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Archive for the ‘Emunah and Fertility’ Category

My dearest child who is yet to be born,

I write this to you, a neshama who has not yet found a home in a Jewish woman’s womb.  It is my heartfelt prayer that you are reserved for me, that somehow Hashem in His compassion set you aside for me,  Rivka Rochel.  I have stood by the sidelines watching everyone else experience the joy of bringing into this world a beautiful neshamale.  I hope to no longer be an outsider. That I too will have my neshamale to welcome into this world.

Waiting for you has been a long and arduous journey for your father and I.  We hold in our hearts an overabundance of love.  You are the pure Jewish soul, we eagerly awaited all these years through a river of tears. We went through all kinds of medical procedures for this miraculous day – your birth.

In this journey, my connection with Hashem has had its ups and downs.  Yet I know Hashem is real and He knows us intimately. You see as undeserving as I am for a miracle, Hashem knew that I am the right mother for you, because you need the love that has been stored in my heart all these years.  A love that He created.  Just as He created you, He created in me this strong yearning for a child.

I want to instill in your heart a strong love for Hashem and a deep connection to Him.  I want you to be the kind of Jew that I am striving to be – a simple, loving, and caring person.  I am very far from that goal, since there is so much I am currently dealing with.  In time I hope to be like refined silver, purified seventy times seven.

I want you to witness the devotion with which I light Shabbos candles.  If you are a girl, I will teach you how to light your own candles at age 3.   It is with joy that I will gaze at your total awe and amazement over the flickering candle lights.  If you are a boy, you will accompany your father to sing Lecha Dodi at age 3.  He will be your example of how to pray with utmost concentration.

There are so many adventures to be had.  Your father will teach you how to ride a bike, and I will teach you how to write a poem.  You will learn how to read a map from your father because I am hopeless when it comes to directions.  I will introduce you to the wonderful world of making challah and a huge floury mess.   We will go hiking.  We will go on car trips.  We will ensure that you get a well rounded Jewish and secular education.  We will teach you your English and Hebrew alphabets.  We will teach you how to do negel vasser, the morning prayers, birchas ha mazon, and a host of brachoth.

Since you are not here yet,  I need to daven more, read tehillim, and internalize being grateful to Hashem for not giving you to me yet.  To everything under the sun there is a time and a season.

Right now you are a dream in my heart.  Soon with Hashem’s help, you will be a reality in my arms.

With love

Ima

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8-cell embryo for transfer 3 days after fertil...

Image via Wikipedia

Because I had an embryo transfer during an auspicious time, I felt relatively positive that I would be sitting down to our seder feeling the ultimate redemption – freedom from IF (infertility).  But Hashem had other plans.  Thank G-D we have a frozen blastocyst.  I can now speak the fertility medical jargon.  Too bad I do not have MD after my last name because I know what field I would be in.   I affectionately call our blastocyst when speaking with my husband, “Our frozen child.”

People with IF are special.  It takes strength to carry on with day to day life, and to live in an Orthodox Jewish community without going insane.  Since I had my treatment, two babies made their entrance. Baruch Hashem. Every year several frum women are either pregnant or giving birth.  Baruch Hashem for them.   After we spent a lot of money, all I now have is an empty womb, and my frozen child.   Yes I do have my husband, so I do have something to be grateful about.

My husband says. “Our dawn is coming.”  He is right.   Without fail, dawn comes after darkness; redemption after oppression.  Pesach is a time of redemption.  I will gather up my internal strength and march forward toward redemption after intensive cleaning and meal preparations.   Right now, I do not feel like doing much of anything.  All I can do is give myself a set time to grieve, and a set time to get some work done.

As my nurse said yesterday, ” Persistence pays off.”  My husband knows very very well that I am a very persistent person.

I am not an expert embryologist but from what I can tell, the picture that I posted is one perfect 6-cell blastocyst. I cannot help asking myself this question, ” How did Octomom get 8 embryos in one cycle and 6 embryos in another, and all ended up in babies?”  Sad to say some of her babies have disabilities.  Yet during my latest cycle, out of 7 fertilized eggs, 3 made it to the blastocyst phase.   What can I say?

I would never want to have more than twins growing inside me (maybe triplets), out of a sense of ethics.  But if we had 8 frozen blastocysts to fall back on,  I know full well my husband would be one nervous wreck.

Yes, persistence with prayer ultimately pays off.  What am I praying for?  A successful transfer, and who knows, the ultimate unfolding of my dream to somehow have twins.   From my lips to Hashem’s ears.

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Mother and child

Image via Wikipedia

There are times I doubt that my dream of raising frum from birth Jewish children will ever become a reality.  Sometimes it is a conscious doubt, and at other times subconscious.  My subconscious doubt  manifests itself when I become deeply depressed due to being around a pregnant Jewish woman,  or women with babies and small children.  I often find myself asking the question does my doubt mean that I lack emunah?

As with any spiritual endeavor, there are successes and there are failures.  Take for example, the spiritual goal of not speaking lashon hara.  You may have days of successfully avoiding the temptation to speak badly about someone.  Then one day a lapse occurs.  A friend did something inadvertently that hurt you, and at the soonest possible moment,  out came a negative statement.  That failure does not nullify your endeavor to be a Jew who refrains from lashon hara.   All it takes is teshuva and a resolution to be cautious about what comes out of your mouth going forward.

I view my momentary doubt in the same light.   Perhaps my doubt led me into depression.  That does not mean the absence of emunah.  Even in that moment of doubt, emunah is still there.  Why?  I got up the following morning and I prayed to Hashem.  By virtue of davening, I  have emunah that G-D exists and He hears my prayers.

Everything is from Hashem, even my strong desire to raise Jewish children.  My present pain is from Hashem, custom-tailored to draw me closer to Him.  He yearns for my prayers yet I hardly offer Hashem my utter devotion.  Still He bestowed on me the gift of emunah.  With that gift, the stinging pain is minimized and I find myself drawing closer and closer to Hashem.  I am completely dependent on Him.  As Rabbi Lazer Brody said in  one of his blogs, “The closer we get to Hashem, the happier we are.  As such emunah is the key to happiness.”

Any momentary doubt is just a temporary phase designed only to strengthen our emunah and trust in Hashem.

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