A Secondary Infertility Mazal Tov

A Secondary Infertility Mazal Tov

My friend Goldy got married at 19, had her first son at 20 and her second at 21. And now, for 20 years (or, to be more accurate, 240 months), she and her husband have been hoping and praying (and going through treatment after treatment–conventional and alternative) to have another child.

The doctors are mystified by Goldy’s situation. The only thing they know for sure is that everything they’ve tried so far hasn’t worked.

In her close-knit Chassidic community, there is a committee that arranges for women to prepare breakfasts for mothers who have given birth. And Goldy is one of this initiative’s most active volunteers. For years, a few times a month, she has woken up before sunrise to prepare a hot breakfast for her neighbor before she leaves for work at a local cheider, wrapping up the breakfast with ribbons to brighten up her neighbor’s hospital room and day.

One morning I had a chance to see Goldy preparing one of her beautiful breakfast packages, and it was one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever witnessed– to see the uncomplicated joy and care with which Goldy prepared breakfast for another mother whose arms were blessedly full while hers were still empty.

And then, b”H, last week I got such a wonderful Email from Goldy. Subject line: Mazal tov!

So this morning I went to the store to choose out a present for her. For my friend, who for the last 20 years has been waiting to be blessed with another child, year after year, month after month.

And now, b”H, she has been.

With tears in my eyes I wrapped up my present with cellophane and ribbons, a cup that reads: “To Grandma, with Love.”


  1. Why the term “Grandma?” She going to be a new mom again; I think the teasing is offensive.

    • I did not get it either… Is it to tell her she is old??

      • sorry, I guess it wasn’t clear enough. her daughter in law had a baby, she became a grandmother.

        • Ahh ok, I think it’s this part which is confusing, together with the title:

          “For my friend, who for the last 20 years has been waiting to be blessed with another child, year after year, month after month. And now, b”H, she has been.” (I mean, she has been waiting to be blessed with a child of her own, right?)

          Anyway, mazal tov and much nachat from the little one!

          • right, I see now it’s confusing. I meant that she has a child of her own– a grandchild. but it’s not clear enough. Good that these comments will clarify for anyone confused.

        • I understood that right away, she was actually a grandmother herself already…… obviously you of all people would never joke about such a thing !

  2. I believe it’s because she wasn’t the one who had the baby, her daughter-in-law did.

  3. Jodi Robertson

    Such a beautiful story! Mazel Tov to the entire family, and especially Grandma. Thank you for sharing this story of hope and encouragement that things may not always work out as we have planned, but Bezrat HaShem, we take the bitter and He turns it around in ways we never imagined…glory for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning. B”H <3

  4. Jenny,

    That was so well-written – such an unexpected ending, and so warming to hear that all those years, when hoping for another baby, her own children were growing up, and now are blessing them all with another baby of their own. Tx for sharing. – Chaya

  5. Beautiful story Chana, thought-provoking insight, Jodi. As my machatenista likes to say, there is a beautiful mural painted on the wall, but we can’t see it because we are standing with our noses right up to it. Step back to see the whole breath-taking picture that HKB”H has painted!

  6. She can still be blessed to have her own even if she is a Bubby! My daughter was born in the same week as my granddaughter and my son was born 16 months later.. on his older brother’s 22 birthday! I just read in an article from Inyan magazine of two women who simultaneously gave birth to their first child in their 50’s!!! Hashem doesn’t need us to limit his brochos or wonders.

    • I am davening for goldy (not her real name) that she will still have another baby–she is only 41

  7. My neighbor recently gave birth at 58!!!

    • I had my first at 41 and my second, at 43. I hope Goldy is blessed with more of her own children but if not, takes enormous pleasure in her own grandchildren. She is so young, she can be very active in their lives!

  8. Beautiful story, thank you jenny!

  9. I work for Jewish Free Loan Association in Los Angeles. We are a non-profit and we make INTEREST-FREE loans to Southern California families undergoing IVF or other fertility treatments including egg freezing. We have T/G been a party to many new babies entering the world. More info on http://www.jfla.org.

  10. mazal tov but its not the same.

  11. Chan i heard today this story of hope:a friend of mine went yesterday to the bris of twins who were born to z mother of 43 who married at 17, gave birth to 3 kids and then married them 3 and became a grandmother and now gave birth to the twins after 20 years of second infertilty like your Goldie. Anything is possible

  12. Lauren Adilev

    I really, really have a problem with this article. I know that in religious, especially extremely religious communities, women want to have a lot of children. And sadly there’s an element of competition. As soon as you give birth people are checking your stomach to see if it’s growing again.

    This is wrong for many reasons. First, Hashem decides how many children, or if children, will be born to a woman. There are plenty of women in Tanch who had one or two children. Also by praying praying praying for more kids…and your present children see this…it makes them feel they aren’t enough. Raising children-even one child-is tough! So is combining your life with someone else’s..just learning to keep a house running when first married is difficult. I agree with treatments but people should stop after 3 rounds. If you want more children there are thousands upon thousands of abandoned, neglected children all over Israel…those still living in abusive environments, those in children’s homes, those hovering in foster care.
    So adopt kids…I know there are halachic questions..that’s why there are rabbis. Yet it is so wrong to say a family isn’t complete if there aren’t 2 parents or if there aren’t a pack of kids. My family is myself, my daughter and my son. We laugh a lot, go on trips and are a tight-knit group.

    • I know this is an old post, but I wanted to say how much I appreciated it, as I hope it will be my story one day. (Our one is growing fast, but there is still a lot of time before this happy beginning:).

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