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About a year after I got married, I became good friends with someone I worked with. She had been married for three years and wasn’t pregnant yet. She helped me out a lot during those confusing first months. She recommended certain doctors to me, and helped me understand what I would need to face, and I truly believe she made the beginning of my journey easier. We even had a ritual I strongly recommend to others. We called it our “Pity Parties.” When I would walk in with a milkshake or a bag of candies, she knew. Pity Party time. We would nosh and talk and nosh. And I felt much better when it was all done. It was a sad day when we both left to work elsewhere. I still haven’t found my replacement Pity Party gal

Point is, people suffering from infertility all need someone to talk to, besides significant others. Even though many people feel this is a topic so private that it cannot be shared with anyone except I still haven’t found my replacement Pity Party gal.your partner, I strongly (strongly!) believe this is not true. Yes, this is your personal struggle; but no, you do not need to go it alone.

A couple of years ago I was talking to Miriam, a friend of mine. A close friend of hers—let’s call her Chaya—was having a hard time getting pregnant.

“I know she’s not pregnant, and I can see she is not handling it well. I know her so well. But she would never tell me anything,” Miriam shared with me.

“Is she sharing with anyone?” I wanted to know.

“No, I don’t think so. She has always been known as a very private person.”

I told Miriam there was nothing she could do except wait and be receptive if Chaya did decide to share her feelings with her.

At a wedding a few months later, I found myself sitting next to Chaya. One conversation led to another, and I mentioned something about how people did not say “hello” to my face but to my stomach. (More on that another time.) A surprised look crossed Chaya’s face, and then she began to tell me about the difficulties she was facing on her journey to get pregnant. I listened, sympathized, nodded when appropriate. Then I asked, “Do you talk about this to anyone else?”

She answered forcefully, “No way! This is something private—sacred, even. It is between me and my husband, and no one else! You are actually the first person I have ever talked to about this topic.”

Pragmatically, I tried to explain my opposing view.

“Chaya, I know your pain. I feel it. I feel it every single day. The struggle is deeply personal and private. However, you do not need to shoulder it alone. You cannot! If you feel you cannot share it with anyone you know, share it online with people you don’t know. I am who I am, and I am dealing with this situation in my own way, but you need to deal with it as well, in any way you feel comfortable. Keeping everything bottled up inside day after day is crippling. It will cripple you, it will cripple your husband, and eventually it will cripple your marriage. Because no matter how much that man loves you—no, actually, because he loves you so much—he will feel the same pain as you. And if you continue feeding him that pain, you will bring him down.”

I explained how when I have a bad day, I share it with someone, whether it is my mom, sister or close friend. No, I won’t shout it from the rooftops, but I need to have people supporting me in my struggle. I definitely share with my husband, but I try to ensure that our attitude remains mostly upbeat. This is the path that has worked for me, and I I need to have people supporting me in my struggleknow others feel differently.

Chaya remained extremely skeptical, and in her cynical state accused me of betraying my husband by “airing our dirty laundry” to others. I was deeply saddened by her view, but nothing I said changed her mind. Thank G‑d, Chaya now has a baby, and I was truly joyful when I heard, because I knew how hard it must have been for her until she heard the news.

I feel I need to say this now:

Ladies! Men! Share! Share! Share!

Again, you don’t need to announce your situation in Times Square, but you need to speak to someone. You are experiencing pain. Emotional pain. Legitimate pain.

Every person has a different way of dealing with it. That’s okay. As long as you deal with it somehow.

G‑d is there, always, and He hears your pain. But G‑d also put us in this world craving the company, advice, sympathy and approval of other human beings. Bottling emotions, suffocating them, is unnatural. So, don’t do it. Please.

by Zehava Deer
Zehava Deer is the pen name of a woman living in Brooklyn who is having trouble conceiving. Her column, “Pregnant with Hope—My Journey through Infertility,” describes her journey, and how she strives to remain positive through her pain.
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Another morning monitor Brooklyn November 4, 2013

Support groups in Crown Heights I agree so much. Are there any support groups in Crown Heights or elsewhere in Brooklyn? I tried to join a Resolve group in Manhattan, but they had a waiting list. My husband joked there should be a support group for people on the waiting list for support groups. Once I saw a sign for infertility support group at the Crown Heights mikvah, but I didn't write down the info, and it's not there anymore. Reply

Grace Pretoria, South Africa October 11, 2013

It is sad but fine I also do not have a close friend, the only close friend i have is G-d, and then come my husband. Anything that happens in my life, wether good or bad, i don't tell it to anyone, it stay between us, because i live in a place whereby people are not all good people. I have learned that, that is why when something good is happening, i so want to share it with someone, then i realise i dont have anyone, the same goes for vice versa.

Shalom Reply

Joyce Olympia September 29, 2013

Friends do matter I noted above about my challenges last year and the good that has happened this past week. It is so important to have someone to share those things. Good and bad.. I am in a place in my life where I do not have close friends. None that I can share with. Some times such as this Friday and Saturday I went to a guest house and just prayed and talked out loud to G_D asking why and crying a lot.

