This time is different, or at least I am experiencing in a new way. Over the past 13 years I’ve been through a number of cycles of violence between Israel and its neighbors. I don’t spend too much energy debating how it should be handled because I don’t have a good answer. Like most Israelis I do my best to continue with my life and pray that an enduring and peaceful resolution can be reached.
As a resident of Jerusalem, my daily routine continues: I continue to work and socialize almost as usual. Yes, I make sure that I know about safety precautions and the nearest bomb shelters when I am away from my home, but for the most part my life continues. When I hear a siren indicating that rockets have been launched in the direction of Jerusalem, I make my way to the shelter and wait until I can safely return to whatever I had previously been doing. I’m not suggesting that it is easy and certainly not ideal, but I, like many Israelis, continue to continue. People still go out to pubs and events – though a few larger events have been postponed or canceled due to safety concerns – there are still tourists on their summer vacations, and the World Cup is part of daily conversations. There is a real effort placed on maintaining as much of a normal routine as possible.
My routine involves IVF treatments and those continue as before but they may be my biggest challenge in dealing with this outbreak of violence. My Facebook feed is full of comments by parents forced to wake their sleeping children in the middle of the night to bring them to the safety of a bomb shelter. There is a part of me that is grateful to have been spared the fear of parent who finds themselves apart from their child at the sound of a siren. Still, the fear and violence affects my experience in fertility treatments. I fear the day that when I have to rush my child to safety.
Optimism and hope are what push me forward through the hardships of IVF. It pushes me through the stress of the treatments and allows me to see beyond my immediate situation. Unfortunately, it is precisely these two feelings that are most difficult maintain while standing in a bomb shelter. I do hope to bring a child into the world, but I’m concerned about the world that he or she would enter. Optimism is hard to maintain given the daily news cycle. Devoting significant energy to creating life seems trivial amidst the violence.
I return to the IVF clinic accompanied by two prayers: that this IVF cycle will be met with success and that my children will inherit a world where peace is routine.