Women who are fortunate enough to receive their period naturally on a regular basis (anywhere between 28-35 days) have a clear visible sign that their bodies are “working normally”. They may not understand all the hormones involved nor all the biological terminology, but they usually feel confident and trust that their body is in-sync. Women who keep the laws of Family Purity (Taharat Hamishpacha) feel even more confident and connected to their body when they experience their cycle of bleeding, as they monitor, count and feel their way from month to month, from period to period. [Read more…]
These days, niddah and mikveh are not actually monthly for many people. In between pregnancy and breastfeeding, many women use birth control to regulate and delay their menstrual cycles. But struggling with infertility meant I was niddah A LOT. Not pregnant, not on birth control, not breastfeeding. For three years, niddah and mikveh were actually, truly, a monthly experience. At first, it was adding insult to injury – a bit of blood on toilet paper was the first harsh answer to the question “is this our month?” And then there were no hugs, no comforting squeeze of the hand, and no, um, “intimacy” to remind me that maybe there was at least a silver lining to not being pregnant.
Then we realized it was never going to be our month without some professional help. I thought that now that we knew that, it would be smooth sailing. But I quickly learned that first came the paperwork. For each pre-treatment test there were repeated calls to multiple numbers that never answered on the first try, attempting to track down the one person who could schedule the appointment. Then there would be three weeks to the next available slot, then waiting for results before you could schedule the follow-up test and start the whole process over. Every onat prisha, every day of the sheva nekiim was a painful reminder that yet another cycle was about to slip past. [Read more…]
So, do you know where your cervix is? Not the first question I expected to hear as I embarked on the journey of being fitted for a diaphragm.
I was actually shocked and somewhat embarrassed that I had no idea. Just turning 30 years old and being a year post-partum, I managed to have no idea where my cervix is. It was at this very minute that I realized that I have a long way to go before truly becoming intimate with my body and everything miraculous it can offer. [Read more…]
I am like many working women in Israel – I have two jobs. I am an environmentalist and a yoga teacher. Having read that, you probably think I am a vegetarian, tree-hugging, super calm person, who knows how to breathe through every situation, never shouts, lives off wheat-grass and eats only organic. Happily for me and my family, that is very far from the truth.
As a wife and working mother of 5, life is always busy and crazy. This is the common theme for most women in today’s modern society, running as fast as we can just to keep up, to be the perfect mother, wife, and professional, to live picture-perfect Facebook lives.
A few years ago, following a crazy year having returned from shlichut, dealing with a sick child and giving birth to child #5, I decided it was time to do something for myself and went to study to be an instructor for “Yoga for Pregnancy”. This led to another year of study to be an instructor for “Yoga Nashit”. This journey has been life-changing for me and I now have a responsibility to pass these life lessons on to other women.
So what is Yoga Nashit and how can it help you? [Read more…]
This piece was presented to mikveh attendants and rebbetzins at Atlanta’s Infertility Sensitivity Training run by the Jewish Fertility Foundation with the goal of helping them better empathize with women that come to immerse. This “empathy” exercise is one of many ways that The Eden Center helps is partnering to make the mikveh a more welcoming place for all women, with attendants that are well trained to serve women at all stages of life.
Imagine carefully preparing and then immersing in the mikveh, heading home feeling clean, renewed and hopeful. Imagine reuniting with your husband and praying that it will result in pregnancy. Imagine the disappointment you feel when you get your period and discover you are not pregnant. Imagine this- month after month after month for six months to a year. Imagine how much the pain and disappointment increase each month when you feel the menstrual blood trickling out, when you see the telltale stain on your underwear. Imagine how mikveh night becomes more and more fraught as your growing disappointment mingles with your waning hope. [Read more…]