Sunday, April 22, 2007

O' Baby

Every so often Yoelish wakes up in the morning especially enthused, the birth of a brilliant idea rousing him from slumber. "You know what just occur to me that we do?", he'd say to this snoozeaholic' "Listen to this great plan for a minute. It's about you, us!"


Then he'd explain. I can't repeat verbatim, but in general he says something like this:


"I think... how about... this plan: we get YOU very, very fat! But not only that, we make you sickly, and vomit daily, and dangerously moody, and sensitive to smell, and unpredictably and ravishingly hungry, and slow in motion, and breathless, and full of stretch marks and varicose veins, all bloated and blown up, a lot of nighttime heartburn, and also, prodded by a doctor where you like it least? And then we'll get you to the hospital to be hooked up to monitors and huge needles, with scrunching, crunching contractions and hell-raising pushes of the pelvic muscle. After that you'll have postpartum depression and temporarily give away all our other children!"

He'd sit up with a jolt, extra pleased with himself, and ask exceptionally cheerily "hu?! What do you think?! I think it's time! C'mon, you want it too"
 

I'll tell you what I think, and I'll tell you what I want!


I love that bearded fella in the nightgown from the bed across the carpet, for my life I do, but I don't want to hear all that fuss around another pregnancy. When he ever attempts to mention a combination of the words "baby" and "more" my face freezes over with a stepford smile only a married man can understand to crouch from. I look at him in my morning mode, while making a mental note to send him away first after the heartburn and pushing. If I say I want it, that's one thing, but him?

My husband is suffering from Birth Control Anxiety Disorder, according to my expert diagnosis. That's the result of a drastic, spiritually defeating change of pace in his life. Before he got married he'd been assured that he's getting a woman, a few truckloads EPTs (maybe even some free stretchies and sweater-sets) and soon enough, the dozen or so children would be generated. He'd be able to give kiddish in shul for all to come, make vacht nachts, drag a troupe of boys with him in shul, make sizable bar mitzvahs and eventually, knakedige family celebrations. The notion of having less than ten kids never crossed his mind. It wasn't a possibility.

When I first started to trigger his BCAD disorder by mentioning cutting my supply to him of babies, after a fair share of physical and emotional pressure, his reflex was to repeat like a broken record player that "m'meg nisht,", you're not allowed, and "nobody does!". Eventually, it wore him down. I'd like to say it was the hat-stand I bought him as a gift, but maybe it was just that babies made him snap. Or even more likely, the sleepless nights made his wife snap, and that really left him desperately running for a rabbi.

I proposed the strategy. Walk into the rabb's house, learn a bit of something Lashon Kodesh for good luck, and then proceed to take the sponge-tichel clad rebbetzin hostage. Yoelish should call 911, and tell the police that he's not letting go of the wife or the shep-weapon lest the rabbi gives away a two year break. Then he could come home with some of their soup, (might as well do it all the way) and we'll celebrate the heist.

I didn't get the soup, but somehow, someway, I got a nice hetter, much to my husband's surprise. From then on, if a kid wasn't on the way (and sometimes even if there was) we get those guilt ridden BCAD morning rituals where Yoelish wanted another kid NOW.

To cure my absence of typical annual maternal yearnings, I attend the "Boineh Oilem" party once a year. The ladies come to the party having left all their valuables at home, except those with a an inbound valuable. We sit around, yelling above each other's voices about nursing clean and nursing clean and nursing clean, and by the time the speakers would be through we'd all nod in agreement that we better not complain. On the walk home, late at night, all of us would talk about how ungrateful we are for always complaining when others have nothing.

I do sincerely feel sorry for couples that have infertility issues, but I have trouble comprehending how 16 for me would make it better for them. What I do know, while I'm not eager to go through child bearing again so soon, is that I love my children with everything I got. Every single one, deeply.



.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Ilove that bearded fella in the nightgown from the bed across the carpet"
Usually men wear nightShirts,Woman wear the nightGowns.

mindy said...

WOW> Just...absolute wow.

As a woman who struggled for nine years to become a mother, your post has left me speechless and thunderstruck.

I would give my right arm, left arm, right leg, and left leg, to experience being " very, very fat, sick, vomit daily, dangerously moody, sensitive to smell, unpredictably hungry, slow in motion, breathless, full of stretch marks and varicose veins, blown up, heartburn victimized, prodded by an OB, and then in hospital to be hooked up to monitors and huge needles, with deafening contractions and hell-splitting pushing." I was pregnant seven times in the past ten years. Seven times. Each pregnancy cost between $2500 and $9500. BH I did end up with one yummy, delicious, cutest-boy-on-the-planet after tons of bedrest, bleeding, panic, listening ot the heartbeat with my doppler 30 times a day, seeing the doctor once a week because I was sure it was dead, and having a preemie and a c section and never being able to nurse due to that.

And I have no idea if HaShem will ever bless me with more.

birth control? ha. Birth control is part of the infertility protocol, beleive it or not.

I'm so happy that going to bonei olam parties is the one thing that makes you appreciate your family.

I BH do have a baby. But 100s of others don't. They'd probably be frozen in place for hours after reading this post. Just... wow. No words. speechless.

PS if you want to appreciate your kids once again, come to the atime party this Tuesday in Boro Park. It's going to be amazing. The slides are stunning, and..... someone is going to stand up and tell her personal story on stage, and from what I hear, it's a heartwrenching and funny story at the same time.

(Don't delete your post because of my comment - I am so curious to see other comments.)

PS I was actually lucky in all of my pregnqncies not to experience a moment of morning sickenss, never vomited, never sensitive to smell. Instead I bled and bled and lay flat on my back and said gantz tehillim every day, begging HaSHem to please not take this pregnancy....

Joseph said...

How sad.

Joseph said...

Sad that you feel that way, that is.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Anon - Well, if it matters, lets take a vote on what the cotton sleepwear men wear (with lines running along it, or solid white with blue piping) is a nightgown or nightshirt. Remember, calf length.

Mindy - Thanks for your comment. You had mentioned you issues before and I thought it would be really interesting to hear what you say.

First of all, I can only try to begin to understand what pain and suffering you went through, and I am happy that you were b"h blessed in the end with a child. I understand why you'd jump down my throat given where you come from, but it is really your lack of understanding that leads you to rush into judging those that struggle with the other way around. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that enough women cry with a positive EPT or go through a pregnancy hating the world. I'm also sure you can realize that I value VERY MUCH what I have, despite the fact that I also have a very loud voice in my head begging to give my body a rest. Appreciating your children and wanting a break does not contradict.

