Updated: 3 days ago
Who am I? It's not an easy question to answer.
My immediate thought is I’m a wife and a mom. But there’s so much more.
In the beginning of my childhood I lived in South Florida. When I was 11 my parents decided to make a big move to Israel. I often think about what would have happened if my parents chose to stay in Florida. Where would my life be? Who would I be?
Would I be a wife? A mom?
I’ve always wanted to be a mother. It was something that came naturally to me. I grew up in a big family and was always the volunteer babysitter.
About a year after my husband and I started dating we found out I was pregnant. My husband went into panic mode and understood immediately that he was not ready to be a father. We had just moved in together and we were still finding ourselves career-wise.
On the other hand, I had very different feelings. I knew as a couple that we were not ready to take such a huge step. Financially, or really in any other way. But this was a baby….
After a few difficult days Assaf suggested that maybe I get an abortion. I was so against abortion and that, plus the combination of hormones and fear, just made me break down. I felt so conflicted. How could I make this decision?
It's a crazy thing how you connect with even just an idea. All I had was a positive pregnancy test! And yet, already I was invested in this baby. And now I needed to make a decision if I should terminate the pregnancy or not. It was an impossible choice.
Would having this baby ruin any chance for Assaf and I to be together?
Would I be able to give this baby the life he/she deserves? Does all that even matter?
I was so lost.
I decided to go home for a few days to be with my mother and process my feelings. I didn’t know it at the time, but I never actually had to make a decision.
Honestly, I’ve blocked out so much of this story to protect myself from the pain that I felt, but here’s what I remember.
The day came for my first ultrasound. I was going to have the opportunity to see the little dot growing inside of me. Assaf and I were in a rocky place throughout this time, as I'm sure you can imagine. There was so much tension, so many feelings going on for both of us.
We went inside, nervous and scared. The OB started talking to us and right away we got a bad feeling from her. She was cold and standoffish, and not the kind of person who you'd want with you at such a difficult time. I asked her where the ultrasound machine was and she brushed me off and said "I don't have one".
At first I was confused and said "What do you mean? We came to do an ultrasound.”
She got super defensive and in a rude tone said "Are you calling me a liar? See for yourself."
Assaf right away stood up for me and told her that is absolutely not how you speak to a patient. That we came in here in a vulnerable and nervous state and her attitude is uncalled for.
I was irritated and upset and just walked out.
We rescheduled our ultrasound and double checked this time that we would not have any more issues.
We went inside and got all set up. The OB started with the sonogram but something wasn’t right.
Honestly, it was all a blur from there, but they told me the pregnancy wasn’t viable. Tears started to stream down my face, my heart felt broken. My initial reaction was anger towards myself. I did this. I wasn’t calm, I wasn’t taking care of myself.
The doctor explained to me that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and that most women experience at least one miscarriage in their lives.
I couldn’t hear anything that anyone was saying. It felt like the lights shut off and I was all alone.
We went to the hospital to have an outpatient procedure to remove the embryo; that was the worst day of my life.
I was given specially prescribed medications to help open my cervix and pass the pregnancy tissue. It felt like a horrible period. I was so aware of all that was happening. I took off a few days from work to recover physically and emotionally. I felt like I was drowning. It hit me so hard.
When you’re going through something tough it’s often pretty near impossible to see a good outcome. We may feel deep inside that everything happens for a reason and we are never faced with something we cannot handle. Deep in the thick of this nightmare I was not able to see any of that. How was I going to make it out of this ok?
You close yourself off. You keep it all bottled inside. I think a woman's initial thought is that she's alone.
Remember when I said 1 in 4 women suffer a miscarriage? YES, it's that common.
Instead of holding it all in and burying it, try to let it out. Allow for your support system to be there for you. Share your story and I can guarantee you'll find others who have been through something similar and can become a shoulder to lean on and may even give you that hope that you've lost.
I don’t think Assaf knew what to do to comfort me. What I was feeling was something you cannot understand unless you go through it yourself.
I'm sure many women feel that their partners don't really know the best way to comfort them in these times. I know it may seem strange to think about the other person while you're going through something so difficult but what I've understood now is that they are going through a hard time as well.
Imagine watching someone you love go through something and there's nothing you can do to fix it.
Once I started to feel a bit more like myself, Assaf and I spoke. He said to me if we were to get pregnant again (by accident) he would never again suggest that I abort.
A year later my period was 9 days late….
I was a bartender at the time in a chef restaurant here in Jerusalem. I had done a blood test earlier that day to find out. I was so nervous about what Assaf’s reaction would be. All the memories from the year before started to come up and give me so much anxiety. Assaf found out the results first and called me at work. He told me to open up my medical application that the results are in.
I was pregnant!
Assaf knew I was so nervous about what his thoughts and reaction would be. He immediately said to me, “It’s ok! You can be happy and excited; we talked about this. If it happened again it must mean it’s meant to be.”
I gave birth to Emma on February 2, 2017.
Looking back, I know that all that we went through needed to happen for us to get where we are today. Assaf is a wonderful, devoted father. Who knows what would have happened with us if we were to have had that baby all those years ago?
Our family has since expanded. We welcomed our second daughter, Bella, on February 18, 2019 and I can tell you we are not ready to stop there.
Life has a way of working out. We don’t always know the destination but it’s the journey that you don’t want to miss.
Being a mom is the hardest job but it’s the most rewarding one there is. My girls are my everything. They drive me crazy and challenge me like I’ve never been challenged.
You never know what the person standing before you has been through.
People tend to hide their painful pasts. I hope my story encourages others to speak up and share.