Thursday, October 05, 2006

Rough Spots

This week was a bit tough. I didn't feel so great. Lots of tired and puking. I had to take stock and scale back on all of the few extra-work commitments I had left. Didn't feel good about that, not easy.


Yom Kippur was not bad. I started it with a personal "tashlich" trip to the beach. I didn't have much time because we moved the clock back in Israel and my day raced by. That was OK though, I didn't have enough energy for a walk and quiet contemplative moment. Instead I walked into the sea getting the bottoms of my capri sweats rather wet and wishing I'd been smart enough to wear a bathing suit. The water was perfect. I sat in the sand. Or rather, sort of lay in it on my left side (the only comfortable position now). The sky was full of bible-illustration clouds. You know, the kind that filter the sun through in impossibly beautiful rays.

I tried to think about sin and forgiveness and the main thought that popped into mind was:

Sure, I can be forgiven. Until recently, it was too hot. And there was the war. But now there's no excuse.

The streets were empty on my way home. Rather than perceiving that as a relaxing, spiritual thing, it reminded me of the war and freaked me out a bit. I was glad to get home, shower quickly, and dress to go out for Kol Nidre.

During the next day, it was a little strange - but essential - to eat. To mark the difference I refrained from some favorite foods (coffee, cake) until after the holiday and didn't cook anything. Not using the computer was challenge and difference enough! I spent the morning resting and reading my journal per my annual tradition. Adi was home studying, not to be disturbed!
At 3:00 in the afternoon I waddled slowly to the Moriah shul (Conservative) for mincha. I was amazed at how few people were there. I took a seat towards the back of the "real" chairs (before the plastic filler seats began). Little did I know that of the many empty seats I'd inadvertently snagged the chair of Haifa's American Consul. D'oh! He was up at the bima to read the book of Jonah. I hope he wasn't too miffed.

The book of Jonah is pretty funny, in a "Humor in the Bible" sort of way. Not ha ha funny. But there's something absurd going on there... the fish, the whole gourd thing (which my Art Scroll machzor said the "kikayon" might not be a gourd but in fact a shady covering - makes more sense to me), and then the ending where G-d says "Yeah, I saved 'em, those people who don't know their right hand from their left, and also so many cattle." Hm. Like the cattle were sinning? The cattle also fast and don sackcloth.

Anyway services were nice. I've come to the conclusion that try as I might, there's no getting over the fact that I prefer mixed seating to mehitza situations, no matter how "egalitarian" they try to be. I think for me it's less a question of feeling miffed by the separation as it is a matter of what's familar. I also find the mixed seating davka less distracting that separate seating. With a balcony or barrier, I'm always curious to see what's going on "over there".
So that was good. And having familiar tunes (sung by many congregants with a lingering American Asheknazi accents) was also comforting.

The young rabbi pissed some people off by sneaking maariv in before the shofar blowing. He did a cool thing though: all the kids were invited upstairs where they were given light sticks. Meanwhile, he turned off ALL the lights. It was pitch dark. The kids came down with their light sticks and he did the declarations ("Hashem OOH Aaa-elokim!" in his South American accent. When the cong. responded with "Hashem HOO HA-elokim" it soudned almost like we were correcting him) ;-) and the shofar blowing all total darkness through havdalah! It was very very tribal. I dug it.

Break Fast

Friends came over for break fast at my house. Some of them unexpectedly early, surprising Adi in his study state while I was still at shul. Not cool. Nice in the end though. I served an apple cake I made before the chag and threw some frozen burkeas in the oven.
One-year-old Almog was a hit with everyone and offered Adi a nice opportunity to talk practicalities with her father.
"This will have to go," he told me of a standing wine bottle\wine glass rack. "But we have about six months before she starts crawling around." Pretty neat.

Back to work/Puking

Tuesday morning I puked when I was about to go to work so I stayed home to work so I could freely puke more if I had to. Work n' puke.
Wednesday was my normal telecommuting day plus I had a checkup at "Tipat Chalav" so I was home again for convenient puking. I felt really pukey. It didn't help that the nurse at Tipat Chalav was surprised when I told her that I'm puking again. She actually got up to check with a colleague, while I sat there thinking, "Duh. I KNOW this can be normal. Not fun, but normal."
And it's not as bad as it could be. I did have a pleasant break from puking during my 2nd trimester. And it's not EVERY day now. And I don't feel constant nausea, just a few dizzy moments before I have to puke. I can eat and drink in between, so I'm not afraid of any real dangers. It's just annoying. And tiring.
My glucose results were good. That means no gestiational diabetes, phew! But my hemoglobin was a little low. Ask your doctor, she said.
Adi interpreted that piece of information as an order to eat meat. I was not thrilled about his conclusion but reluctantly agreed to eat a shnitzel for lunch after bursting into tears.
Since, I've learned that the iron pills I've been taking should be enough. So the test could have been off. I will clarify next week with the doctor when I see him. And I will have a leeetle less faith in the Tipat Chalav nurse.
Hormones have been shifting my mood all over the place.


A close friend of mine is pregnant and has been struggling with the decision to terminate the pregnancy. Ironically, just a few weeks ago, her gyn told her that due to ovarian cysts, it was unlikely she could conceive without chemical intervention. Meanwhile, she already waspregnant! Idiot doctor.
I am totally pro-choice but I'm oddly disturbed by her decision. Maybe it's my hormones. Or it could be a selfish desire for all my friends to have kids the same age and to go through this pregnancy thing with me. Or it could be some maternal instinct. Or concern for her that she may regret it later.
I'm trying to be supportive. She's not me. Her boyfriend is not Adi. And they're not married. It's not an easy call for them either way.
It got me thinking about how very, very lucky I am that I never got pregnant when I didn't want to. And that I did get pregnant when I did want to. Neither of these are things that any woman can take for granted. There should be a special blessing for this. And we should all have the right to choose when we want to be (or stay) pregnant.

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