I can imagine how it feels to be going through what you have, and we all feel sorry for you, but nobody is allowed to feel sorry for themselves when being physically, emotionally, financially and maritally drained. You're supposed to go on thanking Hashem over an over again. Five children in a row, maybe eight, and thou shall only feel joy. You know what, the whole charade isn't easy, so don't rush in to judge others.

Why would I delete the post? It's my sincere feeling on the matter, and I value your opinion. You do realize however that you lack proper understanding, and you compare apples to oranges and so pass judgment. Don't.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Mindy: I'm so happy that going to bonei olam parties is the one thing that makes you appreciate your family.

Where did you take that from? Boine Olem parties make you reconsider your wish to have big spaces. I don't think I said they make you appreciate the otherwise 'unwanted, unloved' children.

Did I?

Shira said...

Great post, Shpitzle, as usual.
Mindy, I think you are being a bit judgemental. It's like the "finish your chicken because there are starving children in Africa" line.

Shoin alles mitgemacht said...

Shpitzle, I am not surprised at your post at all, first one book then one movie and then its all downhill from there!!!(:
Speaking from personal experience I love every one of my dozen to bits and cannot imagine life without having given birth to every single one of them, my heart goes out to anyone with infertility problems and I cannot even bear to think of what my life would have been like without children..
BUT those twenty four years were the worst and hardest of my life and I would not wish it on anyone to go through it. I beg my daughters and daughters in laws to ask for a heter to at least space out their children where possible, and if they ask they are usually given one. Halachically no woman is expected to go through immense difficulty in order to have a child every year or so. Shpitzel, I am surprised you have managed so far to withstand the enormous pressure put upon heimishe ladies by their peers to have more children. I think that three is taking a bit to far though, take a break and have another three in a few years time or else your children may end up feeling deprived!

mindy said...

I'm not judging you. And I'm not being judgemental. I understand the need for breaks. I seriously do. heck, I am fortunate to have 'natural family planning' in that i cannot get pregnant whenever I want.

Still, it was uber-painful to read an entry like this, coming from the over-saturated painful world of infertility that I reside in... that's all. In my heyday I couldnt have read more than one line of this stuff. now, I can BH read the entire thing without bristling - but it still invokes a very emotional response in me.

anon1226 said...

shpitzle I just enjoy reading your post you write with such talent but... I have to disagree with this post I just think that it is not fair to even think so when there are many out there waiting to have a child you gotto be happy that hashem gave you children without having to wait 10 years .1 thing is forsure that it is hard in the begining but when you get older it pays having a huge family it makes life much easier in the future

Anonymous said...

some women yearn to have children others dont, i had mine cuz thats what i was expected to do. im not cut out to be a mom, in fact i loathe it, im sorry that some ppl havto go through a hard time to get a child, but that doesnt mean i havto be happy bout being a mom. im lucky i have a husband who can take care of them 95% emotionally bucause im just not capable of doing that.
i see no reason to have anymore children, i have 2 and if i do get pregnant im seriously considering adoption. YOUROKIMOK

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

anon 1226 I disagree with you not everyone can handle so many kids it has nothing to do with all the infertile moms out there, yasher kochach that you shpitzle felt you needed a break and didnt' go along with the rest of the world. I could understand the hurt of moms that can't have kids when reading this. Hysterical as usual sorry for the hurt of those that are unfortunate.

frumbabe said...

been there done that. shpitz i am with you all the way

Anonymous said...

This is actually a very serious topic and should be aired. Its not just about churning out a child a year. Each child has to be fed, clothed, loved and nurtured by a physically and mentally healthy mother- not a depressed, worn out shell of a woman. where oh where is the merit in that?

Jewish Blogmeister said...

Wow! Another strongly philosophical post. I need to eat my Wheaties before I venture into your realm. I understand your point as well as Mindy's. Everyone has their own peckel and one must deal with it according to their best judgment and needs. It's very unfortunate that people suffer from infertility. People however suffer from many problems it's not incumbent upon anyone to live their life as if they had those troubles.
Great post.

It's All Good Now said...

"I have trouble comprehending how 16 for me would make it better for them"

This line is so reminiscent of my response to the adage "I cried when I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet". I've always felt that yes, I feel sorry for the man w/o feet, but the fact remains that I do possess feet and therefore I am in need of shoes!!

Anonymous said...

as a women who was once told I might never have a baby, (today my daughter is 4 B"H) and coming from a kinder gebencht family, I can understand all sides of this post & commenters.

I feel that some of us just have it all mixed up. the torah was meant to give us a guide to live a rewarding, enjoyable life. not to be a burden on us. you have to do what you & your spouse have decided to do for the best of your situation. be accountable only to hashem & not to the yentas. if only we could follow this at least 1% more every day, the haimish world would be allot nicer.

Rebecca said...

"Let's get YOU very, very fat, make you sick, vomit daily, dangerously moody, sensitive to smell, unpredictably hungry, slow in motion, breathless, full of stretch marks and varicose veins, blown up, heartburn victimized, prodded by an OB, and then we'll get you to the hospital to be hooked up to monitors and huge needles, with deafening contractions and hell-splitting pushing. After that you'll have postpartum depression and give away all our other children!"

Umm...what kind of a description is that??? I understand that you've had your share of children and do not want anymore, but that's a horrible way to describe pregnancy, birth and childcare. I hope that you have a more positive outlook in your general life than this...

nuch a chosid said...

yup... movies... books.... it does have an effect, no matter how good and strong you are, I can attest to that.

I think that you don't really feel the way you wrote, it's just a bit exaggerated for the sake of writing a good article-post.

My heart goes out to those couples struggling with infertility, or even secondary infertility, we can NEVER understand what they are going through, and poking fun on this issue can be hurtful to them, as Mindy pointed out.

I don't know how many kids you have, and how close to each other you had them, so i can't judge you either, but of experience i have seen (either by myself or as well by close family and friend), having them close is really tough, (when they are small, later on it's more fun...)

Too many naive couple don't even know what to do and where to turn, the over stressed poor wife feels like a 'schmatteh' on edge of a breakdown, and the poor husband feels his world is falling apart on him, and he doesn't even know where and whom to turn too.

