A year ago tonight, on the 5th night of Hanukkah, my life changed for the better. I have written and rewritten this article to express my gratitude for this past year, and I hope I did it justice.
I was sitting on my couch, post-candle lighting, scrolling through Facebook when I came across a post by my childhood friend Shelley. I didn’t know it then, but her article about her egg-freezing journey would change my life.
I can hardly grasp that it’s been a year since I started my fertility trek. Yes, fertility trek. Some call it a fertility journey – but journeys are smooth, more or less. Fertility treatments are like climbing Mount Everest with no shoes or water.
When I first began this trek 50 weeks ago, I started recording myself as a daily diary always to go back and remember how far I’ve come. At first, it was theoretical if I would go through with it. Once I decided I was all in — the trek began.
Doctor appointments, blood tests, ultrasounds, finding the right hospital — took up more time than I expected, but because I was furloughed then, I had the time.
I felt very much alone. I felt like no one understood what I was going through. I needed support. I knew if I was feeling this way that others were too. So, I created a Facebook group: Fertility Support Community: Israel – which now has over 450 members.
Every woman in the group has her own story – egg freezing, pregnancy loss, fertility treatments, etc. Although we are all different – we all have empathy towards each other. What I most want for people to understand is that fertility is not a single person or married issue– your relationship status and age, for that matter, are irrelevant. All women – and men – should be educated and informed to decide what they wish to do about their fertility.
A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by i24 news about my trek. At first, I was hesitant to be part of the segment because sharing on social media and sharing on TV are different ball games, but I am thrilled I did because it helped get the word out there.
Two months ago, I had my first egg retrieval. After a week of injections, blood tests, ultrasounds, and a lot of tears, I had finally made it. The night before my retrieval, I went to the Mikveh (following Shelley’s unique initiative), and as cliché as this may sound, I felt pure — I felt ready for the procedure. Next week, I’ll be doing a second round, and I know it will not be easy, but I am prepared because I’ve learned that I am stronger than I ever knew.
A year ago today, I took charge of my fertility, and I am not at all ashamed of it. My wish on this 5th night of Chanukkah is that YOU reading this know that you’re not alone.
Tonight I am grateful for the 5th night of Chanukkah and to all the Wonder Women who I’ve met on this trek.