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Sep 22 2014

When Having That Huge Orthodox Family is Too Overwhelming

By at 11:13 am


I only have one sibling, a brother, four-and-a-half years younger than me. The world of massive families and children born less than two years apart was so foreign to me that I didn’t even know it existed (this was before the days of the Duggars’ show). I don’t remember knowing anyone from a family with more than three children.

And yet, here I am, with children aged 5, 3 and 2, and expecting our fourth, God willing, around Thanksgiving. How did that happen? It all started when I began to become observant, shortly after college. Well, the having babies part didn’t start just then, but that’s when the idea of having a large family took root.

Many of the families I was close to on my journey to becoming Orthodox had at least five kids. Some had eight or 12. I was completely enamored with the idea of having a large family. There was so much that appealed to me, like how the older ones helped with the younger ones, how sharing was not just a value to be taught, but a reality of life with many other siblings, how there were built-in playmates, and always some action in the house. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 5 2013

Birth Control for the Over 40 Set?

By at 5:03 pm


This is ridiculous. I am almost 42 years old and I am having a birth control dilemma. How did THAT happen?!

I got pregnant with my son almost four years ago by batting my eyelashes at my fiancé. Fertile myrtle, right? Not so much.

Secondary infertility set in, and after there were hormones injected into my rump, more dildo-cams than I care to recall, and a two-year stretch of nothing but miscarriages, I got knocked up again. With twins.

I will always wonder if the twins came naturally or from the fertility drug refill that I self-administered, not under a doctor’s care, at half the dose. Some twins do run in my family and AMA (advanced maternal age) also increases the occurrence of twins, so who the hell knows? Or maybe it happened because when I was 10 or so I said I wanted a boy and then twin girls. Cover and simmer for 30 some-odd-years and VOILA, made to order! Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 28 2013

News Roundup: Bluetooth Onesies & Birth Control Sabatoge

By at 2:25 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

- This short video provides a succinct roundup of some of the most intense baby-monitoring technology out there, from apps and cameras to bluetooth onesies and motorized strollers. Spoiler alert: most of it probably isn’t worth buying. (BBC News)

– Dads get credit for being great parents when they’re really just doing the basics–further proof that expectations for dads are appallingly low. (The Atlantic)

– Stay-at-home-dads are using tech and DIY skills to bring a sense of masculinity, the way that women in the workplace have brought listening and empathy to office culture. Um, okay. (Wall Street Journal)

– OB/GYNs are being trained to look for signs that a male partner is intimidating a female partner into getting pregnant when she doesn’t want to be, and/or sabotaging birth control efforts–a surprisingly prevalent problem. (NPR)

Jun 4 2012

A Jewish Response to Abortion

By at 3:49 pm

roe vs. wade protests abortionLast week, contributing editor Sarah Tuttle-Singer told the story of her Jewish-funded abortion in college. The following post is in response:

I was attending an all women, progressive college during the time when abortion became legal in the United States. I vividly remember discussing the issue with my friends and with the medical student I was dating the year of Roe v. Wade. Many of us were former yeshiva students and we struggled over Judaism’s teachings about the reverence for life and the Orthodox disapproval of birth control and how to reconcile that with the real-life, practical situations that we knew existed. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 23 2012

Searching for Birth Control in the Holy Land

By at 1:34 pm

gynecologist chair with stirrups

Israeli gynecologist, how I loathe thee.

They say pregnancy is not contagious, but with baby fever over here at Kveller, I’m getting nervous. It’s one thing to pee on a stick and see a big old plus sign when you want to be pregnant, and quite another thing when you’re bobbing and weaving through the land mines of a divorce in a foreign country.

Look, let me give it to you straight up: If I’m going to lecture my daughter some day in the faaaaar distant future about the importance of birth control, then it’s important to practice what I preach–especially since there is no Israeli version of the Maury Povich show. (Yet.)

So, in order to stave off more excitement in my life, off I went to the OBGYN. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 19 2012

What Does Judaism Think About Birth Control?

By at 8:13 am

birth control pillsBirth control is all over the news these days, from people suggesting that aspirin between the legs is a good solution, to Republican presidential candidates falling all over themselves to say how much they hate it when ladies get the option to choose whether or not they want to get knocked up. All this despite the fact that according to the CDC, 99% of American women use birth control at some point in their lives.

It’s clear that the Christian right is entering an anti-birth control stage, but what about Judaism? What does Jewish law say about taking some time off from baby-making, and what do Jewish ladies do when it comes to family planning? Read the rest of this entry →


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