Monday, January 18, 2010

What a difference a decade makes

I had gum surgery in 2000. I remember it as vaguely unpleasant, mainly because the doctor gave me 10 mg of Valium and the actual surgery is a blank. But I don't remember the recovery as particularly difficult or painful.

Last Friday I had the same surgery, and same 10 mg of Valium. I remember more of the procedure -- what a difference 30 pounds make -- and after the novocaine wore off, I was in serious pain. The dentist gave me a prescription for a powerful NSAID, which did absolutely nothing. Fortunately I still had some Percocet from when I was hit by the car.

Three days later, and I'm still swollen and uncomfortable. It only hurts when I laugh -- or bump my cheek by accident. It hasn't been fun. I'm really glad I did this over a long weekend... I need the extra recovery time.

JV, of course, picked me up Friday afternoon and took care of me all weekend. We had some deep conversations. There's no way I'd be able to reconstruct them, but here's the gist:
  1. He pays a lot of money in child support, and on top of that has to buy everything his kids need because his ex spends the support on herself.

  2. Yeshiva tuition is expensive; he's paying for his two existing children, and if we had a child, we might not be able to afford to send her to yeshiva as well.

  3. If we have a child, he can't afford to have me be a stay-at-home mother. He will need my income.

  4. Allegedly, there is no way he can promise me we will have a daughter, no matter how much I want one.
The topic came up because of the risk of post-partum depression and my inability to continue working. However, thank goodness for short-term disability. I'd be able to access that and do a partial hospitalization program to recover from the depression. If all goes well. There's no guarantee I'll have post-partum depression -- I'm just at higher risk for it.

I showed JV a number of articles demonstrating the relatively low risk of using my psychiatric medications during pregnancy. Apparently folic acid mediates the risk lithium presents for heart formation defects, and in any event I can lower my dose before trying to get pregnant -- the first three months are when the risk of malformations is greatest. There's not a lot of information on Cymbalta, unfortunately, because it's such a new drug, but it doesn't seem to pose as high a risk as Paxil does, and I only tried Paxil briefly more than a decade ago.

After last week, though, I'm questioning whether I should have children. Yes, I realize that it's easier to have patience for your children than for substance abusers who act like children. But at the end of the day, I get to go home and rest and do nothing. Parents, at the end of the day, go home to another workload. I don't know if I'm capable of handling that. Especially since I can't afford to quit my job.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Maybe this is one of those things where you should just let life happen. I'm not saying don't plan, or don't think about it. I'm saying just let it be for now. You're rushing again.


    Feel better.


  2. remember, eventually kids graduate yeshiva- even if you got pregnant today, you would have like 7 years before your kid started first grade. Although after yeshiva tuition is college tuition...

  3. Remind me again what any of this has to do with marrying JV? Are you interviewing him for a job or trying to decide whether or not to get married? Sure its normal to discuss if you want children or not, and how many could you handle. But what you describe is more than that. Once you've decided whether or not you two could be happy for the rest of your lives together, and whether or not you want or can have children, then you get married. Then afterward, you start dealing with the nitty-gritty.

    Just my opinion.

  4. It does seem a little impersonal, I suppose. Because we're coming from such different lives, different experiences, we tend to have a lot of discussions like this. He wants me to have a realistic expectation of what marriage with him would be like. He wants a realistic sense of what being married to someone with my condition would entail. Of course, there's only so much we can discuss about it -- we'll never know for sure until we take the plunge.

  5. Actually while he can't PROMISE you the gender of an infant, certain doctors here in Israel, can seriously tilt the odds in which ever direction you prefer. It's all about when first intercourse happens with regard to ovulation (this can be timed) and/or the relative "acidity" of relevant fluids between the two partners (this can be played with). Straight out of the Talmud in fact.

  6. good to know, shmuelisms... I'll have to use those methods, if and when ;)

  7. lawyer for the Almighty1/19/2010 12:10 PM

    Want a daughter? There's always IVF too to stack the deck. And for the right amount of money you can have the egg of a tall blonde history major from an ivy league school. Or you could adopt. But don't forget to beleive in God. If you have children, and what gender they are is a gift from God. Whatever it is, its the best thing for all neshamos involved.