The struggle with infertility is in many ways a journey. It’s one that you don’t choose to embark on, but nevertheless, one in which you gain a greater insight, a deepened awareness, and compassion for others going through the same journey.

Our story is one of heartache and hope. My husband and I conceived our first child effortlessly, but the second time around wasn’t as easy. In fact, it never happened naturally again. After four months of trying for number two, I decided to be proactive and get things checked out. I was somehow able to convince my family doctor to start testing to see if there was a problem. A few more months passed, all the testing came back fine, but still no success. I was beginning to feel very anxious. My doctor agreed to refer us to a fertility clinic.

I remember the first meeting with our fertility doctor. He was hopeful that we would be pregnant again in six months. He began more fertility testing and started monitoring my monthly cycle. After a couple months, we decided to proceed with an in uterine insemination (IUI) treatment. It was unfortunately not successful. We did three more that also didn’t work. It was truly heartbreaking. The doctor discovered that we were dealing with a male factor fertility issue and that in vitro fertilization (IVF) was our best option to have more children.

I will never forget the day I found out the news that there was very little likelihood of us conceiving naturally again. It was like something very important had been taking away from us. This isn’t what I planned for, or ever imagined. I had great difficulties accepting it. That’s when I met Rivka, a woman at work who helped guide me through my pain. She directed me to Small Wonders, an organization that helps Jewish couples dealing with infertility issues. Rivka taught me that I had no control over certain aspects of my life and I had to let go. I was able to open up to her because she understood and had also been through her own infertility journey.

There were some days I would arrive at work in an awful state. I would rush to get to there after our early morning fertility clinic visits. I felt depleted and sad. I also felt defective, that I was an outcast. Overtime, an anxiety set in and I slowly began to isolate myself from the people around us. I felt less than, like I just wasn’t living up to standard.

In many ways, this journey brought me into a dynamic relationship with God.

Rivka was the one person I did not mind being around. She gave me strength and perspective and after our fourth failed IUI, I was prepared to take on our first attempt at IVF. Rivka shared with me her personal experience and how she got through it, teaching me the art of reframing our perspective towards the things we can’t control and learning to accept divine timing. In many ways, this journey brought me into a dynamic relationship with God.

On March 13, 2010 we were blessed with a healthy set of twins, a boy and a girl. Our IVF treatment worked the first time. A happy ending indeed, but I cannot minimize the emotional heartache that preceded this point. It was a pain so deep it had me looking for answers to questions I didn’t even know. It brought me to my knees, in search of something deeper. It completely reshaped my relationship to a higher power.

When the twins turned two years old, I developed an interest in helping other women who were living under this same dark cloud as I had encountered. Just as Rivka helped me, I wanted to help others. I started running a mind-body fertility group, a unique support group for individuals struggling with infertility. Today, this group runs out of a local hospital, naturopathic clinic and also online where we practice various coping techniques to ease the emotional impact of infertility.

The author with her family

My fertility journey shaped my life in so many ways I could not have predicted eight years ago. When Rivka told me that “everything happens for a reason,” I didn’t believe her at the time, but eventually I was able to see that she was right. The pure joy and satisfaction I get from helping other individuals struggling with the same issues that confronted me is almost as gratifying as raising my three children.