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The Key to Life

The Key to Life

To me, it is a miracle that anyone can conceive a child unassisted.


Before I got married I had always assumed that our children would arrive easily and naturally. I was confident about my ability to integrate children into our life with little hassle. But reality has been quite different.

For us, the act of having a child involves invasive and mood altering treatments that leave me sickened and sad, and wondering how far along this heartbreaking road we will need to travel this time. Finding out I am pregnant means I won't need to take those dreadful medications for another cycle.

Yet this time, something new has been added to the long haul -- daily blood thinner injections that burn as they are absorbed into my system.


Each morning I remind myself that God, not medicine, has made this pregnancy possible.


I'm older and wiser this time around. I know the risks. I know how this road could God forbid potentially end in heartbreak. But I am also lucky. My two older children dance just outside my closed bedroom door as I inject myself, knowing that medications such as these have made their lives possible.

Each morning I remind myself that God, not medicine, has made this pregnancy possible. God does not bless us only to watch our hearts break. These thoughts give me courage for the long months ahead, for the challenges that might be in store.

I remind myself that the Jewish day starts at night –darkness before light. We have experienced the darkness, the pain of a loss so sudden and final, it took our breath away. It still takes my breath away.

One day I heard my daughter playing Mommy and baby, but there was no baby in sight. "Where's your baby?" I asked curiously.

"In heaven," she answered, as though this was the most natural thing in the world, and continued playing.

So although I long to tell her about this new pregnancy, I am cautious, waiting for the right time, perhaps when the baby is already in my arms.

My second child was born at home, before labels such as high-risk had come into our lives. It was beautiful, the way everyone cried when he arrived, the miracle of birth overpowering the jadedness that comes with taking nature for granted.

I am not jaded. To me, it is a miracle that anyone can conceive a child unassisted.

Yet, even when things seem to happen naturally, we are always assisted. The Talmud tells us that God Himself holds the key to conception and birth, silently facilitating the arrival of every new life.

When medical intervention is necessary, is it any less remarkable? Like myself, my doctor waits to be informed of our success, as powerless as I am to control the inner workings of my body.

Each day begins anew with a conversation with God, asking Him to please watch over me and this baby. I remind myself of the importance of daily doses of faith, alongside the vitamins and shots.

Ultimately, it is not the quantity of folic acid that will guarantee a successful outcome. It's not even my prayers. It is God Himself, who has chosen to maintain possession of the key to fertility, because it is too important to be given into the hand of another.

As Rosh Hashana approaches, the books of life and death are opened once again. We pray to be inscribed in the book of life. There is no guarantee for any of us that what was, will be again. Each year begins fresh, with a new slate. So I pray for myself, for my husband, and my kids, and I pray that this new life I carry will also be inscribed in the eternal book of life.


September 20, 2008

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Visitor Comments: 4

(4) Anonymous, October 2, 2008 12:26 PM

"God does not bless us only to watch our hearts break."

My baby died recently at 2 months old. How do we explain the times we are in fact blessed with a child, only to have our hearts break when they are taken so soon?

(3) lindy, September 21, 2008 11:34 PM

what about donor egg?

much less medications required if you use donor egg. Also look at low stim "natural" IVF for less meds. Good luck!

(2) Anonymous, September 21, 2008 9:40 PM

vow, thank you for sharing a private story like this as i'm going through the same thing....

vow, thank you, for sharing your story, i'm also giving self the blood thiner shots, and just found out that i'm pregnat!!, we had a miscarraige before, so i'm very scared and just anxoius, and want to share the good news with our parents for the high hollidays, but hesitant!!! and just praying.

(1) ruth housman, September 21, 2008 11:34 AM

the Book of LIFE

In a time of apples and honey, I pray we will all enter into the New Year with the promise of what is to come, that it is bright, that it is filled to overflowing with milk and honey, for us all. There is so much sorrow in this world. There continues to be so much sorrow. My prayer is that the answer to all of this, must be, must be, in LOVE itself, and that we are all of us, inscribed in the book of LOVE which is for LIFE. L'Chayim! to a sweet and happy New Year! I know at the deepest level that: Those departed are with us, still. Still life, that phrase, has multiple meaning and carries this hope, as in exist, is exit itself.

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