Archive for July, 2010

Sixth and I Historic Synagogue
Image by Scott Ableman via Flickr

In the Jewish community where I belong, it seems that my husband and I are the only couple struggling with infertility.  I know that it is not true.  According to statistics 1 out 8, even 1 out of 6 couples suffer from infertility.  Assuming we have 400 frum families in our city, there has to be at least 50-67 couples going through infertility. Yet where are they?  Infertility is one of those taboo topics.  Also the pain and shame is so intense that it is preferable to remain silent.

I am trying very hard to not let my infertility define who I am.  When I go to shul, there are women with small children, a constant reminder of what I do not have. Conversation between them invariably shifts toward their children which is natural. For someone like me, it reinforces my reality that I do not have a child to talk about.  My dilemma is to find other couples who are experiencing the same thing as my husband and I, so that we can  offer support to each other and do fun and distracting things together.

The time that I have alone, I must step up my efforts to learn Torah.  Thankfully I am davening Shacharis consistently and reciting Tehillim.  My next step is to incorporate Minchah, take Torah classes, and learn on my own.  In the meantime I hope that somehow I will meet a few frum couples who are going through the same journey as my husband and I.

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up and down
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Today  I woke up feeling good.  I went in for acupuncture and it felt good taking charge of one aspect of my infertility.   The acupuncturist spent time evaluating my situation and coming up with a treatment plan.  We talked about diet.  I am now going to focus on an alkaline diet which means more fruits and veggies.  She said to stay away from read meat and eat more fish.  If chicken only organic.  I should also drink warm water, as opposed to cold water.

I had lunch with a friend who is truly sympathetic to what I am going through.  That helps in the healing process because it is not fun to feel so isolated.  I wish I could meet other couples who are experiencing infertility.  I am at a loss as to how to find them.

Slowly but surely I am getting back to “normal” life.  Every now and then I do feel sad.

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Newborn baby
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Today I am feeling a little blue.  I watched 19 Kids and Counting, about the Duggar family and their latest addition a premature baby, Josie.  How precious it would be to hear the sound of children in our home.  It is so quiet.  I would give anything for the sound of a newborn baby crying.

I am trying to visualize being pregnant.  It seems so unattainable.  The true test is emunah (faith).  Hashem hears our prayers and He wants to provide brachas (blessings) to His children.  I am after all His precious daughter.

The only thing to do dear reader is to let go and trust.  Easier said than done but there is a sense of peace and calmness that arises.  Right now my emuna is low.  Yet I must go on and smile.  Life is beautiful with all its possibilities.  Who know cultivating a positive mental demeanor could lead to a dream come true.  I can still hear my doctor say ” Everything looks good for you to sustain a pregnancy.”

It has been a rough day.  Somehow tomorrow has to be better.

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Failed IVF

Blastocyst on day 5 after fertilization Courte...
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Monday June 14, 2010 was a day of hope.  Went in with a full bladder for Day 3 transfer of 3 embryos that looked perfect in my eyes.  According to our doctor one was Grade A, and the other two B+ and B-.  Given my lining and great condition of my uterus, I was hopeful.  During my 24 hour rest, I even noticed spotting and felt confident that the embryos had snuggled into my lush lining.  The two- week wait for my blood test had started in full force.

My husband and I used the two week period to travel a little to see friends and family.  We even went to see a Cleopatra exhibit and a movie.  Slowly but surely each day crept along.  During the fist week, I felt so good and so positive.  The following Wednesday I had a sense of foreboding.  Still I held out hope.

Sunday June 27th before my husband left for Denver to attend a conference, I took a home pregnancy test which came out negative.  My heart sank.  Should have listened to my husband and not taken the test.  After all there is always a possibility of false positives or false negatives.

Monday June 28th rolled around.  Since I was less than a mile from the fertility clinic I walked.  Somehow my heart felt heavy.  I prayed that that doctor would see me for a few minutes to answer my questions.  8:30 AM rolled around and I was called in for my blood test.  After my blood test and progesterone shot, the doctor said he would see me in between patients. He reassured me that if I had a negative blood test, he was not giving up.  He just said despite the negative HPT to wait and see.

I walked to where I was staying, feeling somewhat better.  Went to the grocery store and learned about Shabbos candle lighting with a friend over the phone.  Once I was in my room, I distracted myself via going on the net.  Around lunch time the phone call came.  It was not good news.  My heart sank.  My dreams of having triplets shattered.  Called my husband with the news and then talked to my mother-in-law.  It was truly a sad day.

While searching for various articles and inspirations, I came across a piece that was written a year and a half ago about Rivki Holtzberg.  Despite her personal challenges, she always managed to smile.  I wanted to emulate her.  After all everything comes from Hashem and as the daughter of the King, He has my best interest at heart.  Perhaps I did not get pregnant because the timing was not right.  Perhaps I need to work on certain areas of my middos.  I felt the need to accept Hashem’s decree with love.  Still that does not mean that it is always easy, or smooth sailing.  There are times I feel the tears under the surface.  The potential for  me to carry Jewish life had died.  I had that reminder in the physical realm a few days later….

Now from a sense of despair I have hope, yet I feel so much in limbo because now I need to wait for an appointment and resumption of treatment.   I have a lot to prepare for  both physically and spiritually.  May Hashem help me to transform into a vessel ready to receive His ultimate blessing.

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