Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What does Hashem want from me?

Things have been strange. Trying to keep everything in perspective. I know in my heart that Hashem is in charge and all He does is for the best. And He can do whatever he wants - even against the laws of nature. Still it is hard not to try to understand the reason behind things that happen. And even harder to disregard what modern sceince has to say, in order to trust that Hashem knows what He is doing and has the power to change. The most recent and extreme example of this in my life is going on right now. I have difficulty concentrating on anything because of it. I doubt I will be finished cleaning for pesach by summertime.

BH I have a beautiful family. 6 great, though sometimes rambunctious kids. Each one is a challenge in their own way - like all children are I expect. There are those with the diagnosis and those without, but it does not matter how many therapists they may have , or may have not seen - they are all my kids with their own personalities, challenges, and ...suprises for me.

We have been (with a heter) spacing our beautiful children. After discovering how fertile we were ,we realized that we did not think that my body or personality would be able to handle a baby every 9 months. Since without intervention that is what would have happened, we asked and got a heter. Same method each time - after each kid- spacing them about 2 years apart give or take. Right now with a little one less than a year old, we were just continuing as planned. Not sure when we were going to be ready for another (if ever, honestly - but that was yet to be discussed), when Hashem decided to intervene. So it seems all those warnings that nothing is 100% are true, and now it seems number 7 is on the way. Though it is not as simple as it sounds- if it sounds simple. I am going to try to break this down to the main issues that are haunting me:

1. - Another kid?
My baby is still a baby! Sheesh - I am still nursing! -The house is always flying - I am barely coping with what I already have - though some days are better than others (and now I have an excuse or explanation for my recent exhaustion.) Man, I wasn't ready for this. But Hashem is sending us a life (the dr. offered to abort - but more on that later) - how can I be anything but thankful?

2. - How dare we plan?
What is Hashem saying here? Is He telling us off for trying to intervene ? - Is He showing us that He is all powerful and can do what He wants? Is this a punishment? Is it just a fact - He wanted us to have more so we will?

This can get more complicated - because it is high risk - and will be until I give birth - if something happens - Hashem put us through all this - and then nothing?

3. - High risk/Drs know everything?
So, another one on the way- but the way it turns out things are going to be bumpy for then next 9 months or so. The dr. says nothing you can do - because of the circumstances we wont know until it happens, and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. So just live you life and pray - bed rest wont help at all. You may have preterm labor - at anytime..10 weeks, 20 weeks, 30 weeks - we don't know.
Well, I accept what Hashem has sent me - but now I have to deal with this unknown until the last minute? I feel like I shouldn't tell anyone - even when I normally would, because I have no idea what is going to be.
I spoke to someone about this and he said that car mechanics know 35% more about their product that they work with , than doctors know about theirs. He said just daven and everything will be ok. Well, I know Hashem is capable - but who says that His plan includes a healthy, ontime delivery?

4.- nida forever

This perhaps seems the most trivial - but really just makes all the other issues worse. A side effect of my situtation is constant spotting. First of all this is just a sign that things aren't going right - a constant reminder of my situation and possible implications. Second of all - a big hug would probably do wonders for me right now.. and well that is just not going to happen - at least not in the forseeable future. I was practically begging our rav for some kind of way around this - some halachic loophole.. seems there is nothing to do. So I am doomed to this state for a while - maybe even a year...A WHOLE YEAR?? 9 months and 6 weeks postpartum -is that even possible?

I know I don't have much of a readership, but if anyone should happen by and has some advice/encouragement - I can do with whatever I can get.


Rafi G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rafi G said...

Hatzlacha.. keep strong

Miriam said...

Hi -
Please email me at MSDBerger@gmail.com. I need to speak with you. I might be able to help.

Tzipporah said...

hang in there, honey!! You have a lot to deal with.

Practical suggestion: STRONG WOMEN to support you. Yes, I know all your friends are probably also coping with lots of kids as well and all the work that entails, but given the niddah situation, I think you are entitled to at least one afternoon/evening a week to spend with friends, without the kids around. I know it's done wonders for me.

mother in israel said...

First of all, beshaa tova!

