At the end of April it will be a year since we first met with a fertility specialist. This year, like any other, has had its ups and downs. I can’t claim that trying to conceive has been all fun and games, but this year has not been exclusively about us trying to get pregnant. At times though, it did feel as though our lives revolved around one all-encompassing goal. We learned that that approach would not work for us and could potentially lead to difficult series of disappointments. We seem to have stumbled on the perfect remedy, travel therapy.
There is nothing like a brief respite from all things relating to infertility: no doctors, no daily blood tests, no ultrasounds, no injections, and most certainly no talk of trying to get pregnant. Most of the time this can be achieved by simply deciding to take a month or two off. However, I have discovered that the cause is furthered by hopping on a plane and escaping it all. It is just my luck that the option has presented itself a few times this year.
Two weeks before Passover we learned that our first round of IVF did not take. I don’t think that I really expected it to be successful (a future post will deal with the full 5 days for which I was pregnant). The whole process left me drained and I needed to regroup before starting again.
Tommy’s parents and grandparents suggested that we come to Budapest for the holiday. I could smell the aroma of my mother-in-law’s culinary talents and my head filled with images of us riding bikes through Margaret Island along the Danube. It did not take long for us to accept the invitation. While the 6 inches of snow has kept us far from the Danube, there is no doubt that the trip has served its purpose.
Like most vacations it also proved to hold a bit of the unexpected. Tommy’s parents and grandparents appreciated the spirit that we brought to the Seder (I am rarely complemented on my singing).The absence of children could not be ignored when I recited the four questions. At the end of the evening, Tommy’s 90 year old grandfather commented that it had been a very long time since he had been to such a vivacious Seder. It seems that the combination of the Holocaust and Communism drained Hungary of its Jewish energy and vibrancy. That evening, Tommy (with the help of his talented wife) returned his grandfather to his own heritage. It was a powerful moment in which I realized the potential that I have to teach a future child, but also to learn and grow from the next generation.
At some point during the course of the fertility treatments I began to focus on the process and distanced myself from its purpose. That evening, watching Tommy with his parents and grandparents, I reconnected with our hopes to one day have a similar experience with our own children and grandchildren.