To My Sister in Waiting from Anonymous

To My Sister in Waiting from Anonymous

Dear Sister-in-waiting,

I can relate to SO many things you said.

I, too, have one child, and am waiting to be blessed with more.

My diagnosis is somewhat different. The doctors have deemed my situation as hopeless, that I will never have another child.

Yet they couldn’t explain how I had my first child with exactly the same circumstances…

For us who believe in Hashem, it’s such a gift to realize that Hashem is the provider of all babies, and not doctors.

The doctors can say all they want and follow specific protocols.

And what a gift to realize that they are simply the shlichim [messengers] to bring us to our future children.

Might I also add…and I know it’s hard to hear this when you’re in pain…

All those who make comments are also our shlichim. Their comments are also gifts.

What a gift they are giving me that I have extra opportunities throughout my day to feel pained and daven to Hashem for a yeshua [redemption]!

What a gift they are giving me that I have the ability to help another Jew become more sensitive to those with different circumstances than them.

What a gift they are giving me that now another person will be davening to Hashem for me to have another child!

What a gift!

What a gift this whole journey of infertility has been.

My dear Sister-in-waiting, I want you to know that I didn’t always see this journey in the positive light I do now. I of course have my days where I hate it and feel very negatively about it, too.

I daven for you and my other Sisters-in-waiting every day. May we all merit to see Hashem’s gifts in our lives, and merit our personal yeshuos soon!

Love,
A Sister-in-waiting

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10 comments

  1. JewishMom

    I was wondering how you respond to people who make inappropriate comments–it sounds like you share your situation with them and try to educate them. 🙂

    • JewishMom

      the following is a response to my question which I received from the article’s author:

      How I respond totally depends on the circumstances:

      When the checkout lady in the grocery store makes comments, I know she’s just trying to make conversation and be nice, so I respond with as big of a smile as I can, “We’re hoping and waiting, and not everything is in our hands.”

      When I was talking to someone about running a business and she wanted to know how I do it while raising my kids, I responded, “I want to preempt this by saying that I am totally ok with your question and realize it was coming from a curious place, and I don’t want you to feel like you need to put your foot in your mouth, because you don’t. I have one child who is x years old and that definitely makes it easier to run a business. Of course I would love to have more children, and this is my situation right now.”

      When people ask me to be kvatter, if I’m able to, I jump at the opportunity. Yes, it’s nerve wracking sometimes, especially if it’s people I am not very close to…my thoughts start to take over me and I feel bad for myself. I remind myself that it’s a tremendous zechus for everything in life. In all likelihood, many of the people watching me be kvatter are davening for me in that moment, too.

      If someone would make a comment to me in front of my child, I would say something like, “He’s our only right now and we love him so much and are so grateful for this wonderful boy,” while embracing him in a big hug. That looking away and towards my son in those moments gives them a moment to process what happened without adding to their shame.

      At the end of the day I think so much depends on my reaction. The person obviously feels terribly for saying what they did. That’s the last thing I want them to feel — how could they have known? By showing them that yes, I only have one, and yes, I want more, and no, they did nothing wrong by asking, I think it gives them space to catch themselves, let go of shame, and turn it into a learning opportunity, instead of wallowing in their discomfort and having any future interactions between us be super awkward.

      I also ask my friends (especially those I don’t talk about this with) if I can hold their babies. They usually say something like, “Are you sure? It’s ok, you don’t have to.” I tell them that I love holding babies and it would be an honor to hold theirs. Really, others feel super uncomfortable around this topic, too, and when we can normalize it and remove the shame, we can all grow closer.

  2. Deeply inspiring!

  3. Wow! This might be the first time i have been able to learn from someone how to perceive and react to painful comments. Thank you for showing me the way and what to strive for.

    • JewishMom

      I am awe-inspired by this author–how she chooses how to respond with such sensitivity and wisdom–she is a midot artist.

  4. Hadassah

    It reminds me of the commentary from the beginning of Sefer Shmuel. That Penina purposely taunted Chana so she would daven. It was coming from a good place. I think most people who make comments or ask questions feel really bad when they find out the whole story. I don’t think they are intentionally trying to hurt.

  5. Fabienne

    As a fellow traveller on this journey (having experience both primary infertility and then secondary infertility) I can say that sometimes comments can be painful, and it’s Ok to experience them as such. Some days it is easy to see the challenge as a growth opportunity, and some days, it is not. And that’s ok!

    Another note: after five years of hoping and praying and doing our medical hishtadlus to have another child, we decided to adopt, and now we have a very delicious little girl from India in our family and are all so much happier for it. I am not saying everyone should adopt, it is a very personal decision, and it is not an easy journey, but I learned from my experience that acting creativity and boldly can bring us to a place that is wholesome and full of kedusha.
    Hatzlacha to all!

  6. savta ima

    I was so moved and so inspired by these two pieces. “HaMorah Anonymous” – you may not know what a lofty teacher you are and what a gift your story and suggestions are to to others. May Hashem reward you with the good news you are praying for.
    Chana Jenny – these should be widely publicized, through Binah or Mishpacha…just sayin’ 🙂 Maybe you should see about that. In the meantime, I am grateful you were able to share it here.

  7. I just want to share a story about a family from our yishuv. I don’t know if they would want their name to be given, so I won’t say which yishuv, but we ate at their house about a month ago for Shabbat lunch. They got married in Israel and were told by one of the biggest fertility experts in the world, a doctor in Tel Aviv: “I guarantee you, you will never have children.” The husband described it as the most convincing thing in the world- sitting at this huge, oak desk of this incredibly successful, wealthy man. So they made peace with it and went to live in Canada with their family, thinking they couldn’t have a family of their own. And then, they have no idea how, they got pregnant! And not just once, but twice. Then they moved back to Israel with their son and daughter.

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