Sunday, April 29, 2007

Niddah During Pregnancy REVERSED!

After the last post, a man named Moshe wrote me this comment to my last post. B'kitzur, my 9-month pregnant wife had a medical exam, and during the exam, she was cut down in her area by the doctor. She felt pain when it happened, and later found blood on the toilet paper when she urinated.

That night as soon as it happened, I called the town Rabbi and told him the details, and he told me there was a presumption that since the blood came from that area, she is Niddah. However, after Moshe's comment which came to me by e-mail on Friday right before Shabbos, I went back to the Rabbi with his letter.

After hearing what we had to say (me and the letter), the Rabbi and I went back and forth asking and answering questions about the size of the stain of blood, the color, etc. After mentioning that she felt the pain when the cut happened, he exclaimed, "She felt pain when she was cut??? That changes the whole situation!!" Apparently I left this small detail out in our previous conversations.

A few minutes later, the Rabbi called me up and told me that the fact that she felt pain changed the whole situation. That, on top of the fact that she is pregnant and is not supposed to have a period -- AND the fact that the stain was NOT on a white cloth, but on a piece of toilet paper -- AND the fact that she didn't stick the toilet paper inside which would have created a question of whether the toilet paper was a bedika -- but rather, she just dabbed the toilet paper on the surface -- the presumption of Niddah had been broken and we had created enough coolas [doubts] by all these factors combined to safely say that my wife was not a Niddah.

This story alone is enough to justify to anyone why blogging is valuable to me and to my marriage. Sometimes I just don't know the answers and by having you review my stories and my issues when they arise, your objective opinions have helped find a valuable solution. This has happened over and over during the course of the past few years. In this case, it helped break a presumption of something as serious as Niddah.

Had Moshe not written that letter to me through his comment on my blog, my wife and I would have counted five days, after the fifth day, she would have done a hefsek tahara, and she would have had to check herself with a bedika cloth [a cloth used to check for blood] for seven clean days before she would have immersed in a mikveh. All this would have had to been done before I would have been allowed to have any physical contact - even a touch on the shoulder - with her.

Also, the difficult thing was that since the baby is so close to being due, chances are that by the time this whole Tahara [purity] cleansing process would have been finished, my wife would have already have gone into labor, and having a baby makes the wife Niddah for a six-week period before she goes to the mikveh. So if you add six-weeks to the two-weeks (give or take) it would have taken to make her Tahara again, that would have been a long time that I couldn't touch or have any physical contact with my wife. Thank you Moshe.

On a mystical side note, my rabbi mentioned that it is a Segula [a sort of mystical blessing that is brought down by a particular physical action done during a particular time] for pregnant women to go to the mikveh. When they do this, they bring down blessings for the other women going to the mikveh after them to have a child. So with this occurance, my Rabbi told me that my wife should go to the mikveh [and jokingly added "a few times"] so that she could help other women have children from this potential disaster. My wife heard this and said that she would be willing to do this, especially the night she would have gone to the mikveh had she been a Niddah, because perhaps there is a woman who would have gone afterwards that was having trouble having a child.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Niddah During Pregnancy from Medical Checkup

Okay, onto the exciting part of the evening.

My wife is expecting our first child next month, which means that she is in her 9th month of our pregnancy.

Tonight her doctor did a test to see whether she ever had strep throat, because if she did, she might pass that to the baby during labor and birth which could be dangerous to the baby.

However, when she was doing the procedure, my wife felt a bit of pressure because the doctor cut my wife inside her vaginal area. Later, my wife was urinating, and after checking the toilet paper, she saw blood. "Houston, we have a problem," she said.
Normally, religious women who are in a Tahara [ritual purity] state don't look at what comes out of them from that area because if it is blood, then she might be in a state of Niddah [ritual impurity]. The presumption is that if blood comes from the vagina, then regardless of whether it came from the vaginal walls or the uterus, she is Niddah. Pregnant women as a general rule do not get their period, therefore they do not enter the state of Niddah. However, after my wife bled from her cut, the situation was different.
We called the local rabbi and my mashpia, and after a few phone calls, my wife and I understood the situation: she is now 9 months pregnant and is in a state of Niddah. So now we have to wait 5 days, and then she does a Hefsek Tahara, where she begins counting 7 clean days using a bedika cloth. After counting 7 clean days, she goes to the mikveh [ritual bath]... or by then the delivery room.

The interesting thing about the timing of this is that the laws of family purity (Taharas HaMishpacha) help a couple bond and become closer through their physical distance from each other. By not being permitted to sleep in the same bed, to cuddle, or even to be intimate, the couple becomes sensitized to each other and as a result, they become closer. By not being able to touch, when they are allowed to touch again, the feelings get heightened and more exciting.

Our situation is that my wife got pregnant immediately after our wedding, so after our first time being separated after the wedding, we never had to count days of cleanliness, and we never had to separate for purposes of Taharas HaMishpacha more than once. Thus, intimacy became the norm and being able to touch each other whenever we wanted lost some of it's forbidden pleasure. Thank G-d now, right before the baby is born when my wife will have entered a Niddah state upon the baby's birth and we will have had to be separate for six weeks, after she goes through this cycle of becoming Tahara, we will IY"H have around a week and a half to be together physically before she gives birth to our first child.

A "Document Review" Paycheck

It has been almost a month since my last post because my life has been pretty ordinary until tonight. My days have been spent contacting patent law firms and intellectual property law firms across the United States with emphasis in the Colorado, New York, New Jersey, District of Columbia, and Minnesota states.

Additionally, I have been putting in around 12 hours daily posting my resume to job sites and e-mailing recruiters and networking.

Last week for the first time, I had a quick 25 hour job at a document review firm in Denver where I had the chance to sit in front of the computer and review documents for a second request from the Department of Justice. Basically, that entailed looking through thousands of documents and checking ["tagging"] them as to whether or not they apply to the case at hand.

This is my life. The jist of it is that since my wife will be losing most (75%) of her paycheck in a few weeks because she is going to be having our first child and going on maternity leave, I feel that the quickest way to replace her income is through these temporary document review recruiters. Unfortunately, while a patent attorney makes close to six figures, I have an interview on Tuesday to meet with a recruiter about a document review project in another state (a 1.5 hour drive, plus traffic) which pays $25/hr. This amounts to roughly $1000/wk working 40 hours per week which will be slightly higher than what my wife is currently making. The tough thing to grasp is that the average document review project pays between $35/hr to $40/hr. At least this will be a paycheck.