Tag Archives: children

Struggling with infertility in the Hasidic community

Since quite a few of you are still following this blog (thanks so much!) I thought I’ll share my latest published piece! I can’t repost it so please click on the link to read the entire article.

As an ultra-orthodox Hasidic girl, I always knew the way my life would pan out. The ultimate goal was to establish a home, be a good wife and mother and a devout Jew. It was what the Torah commanded us and what everyone did. Growing up, we played with dolls, re-enacting what we saw at home. The game we most loved to play was “house.”

I grew up, found my soulmate at age 18, and married three months later. I fully expected to become pregnant right away. The first month, the 30th day of my cycle came and went. My husband and I naively looked at each other and thought the same thing. “I think you should buy a pregnancy test” I whispered to him that night, dreaming of babies and tiny clothes. Two weeks later, we decided to buy the test.

Holding the test, I hurried to the bathroom. While waiting the required, longest five minutes of my life, I tried to gaze anywhere but the stick. Still not looking, I went to get my husband so we could find out together.

Click here to continue reading the article!


G-d knows what’s best for us.

I just reread my last blog entry. I remember that night. The heartfelt prayers by the holy candles, wishing for clarity and a solution.

I’m so glad to be able to tell you that our prayers have been answered. My son was accepted into a great yeshivah overseas. It looks like it was created just for him. He is one of 8 boys. This school was created for those boys who do not fit into our mainstream yeshivas where the program is rigorous. The learning is much less, they get plenty of individual warmth and attention, there is a psychologist on staff and they have a lot of fun and outings too. They dorm there too. So far, it’s been going really well! He sounds so happy when we speak to him. That makes our hearts happy.

Sometimes, when a bad thing happens; we question why. It’s hard to see the good in those moments. But I always got strength of something I once heard. Life is like a tapestry. The back of a tapestry looks terrible. Lots of tangled strings and knots and it is just one big mess. That’s what we humans see down here below. But when you look at it from the other side, there is a beautiful picture. G-d sees that picture. Our life unfolds as it should, with a beautiful tapestry but we don’t always see the big picture. We need to trust that everything that happens is for our good. I hope I don’t sound preachy because I’m actually talking to myself here.

I can now say that as hard as that whole situation was, it was ultimately for his own good. Had he stayed in his old school, who knows how things would have turned out? I would not have found that incredible school. He is only there for a short while but I can already hear him sound less stressed, more relaxed and overall happy. I kept telling myself that whole story WILL have a silver lining because G-d ultimately does what’s best for us and it’s not always the easy way. But we have all grown from this, my husband and me as a couple and my son and my husband too. As a family, this has really brought us together.

And that is the blessing in disguise.

Thank you all for the support and for reading what I have to say!


Happy Mother’s Day!

In Judaism we don’t celebrate Mother’s Day as we strongly believe mothers should be celebrated everyday. Being a mother is looked upon as the most sacred job in our culture. It’s the ultimate goal of a Jewish girl growing up.  The mother is revered and looked upon as the princess and mainstay of a Jewish home. She sets the tone in the house. When I, as the mother am irritated, the whole house becomes irritated. When I smile when my kids come home, they are happy and the atmosphere is one of love. When I wake them up in the morning with a good word, their whole day starts off on the right foot. It’s a big responsibility. I don’t always succeed, far from it. I am human and I have some days where I wake up tired, when I have no patience to deal with their issues. But I always try to remember how I felt when my mother had her bad days (and sadly, there were too many) I’m sure there were many good days but when I try to remember back, all I can think of are the days she yelled at me, woke me up with a litany of complaints and criticized a lot.  It didn’t feel good and the day started off on the wrong foot. Mothers have a lot of power, if they realize it or not. They can make or break their kids. Although I don’t celebrate Mother’s day I really like the idea of taking a day of the year to devote to the mother, the princess, the one who does a fabulous job caring and devoting herself to her children.

Mothers! Your love, devotion, care and nurturing does not go unnoticed! Even if you don’t have people in your life who celebrate you as a mother, when your kids will be grown you can hopefully look back and see the fruits of your labor and be proud of your offspring!

Happy Mother’s day!!

IVM for dummies

Daily prompt: Take a complicated subject you know more about than most people and explain it to a friend who knows nothing about it. 

Sadly, the subject I know lots about is infertility treatments. Having gone through them for many years and for 2 children, I feel most qualified to tell you about them. The one I will enlighten you about is the one that I am currently going through. My 2 children were both conceived with ICSI which stands for Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (in vitro fertilization procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg.)


We had decided to try for child number three. After having a few canceled cycles where either the eggs weren’t growing enough or no fertilization had taken place, our fertility doctor suggested we might be prime candidates for a relatively new study called IVM (stands for In Vitro Maturation). The difference between ICSI and IVM is that the retrieval is done when the eggs are still immature as opposed to fully mature by ICSI. Then, the eggs are being matured in the lab before being fertilised. The results have shown that women with PCOS (like me) have a better chance at pregnancy with IVM.

There are several pro’s to this study. Instead of injecting hormones for 3 weeks, you only have to inject for a week at most so that’s much less drugs in your system. And no risk of OHHS (Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome)

So we start off by injecting hormones to get the eggs growing. Then, when the biggest egg is no more than 10mm big, retrieval is planned which I do under general anesthesia. Now the first part of the waiting game begins to hear if any eggs got fertilized. Since this has been my biggest issue, I expected to hear the news that none fertilized. and of course this is exactly what happened. Second round we got lucky and had one very precious embryo. In my clinic, if you have less than 3 embryos they freeze them and put them back when you start a frozen cycle. A frozen cycle consists of prepping your body with estrogen and progesterone by way of gels and vaginal pills. Now comes the thawing of the embryo. It happens often that the embryo doesn’t survive the thawing. We’re at this point now. With prayers in my heart I am hoping for a positive outcome.  I’m not sure I would be able to handle the disappointment if the embryo dies.

But we are thinking positive!

EDIT: great news! Thawing went well!!

UPDATE: Failed 😦