My Journey through Infertility by Anonymous (Chanukah Semifinalist #4)

My Journey through Infertility by Anonymous (Chanukah Semifinalist #4)

As a teenager, I visited a wide array of medical offices for consultation regarding irregular menstruation. I could go months, half a year, or more without menstruating.

My super caring mother made it her mission to find the best medical advice. I endured all sorts of procedures but nobody found anything “wrong.” Instead, I was told to gain more weight, as I’m naturally on the petite side, by eating nuts and avocados. This wasn’t exactly the answer I was looking for! No matter what I ate, gaining weight didn’t do a thing to bring on those monthly cramps. It’s amazing how I was working so hard to bring on the bloody mess and the monthly pain that others girls I knew wished they could do without.

At age 18, I found myself sitting behind the desk of some top hormone specialist in a Manhattan skyscraper next to my mom who decided to pay top bucks for this brief visit. Turns out, that was the doctor who gave me the diagnosis that stuck. I went home in a whirlwind, having thoughts of needing to adopt kids one day, but I tried really hard to be more hopeful and pray. The doctor had said that I’d probably need to do a simple fertility treatment when the time came to have kids. The words “simple” and “fertility treatment” didn’t settle down right in my brain. But I tried to push it out of my mind, as I was still young and not up to the stage of marriage or childrearing.

A few years later I was sitting in a pizza store on Yafo Street in Jerusalem sitting opposite the guy that would months later be my husband. We were serious so I knew the time had come to share. I told him and to my relief his faith shined through. “It’s fine, with Hashem’s help it’ll be okay”.

After the chuppah and our first year together, the kids did not come. We went to seek assistance and found ourselves sitting behind the desk of a fertility specialist in one of Jerusalem’s top hospitals. We were apprehensive, while hoping these struggles to become pregnant would become thing of the past. The ironic words “simple” and fertility treatment” came floating back into my head as I thought I would need a doctorate to make sense of the doctor’s instructions. Thank G-d my husband followed better than I did.

We did treatment #1 but the results came back negative. That was hard. Really hard.

My heart and brain split. My heart told me, DAVEN! HAVE EMUNAH! My brain told me couples do these treatments for endless years and they only get more invasive and more complex.

After taking a few months off we repeated the treatment. FAILED AGAIN.

I hit rock bottom and tears became my pastime. DAVEN, DAVEN , DAVEN.

What made it harder was my social environment. In essence, I had none. Being social meant encountering friends who were getting pregnant with ease. The big bellies, the conversations, the joys of motherhood. It hurt too much so I took a step back and hibernated a bit. Not an easy path for a newly-wed English-speaker in an all Israeli yeshiva environment. The strollers were rampant, and kids were everywhere. I gravitated to single friends and those past menopause.

I was in the darkness searching for the light. The hardest part of primary infertility is not knowing when that ray of light will finally shine through your front door.

We switched doctors, and went for a consultation. He recommended a treatment that made me cower in fear. I hated needles and had no inner power to insert one into my own flesh. But the will to make this work led to a long journey of overcoming my fears. Day after day my hero of a husband would sit next to me saying “Come on, you can do it” and the hero inside of me would shove that needle into my skin. As a health-conscious individual, I never allowed myself to indulge in so many ice cream bars as I did then. Even if I didn’t want, my husband would still make sure to have one waiting for me after each injection.

Exhaustion was an understatement. The needles almost seemed the least of it. As we didn’t live in an area with an ultrasound machine, we had to travel at the wee hours of the morning to be monitored almost daily, only to rush to work and then do it all again. I say “we”, to emphasize how much my husband was with me every step of the way. Hashem sent me the best partner in life.

After a long drawn out treatment, the light burst through our front door. I still remember the phone call so clearly, the words “You’re pregnant,” the flow of joyful tears and reciting Hallel with my husband. It’s really difficult to express such an emotion, but the best possible way to relate to it is seeing a candle light up the darkness.

On Chanukah, we add light during the darkest time of year. We say Hallel and thank Hashem for the miracles.

Hashem already lit us a second candle as we’ve been blessed again with a second pregnancy.

Our eldest daughter’s soul burns so brightly that even the most trying times in raising her are wiped out by the strongest light of thanks and gratitude for her life.

May all those couples waiting for their salvation remain heroes during the darkest of times and merit to bring holy lights into existence.

Chanukah Sameach.

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2 comments

  1. Rachel Steiner

    Oh that’s really a wonderful story, Thank G-d.

  2. May her light continue to shine for you and all of us! Much nachas from her and all others that Hashem bless you with.

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