My Miracle Pregnancy: A Mother’s Tears by Rachel and Gavriel Horan

My Miracle Pregnancy: A Mother’s Tears by Rachel and Gavriel Horan

Here is today’s amazing JewishMOM miracle for the JewishMOM.com Chanukah Miracle Festival. After Chanukah, you will have a chance to vote for your favorite miracle, and the winner will receive a grand prize of $100! Happy Chanukah, JewishMOMs!
I couldn’t stop crying the entire cab ride home from the doctor. I continued bawling in line at the pizza place (no one was going to cook dinner that night), on the walk home, and in the privacy of my own bed for hours

It started out as a routine visit to the OB/GYN. We had only been married for less than a year, but I was already anxious.

There was nothing I wanted more in life besides children. Despite the fact that everyone told us not to worry until at least three years, I wanted to go to a doctor just to make sure everything was okay. After watching so many of my friends start having children, I started to wonder when it would be my turn and I decided to have a routine checkup just to make sure everything was normal.

In some ways I had good reason to be nervous. A few years early, a prominent doctor, one of the heads of endocrinology at Hebrew University, had diagnosed me as possibly having PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome—an umbrella term for numerous symptoms that may create complications in conceiving children naturally. My hormone levels were slightly unusual and I had a few signs that things might not be normal. The doctor put me on a special sugar free, low carb diet that he hoped would eliminate the problem.

So there I was at the doctor, with my husband, hoping that it would be a routine visit. The doctor took a look at my records in the computer and insensitively started to rattle off dozens of things that could possibly be wrong with me. Short of telling us to consider adoption, he made it clear in no uncertain terms that we may have a very difficult time having children–if ever.

I sat in my seat shaking, trying hard to hold back the tears until we managed to run out of his office.

The doctor may have graduated medical school, but he never studied the principles of how to be a mensch.

We actually went to him in the first place because we thought he was the son of a well-known doctor I had heard of back home in the States. It turned out that there was no relation and when we asked, the doctor told us that his father was a carpenter. I couldn’t help thinking afterwards that perhaps he should have followed in his fathers footsteps.

For the next few days, I moped around the house in a melancholy daze. My heart was broken. It was as if I were sitting shiva for the children I would never have.

I continued to periodically burst into tears throughout the week. We obviously wasted no time setting up another appointment with a more reputable doctor to go for a second opinion, but in the meantime I was inconsolable.

That coming Shabbos was parshat Toldot–literally offspring. The parsha tells the story of how Yitzchak and Rivka, who were unable to conceive for twenty years, prayed together and were blessed with children. The Torah says that Yitzchak prayed opposite his wife. One of the explanations of the word opposite here is that Yitzchak entreated Hashem on Rivka’s behalf. Another is that they stood on opposite corners of the room while praying.

That Friday night my husband decided to try something crazy. “Let’s pray together,” he suggested. “Like Yitzchak and Rivka did.”

I looked at him incredulously, but in the end I decided to humor him. We stood on opposite sides of the room and sincerely begged the Creator of the universe for children from the depths of our hearts.

I prayed that Hashem should have mercy on us and ease our suffering. I don’t know if Jewish couples throughout time have taken the Torah’s account as practical advice. It might have looked silly, but I figured it couldn’t hurt. Desperate times called for desperate measures. In the end I even thanked my husband for the suggestion.

Our visit to the new doctor was quite the opposite experience from the first one—he was a genuine mensch! We were taken aback by his relaxed, personable manner as well as his strong faith. The doctor was a native Israeli who had studied medicine in America.

After examining my records, this doctor concluded that I was totally normal and that we had absolutely nothing to worry about. “There are so many factors that have to line up in order to conceive,” he explained “that the probability of anyone ever getting pregnant is virtually zero. Yet it happens everyday. It is an open miracle.” He told us not to worry, to pray, and to wait patiently.

“It will happen when the time is right,” he said.

I squeaked out one last plea of desperation as we were leaving his office. “Could it be that I’m pregnant now?” I asked meekly. The doctor and my husband exchanged a look of pity with each other. “Look, anything’s possible,” he said trying to console me. “But try not to get your hopes up.”

A month later, on Chanukah—our first anniversary–we found out that I was expecting! And nine months after we had davened together I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby boy.

Aaron Yitzchak, the miracle child


Looking back, in retrospect we learned a couple of very essential lessons about life. First and foremost, we learned that every struggle, no matter how challenging, is only there to bring us closer to Hashem.

Sometimes we hit hardships in life just to get us to turn to the only One who can help. A tragedy or setback can be the impetus we need to get us to turn our lives around and to reach out to God from the depths of our hearts.

If we had never visited that insensitive doctor, we may never have turned to the right address. There is no end to how much a mother’s tears can achieve.

Secondly, we learned that one should always check out a new doctor before making an appointment. Then again, maybe not. . . .

The Horan family (photo courtesy of Penina Rosenthal)


My husband and I live in Ramat Bet Shemesh. I’m from Edison, NJ and I am employed as a full-time Mom and a part-time administrative assistant for Rabbi Aryeh Nivin’s Personal Development Chaburas.

My husband’s from Manhattan and is a freelance Writer.

We are grateful for this opportunity to share the amazing miracle that happened to us and to be able to thank Hashem publicly for this and all the other miracles He performs for us daily!

Related posts:

Avraham Fried at Torah Dedication for Fogel Family
The Role Model I Never Met (12-Minute Mommy Peptalk)
The Choice I Make Many Times a Day

10 comments

  1. Beautiful story!! Thank you for sharing, thank you for giving hope to someone in a similar situation. Is there any way that you could give me the name of the (second, of course) Doctor that was so helpful? I’m in such desparate need of one like him.

    Blessings and all the best to you and your family!

  2. What hizzuk you have.given me…yshar coach and I love that you gave him the name yitzhak…how meaningful! And gracious of you…much nachas and health! Enjoy the fruit of your labor!

  3. Rachel! I’ve been wondering what you were up to. Great to hear your story. Please be in touch.

  4. This reminds me of my story, in that it is another case of a huge nisayon that was made to suddenly disappear as if it had never existed, right before your eyes, as soon as you rose to the challenge and raised your voice in tefilla. Incredible and beautifully written.

    Some doctors really would have made better carpenters…..

  5. Baruch Hashem! I’m in the chabura — nice to ‘meet’ you. I have a friend who could really use your article now…

  6. Les and Abby

    Beautiful story.
    And a beautiful photo of your family.
    We love you.

  7. Gorgeous family 🙂
    Modern medicine can never match the power of TaNaK, implemented by people ready to see the Natural Miracles it teaches.

  8. This so reminds me of the story of the Ba’al SHem Tov where he takes the Chasidim on a journey to a poor man’s home and in front of their completely astonished and confused eyes literally eats the poor man and his wife out of house and home– showing no consideration whatsoever for their well-being, all to get the man to fall on his knees and davenn to HaShem for parnassa, which then comes in plenty, because the man finally really prayed for it.
    What an amazing role this uncaring doctor played in your lives!

  9. Thanks for all the sweet feedback. May we all ONLY share simchas!!!

Leave a Reply