Einat Biton was in her 21st week of pregnancy when her doctors unanimously informed her that she must terminate the pregnancy. She didn’t at the last possible moment and her Amitai is a wonderful 4 year old boy today.
Einat Bitton was having a regular routine day 4 and half years ago. Nothing prepared her for what was about to happen. “I was in my 21st week in the middle of work when my water broke. No warning or anything. I went to the doctor and he told me “You must go to the hospital immediately.”
Upon my arrival at the hospital, after a checkup it was clearly concluded that the water did indeed break. The doctors said unanimously: ”The pregnancy can’t last without water, the embryo needs the water, that’s it, it’s all finished”.
Einat can’t describe the shock she had. “I couldn’t answer, not one word would come out. My husband came to the hospital and we both sat down and cried. It was clear to us that the pregnancy was all over. Then the doctors came in and explained that they must take me in to operate and terminate the pregnancy. At this point my husband stopped them and said: “We must ask our rabbi”. He called up the rabbi who conversed with a few other rabbis who were experts in this topic and the answer came back:
“As long as there is a pulse and the baby is moving there should not be an abortion”. We told this to the doctors and they looked at us like we were crazy! Doctor after doctor explained to us how serious and dangerous the situation was. They said once the water breaks there is great fear of infection which will endanger the mother. The doctors tried scaring us and threatening us but my husband armed with with rabbis and his own medical experts said; “this is indeed true that in such a case a woman should receive anti-biotics to help prevent that infection from happening therefore we’re staying right here in the hospital to get the close observation and medical attention this warrants.”
How did you feel about this?
“It was awful. I walked around the hospital with the knowledge that I’m carrying a live baby that’s not going to make it. In my heart I just wanted to get into the operating room and finish with it. I was also afraid of the damage that keeping the pregnancy might bring. But my husband was very strong about this. We were in the first stages of doing teshuva (becoming religiously observant) and my husband’s faith was very strong. I remember him sitting with me in a hospital hallway explaining it to me in the simplest fashion: “Only G-d can decide what will be with our child. He will decide if the child won’t come to this world. We won’t stop the process. G-d alone will do that.”
A 3 month hospitalization
When I was admitted to the hospital ward the doctors explained that within 48 hours of the water breaking contractions will start. I was sure it would happen any minute. I asked my husband to call up the rabbi and explain our situation and he reassured us as long as there’s a pulse, movement and supervision we have nothing to worry about. I can also get everything I need to stop the contractions and prevent infection if necessary.
If you ever felt secure about what you were doing, that is exactly what Einat felt. “It was clear to me I was doing the right thing. I was calm and very much at peace with myself. But this was only for a short time as the doctors came in with blood tests results showing that there was an infection.
Einat said she felt powerless but her husband calmly said: “We do nothing, the rabbi already said what to do”. The shocked doctor shouted at him: ”you are endangering your wife!”
My husband called up the rabbi who replied: “If they are applying so much pressure, move immediately to Maaynei Hayeshua hospital. They confirm what the doctors already told you but one thing is for sure, over there they value life far more”.
At midnight they signed a release and moved over to Maaynei Hayeshua Hospital. “Things began to look more optimistic as soon as we got there. The doctors were worthy messengers. True the doctors explained the gravity of the situation but then a nurse came in and offered me words of encouragement. She said: “we’ve had women here before whose water broke and they had great miracles.”
“I felt I was being treated differently and found faith I didn’t know I had inside me.” Einat said.” I decided that come what may, I will proceed with the pregnancy. I was able to hold on to the pregnancy until the 29th week.”
“Abortion is murder!”
Einat explains; “For over 2 months I lay in a hospital foreign to me. All the women here were from Bnei Brak and I was the only one from out of town. I learned a lot from then and became strengthened. This was my first exposure to Charedi society and I met so many wonderful women. You should know that we were 3 women in the same room with the same situation- our waters broke early and we all encouraged each other. What was so special was that in the end we all gave birth to totally healthy babies. This proved that there are miracles beyond the grim predictions of the doctors.”
In the 29th week doctors told Einat that she held the pregnancy as long as possible and she was taken to the delivery room where she gave birth to her son. “He was premature but he bravely weathered the time he was in the neonatal unit and today he is a healthy, well developed 4 year old boy.”
When she thinks about her first coming to the hospital Einat shudders and tears come to her eyes. “They sacred me so much in the first hospital and told me that even if the child is actually born he will be imperfect, deaf or blind.” I look at my wonderful son and I say to myself: Not to let this child come into the world is simply murder.”
What would you tell women in a similar situation?
“I cannot decide Jewish law for anyone, but I publicized this story to give over the message that even in the direst situations there is always hope. It doesn’t mean that you will be successful but the doctors never presented the facts to include an alternative. They maintained there was only one way to deal with this and that was abortion. It is very important to seek counsel of a Talmid Chacham a Torah Sage; someone who has a heart beating inside him, with sensitivity to the life not yet born who is still alive and can live. The most important thing is to pray as much as possible and to believe that you are doing the best possible thing all along the way.”
“I also suggest reaching out to the I.M.A. division of Hidabroot for assistance. The advice and assistance they give can save a baby's life and his mother's life too!”