Blessed should be the Rabbonim and Dayonim who get personally close with those who consult them their shaalos, or have a sixth sense (and Siyata D'shamya) to smell what's going on, and guide them in the right path, to take a break, get revived, and come back to their strength physical and emotianaly.

After such a break, most are ready and WANT more, and then they can better appreciate the present hashem gives them.

[Unless, when one gets influenced from the outside world and the goyisha sociaty, well hmmm.. then you are changed.... and lose the feeling and view on life of a 'Yiddish mama' and 'Aishes Chayil', and you have different feelings views and things that you want. then it's already a different story. which of course I don't think that you are at that matzav)

one more thing, it does get allot easier later on, the older they grow, the more you actually enjoy them, and then they are a help with the younger ones too, besides bringing you lots of yiddish nachas iy"h.

So, don't despair, take it easy, no rush, but don't stop.... just consult your ruv-dayan take a break, and then continue wuth new revived "frishe koiches".

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Joseph, Sad that I feel which way about my children?

Shira, - Exactly, the chicken line quacks exactly what I was trying to express!

Shoin Alles Mitgemacht, - ”Shpitzle, I am not surprised at your post at all, first one book then one movie and then its all downhill from there!!!(:”

Waaa!

”BUT those twenty four years were the worst and hardest of my life and I would not wish it on anyone to go through it.”

I have never yet heard someone with a big family say it was hard. You’d ask if it were, and they’d just say “Baruch Hashem, Baruch Hashem”. Not only are mother’s challenged to the brink, but they don’t dare admit to themselves that it’s too much, because mothers are by nature very eager-to-bear. A women that admits that a lot is hard, somehow says that she doesn’t have this instinctive love for all species released from the womb. I commend you for advising your children to do only as much as they can handle. If only there would be an adult to assure that it’s not against halacha.

Mindy - I understand. And I apologize if this post in any way hurt that sore spot. It’s always good to be reminded of your blessings.

Anon1226 - Two things, some women are infertile; some women are overly-fertile. Do you suggest that the latter category should determine their individual lives according to the feelings and circumstances of the first? If so, please explain why.

YourOK-I’mOK - I know some women that feel that way, some vocal about it, others too afraid to say boo. Unfortunately young girls are not always prepared to be parents when they suddenly find themselves cradling itsies. But why should you get pregnant again? Prevention is definitely a better alternative.
BTW, what’s your blog address?

SW FM - Thanks for the kind words. I agree, and many women would agree, if they would feel that the Torah also agrees.

Frumbabe - Yup, one nation, in one boat :)

Anon -”Where oh, where, is the merit in that?”

According to popular belief:
1. Who are we to tell Hashem when to have a child? God sends us children, and we’re gonna tell him ‘no’?
2. According to what you’re taught it is against halacha. They would never let on in public that you might be able to get a hetter. Only when you fall over the brink do options start occurring to you.
3. Emotional problems do not exist in our community only for ‘nervish’. Nobody would want to admit to themselves that they are under stress, or feeling depressed, or not coping. This is the baal habusta society.
4. The couple often have a hard time hammering it out. Many men ‘know’ that it’s not right and have a hard time coming to terms with a spouse that defies the rules.
5. Heterim are very hard to get. Three months at a row, with lots of excuses to make. People feel they need an eligible reason.
6. Big families, when they’re all grown up! Who wants to be fifty and bored?! Bring on the children – it’s a retirement plan!
7. The niddah cycle ever month is not easy. Pregnancy and breast feeding can fix that.
8. Socially, you are expected to keep the system running. You’ll start to suspected for ‘having problems’, miscarriages, issues or feiglech in kup.
9. When in maternity, you wear the same thing million times and don’t really have to look pretty. Waoh!
10. Everything is bashert anyhow.

Jewish Blogmeister - Lol. Very well said. The wheaties work!

It’s All Good Now - ”I cried when I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet"
You know what I realize; this is our motto to life. If you’re not happy, shut up, because there is worst out there. Anything you feel should be numbed up because others are poorer, more unfortunate, not alive etc. Even all our restrictions run like this: “I cried when I couldn’t romance men, until I saw the divorce rate in the goyishe world”. Etc…

Anon - Yes, thank you!

Rebecca - Ahem. This is a bit hard to explain, Rebecca dear. Lookee, it’s called ‘cynical humor’. Now come on, give us a laugh!

Nuch A Chosid - “and poking fun on this issue can be hurtful to them, as Mindy pointed out.” Poking fun?! That I did not, and you know it. While Mindy’s sensitivity is totally understandable, I am dumbfounded with your accusation. (I feel very deeply for couples that don’t have children, as I have seen up-close what it’s about. Mindy and Anon’s statement (with the four year old) moved me to tears. I hope, pray, donate and try to help those as best as I can. Poke fun??!)

Personally, I like big families and therefore do want to have more children. But you should know that there are many women that do not feel like it even after that little break, and they do push themselves because of the general attitude that you’re ready again, frishe koiches and all. Especially when it’s the husband that sees it that way.
I’m glad to hear that there are Rabbis out there that look out for us and have an understanding, un-judgmental attitude.

Velvle - I assume you intended to put your comment here.
I have a strong suspicion that God gave pregnancy to women only, because otherwise the men would be a destructive role model. Even now, men are usually not very involved in the pregnancies.

What is the hetter, and what is generally the accepted rule in other orthodox communities? I see big families there too, not only at Chassidim.

Velvel Chosid said...

This post sounds so "hiemish",I think if the men would have the children they would have 1 at most with all kinds of "heteirim".

most fofms of BC are allowd by halacha,time for the women to rise up,the practice of having 10 12 14 17 18 children is an experiment never done in the Jewish history

JewishBiFemme said...

O' baby...

That was a horrible way of describing pregnancy..Most the things you mentioned did not happen when I was pregnant with my only child. Those nine months was one of the most beautiful/exciting times in my life.

My best friend is married 10 years with no children. She does tons of chesed to keep herself busy. She tells me all about it. Such horrific stories that It makes me angry. Those women have no right to have children.

One little 3 year old boy asked my friend if she can be his mom. Cause his mom is very abusive. Yelling,spanking,screaming,
fighting. If he misses the bus his mom locks him up in a closet all day.

Other moms are mentally not capable to handle or nurture children. most have shulam bayis issues and let it all out on their poor kids..

Why is it even allowed?

