We all assume that we will find the right husband and then, when we decide to have a family of our own, it will all just happen as planned. Isn’t falling pregnant the easiest and most natural thing in the world?
Well for me and for many other couples this is not the case and in fact the complete opposite. Being infertile had such a ripple effect on my day to day life. It affected my relationship with friends, I withdrew from most of them, especially the ones who were pregnant. It affected my social life, I avoided going to brises if it was possible. Most of the time I was angry and depressed. It also affected my relationship with my husband, at times I even wondered if I was married to the right man.
However, I had to constantly remind myself to still be grateful for the many blessings Hashem had given me. I had to continue doing mitzvahs, saying tehillim and davening to Hashem to fulfill my yearning to have children.
Not having children encompassed my whole life.
Let me give you a brief summary of my journey to finally having our son and 2 years later, after only 1 simple IVF, our daughter.
At the beginning there is not too much pressure and I thought it wouldn’t take too long for us, both my husband and I are healthy, happy people. After a while, we realized that something had to be done and it was time to visit an infertility specialist. These doctors are special people who dedicate their lives to helping others.
It all started very routinely with a number of tests. When they all came back normal, we were satisfied that it was only a matter of time. However, this was not to be and after some time, and on the advice of our Dr. we made the decision to go for IVF.
For me, I was convinced this would be the answer to our dreams and at the time, it did not even enter our minds that the IVF would fail. However it did, and I cannot begin to explain the devastation that comes when the result is negative. It was very hard for us to pick up the pieces, but like everything else in life, we came to terms with this huge disappointment and were forced to carry on!
It took two and a half years, three laparoscopes, three IVFs, one Gift and a multitude of tests for me to fall pregnant. Eventually when we felt we were kind of at the end of the road, our Dr. suggested another very expensive test, which found that my husband’s genes and mine were too similar, like those of a brother and sister (as you can imagine this is very rare). Fortunately this could be treated and I had the specific treatment for this genetic condition, coupled with the IVF and thank G-d, it worked. Waiting to see if the IVF had taken, was very a stressful and difficult two weeks.
Not only is not being able to fall pregnant an emotional strain but a huge financial one. However in this community, we have been truly blessed that there is a fund to help Jewish couples who can’t fall pregnant naturally. This fund is called The Malka Ella Fertility Fund. Not only do they help financially, but they also offer emotional support, which is an enormous help during this difficult time. Without this fund, many couples could not afford to have a family of their own.
Hashem sends angels into this world in different forms. For me it was the doctors, The Malka Ella Fertility Fund, my husband, family and friends who stood by me, and put up with my changed personality and moods, and most importantly and eventually my two precious children.
What I have learnt from this painful challenge, is instead of asking the question ‘why?’, which we do not know the answer to, and don’t let anyone try and tell you that X or Y is the reason. It is beyond our understanding and grasp. The question of ‘why?’ just leads to frustration. Rather let’s change the question to ‘what?’ For what did Hashem give me this? What opportunity has He given me? What response does Hashem want? This question leads us to actions that can dramatically change and enhance our lives, and those around us.
In conclusion, my only advice to anyone experiencing this difficult process is simply not to give up, no matter how you feel or what happens. Just remember there are wonderful doctors and amazing people out there, willing and able to help you through this nightmare and above all else have faith in Hashem!