The day was finally here. November 1st I took my last pill of birth control, and today was Cycle Day 1! I called the clinic and let them know I was on schedule. They told me to come in a few days later. We woke up at 5:30 in the morning, got dressed and were sitting in the clinic waiting room by 6:30 AM. I was called back and we signed our names on every type of agreement, release, and authorization the hospital and clinic could have come up with. Then the woman told us, ok so the total today for the TESE procedure will be $15,000. How do you want to pay? We looked at her like she had three eyes, we asked if they took Amex, we then watched her swipe our credit card for $15,000.

We were told to have a seat in the waiting room and we would be called in shortly. Akiva and I were still stunned that we had just swiped our credit card for so much money. We were still young and had never spent that much in one purchase! A few minutes later Akiva got a notification from our credit card company that we were now Platinum Starwood Preferred Members. We joked that at least we got something out of all of this.

The nurse came out and called my name and brought me back to the exam room. I saw a doctor I had never seen before, he did the scan and told me they would be in touch. I got my blood drawn and we both went to work. That afternoon I got a call and they told me what my dosages were. They told me to come back in a few days.

Day after day went pretty much the same way. Waking up super early, going to the hospital and then driving all the way up to Westchester to get to work. Every night I would inject myself with anywhere from 2 to 4 injections and hope that I was doing it correctly. It was terrifying taking that needle and putting it into my skin. Why did I have to do this to myself? Who came up with this idea and what was wrong with them? The only satisfying aspect of this experience was watching the follicles get bigger and bigger each day on the scan. Seeing that the torture I was putting myself through was doing some good and would hopefully have a good result.

One day I was standing in the exam room taking off my tights balancing on one foot, and the door swung open, a young Indian doctor was standing there with a look of shock on his face. As I stared at him equally in shock, he blurted out, “Oh my G-d I am so sorry!” and slammed the door shut. I resumed undressing and sat down. He came back five minutes later, knocked multiple times, opened the door a crack and said, “can I come in now?” My husband was laughing at this point and said yes of course. The doctor apologized profusely, and my husband and I kept telling him, its fine! It was Friday morning, so we taught him all about the Jewish Sabbath and what we as Orthodox Jews were and were not able to do with regards to “cycling”. He told us he would be in touch with my doctor and we would make a decision about how to proceed.

Having had some moments of humor dispersed throughout this highly taxing time is the only way we were able to survive. We spent so many days and nights crying about everything, that little bits like this helped us endure the overall experience. We have talked and laughed about that experience many times since that November in 2015. It was pretty crazy when this doctor showed back up in our lives almost exactly three years later, and performed a quick, but life saving surgery.

This week is Infertility Awareness Week – take a moment to reach out to a friend, family, or loved one who may be going through a tough time in the middle of the holidays. They may not respond, but knowing you are there for them will mean the world.