Love and Life
"I really didn’t want this pregnancy," says Rinat.
"I already had two children whom I raised more or less on my own, with my husband out of the house most of the time. He always told me it was because of work, but I never really believed him. Our financial situation was always difficult. And I couldn’t rely on him to support me and the kids so I went to work at the supermarket as a cashier.
"But our financial situation isn’t what led me to consider an abortion.
"Both previous births were very difficult and even though my contractions were intense and I spent hours in the delivery room, both births ended with a cesarean section. Recovery after surgery was not easy and there was nobody to help me. I have no mother or sisters and I went through a tough time.
"When I discovered I was pregnant again, I was afraid to go through the same thing again. My doctor told me that there was no chance of me having a normal delivery; that my only option would be a C-section, and I was so afraid of revisiting the trauma. I kept the pregnancy a secret and decided I would end it as soon as possible.
"The only person who knew about it was my supervisor at work, who gave me the day off on the day I planned to have the abortion.
"When I got to the hospital, I received a call from an Efrat volunteer. She promised that she would help me with anything I’d need for the baby. I was so touched by her concern, but I wanted her to understand that despite my willingness to accept Efrat’s help, my problem was my fear of giving birth. I was afraid of having surgery again and going through it alone with no help.
"When she heard that, she said, 'I'll be there for you! You won’t be alone. I'll be there whenever you need me!' I asked her where she lives and she replied, 'It doesn’t matter where I live. Even if you give birth in Tzfat, I’ll be there!' I started to cry.
"Then she continued, 'Rinat, it’s Tu B'Av today. It’s our Valentine's Day. You’ll see that this child will bring you so much happiness in life and your home will be filled with love again.'
"To myself I said ‘Amen’, and went home.
"I was in close touch with her throughout my pregnancy and when I found out the date for the surgery I called her right away to tell her.
"While we waited together for surgery, she said: 'Rinat, do you remember when we spoke the first time? It was Tu B'Av. Today is Tu Bishvat. We met on Valentine's Day and you’re going to give birth on the New Year of the Trees, the holiday that symbolizes abundance and growth.'
"My surgery went smoothly, I gave birth to a son, and Efrat’s volunteer didn’t leave my side until after the recovery period. When I got home, she came to visit and took care of everything I needed, including organizing the brit.
"This child has filled me with joy, and not only thanks to Efrat who stepped in at the very last minute. When my husband saw the financial aid we had received and the support around me and the baby, it stirred something in him too."