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Letting Go

Letting Go

Dealing with Secondary Infertility


When we first tried to conceive I asked the doctor if we would have to endure infertility treatments every time we wanted to have a child. I wanted him to tell me that once I conceived, I could put all the injections and pills behind me and from then on conceive naturally. He didn’t. Instead he told me honestly, "I don’t know."

Treatment after treatment, month after month, year after year, my womb remained empty. Nothing happened except the pain in my heart grew stronger. I felt like everyone around me was pregnant and having babies. Especially in my community it’s hard not to feel like you are "the only one" without children.

I cried to G‑d, I pleaded with Him. I looked to our matriarchs for guidance and clues as to how to overcome this test. I spoke with rabbis and friends. At last it slowly hit me that I simply had no control over the matter. It was the first time in my life that I had such a clear revelation of the grandeur of my Creator and how I was completely and totally in His hands.

I let myself go. The stubborn voice inside of me that said, "We will have children," never completely faded, but it did quiet down. We put the conventional treatments on hold, we took a break, and then we decided to try a different approach. We changed our diet, tried acupuncture and took herbs. Shortly after I conceived and nine months later I gave birth to our son.

It took me months to realize that I actually had a son. I had a hard time believing that this beautiful life came from my body and that I was his mother. The gratitude that I feel is immeasurable. Why then has the longing returned; as well as the aching and uncertainty?

Daily I pray for childless couples and I feel so guilty from my feelings. Why can’t I just be thrilled at what I have--the blessing that G‑d has given me? Instead my eyes focus on the bulging bellies of pregnant women. I see siblings play together and large families walking down the streets. I hug my son dearly and wonder if I’ll ever be able to feel the sensation of life growing inside of me again. I wonder if I’ll be able to provide for him brothers and sisters with whom to play.

Letting go helps me get through my darkest moments

I’ve returned to acupuncture and stick to my diet. Nothing has happened, yet. So I’m waiting and I find myself in the same situation as I did two years ago even though now having a son, everything has changed. The little voice inside of me insists, "You have one, there’s no reason why you can’t have another." But it’s fading.

I throw myself once again completely in the hands of my Creator. I admit to Him, to myself, that even with all that I do, I have no control over this, over any matter. I find that letting go helps me get through my darkest moments. A friend of mine asked me how I could do that; how could I give up? I explained to her that letting go and letting G‑d take over is not giving up. In fact it’s the only way to fight a battle.

Originally from northern California and a Stanford University graduate, Elana Mizrahi now lives in Jerusalem with her husband and children. She is a doula, massage therapist, writer, and author of Dancing Through Life, a book for Jewish women. She also teaches Jewish marriage classes for brides.
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Discussion (14)
August 1, 2014
Would you mind sharing about your diet that helped you conceive?
March 19, 2009
Thank you Elana for your beautiful story. I pray for you for #2, and I pray for that same #2 for myself, and all the other mothers on here longing to bring beautiful souls into this world. I feel so many of the same feelings you mentioned in your letter. After trying and waiting so long for #1 , it still feels unbelievable despite our daughter being 26months! We conceived #1 with the help of IVF, but sadly had 1 miscarriage and one failed IVF in our attempt for #2. We will try for a final IVF this summer- with the help of Hashem we hope our little princess will some day not have to endure the pains of being a "lonely only" that I myself had to endure.
January 16, 2009
Waiting on G-d
I am a christian and have drawn great strength for these stories of other women who had problems with getting pregnant. It could not have come at a better time in my life. I am 40 and still praying, believing and trusting in the L-rd. I am very grateful for the encouragement that I have gathered from the testimonials. My brother-in-law is having a baby and I am very happy for them, but it can not help but cause temporary pain for those who are having a hard time conceiving a child.
Mrs. Lynn Ladnier
Mobile, AL/USA
June 12, 2008
10 years
It has been 10 years since our daughter was born and I still hope for more. Its hard for my Shoshi to see her friends with SO many brothers and sisters. She doesn't understand why she has to be alone. My husband and I try to help her to see the positive in her life but I know how she feels. I really thought after having one baby that the rest would follow. I would ask Hashem (G-d) "aren't there any neshamas that want to be part of our family?" I focus on my beautiful Shoshi and how much she has filled my life with more than I thought possible. This neshama was meant for us. Elana is right about letting go and trusting Hashem. It has taken me seven years to let go and see what will happen.
Sarah Leah
Worcester, MA
February 16, 2008
We are trying for 2 years and 3 month! This is so hard, also if you know, that the problem is you... Every month shots, research, other painfull stuff and nothing happens.... I am so tired. But I know that we will have kids, and I am never angry or uspet when i see other kids and pregnant woman, it just makes me move on, to my dream. Everybody deserves to be a mother. And I know that G-d will not leave us alone. He is with us, just only He knows when is the right time!
October 13, 2007
Finally the kind of story I've been looking for!
I have a 15 month old son. I had a miscarriage before we had him, and then it took seven months before we conceived again. I completely understand what the nagging voice inside is about, mine makes me suffer a lot. Somehow I think that I'm starting the process of letting go. My husband and I have been trying for 6 months now to get pregnant again, however we don't yet have any good news to share with our loved ones. I suffer a lot from the worrying of what is going to be, but I'm trying to be positive, and have just recently started realising how powerless we are, we just don't know what G-d in His infinite wisdom has in store for us, all we know is that we can pray and try to be good people - He will answer our prayers in a way that only He knows best. Please G-d we should all have good news to share very soon.
April 19, 2007
This really touched me. I experienced secondary infertility after having 2 kids. I had several treatments done with failure. Eight years passed by and my life was consumed by this yearning. I couldn't even enjoy my kids because I only focused on what I couldn't have. I finally let go and just trusted my body. When I conceived my doctor could not believe it. I still have the same yearning even with 3 kids, but I learned that G-d has the plan for each and one of us. May you have whatever your heard desires.
January 9, 2007
Letting Go - Dealing with Secondary Infertility
I too had a similar experience and had to let go. However, after 8 years and 9 months of many challenges and even more praying, G-d gave my husband and I a beautiful second child. People always comment about the large age span and I always respond the same way "You get them the way G-d gives them". We have no control so letting go is best. Best wishes and my prayers are with you.
barrington, nj
January 9, 2007
Your new son
Thank you for your story. As a massage therapist since 1981, I've treated many women who 'could not concieve' who told me this was her last hope before having to undergo fertility treatments. We worked,and already the first time, I could see the 'flame of the soul' entering and exiting her body . She could not see what I was seeing,but could feel it,and a month later,confirmed that she was pregnant. We worked weekly and the 'flame' would stay longer and longer periods before leaving..After the baby was born,we kept doing that time the baby had become so used to the rythm of the massage , it would cry if we put him we'd lay him on her tummy or her back,depending on where I was working...he'd instantly fall happily asleep and just purr.So wonderful,so much fun! She went on to have 3 more children ! Some women are wayTOO THIN,too nervous to carry.There has to be a certain amount of body fat to get pregnant..'letting go,letting G-d' is smart,wise.Mazel Tov!
Chaska, MN
January 7, 2007
This was a beautiful article. I hope and pray that you have another child and for all the childless couples out there.