Another woman in my neighborhood abuses her kids. She does let them live cause she cleaned already. If crayons are messed up those kids get punished with horrible abuse etc. If a child is hungry at 6 PM after dinner when the dishes are washed she refuses to give the child food.

WTF???

What about those mothers who are to busy watching soap opera's or yentaing on the phone to even take care of their innocent little nashumas.

Those mothers who have kids every year are to busy in the hospital to notice these poor kids suffering sexual abuse-incest etc.

couples who want kids just for the simchas & to show off when in reality have no intetions of taking care of them in a proper way need some serious help. If you are gonna have them then you're responsible for their well being.

After a neighbor told me that she sleeps most days (depression-can't handle giving birth every two minutes) and puts her little baby in the high chair or crib with toys in the dark all day I was horrified. I was afraid to speak, what if she will go mental on me. I contacted rebbes etc.

Another woman begged her husband to ask a rabbi for a hetter. After having 10 children she couldn't deal with it no more,her husband refused. What a horrible human he must be for having no compassion. If you are to busy making babies by the minute cause of frimkeit on the wife's cheshbon and refuse to let her take birth control then you do not deserve to do the mitzvah.

Women has a right to choose. Its her body. Yeah even Jewish women.

Boy I am happy with what I've got she is the reason I live. I will do anything to make sure she is healthy,happy,beloved,safe etc....

In my community everything is so deranged. The policy is
DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS!! this is how it is suppose to be and that's that.......

How about change for the better? Without committing sins.

I'm sure most are amazing parents who deserve an award. I just hate it when nobody faces reality....

Its a tough world out there shpitzle dearest.

heimish in said...

Great post. My heart goes out to those suffering from infertility.

I have a friend that suffered from Postpartum Depression and it deeply affected her life. She said her doctor told her that in Williamsburg more women are on pills for depression than birth control. How sad is that? Why do we have to reach a point where we feel like we can't cope? That we're losing our minds? Anyway, ladies, if you feel you need a break then get yourself a heter for it. We are not superwomen! Unlike other generations, we are 'shvach'. We can't handle it. And if you can then applaude yourself. You deserve a medal.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

JBF - "Those nine months was one of the most beautiful/exciting times in my life."

Ah!! You make it sound the way parenting magazines do. Yoga, Massages, pampering yourself, good food, exciting doctor's visits, adorable maternity, 'honeymoon phase', baby showers, the involved daddy, six months maternity leave, name picking, shopping.... What not!

Who in the Yiddish community sees a pregnancy that way??

Many women can't cope. Believe me, they try. You watch the way they try to be the best mommies, but their poor bodies refuse to dance the jig. I saw a mother hold a three week old and a one year old in both arms and I cringed. It doesn't seem safe to me. But baruch hashem, our society raises a nice community of kids, they all grow up adorable. And for all the mothers' situations, most children receive a lot of love.

Men. Them we should take care of. I know a NUMBER of men that refuse to go get a hetter, maybe not after ten, but after a nice number of kids. It does not occur to them that they do not have an equal say in the matter. There are dayonim that WILL NOT give a hetter to a woman, instead advise her to send her husband.

I also know people that AGAINST doctor's advice, due to high risk pregnancies, got pregnant again. One couple went to a frummie rebbeh and the rebbeh picked his arms up to the himle and said "dee bashefer vet helfen". They got pregnant again, and I'll tell you, it was hell. Such rebbehs should not be allowed to say a word.

Heimish In (brookly?!) - "She said her doctor told her that in Williamsburg more women are on pills for depression than birth control." Sigh, I know women that are depressed and they don't take those pills either.

SAM said...

I suppose I've never been ashamed to go against the flow, and I do find that very few women admit to how difficult it is to have a large family. I always thought it was because they had better husbands, or were better cooks, homemakers,cleaners,or disciplinarians, than I am, so imagine if they were faking it all along!
I also seeem to be one of the few that doesn't beg to look after the grandchildren to fill my life. Boruch Hashem I have a full life without being dependent on my family for entertainment! It doesn't help though, I often complain that when I marry them off and finally get them out of the house they just come back with more. One of my children bought me a magnet that says "I've childproofed the house but they're still getting in".
My apparent lack of natural maternal feelings hasn't stopped them using my place as their second home, within sensible limits, yet I see others who profess to dote on their children and are constantly showing round the photos and buying the einiklach expensive outfits , suddenly have no koiach, when a married child begs to move in for yomtov or after a baby.
You are right Shpitzel, in that a lot of what is said in public may bear no relation to what is thought in private.

Hoezentragerin said...

Noch Epes,
The issue of using birth control is not a question of hallacha, rather only of hashkofe, once Mr and Mrs. Shpizel have a son and a daughter (though some say two
sons and a daughter), and have already fulfilled the mizva of "pirue verivue," (which btw is the man's chuav only).
Why do you suggest they then need to go seek a "heter"?
Unless your the kind of guy who asks the dain how much zedoke to give, I don't see why one would need a *heter* for something which isn't osir.

Another point, in the times of the gemore, women used to *nurse clean* for at least 2 years, and so they had their children spaced. Perhaps, God created BC for the very same reason he created Penicillin.

JewishBiFemme said...

Ah!! You make it sound the way parenting magazines do. Yoga, Massages, pampering yourself, good food, exciting doctor's visits, adorable maternity, 'honeymoon phase', baby showers, the involved daddy, six months maternity leave, name picking, shopping.... What not!

Who in the Yiddish community sees a pregnancy that way??
======

You got it lady. That is how it went down. Why are you so convinced that yiddisha mama's don't deserve a pregnancy like that?

Oy de lienst parent magazine? I have never seen that magazine but it happens in our world trust me.

Yet again it wasn't enough to convince me to do it all over again. I have got my reasons...

Why is adoption not popular within in the frum community?

nuch a chosid said...

I am sorry that you felt I accused you of anything, I was debating the issue, and I did in no way mean to cause offense, or be judgmental, That wasn't my intention in any way, and if I did it was not deliberately and I express regret.

In the paragraph about movies and books i was being humorous (following S.A.M.G. and even included myself, ending it by "i can attest to that myself"

"and poking fun"... I meant that portrayal of "Let's get YOU very, very fat, make you sick, vomit daily, ...."

"There are many women that do not feel like it even after that little break, and they do push themselves" A qualified and prominent Ruv will deal with that too, he will either be able to talk her out and make her feel better, and if that doesn't work, he'll give her a longer heter, for as long as her psychological state of mind needs it.

