Well wishes….

I recently had a dream that I wished someone mazal tov upon hearing that they were pregnant and she responded with “Isn’t it traditional to say b’saah tova?”

This stuck with me. Even in my dream state where I knew the “traditional” response, I opted for the one which feels right to me.

While obviously we want the baby to be born in the right time when it is fully developed and able to thrive upon its entrance into the world – why can we not also acknowledge that getting pregnant is a big deal too? I understand the superstitious approach which drives this greeting, but to me it also misses out on the moment.

For so many people, the road to pregnancy is fraught with challenges and them becoming pregnant (and reaching whatever milestone they have that they are comfortable sharing the news) is worthy of celebration. Perhaps having run a prenatal health education program is coming in to play here, or my vast personal circle of people who have struggles with infertility, but I just can’t ignore how pivotal a moment that is by rushing to say only “in good time” (and not saying mazal tov until after the baby is born). I think it is a great time that they have become pregnant!

Is there some middle ground possible? Something that both recognizes that becoming pregnant is also a wonderful, exciting, and miraculous thing? Perhaps we  could say mazal tov and b’shaah tova when first hearing? Mazal tov when we first find out but then only b’shaah tova for the duration of the pregnancy? Or perhaps we need a new phrase. Something which conveys that we are excited, but that the baby should have a very healthy nine months of growth.

I really don’t have an answer here and am hoping some of you will weigh in with your thoughts…. What resonates for you?

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3 thoughts on “Well wishes….

  1. I’ve often struggled with this. It seems counter intuitive to NOT say mazal tov when someone is pregnant. Maybe it’s appropriate to say “Mazal Tov AND Be’Sha’a Tova”?

  2. Personally, I’m fine with either. I understand the reason for the custom, but don’t tend to lean toward the superstitious side myself, so I am welcoming of good wishes in whatever form they come.

    We’re pregnant right now with our first child, looking forward to meeting them around Purim. As it is, we announced our pregnancy to the larger circle right before Rosh Hashanah and, at Shul for Yuntif, so many of the older more superstitious women were almost inaudibly whispering “B’shaah Tovah” to me. (I was still getting into the swing of people knowing we were pregnant, so it took me a few times before I heard more than my annual anticipation of “Shanah Tovah”.)

    I think we can absolutely celebrate the good news with a hearty “Mazel Tov” while still wishing that the rest of the process goes smoothly. And “B’shaah Tovah” resonates well with me in wanting this new little person to take their time to grow and be healthy and make their appearance when the time is right.

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