Daily Israel Report

Life Goes On

Sometimes, life's unexpected surprises happen for a reason.
By Esther Golde
First Publish: 6/11/2014, 10:00 PM

Pregnancy. (illustration)
Pregnancy. (illustration)
Flash90

This article is part of a series of testimonies from women helped by Efrat.

"We married young and my first pregnancy came relatively soon after. And we were happy.

"Until Ido was two years old I never questioned why I hadn’t got pregnant again – I never gave it a second thought. Questions began to pop up when Ido was 6 years old, but we accepted it.

"My husband is also an only child and didn’t see it as an issue. Our son was our whole world, and we put our heart and soul into raising him. He was a funny, beautiful, bright child, and he gave us such pleasure.

"When he was drafted to the army, I was so nervous. I tried everything to convince him not to go for a combat unit. But it was like talking to thin air. He was a highly principled boy and insisted on combat service. Who would give up such a top quality guy?

"In the end, with all the fear it entailed, Ido joined the paratroopers. I counted the days until his release.

"When Ido was 21 years old, the unfathomable happened. I fell pregnant. I took the test five times before I could actually digest it. At that stage of life, aged 46 without ever having dreamed of the possibility of falling pregnant, the news hit me as a complete surprise. It never occurred to me to give birth at that age.

"If I’d had subsequent children, it might’ve seemed different, but in my situation pregnancy seemed ridiculous to me. The thought of a child born years after his older brother was unthinkable.

"I didn’t want to decide alone so I went to see my doctor. He told me that because of my age, I would have a greater risk of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome. That sealed my decision to have an abortion.

"My neighbor, who is a very good friend of mine and also happens to be a volunteer at Efrat, would not hear of it and insisted that I not have an abortion. She tried to convince me by appealing to my emotion, but I felt that more than any other excuse, I was actually ashamed of the pregnancy. I'll never forget her question: 'What are you ashamed of? A gift from Heaven?' It touched me and I decided to keep the gift.

"Two years after giving birth to Uri, my son Ido was killed during a military operation, a few months before he was due to be released. If I hadn’t maintained that pregnancy, my husband and I would now be childless, and I would have to deal with the loss of two children, the death of one of which I was responsible. I would never have been able to forgive myself. The pain of losing a son doesn’t fade with time, but thanks to our son Uri, we enjoy moments of pleasure and joy."