You're right that at times the problem is with the husbands, I mentioned that in my previous comment, that's why a smart Ruv offers the heter even when the yungermanchik doesn't want doesn't know or is ashamed to ask for it.

The wife can also contact the Ruv herself, any Ruv will gladly listen to the woman in person or on phone and help her and advise her in her situation.

Again, I am sorry if I sounded like I am judgmental, accusing, or offending, that wasn't my objective.

and "Hoizetragerin" Sorry but u are wrong, it IS a Halachic question, I don't have the time to look up sources now, but i did Google it and found that even "Ask moses" writes on the topic of
What is the Torah position on birth control?
"In all individual cases, a proper Halachic authority (posek) must be asked.

Hoezentragerin said...

Noch Epes,
The way I understand it, the question is only regarding the methods of contraception and forms of birth control used. The pill and IUD take care of that though.
You might be right and I'll do more research on the topic.

Or, we can wait for our own blog-grown Dayente Skeleton, to pasken our shaile :)

Skeleton said...

Shpitzle, wonderful post. A tough subject coated in the candy of humor. "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down..."

NAC - What a warped perspective you have. As if a woman's desire to breed a baby every year could be influenced only by svelte movie stars and romance-novel heroines...and not chas v'sholom by the worn-out women we see around us. Personally, my views on family planning were firmly entrenched before I ever saw a movie or read anything remotely romantic. "Tzi borscht darf men nisht kein tzein", and to be upset at being a baby machine you don't need any "outside influences". Pregnancy and the aftereffects are usually not easy - my heart goes out to women who become pregnant 3 months after having a baby almost as much as to those who can't have them. Children should be seen as a gift from God, not a burden unfortunately conceived by a biological process that took place at an unfortunate time. It's downright sad to have women crying at their EPT results. And don't say it doesn't happen. It happens often enough.

Several considerations:

1. There are women whose husbands want them to use contraception. Genig geven - they want a wife for a change instead of a ....But the women are too holy or too competitive for that.
2. During most of history, women did not have that many children. Having double-digit children was rare. True, they did marry younger. But they didn't have children into their 40's. High rates of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, poor nutrition, and a host of other factors determined that women did not have that many children and they certainly had less childbearing years than we have now, even considering the younger age of marriage. Why is it so "commendable and enjoyable" to have a lot of children so that when you get to the point when you are supposed to be holding your einiklech on your knees your are still struggling to raise your own kids? It makes no sense. Improvements in medicine and standard of living, coupled with the relatively young age we get married at has introduced us to the situation of being capable to bear more children physically than we can handle emotionally.
3. Our standards of living. Our standards of living. Our standards of living. Can't say it enough. Because we aren't white trash. We juggle the responsibilities of raising oversized families with oftentimes living in undersized housing, with having to keep up appearances to the nth degree, with a fairly rigid lifestyle that doesn't lend itself to ease, convenience, or independence, and communities that while they may appear to have great camaraderie, do not lend enough social support for this kind of "expansion". Possibly because too many people are in the same peklech simultaneously.

NAC - in case you didn't notice, AskMoses seems to have overdosed on the apologismo.

Here's a sampling of eyebrow-raisers:

http://www.askmoses.com/article.html?h=237&o=312
http://www.askmoses.com/article.html?h=237&o=2500
http://www.askmoses.com/article.html?h=237&o=2501
http://www.askmoses.com/article.html?h=237&o=81309

Note the second and third are flat-out wrong, in one way or another.

Skeleton said...

HT, it's 50 bucks a pop, for a 3-month heter which can be renewed indefinitely ;-)

All forms of birth control touch upon some sort of halachic issue, be it hashchasas zera or abortion. What I'm puzzled about is why Plan B is so universally prohibited while the pill is allowed, when they are basically the same thing. Hormonal contraceptives also have the additional onus of giving the rabbonim a headacheful of shailos they might not like dealing with. However, the proof that they are allowed is the etzem fact that a heter can be gotten to use them even in circumstances that are by no means life-threatening. If you happen to be in Kalamazoo for a day with no kosher food around, you won't get a heter to eat treif just because you're hungry. You'd have to be starving and in danger to be allowed to do so, and that'd be a one-time thing. Most couples who get heterim might have given good reasons for doing so, but it's hardly feasible to say that if they hadn't gotten the heter something unimaginably tragic would've happened by them having a baby several months sooner. The only rav with intellectual honesty (can't say more than that for him...) told someone that if he feels they can't handle a pregnancy they should practice abstinence. That rav may be a [insert epithet], but at least his shittoh is consistent.

Hoezentragerin said...

"All forms of birth control touch upon some sort of halachic issue, be it hashchasas zera or abortion".

Why? Would you call it zera levatole if a women is breast feeding?

" There are women whose husbands want them to use contraception."

Oh yeah. I heard about a guy who out of desperation secretly went and had a vasectomy. Meanwhile his poor wife is running from doctor to doctor.......

Baal Habos said...

>I do sincerely feel sorry for couples that have infertility issues, but I have trouble comprehending how 16 for me would make it better for them. What I do know, while I'm not eager to go through child bearing again so soon, is that I love my children with everything I got. Every single one, deeply.


Shpitz, IMHO, you are correct. Having more will not help those that have less. Just like it makes no sense to overeat because there are starving kids in Biafra.

Have as many kids as you're comfortable with and can love.

nuch a chosid said...

Skeleton I love your comments and insight, but in your reply to me, you either didn't read my first comment, or you misunderstood it.

There is a distinctions I tried to make between
A. not wanting any more children, where the reason is usually a change in 'hashkofa'.

B. not having koiach and/or needing a break, because the over stressed poor wife feels like a 'schmatteh' on edge of a breakdown, and the poor husband feels his world is falling apart on him, and he doesn't even know where and whom to turn too.

I fully defeneded the latter, even though I criticized the first.

The bigger part of my comment was on describing the importance and acceptance of using birth control in situation B.

I also praised the Rabbonim who offer a heter before even asked for it..

in #1. you touched upon a 3'rd situation about the woman who are holier then the husbands, well that doesn't effect only birth control, it effects all aspects of the marriage, and such couples have difficulties in every walk of their life together, unless he is smart enough to win her over, and in this case too, when the ruv offers the heter or clearly stats it's ok that will work too.

On the rest with your comment, i got noting to add, u wrote it well.

regarding "ask moses" i don't need their p'sak to argue that birth control is an halachic question, it was just the easiest reference to find on the moment.

gavi said...