G_D is my only reliable friend and it can be painful when you do not receive human voices back. I have basically been crying for a couple of day now. Just asking G_D to help in every aspect of my life. I want to be married again very much and can't find a Godly man. I want someone to care for and about other then strangers. I want someone I know I can confide in that won't abandon me such as that male friend has. G_D is the only one that won't abandon us. Reply

David Levant Emerson,NJ September 25, 2013

. There comes a time in everyones life when they will wish to share their life experiences with someone. It happens to all of us sooner or later. Sharing material wealth is rather easy, but to share your heart with someone is sacred. Sharing of this kind requires honesty and trust. G-D shares the world with all of us. Most people just trample upon it. If anyone truly wanted a share in G-D'S kingdom they would certainly have it. In todays world people forget this, and forsake their eternal bonds with our Creator because they are never satisfied or realize the great magnitude of all the gifts G-D has bestowed upon us.. Reply

Sarah Masha W Bloomfield, MI, USA September 25, 2013

There is a difference between privacy and isolation. When you are feeling alone and lonely and helpless it is time to realize that you have crossed the line, and must find your way back. G-d may never give us more than we can handle, but He never said that we have to handle everything (or anything) alone. Spouses, family, friends, and professionals are the first people we ask for help to carry the load. Likewise, we must work to recognize when someone near us needs help too. Reply

Anonymous Delray Beach, FL September 25, 2013

The rewards of sharing After years of infertility, my husband and I decided that we had to do some (very careful) reaching out. We started by talking to people who had adopted children. We asked them all kinds of questions, including where they found the children they adopted. One of them gave us a connection to a lawyer who was handling a small number of private adoptions. If we had continued to keep our pain to ourselves, we would never have found the child we did adopt. Reply

Mindy New York September 25, 2013

sharing I think its great that you have people in your life that you can share things that you go thru, and you are open about it, its just hard for some people to trust the right person. I too am going thru some issues, and i find that after I discuss them i tend to feel better, and somehow lighter,
I look forwards to your articles, you just put it down really well, and you make me think.... i like that. May you have much hatzlacha Reply

Anonymous Olympia, WA September 24, 2013

Thank you "G‑d is there, always, and He hears your pain. But G‑d also put us in this world craving the company, advice, sympathy and approval of other human beings. Bottling emotions, suffocating them, is unnatural." Thank you for this....

Last year was quite a challenging year for me. I had a male freind I talked to. Some of the things that happened: I was diagnosed with my 3rd cancer, a promised promotion was given to someone I have to train, I was assulted, my sister was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, I became a 1st time grandma and don't get to see my grandchild. My friend decided I was too needy and quit talking to me.

With my sister's situation now,,,I don't have anyone to have a pitty party with. But just as importantly I don't have anyone to share good stuff with either. Today was a great day! My sis only has to have Radiation for 6 wks. and I have a job interview in Seattle which gets me closer to her with a fortune 100 company. It was a great day G-D gave me. Reply

Mindy New York September 24, 2013

sharing I think its great that you have people in your life that you can share what you are going thru, We all go thru stuff in life's journey, I think its hard to find thou someone that we can trust, but if we have that person that we trust - it make things just easier, i also I do share stuff that I am dealing with, and when i do, I automatically feel better, good luck in all, and IYH good news will soon come to you.
Keep writing, I love reading your articles. Reply

Anonymous Broomall , PA September 24, 2013

Real difficulties need to be shared, albeit carefully. For myself, the problem was & is
a chronic illness. In sharing, I learned of treatments that have helped me more than
I can describe. Recall the story of Abraham when his hand (ready to sacrifice Isaac) was stilled by G-d ? He looked up and saw the ram. For me, the alternative treatments are the ram. We need to look up, we need to see alternatives and in sharing, we often learn to recognize the ram. May you find your ram. Reply

D orothy Fla September 23, 2013

Courage and Friendship This is a stunningly beautiful piece .... filled with heart and courage. This situation is so difficult to bear...not only does this author have a magnificent mindset, but knowing this heartship must be shared with supportive and good friends helps everyone.

It seems, whatever will come your way, you will have the grace and compassion to move forward. Reply

Anonymous Long Beach, CA September 22, 2013

need of a hakham, chaverim I identify so much with this story yet I never been married and never been pregnant. My problem is having dreams and goals and starting them off well and yet become disappointed when it goes badly. Worse yet is when I go through these things alone which doubles the pain and fear. In a sense, I can identify with a woman wanting to give birth and yet there are complications in the midst. I pray for HaShem's mercy, grace and strength for all those going through such a journey and may we all have good friends to confide in. Reply

Chana September 22, 2013

sharing What you wrote is so true....not sharing the pain with others will lead to either husband or wife pulling away from each other because they can't handle it. It was such a life changing moment when I totally broke down at a friend's wedding (I hardly ever cry) and a very wise woman saw me and reached out to me. I love your articles, they describe so well the emotions and struggles I am also going through in this same area. May the merit of you reaching out to so many women and allowing them an outlet for their pain bring you a child speedily. Reply

Anonymous n.y., n.y. September 22, 2013

you are so right after experiencing a different most difficult personal challenge, I know first hand how important the advice you feel so strongly about is. Wanting privacy I reached out to the Almighty which was the best thing and literally not only saved me but brought me to heights I could never have otherwise reached. However, I also learned that The Almighty wants us to be there for each other and sometimes makes us needy so that others have the opportunity to give. Let us all be there for each other, that is what life is all about! Reply

Infertility is often a silent struggle, making it all the more difficult to connect to others trying to conceive. I am a woman living in Brooklyn, who is having trouble conceiving. Throughout my journey thus far, I have tried to remain positive, and I strive to find some humor amid the pain. (I usually do.) I aim to give readers some hope, laughter, and sympathy.