Friday, April 27, 2007

infertility, birth control, miscarriage

I have been reading around the jblogshepere (at shpitzle and mizellie). These topics seem to inevitably come up amongst women's conversations. Most women have either have dealt personally, or have friends who have dealt with one or more of these issues.

What do these three things have in common? It seems quite a few things.
1- All relate to with the mitzva of 'pru u'rvu' which , in some circles, means that they have some amount of peer pressure and/or publicity involved.
2- All three are directly related to a women's physical and mental state and (even if the man is that is the cause of the infertility) the women suffers more than man, either agonizing over the issue, or emotionally dealing with the loss or status quo.
3 - All three subjects are taboo is most circles. No one talks about it - no one admits to it - unless it is obvious, and necessary to discuss it.
4- The thing that seems to most tie these issues together is the fact that NO ONE ever says the right thing to the person who is directly dealing with the issue.

Comments I have heard directly or indirectly:

"At least you have a husband."

"If you lost it, than that means that it probably would have been deformed or something, baruch Hashem you were saved from that."

"I can totally understand that you would need a break- I mean those kids you have are a real handful- I can't imagine having to deal with them every day like you do."

"Motherhood is not for everyone"

"You have so much time for chesed, without distractions"

"If I was able to afford household help like that, I would never have such a big space between my kids"

"Did you ask a shaila? - Aren't you embarrassed?"

"I don't know what you did to deserve this."

I could go on..the point is even with the right intentions, sometimes things are better left unsaid - you have no idea how the other person will interpret what you are saying - especially if you are not close.

That brings us to number

5 - Usually it is none of your business!


MizEllie said...

Great post and so true! It's hard to know the right thing to say even if you have been through it. I think a simple "I'm sorry" or "I hurt when my friends do" conveys what you need to.

I do wish that these topics weren't so taboo, or I might not have felt so isolated going through my miscarriage. Only now, after the fact, am I hearing from so many of my friends who experienced the same thing.

Happy Mom of 6 said...

I also found that after broaching these topics with others - all of a sudden - everyone has had at least one 'miss' and all my friends are on birth control! Recently I had to ask a shaila of a rav and my mother asked me if I told him about the birth control -wasn't I embarassed - I told her - that I am not embarassed...I asked for a heter...and ALL my friends are on some form or another - for one reason or another. I think I shocked her- We live in a different 'dor' I guess...

I'm sorry. Thanks for stopping by.

mother in israel said...

Can't figure out what that sphitzle blog is all about. Mizellie, I like yours!
I've been hearing about rabbanim who automatically give a heter post partum up to two years, or even advise it.
I haven't had a miscarriage so I always feel awkward; I usually just say I'm sorry. I don't think I said any of the things on your list!

frumhouse said...

It is hard to know what to say when someone suffers a miscarriage. Maybe the best thing is just to be there for the person and listen if they want to talk? As far as birth control, women can be very judgemental. If you are on BC, you obviously have less faith than those not using BC that Hashem will provide the strength and resources needed for a new baby. Oy veh! I like your number 5 answer the best - it's none of your business! :)

Happy Mom of 6 said...

mother in israel - shpitzle is an interesting place - most people don't say those things - at least not intentionally - but as I said- i have heard many of them first hand. Nice to see you.

frumhouse - In general I think minding our own biz is probably the best advice ever - unless of course we are 'needed' by a friend - The talent is in diffrentiating between other's needs and ours. Thanks for coming by.