Abstinence is not a jewish practice. Setting aside the relative the confines of marriage and taharas hamishpacha, abstinence is not allowed.

As for birth control, ask a qualified posek. No amount of public discussion can solve an individual shailah.

heimish in said...

testing. It is Heimishinbrooklyn. I don't know why it keeps on showing up only heimish in. Weird.

Anonymous said...

The source for the din for a hetter is in even huezer 5:12, where it says that a woman may 'drink a rememdy to render herself infertile.' The Chasam Soifer siman 20 and 271 also rules relatively leniently on this matter.
That said, I can feel for the rabbonim who realise that by giving in to every request they would open the floodgates forever. But just as we can query the motives of those requesting hetteyrim, can't we perhaps question the motives of those refusing hetteyrim as simply a method of controlling the women? Or perhaps it's a conspiracy by the holier-than-us to ensure enough meat in the pot to supply a good parnusse for the next generation of holier-than-us?

Skeleton said...

HT- you misread "hashchasas zera" (destruction of sperm) for "hotzaas zera levatola" (emitting seed in vain). Spermicides (and those used in barrier methods) destroy sperm - it's a halachic shailah whether one is allowed to do so, irrelevant of whether one is allowed to have relations with a woman who can't get pregnant at the time (which is fully allowed). This is a shailah that comes up in infertility treatment, when IVF is done and the remaining sperm may not be discarded.

NAC - few women who have had several children would fall under #1. Most would be happy with a nice long break, and then reconsider when they develop baby cravings. Unless our lifestyles change drastically to reflect those of secular society, neither will this aspect.

Chananiah Yom Tov Lipa said...

Shpitz,
I wonder how many siblings you have besides your sister Rosie O'Donnel, brother married to Paris Hilton, brother married to Barbara Streisand (from Montreal), and little Hilary Clinton.
I've noticed that parents who come from smaller families often crave larger ones, and vice versa.

It's the whole "grass is greener on the other side" mentality.

Mega-Dittos on a great post.

Happy Yom Ho'atzomos

Skeleton said...

anonymous - there's also Yevamos 12B about using a moch, the old-fashioned kind of barrier method.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

JBF - "Why are you so convinced that yiddisha mama's don't deserve a pregnancy like that?" You got a silver ring at the chuppah, how much more are you gonna ask? Be happy already… ;P

”Oy de lienst parent magazine?" - Didn’t your OB subscribe you for freebie baby formula, diapers, mags, and annoying emails?

”Why is adoption not popular within in the frum community?” - You mean giving up for adoption? Hmm, well. Probably because there are no underage pregnancies, or mothers that don’t want their babies, or can’t handle them. (Adoption though for disabled children is popular.)
On the other way around, that’s probably why it’s so hard for infertile couples to adopt.

SAM - I was raised in a family where the universe is governed by everything “yader” says. You have no idea how crippled your life becomes – a mess between doing and believing. It’s very hard for the children then to gather courage and be vocal about their opinions. A parent that can teach the children a sense of independence takes the first step to turning them into happy little hassidim.
Hey, I promise I won’t make you dote my family photos around. How about I move in for a few weeks? I always looked on a bit amazed at grandmas that are so totally, unconditionally involved.

Nuch - I don’t get it. How does a dreary description of a pregnancy poke fun at infertility?

Hoezen - Been reading about the boy and girl requirement. Why, though, does a couple have to start trying immediately post nuptials? Why can’t they wait till they’re ready?

I once fell upon an essay that discussed an African tribe, where women nurse so long, they have six year breaks! What are we doing wrong? Why did this phenomenon wear out? (According to that piece, statistically breastfeeding is the most popular BC)

Skeleton - Wow, wow, wow!

“Fifty cents a pop”. Hold it; let me go get my purse.

There is a fine line between plan A (prevention) and Plan B, because plan B is intended to destroy a developing life. The moment it falls into the category of abortion, there will be an outcry. Although, I think a neshumala that’s canceled embodiment due to either plan wouldn’t be very happy about it.

”All forms of birth control touch upon some sort of halachic issue” What’s at the root of all this? Zera Levetala?

BHB - Thank you, though I’ve never heard a dayin pasken in the form of 'IMHO'…

NAC - First of all – with all due respect to dayonim, I am with the shita that Skeleton should be the one to pasken. A man should not be the one judging a woman, as he cannot understand her situation for never having been in it before. But then again, as others mentioned, women are so hard on themselves, they might be harsh on others.

Mostly, it is when dayonim start grouping ‘reasons’ in A and B, analyzing the motives, deciding on the underlying Hashkafa, making sure that the woman is really indeed purely a shmata, when disaster strikes. Why must a woman really have a good excuse? What’s the sin with wanting a movie star (Britney Spears inspired) break? (kidding there)
The point is that if a woman wants to have a break because she wants to feel like a mentch for a few years, she wants to really enjoy every child, then she should be able to do so.

Gavi- Public discussion is often the first step to knowing that you can ask an individual sheilah.

Heimish in Brooklyn - It took you a very, very, long time to cross back that Brooklyn bridge ;)

Anon - Okay, a bit Spanish. I did get the part where there is a Chasam Sofer.

What’s so bad about opening floodgates? It’s only a win-win situation. The dayin gets popular, the women are happy.

Chananyala, Yomi, Toivy, Lipele, and Teitelbaum (So many children we have, unless I left out Zichroineh, Livrocha, and Zull Inz Beishtein.)
Right on! It is a frequent pattern. Big families however, are delicious to grow up in. They’re just very hard to ‘grow’.

JewishBiFemme said...

I meant those who cannot conceive can adopt. Aren't there any Jewish orphanage to adopt from? Pardon my ignorance I know nothing of this matter.

FYI: In the last year many teenage girls from Williamsburg have been thru secret abortions..

Mrs. Jude said...

I should probably read all comments before I post but my attention span is not that long at the moment.
"Let's get YOU very, very fat, make you sick, vomit daily, dangerously moody, sensitive to smell, unpredictably hungry, slow in motion, breathless, full of stretch marks and varicose veins, blown up, heartburn victimized, prodded by an OB, and then we'll get you to the hospital to be hooked up to monitors and huge needles, with deafening contractions and hell-splitting pushing."
I liked that quote as I have a hard time in pregnancy too, and for those who spend most of their time throwing up, passing out and in bed...it is very hard. Worth it, but hard. Some folks have an easy time of it... I can only envy them. lol
Yet, we turn around and say "baruch Hashem". Yes we do, because, lets face it, parenting is wonderful, in the most challanging and exhausting way possible.

