The power of hope: A PUAH story
“Is this Mrs. Mandel? I’m calling from the clinic. Unfortunately, I don’t have good news…”
How many times can you experience failure before you give up? How many times can you allow your hopes to be raised just once more, to subject yourself to painful procedures and even more painful heartbreak as you hear those dreaded words: “The test was negative.” It didn’t work. You’re not pregnant.
As couples struggling with infertility know all too well, the reality is that it can take many attempts, many failed treatments, many long, long years, as they travel a dark and twisted road with no idea how and if they’ll ever reach their destination.
Rikki Mandel hangs up the phone and immediately calls her husband. She sobs, “That’s it. We’re never going to have children.”
Her husband, Ari, feels like crying himself. But he attempts to rally. “Let’s speak to the doctor. Maybe there’s something else we can try?”
“We’ve tried EVERYTHING! What more can we do? Hashem obviously doesn’t want us to have kids.” Rikki is really bawling now, as the images flash through her mind: strollers, baby clothing, a toddler grasping her hand, a pig-tailed girl waving as she heads off to school, a bar mitzvah boy smiling up at her… And she watches as these visions, her dreams, her future, crumble to dust.
Hope. It’s one of the most powerful human emotions. With hope, people can overcome illness, survive suffering, and emerge victorious from challenges. For a couple with infertility, hope is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.
Why? According to Joshua Klein, M.D., FACOG, reproductive endocrinologist and co-founder of Extend Fertility, the vast majority of couples are able to have a baby. But too many give up hope and stop treatments before they reach the finish line.
“This is why working with PUAH makes such a huge difference for these couples. PUAH works with them every step of the way, giving the hope and the tools to keep going - until they have a baby.”
Rikki folds her arms as she and Ari sit down across from the PUAH rabbinic counselor. “Honestly, rabbi, I’m not even sure why we’re here. It’s clear we’re a hopeless case. It’s been eight years and we’ve tried so much—” Her voice catches as she hands him a copy of their medical file.
The rabbi places the file on his desk and looks at her. “I don’t need to look through your medical history to tell you that you’re not a hopeless case. Because there’s no such thing as a hopeless case. There are so many medical options available today, and new ones are being developed all the time. With Hashem’s help, you can and will have a baby!”
At PUAH, everything we do, every service we offer, all of our counseling, guidance and support, is all driven by that one underlying message: Your salvation is just around the corner. Maybe this time will work. And if not this time, then next.
Most importantly, at PUAH, these aren’t empty words. Our four decades of experience guiding couples through infertility have given us not just empathy but the knowledge that optimism truly is called for. Time and again, we’ve been able to guide couples to new doctors, new treatments, new approaches, and the tens of thousands of babies born can attest to the fact that, ultimately, it will work. Your dream will be realized.
After reviewing their case, the PUAH counselor recommends they meet with a different specialist. Though the doctor is booked a year in advance, for PUAH, he agrees to squeeze them in for an appointment next month. In the meantime, the rabbinic counselor also connects Rikki and Ari with the head of PUAH Cares, which provides emotional counseling and support.
When they leave, Rikki finds herself smiling for the first time since she received the call from the clinic. “He seemed so hopeful about our chances,” she says to Ari. “Who knows? Maybe this time, it really will work!”
The next treatment didn’t work. But, with the guidance of their PUAH counselor, they went on to try a different procedure. Nine months later, they gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
Their story ends happily. But there are thousands of Rikkis and Aris out there. Thousands of other couples who are on the brink of giving up, because they’ve suffered one too many disappointments.
Thousands of babies who won’t be born.
Just one phone call to PUAH can change that story. But PUAH needs your help to keep offering this vital guidance and support – to keep giving these couples the hope they need to realize their dream of parenthood.
Help thousands of couples who are hoping desperately for a baby!
Support PUAH’s $1.1 million campaign, June 12-13. To donate: www.Puahfertility.org
By Gila Arnold