For 17 years, we tried for a biological child. We researched every possible treatment. We tried most of them. We waited, we cried, we hoped, and we prayed. We ate crazy foods, and we wore amulets given to us by rabbis we didn’t even know. I stood on my head, and I went for acupuncture. We endured dozens of tests, hundreds of blood draws and shots, examinations, and so much more. We listened as doctors told us it was almost impossible, and then we tried again anyway.
I remember the moment I got the call that I was pregnant. I couldn’t breathe. I was scared to move. I wanted to shout the news to the world, and I wanted to keep the news just for us. I heard the words, but I was afraid to let myself believe them. “When I hear the heartbeat, I will believe,” I told my husband. Six weeks later, we heard that most amazing sound. “Not yet,” I said. “When we see the ultrasound, I will believe,” I said.
My body started changing. I was sick all day long. Still, I wasn’t ready to tell anyone. “When I feel movement,” I said, “that’s when I’ll believe.” And the weeks passed, and I kept our secret. One glorious day I felt tiny, little butterflies dancing around in my stomach. My husband placed his hand down, and a tiny little body swam towards him. Still, I wasn’t ready. “I’ll believe when they can tell us if it is a boy or a girl,” I said.
At twenty weeks, the doctor grinned and told us we were having a girl. A girl! I had so wanted a girl. I was getting excited, but I stopped myself. My husband wanted to buy out the stores. “Wait,” I said, “when we pass the 24th week, when we know she is viable, then I will believe.”
Twenty-four weeks came and went. I was feeling so good. I loved being pregnant. I wanted to stay that way forever. I wanted her to stay safe inside of me, where I could protect her from harm. I was so afraid something could still go wrong. “Wait,” I said. “When I can hold her in my arms, then I will believe.”
Forty weeks and two days finally arrived. I was shaking as I checked in to the hospital. So excited and so afraid. It was like a dream; I wasn’t sure it was real. I couldn’t believe this was finally happening. “Wait,” I said as they wheeled me into the delivery room, “I’m not ready.”
Hours later, it was done. The nurse handed me the most beautiful gift I have ever received. I carefully unwrapped her and took in her tiny fingers and her button nose. Her bright blue eyes caught my gaze and held it. Emuna, I whispered, that’s your name. It means faith. It means to believe. Because in that moment I knew that I had believed all along.