Skeleton said...

Shpitz - Hey, I said 50 bucks a pop! And that's wholesale!

Re: using contraceptives post-nuptials for a while. This has already become standard practice in many MO circles and is encouraged or even required by their rabbonim.

About why we don't get six-year breaks with breastfeeding, or even six-month breaks sometimes. Because we do scheduled feeding instead of on-demand feeding. Those African women wear their babies on their bodies in slings and feed them while they work, in short spurts. I read that those babies feed on average every 17 minutes for several minutes. This keeps the woman's progestin high enough to suppress ovulation. Feeding a baby once every few hours usually cannot do this trick, and this is probably how it was done in the days of the gemara as well and is why the gemara mentions matter-of-factly that a lactating woman cannot get pregnant.

Plan B is actually merely a higher-dose (about triple the dosage) pill of regular combination pills. It will not induce abortion if a woman is already pregnant. It may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine lining, but regular pills will do that too. Plan B is intended to stop or suppress ovulation fast, within 3 days, rather than the slower hormonal buildup of regular 21-day pills. Other than that they're pretty much the same.

No, most forms of birth control aren't just an issue of zera l'vatoloh. Some touch on saris, hashchasas zera, tashmish shelo k'derech in addition to pru urvu, sheves, etc.. See this for an overview:

http://www.jofa.org/pdf/Batch%201/0054.pdf

sam said...

Shpitzel, from the way you open your mouth on this blog, it is difficult to believe you ‘fit in’ quietly in real life!
You are welcome to stay here at any time, just remember the house rules that apply to all, (you might change your mind)
1 Bubbe does not get up in the morning to feed and dress your children, she is the one that stays in bed, even if you are up all night with the baby, or sick in full view of the whole family.
2 You clear up your own mess.
3 If your children (some of which are probably older than my little darlings) ever fight with mine, know that mine are always right!

CYL; You spoilt my theory: I told my husband, that if he wouldn’t have reminded me, I would be able to go through a year without knowing what day it was yesterday. I told him, that if not for him mentioning it, the whole Zionist cause it would sink into oblivion, because it is only celebrated now by a few old veppers and means little to any one else.

I have heard once from a couple undergoing fertility treatment that to avoid zera levatolo there are doctors that are prepared to remove the sperm from the woman on site.
Also I once asked a prominent Rov a shaila and began “I have 6 children”, and he gave me a hetter over the phone for a year on the spot without asking any details why and told me to ask again after a year if necessary.

Hoezentragerin said...

"HT- you misread "hashchasas zera" (destruction of sperm) for "hotzaas zera levatola" (emitting seed in vain)".

Blushing.Bad.

So now were back to square one again.

"All forms of birth control touch upon some sort of halachic issue, be it hashchasas zera or abortion".

How does messing with a woman's hormones via the pill constitute HZ or abortion?

Anonymous said...

A parent that can teach the children a sense of independence takes the first step to turning them into happy little hassidim.

Spitzle - I tried that one and the little sods don't want to know anything about hasidim. They say it's only for morons.

Skeleton said...

HT - Hormonal birth control may fall under temporary saris. Hormonal birth control also has the same problem I mentioned Plan B has - in addition to suppressing ovulation, it has 2 additional ways of preventing pregnancy in case ovulation does occur. One is by thickening the cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to pass, and the other is creating a "hostile" non-receptive environment in the uterus for a fertilized egg so that it cannot attach/embed itself in the uterine wall, causing pregnancy. Hormonal methods do not have a 100% success rate even with perfect use, because it is possible to become pregnant while on it. My OB told me a patient of his became pregnant while on Depo-Provera; he'd given her the shot himself. In addition to the tiny percentage of people who will get pregnant while on hormonal contraceptives with perfect use, there is a much larger percentage (I've been informed it's somewhere between 4% and 15%) who will ovulate but not become pregnant. I.e. these people will have "real" periods, not "fake" periods, and if they happen to have sex when they are ovulating the reason it doesn't develop into a pregnancy will be either because the swimmers couldn't cross the finish line or the fertilized egg was aborted, so to speak.

Sam - AFAIK, many poskim are mattir using a condom (non-spermicidal) for sperm retrieval in the case of IVF to make it more comfortable for the couple concerned. Hashchasas zera becomes an issue with IVF because only several sperm cells are needed to fertilize several eggs and there might be millions left.

Anonymous said...

>I love that bearded fella in the nightgown from the bed across the carpet...

You just proved that you're married to a real Yoelish. The first time in yeshiva I saw a chassidish bucher putting on his nightgown, I almost passed out.....

David_on_the_Lake said...

You know..I have to agree with you here..
I come from a small family and I've always wanted one myself. I dont think anyone should feel guilty if they want a small family. Every family dynamic is different and everyone has to know what theyre capable of.

Anonymous said...

wow i have said it so many times to friends and especially one who is infertile - i always tell her I feel guilty moaning and she tells me I don't need to have kids on her behalf!!
I suffer for the first 3 months in preg and feel ill can't look after myself let alone my kids are the rabbonim going to come into my house to take charge until i feel better? i think not!

velvel chusid said...

The only way the rebelech will get the massege when enough people will stop runing after them for a hetter the husbands should learn and see what the hallacha really says.

the "Rebelech" should find another way to fill up their "paranches"

hasid_letz said...

Skeleton, there's no halachik concept of 'temporary saris.'

mindy said...

Just to clear up, skeleton:

1. For IVF and IUI, the only way to collect sperm is via a special condom, and some rabbonim allow to use just th collection cup.

2. Hatzaas or hashchasas zera is not a problem with IVF or IUI, btw. You're misinformed. It's permissible to do IVF today.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

JBF - I think there just aren't any babies up for grabs. Jewish couples would only adopt kosher children, and since there is a very low rate of giving-up for adoption in our society, infertile couples seemingly don't have any options.
It is heartbreaking because in the secular community there is always a second option for couples that can't have their own but want to raise a child from birth.

Mrs. Jude - Ahhh – ditto. A fetus tends to feast on my body with such appetite, they leave no life for me. For the first few months I'm grey and bony and from there I get pink and ploppy.

But the first cry of a newborn child…

Nothing – nothing – not a thing can come close to that.

