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Oct 1 2013

After Years of Infertility, I’m Losing My Faith in God

By at 3:33 pm

where was god?

Well, that was a colossal failure. Months of planning, 10s of thousands of dollars, two trips to Cyprus, a really promising early pregnancy–and we have nothing. We have no donor embryos left. Our last cycle resulted in my seventh pregnancy, with fantastic early signs, but I miscarried at six weeks. We’d already been tested for every cause of recurrent loss, and honestly believed the genetically tested donor embryos were the answer.

Apparently not.

What do we do now? Nothing has changed on the adoption front (we are still on the years-long waiting lists for domestic adoption here in Israel, and international adoption remains out of reach financially). We could try a gestational carrier, but both in Israel and abroad the costs and logistical hurdles just seem insurmountable.

For now we wait. We are in shock. We really thought this approach, and this pregnancy, would bring us at least one baby (and possibly a sibling in a few years).

We are beyond exhausted. In the past five years, we’ve become experts at pretending to be OK. We function normally–going to work, hanging out with friends, fulfilling other commitments. We go through the motions, but are always emotional detached. I may look and seem okay, but inside I feel like I’m dying, every single day. The grief and the stress fill me up so much that I don’t know what else I can possibly have inside me.

I don’t like this person I’ve become. I’m numb and stressed and sad. I used to be happy and excited about life. Now I’m just stuck in a loop of waiting and waiting and waiting. I don’t think I can ever go back to the way I was. I’m learning to live with this new me. As much as I despise her bitterness and anger, I know she is here to stay, forever.

I wonder where God is in all this. I was raised as an Orthodox Jew and through college, I attended Jewish schools. We were always taught that the question of “why do bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people” was the central pillar of faith, the ultimate unanswerable question. The basis of faith was the belief that God was in control and that there are reasons for everything, even when we can’t see or understand.

But I can’t believe any more. I can’t possibly believe that we’ve done anything bad enough to deserve what we’ve been through. And if there isn’t any thing we’ve done to deserve it, I can’t believe that God is doing this to us for some mysterious un-knowable reason. I know everyone questions God when they lose a loved one, but this has gone even beyond that. Losing one set of twins at birth wasn’t enough? Thirteen IVF cycles weren’t enough? Losing our boys in the NICU wasn’t enough? Another baby boy halfway through pregnancy wasn’t enough? Four miscarriages weren’t enough?

When are we going to get our baby?

At this point, I am just too angry with God, or just can’t believe that he cares, to participate in Jewish holidays and rituals. For so many years, I did everything I should–observing Shabbat and Kashrut, going to the mikveh, praying, believing. Now I’m so exhausted and angry that I just don’t have the energy to be a practicing Jew.

I know that this is a test of faith, and that I should rise above it and say, “It’s all for the best and I trust in God.” But I don’t. And that makes me feel even more like a failure.

People always say that God never gives you what you can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t have such a high opinion of us….

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