I suggest not worrying about what Hashem wants from you yet--it takes time, sometimes years, to get perspective. I suggest keeping your mind occupied with practical matters. How can you make sure that you and your family get through this very stressful period without longterm negative effects? For example, removing yourself from any activities that are not necessary. Getting any kind of help you can afford, including volunteer teenagers. Teaching your older children to take on as many tasks as they can handle (within reason of course). Putting whatever energy you have into your children, especially the baby, and not the house. Rest and relax with the baby as much as you can. Kids need you to talk to them and hug them more than anything else, and those are not physically challenging nor even time-consuming.

The niddah issue is not a small thing and there are many practical implications aside from the obvious. At any rate, will it help to remember that as difficult as this is it is still temporary? As is this whole situation? By the time the baby is born, be"H, the children will all be older and more independent.

I counsel bf mothers and have also nursed two children at once so let me know by email if you need nursing or weaning support, or help making the decision.

May I ask if the baby is at risk for any problems, or only the pregnancy?

You are a strong, loving family and hopefully you live in a supportive community.

I wish you the best and I plan to keep reading.

Happy Mom of 6 said...

miriam - will do - thanks

tzipporah - thanks for your chizzuk. I actually told my husband to take me out - I needed to speak to an adult one on one. But you are right - perhaps friendsis the way to go. though erev Pesach not sure who, including me, will have time to hang out. I have been talking on the phone alot. That helps me - though not sure that my kids appreciate that - or their tired mommy.

mother in israel - thanks for the advice. i have tried to implement some of it. I got some help - but I think it frustrates me more to have someone do it 'wrong' than it does just not to do it myself. But I am an not an idiot- I will wait until after pesach to ask her to leave.
I have decided to spot nursing - thought I dont thin kthe little one agrees with my decision.
There is not risk of birth defects to the baby - just whether or not it will make it to full term. Thank you for your chizzuk and good wishes.

Tamara said...

I think a great way for support and mind space is blogging; granted you need to have the time to do it. Either way, if you can keep writing, you should.

I wish you the best, I sincerely do.

deemer (dagirl156@aol) said...

About the niddah issue. I'm not sure your statement that there is no halachic way around this is correct.

I was pregnant with my second, and I basically spotted from the second I was pregnant until my third month. (Fourth?) I didn't even bother asking a shaylah, until I couldn't take it anymore. Finally, I called my rav (very respected and known over the world) and he told me that if I've seen the baby's heartbeat, to just wear black and go to the mikvah after seven days. NO CHECKING. Period. You can email me and I will give you more information about this rav's name, etc, and maybe your rav can confer with him.

Good luck! Write more often!

Anonymous said...

First of all, Good For YOU!!! Someone needs to do this so others in this situation can share, learn, and support each other. This is so important. I am so happy you did this.
Second of all, I wish you only good things and help. I agree that help in the house is vital. I also stand in support of a baby nurse after you give birth, IY"H. Hopefully all will go well and I urge you to even borrow from a Gamach if necessary to pay for a nurse for as long as you can. It is very expensive, but I learned (and I am the ultimate mommy's mommy) that it is super important if you are feeling nervous about caring for a new one. You need to reserve early, though. You may be concerned about Ayin Hara, but most women who get nurses do so in advance. Now, last of all, and please bear in mind that I do not, not, not judge you. You titled this "What does Hashem want from you?" When you decided to space, you decided on a specific way to do so that was not effective. That's OK, but that isn't necessarily Hashem sending you a message. It may be Hashem sending you the Tevah he created in this world and some methods are more effective than others. Many frum women space their children with methods that are 99% effective. Every close friend I have, some with over 6 children, use these more effective methods and are Torah Jews. I recommend that you put that in your back pocket for future reference and I wish you only good things and a healthy, happy baby. Again, thank you so much for sharing this important information in this way. It is going to help so many Frum women.

YoelB said...

gHave you tried medical alternatives in conjunction with the medical care you are already getting? For the immediate situation, homeopathy may be of benefit and it is safe. If you email me at classicalhomeopathy-at-mac-youknowwhat-com I may be able to give you a referral in your area, and could answer any other questions you might have.

