallen flat, because my baby ultimately didn’t come as a result of those birth pains.

My mother, who is a midwife, told me that in fact in years gone by this kind of labor would have resulted in a stillborn. Having thought about it, and discussed it with my husband, I came to the conclusion that there was not a natural redemption/geula to my personal exile – but rather a miraculous one in the form of medical intervention – something similar to the redemption from Egypt which was also supernatural in that it went against the course of nature.

Many thanks again for playing an instrumental role in making this birthing experience such a meaningful one.

Tali from Gush Etsion, Israel

Photo courtesy of flickr.com user Jon Ovington


  1. Tali,

    Thank you for reminding us that Hashem orchestrates our lives no matter how well we plan, and our job is to always believe that there is meaning and a reason for the ways things turn out. Consider yourself blessed for the z’chut of a birth that clearly had Divine mercy and for Hashem giving you and your husband the clarity to see it. May we all keep working toward our geula, and understand that Hashem is always guiding the process, no matter what direction it takes.

    Debi (your neighbor)

  2. Lois Haines

    I was thrilled to read this story. I believe God is at the head of everything and He gave the Drs wisdom through the years to do the things they now do. I also had 1section after 4 births and was amazed at what science with the help of God can do.He is still performing miracles to day as in the Bible days.

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