Delayed Pregnancy – An Open Letter to the Waiting Women

My husband and I waited nearly seven years for children. Every month there was at least one day of grief and pain that became unbearable.

But one day it came. As redemption.

Dear woman, I pray to God to have good words for you. I know how hard it is to gain strength from words when the pain is so tangible and present all the time.

My husband and I waited for our children almost seven years. During these years, we did IVF, then we stopped and we moved on to various types of alternative therapies.  Prisoners, as long as we didn’t know when our punishment will be over we felt like it was for life. This is what makes the situation so complex. When will it end?  You are waiting, freezing, in despair and it seems like it will never happen.

Today when I look at these seven years, I know what a gift we have received in them, how it affects our parenting today, how we built our relationship at that time. Anyway, when I look back, seven years doesn’t seem like so much.  If I had known in advance, when I met my husband that it would take seven years for us to have children, I would have been able to accept it with much less difficulty and would have taken advantage of that time that we had alone together.

Not knowing is what makes it difficult. Every month there is at least that one day of mourning and pain that becomes unbearable as the years go on. But one day, it suddenly came. As redemption, as the Messiah – a complete surprise. We wait so, and yet we are still so surprised. True, you think it will happen for everyone else but you.  We are too small to understand God’s ways.  There are women who waited twelve, fifteen and twenty years – and God remembered them.

People say that the tool is faith, give a lot of charity, and read Psalms and pray for your friends and yourself to no end. All true, of course. However, with that, for me, the tool was the desire. Even in my greatest moments of despair the desire for the absence to be filled never left me for a moment. And you are allowed. Everything. Even despair, crying, screaming and getting angry at God. Just do not forget to get up and say: I want, and you hear prayers.

Most of all I think we should go and ask for a blessing from the righteous because the blessings do the work they are intended for.  Two months prior to my pregnancy my husband went to a wedding, and the Rabbi officiating was Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu. There were many people in line waiting to speak to him and get a blessing from him and my husband decided to give up and not wait to speak with him. He stood for a moment looking down and when he looked up again the Rabbi was standing in front of him.  They tell stories of Rabbi Eliyahu that he would be at events and places specially for someone who had needed his blessing. That day it was my husband. “Rabbi, please give us a blessing for a viable child,” my husband said. “This year, God willing” is all that the Rabbi said.

Around this same time I went to Rabbi Taub who was in Nahlaot. We talked, and at the end of the conversation, he blessed me and said: “In the coming year, around Shavuot, you will hold your baby.” Our first child was born three weeks before the Shavuot holiday. So I tell you: Go to the righteous, whoever can, including the graves of the righteous, of the course.

On a more mundane level, I want to tell you that I had also gone through an intense juice fast at that time. What does it means? It means it is important to clean and purify the body and bring it to the optimal state for absorption of pregnancy. A clean vessel. I know so many people were able to achieve pregnancy this way and not through invasive and difficult procedures for body and soul. You may have forgotten, but your body really knows how to do this, except in the most extreme cases.

You can work with nature as you work above nature with prayers. You need an effort, action from below (in this world), this opens heaven. “There is joy from the joy to come.” Even when the head does not believe the heart does believe and knows and even already feels the tip of the joy that will be. The Lubavitcher Rebbe said: “Think good and it will be good.” You have to pinpoint in your mind that whatever we wish for will come and to see it happening. Think good thoughts, be soft with yourself, make yourself happy. King David said: “you have turned my mourning into dancing”.  Every woman should have such mentors to give her strength.

Today I already know how much personal attention of God was hiding behind those times when it seemed to me that he had left me.

To The Family and Friends

Finally, a few words to the immediate friends and family, friends that embrace you and wish you well and have only good intentions. But as with any experience that someone else is going through, it is hard to understand. It is a very difficult experience, very deep and very personal. Sometimes phrases that are designed to strengthen, like “soon you will have it too”, “God’s salvation comes in the blink of an eye,” or “God loves you”, can be painful, just like a knife into the flesh. Please then, be sensitive. This difficulty is impossible to go through in secret. Everyone sees and everyone has something to say.  This makes it much more difficult.

You do not have to encourage her to talk about it, you really do not need to be emotional.  If you want to bless her and pray for her – that’s great, but she does not have to know.

Do not look at her with mercy. Let her live without feeling that everyone wants from her a report on the progress of the project. Notice that when you come to strengthen her do it in a way that benefits her. If the immediate family would be really sensitive, maybe it will be easier for her.

May God bless us all with holy miraculous  fruits of our belly and light up the world with joy.  Amen.

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