I already have 6 wonderful children that I love with all my heart. But I felt, 6 is enough! I did not want more children nor did I want another pregnancy because each of my pregnancies was very difficult both emotionally and physically. I found out I was pregnant again. I’m actually an orthodox woman and our home lives totally by what the Torah says, but this time I was sure I couldn’t cope. This preganacy was a surprise but not a happy one for me. I decided I wanted an abortion.
Were you aware of what that means?
I was fully aware. I was not totally at peace with my decision but I felt I could not handle another pregnancy. I even got a dispensation from a rabbi who permitted me to abort.
My husband understandably was very much against the abortion but alone in the battle he would have lost and we would have had the abortion. I was in a terrible emotional state and I refused to listen to reason. Quietly without my knowledge he approached Hidabroot. Their IMA (Ima Matzila Oti- “my mother is saving me”) branch of Hidabroot met with me and they were angels that saved me!
They sent me an amazing counselor to give me the support I needed. She was part of a whole support team that took care of many different things. Originally, I refused to meet them. I did not want to hear what they had to say. It would be an understatement to say I was not in top form. But their kind words eventually penetrated the wall I erected. I understood that I had to vent and release pressure. But they went a step further and asked me until I asked myself, “have any of my worst fears ever become a reality?”
Understanding that my anxiety though natural was unfounded was a turning point for me. After all I had 6 successful pregnancies so experience was on my side. I learned that I was afraid of the pregnancy itself and with positive thinking would have nothing to fear. The thought that my reaction to my fear would bring future lifelong regret if I went out and got the abortion was sobering. At the last moment I cancelled my abortion appointment and started working on positive thinking and quality of life.
My dedication brought with it merit that immediately paid off. My pregnancy was far easier than any previous one and I got over my fears and anxieties. Everything was fine until the sixth month of pregnancy.
In the sixth month I started feeling strong pains in my upper abdomen near my rib cage and my breathing was difficult. I checked into the hospital a few times with no conclusive diagnosis. Some doctors said the baby is very big (which was true) you must have pregnancy onset diabetes (which wasn’t true). Other doctors said other things but one thing they all agreed on, that I needed to have a cesarean delivery. In the eighth month I found out one of my kidneys swelled up and that caused all of the other symptoms. Now they considered me high risk and a cesarean seemed even more inevitable.
So what did you do? There was nothing further in my mind than the possibility I was going to have a cesarean birth. I never had one before and I had no plans of having one this time! I made the appointment but I proactively went to pray for a normal delivery. I went to rabbis to receive blessings. I went to Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky who advised me to start with trying a regular delivery and if there are complications then you can proceed to the cesarean. I prayed to G-d at the grave sites of Baba Sali and Rabbi Yissachar Meir both buried in my hometown Netivot. I promised that I would name my son after both of these giants of Torah and spirit. I also promised G-d I would show appreciation to Hidabroot that helped me keep this pregnancy and I would give them a donation. I had faith that G-d would help me deliver a healthy baby with a regular delivery.
This faith proved itself. The day before the cesarean due date I started having contractions and proceeded to the hospital for a regular delivery. The hospital warned me of the risks involved in a natural birth of a large baby but I stuck with Rabbi Kanievsky’s instructions. It wasn’t an easy delivery, it was long and the pulse of the baby went down a few times before the delivery. But Thank G-d he was born healthy at 4.5 kilograms (10 pounds!) of total sweetness delivered naturally. The reason his pulse kept going down was that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his whole body but thank G-d he was born without any mishap.
I’m getting used to life with 7 children instead of 6. The swelling of my kidney is gradually receding, I’m gaining back my strength and I feel very fortunate. I cannot for a moment understand how I was ready to give up on having this wonderful child and I’m understandably grateful to Hidabroot for their amazing support that gave me the strength to follow through with this pregnancy.
If you personally have any doubts about similar issues don’t hesitate to contact Hidabroot.