The invention of ‘the pill’ gifted women with the ability to reliably prevent pregnancy and provide for themselves and their families by enabling them to sustain a stable career. While the historical and societal significance of oral contraception need not be underestimated, the potential negative impact on women deserves scrutiny. These side effects are universal, but specific aspects are even more challenging for Orthodox brides and their spouses. From my experience as a kallah teacher, I have seen the pill cause women to fall into depression, suffer from anxiety, turn into crying, moody messes during an already stressful time in their life, suffer from hormonally caused sexual pain, and try and grapple with the myriad changes they encounter on their path to marriage and intimacy while feeling emotionally compromised. The havoc created by oral contraception deeply impacts both members of the couple. [Read more…]
I was 14. I woke up one Shabbat morning doubled over in excruciating pain. My mother rushed to a local doctor who advised calling an ambulance. I was taken to the local hospital and operated on that night.
I had an imperforate hymen; a congenital disorder where a hymen without an opening, obstructs the vagina. I was 1 in 1000 or 1 in 10,000 females, depends whom you ask. It’s not so great to be special. When I came around after surgery, the doctor handed my care over to the nursing staff saying: oh, don’t worry, you’re still a virgin. About eight years later I wished I could go back to that day and, shake her. Take it all out! Remove the darned thing. [Read more…]
The concern all started with an Eilat trip. I was on my period and about to go there for a few days with my friends, and being that I never mustered up the courage to learn how to properly put in a tampon (it hurt once when I was 11 and then again at 13 and I gave up trying), this was the perfect opportunity to try. It also helped that I was dating my soon-to-be husband at the time and knew that getting a tampon in was probably a necessary first step before marriage.
I had four friends coaching me at different times, each one stepping up to the plate after the previous one had failed, and all with claims that they were able to teach even the most scared girl in their bunk at camp. I guess I was even more of a scaredy-cat because it did not work. At all. And that’s when I had an inkling that maybe something was wrong. Maybe it was more than just the fear of sticking an unknown white thing into my body. Because I knew the right angles, knew the best positions to stand in, and really, truly tried to get it in. But it hurt. Really hurt. [Read more…]
What does losing weight mean to you?
All my life it meant getting rid of the grotesque fat and revealing a beautiful woman who could wear whatever she desired.
I don’t feel this way anymore!
Today, losing weight means so much more to me. To me it’s about getting healthier and stronger and shredding the emotional, not just physical weight that has been weighing me down. Much of my weight was connected to the increased stress that I created for myself and that I endured.
I was tending to my garden today and thinking how bad I feel for neglecting it for so long. Many of the plants were in serious need of immediate care as the leaves were dying and flowers were unable to bloom. The cold winter weather sometimes brings me down and I just don’t have it in me to take care of the garden in the way it really needs.
Pruning plants, clearing away dead leaves and aerating the soil feels all too hard when the rain is beating down and it’s so cold outside. It’s also hard to feel motivated to clear away dead leaves day after day, when you know tomorrow a freshly fallen batch will effortlessly re-appear…only requiring me to do the same thing all over again.