Skeleton - Very informative.

As for Plan B – I see, you're right. Since Conservative Christian/Catholics are so stringent on abortion, and they're basically the ones behind the outcry, it would be assumed that the morning after is also an abortion. Although it does prevent 'already fertilized eggs' from settling – which I would guess defines into "stopping a pregnancy" (abortion?).

Aha. Now I understand why regular birth control too is considered to some extent abortion.

The controversy does not evolve around Plan A versus Plan B, rather about making plan B available over the counter, which a typical birth control is not. The right-wing argument is that if B/C is not safe to be used OTC, three times the dose sure isn't. It's politics, more so than actual medical science.

Where can I read up on the inyen of Zereh L'Vtala. It seems to affect such a great part of our lives, while it makes no sense.

Thirty pages is what you call an overview?? I was really not cut out to kvech a bank. Will still read it though.

S.A.M. - Beeleeyoumee, I love bubbies like you! They promise not to do a thing, and then bend over double, pretending they did nothing…
Unlike JBF's assumption, there are Jewish adoptions. For instance you adopting me, hu?

So what exactly is the Zionism day? I remember something from school – vaguely. I'm a vepper, and that's causing trouble in observing my important holidays.

Anon 7:10 - " I tried that one and the little sods don't want to know anything about hasidim. They say it's only for morons." LMAO!!! I meant 'happier'. For me, the social pressure is the biggest problem I have with society. I'm happy with my life, so long as I don't have to abide to Groinim and Gretzel, Yenta and Devosha and the whole hook-nose society.

Anon 9:51 - You don't wear a nightgown? Why? Are you Jewish? How could a Jewish man past the bar mitzvah not sleep with a nightgown? Please don't tell me you're not wearing long gachas either. Gasp.

David - Hearing it from you --- I am pretty sure that you're an exceptional father. We've become guilty of being failures as parents if we say we want small families. Thanks.

Anon 8:47 - Welcome to the club!

Velvele - If there will be no running to rebbehs, there will be no rebbehs, and if there will be no rebbehs there will be no Chassidim, and if there will be no Chassidim, what's the world been created for, eh?
There's been a lot of discussion in the blogvelt about Rabbonim and Dayonim literally manipulating every aspect of our lives. If we want to shake from under their nails, we should start with abolishing the underwear shows.

Letz - Let's start here. What's permanent saris?

Mindy - It's interesting how much is allowed in the halachik aspect of infertility. People that hear about IVF are usually shocked that it's permissible.

Skeleton said...

Hasid_Letz - I'm pretty sure there is. When the pill for men will become medical reality, it will probably be assur on the grounds that it causes temporary sterility, even though it's non-surgical. See the document link I provided above for more information.

Mindy - From what I've read (you may be better informed, of course), there is an issue with the remaining sperm (when any remains). The way it's supposed to be dealt with is for the man to write a letter that if sperm is collected he will not pay/will no longer pay for its upkeep. It seems that this is an implicit way of telling the bank/hospital/clinic to dump it, but why not tell them this directly?

SS - I wasn't referring to the secular-world controversy surrounding Plan B. We all know that right-wing Christians are even 'frummer' than we are ;-) They do consider a zygote to be a "baby", whereas halachah doesn't, only from 40 days. So to them, even a morning-after pill which wouldn't allow a fertilized egg to embed is an "abortion". As for their general opposition to birth control - nobody ever said it was about health or medical science. They oppose it strictly on religious grounds. Try buying condoms in Vatican City. My question was rather why Plan B was forbidden across the board in Orthodox circles.

The Breslovers would gladly give you some literature on zera l'vatolo, but you'd be a fool to accept. Either you'll laugh yourself into oblivion, or it'll scare the living daylights out of you. Trust me, you want to steer clear of this subject.

Skeleton said...

Shpitz - "Saris" (or sirus, iirc) is sterilization. Sterilization (surgical) is halachically forbidden, for males and females, humans and animals. In a nutshell.

Anonymous said...

http://www.jewishsexuality.com/

Anonymous said...

Skelet 10:46pm: If so, could you please explain what Even HuEzer 5:12 is talking about, 'a woman may drink a rememdy to render herself infertile' - and the distinction the Bays Shmiel makes between a woman and and an animal in this respect?

Spitz: You said this was all Spanish (except for the Chasam Soifer bit). Well Rabbi Caro was Spanish, but what's the problem?

Skeleton said...

anonymous - You're preaching to the choir.

The Mechaber may have been born in Spain, but hardly lived there, living mostly around Greece and EY.

mindy said...

skeleton, i've never heard such a thing - and we got a heter for iui/ ivf from a chasidishe willy dayan!

hasid_letz said...

Despite your certainty about it, I stand by my previous comment: sirus by definition is permanent sterilization. When halacha is silent on something, the default p'sak is that it is permitted. I'm not particularly fond of Rabbis who, due to a surplus of time, invent sheilos and problems for us laymen.

frumhouse said...

Great post! Please - as if going to a function for couples going through infertility is the "only thing" that would make Shpitzle grateful for her children! I think not.

As one who still suffers from physical/medical issues from her last pregnancy - I understand where you are coming from. I love my kids, but if Mr. Frumhouse even hints at another baby, I give him "the look." I know my limits.

Frumcouple said...

Hi Shpitz, it's been a while since I've written. I have alot to write on this topic, but the time isn't right now. However on one thing I'll comment. Those who ssuffer because the husband didn't go to the dayan to ask for a heter? good for the suffering! Why can't you call the dayan yourself? ( I don't know in what community you live in, but by us in Brooklyn I speak to a Dayan all the time, I'm chasiddish and so is the dayan)

Anonymous said...

another point to ponder. I've seen the ones who took "breaks" have so much trouble when they decided they did want another baby. I've been through that myself and am feeling terribly guilty. I had my first three quickly. Didnt want the fourth that quickly. so many health problems came up after that "break" including one pregnancy loss at 34 weeks that almost cost my life. It seems like a plan from above. You don't get to choose. take what is given from above, but what we do need is SUPPORT! Support from husbands. Support as in PHYSICAL HELP! Take my baby for the night. I want an uninterrupted night of sleep. Cook dinner for me. Take my kids for a few hours so I can sit and read a book. I can go on and on. The thing I would have loved too, that first year after marriage, baby-free. Enjoying couplehood. Most young couples who have their first don't even know how to love them! I didn't. Too young.