Happy Mom of 6 said...

Rafi g - thanks - sorry didnt see your comment

Tamara - I think you are right. I never would have thought that 'venting' online and receiving so much support would be so helpful.

deemer - that sounds interesting - definitely not what my rav had in mind..I dont know how comfortable I would feel with that psak - though I guess a competent rav would have basis for his views - watch out for my email, i would like to hear more.

anon - what we were doing was supposed to be 99%...though we will have to move on to something new next time I imagine... baby nurse sounds great - but I dont know if that would work for me- we dont have much room in the house as it is. Thanks for the idea though!

yoelb - the rav actually suggested I look into such options - he actually said he does not believe in them - but that he wanted me to know they exist. But I remember the 'mastik temani' from my first preganancy- and somehow eating grass 3 times a day just would be to difficult for me right now. Maybe there are other options. Thanks

Anonymous said...

You should contact a frum Ob/GYN. You are not alone; there are plenty of solutions acceptable to even Haredi poskim. Try contacting Dr. Schreiber, in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem.

Married and Navigating Jewish Brooklyn said...

We hope that you are able to find the strength and get through the issues you have, and iyh find a solution

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I just found you from raggedy. Very nice blog good luck and keep strong. I don't know how you do it but kol hakavod.

frumhouse said...

Bashaa Tova! First of all, I probably don't have to tell you how quickly those 9 months go - so hang tight.

As far as the nida thing - that is very difficult. However, if you can get 5 stain-free days (and you can change your underwear an unlimited time to accomplish this)you can also make an unlimited number of attempts to get that first hefsek. Some rabbis will even give permission to forgo the mochet duchet and do fewer bedikot in the subsequent 7 days. Also, remember that in addition to a stain, you also need to feel hargosho for it to be 100% no good. If you can just get to the mikvah, you can be good to go for the remainder of the pregnancy by only using colored toilet paper/underwear/pantyliners and DON'T check again.

I would go back to your rav - it doesn't seem that you should have to be a nida that long. Maybe he didn't realize that this is a situation that would continue for months.

This web site is a great resource -


Happy Mom of 6 said...

anon - I have heard of her - but I have a great dr. that I trust, thanks

married and - thank you for your good wishes - and your link. This has been an amazing welcome to the jblog world.

swfm - dont know how I do what? be a mommy? - I think we are supposed to believe that Hashem doesn't give us anything we can't handle.. so we do out best - and daven for the rest.

frumhouse - thanks for the advice. We have pretty much reviewed all the halachic possibilites - I got a lot of interesting heterim with Rabbis names too - so I will do a little more research and see what we come up with. We are really just hoping that it will stop. Thanks for the link - I think I have read that whole site in the past 2 weeks. It is a great resource.

YMedad said...

Rabbi Moshe Segal z"l of Kfar Chabad's oldest daughter, Uzzit (sister-in-law of Rav Yitzchak Ginzburg), who is now almost 70, had 20 children (and two more adopted). She was pregnant, as I recall, for the first 9 years of her marriage - constantly. Then, the children came once every year and a bit. All single births. She was very active in educational programs and after Rav Ginsburg took off in popularity was always organizing his early efforts. So, since there are always people in different situations than you, you should be encouraged that it is is possible to persevere and I am sure that you will gather the strength needed.

Anonymous said...

If this happened to my wife, I would call Rav Moshe Tendler in Monsey. In addition to being a Talmid Chacham and the son-in-law of Rav Moshe, he is a professor of biology and will be able to offer knowledge on all aspects of the problem. He is also fearless.

Kmelion said...

After a year of fertility treatments, where being Niddah meant another failure I had to deal with without the comfort of my husband's hugs, I spent weeks 0-8 and weeks 12-14 Niddah of this pregnancy. I'm now at week 31.

The staining and bleeding was caused by vanishing twin syndrome, so there was no doubt the bleeding was uterine. Has the doctor been able to determine what's causing the bleeding?

Anonymous said...

No one else seems to have posted it so: you might also want to try Machon Puah (Rav Menachem Borstein) tel in Israel (02) 651-5050 or 1-700-707607