Some Reflections on Infertility

Want to be a happier, more inspired mom? Click to join the JewishMom.com Weekly Mailing List!

Yesterday I ran into an old friend who has devoted a huge chunk of her time and emotional energy over the past few years to fertility treatments. As we were speaking about the physical and emotional toll of these treatments and infertility in general, as well as what she has learned from this killer of a nisayon (challenge), I had two thoughts that I wanted to share with you.

  1. Thought #1:

Did you ever notice that the people faced with infertility are, in general, superior human beings? This specific woman I spoke with is an exceptionally gentle, good, shining, modest, G-d-focused, and personal-growth focused type of person. The kind of person who is genuinely happy when her neighbor gives birth to her ninth child, and knits her a pink and yellow baby blanket.

But the truth is that MOST of the people I know who struggle with or have struggled with infertility are exceptional in their goodness. Maybe this is because G-d only gives us what we can handle, and if you have received this huge of a challenge, it says something about the strong and amazing person that G-d thinks you are, and the even stronger and more amazing person G-d believes you can become?

2. Thought #2:

Our Matriarchs were infertile. And because they yearned and yearned and yearned for years and years and years to bear children, they became and also raised the greatest leaders and spiritual guides that the Jewish people has ever known.

Looking around my community today, if I had to call anybody a Woman of Valor, my gut instinct would be to choose my friend who spent five years as the single mother of 14 kids, or the Mohel’s dignified wife with 9, or Malka, the kind-hearted mother of a family of Karliner Chassidim, with 10.

And it is true. These women manage so much, and are very inspiring people, and are really incredibly impressive.

But if we are looking not only for a Woman of Valour, but for a true Modern Matriarch, the woman who has the greatest potential to become and also raise a child who will bring a great light to the Jewish people, the Torah suggests that my neighbor who spent eight years doing fertility treatments, and getting blessings from Rabbis, and crying her eyes out, and is now the mom of a single eleven-year-old son is the real modern day Sarah Imenu.

Some food for thought for you (and me)…

Related posts:

A Great Idea! A Postpartum Doula!
The 4 Levels of Mothering Happiness
The Terrorist's Mother

4 comments

  1. Please continue this fabulous story and send me lots of emails with information

  2. Number two is the kind of thing that leads adolescents to ask: If G-d only punishes good people, why not be a bad person?
    As an educator, I think that this is a problem that needs to be addressed. When someone sees a superior person suffering, while at first it is impressive that they are such an amazing person, after a bit of thought the onlooker says, “I don’t want to be like him/her. I better make sure not to be too good of a person.”
    (And then *we* have to deal with the questions . . .)

    In other words: Bad message.

  3. This is an old post but I just had to comment: it’s not a bad message!! It’s a great message. If you are serious about spiritual growth one of the very first questions that come up is often why the righteous suffer. You can’t teach your children Torah if you have the need to pretend that only bad people suffer. Otherwise how do you explain what happen to the Avot and Imahot? Being denied something fundamental like health or spouse or children pushes a person to connect to Hashem and can reveal immense internal greatness (no wonder like you said many women suffering infertility are such glowing examples of this). It can the greatest gift. Our children would benefit greatly from learning this truth: life is not meant to be easy but the challenges we all get are meaningful. It’s the not understanding of this that pushes adolescent off being frum when the inevitable life challenges happen.

Leave a Reply