There’s No I in Uterus

Carrie Bornstein, Fertility

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, we are reminded of Carrie’s brave decision to help a Jewish couple begin their family by becoming a gestational surrogate. Enjoy a glimpse into her journey and keep your eyes open for Mayyim Hayyim’s Fertility Journeys: A Jewish Healing Guide – coming soon!

By Carrie Bornstein, Executive Director 

Life has been a little busy lately. For all the normal reasons, yes. And, there are some other reasons, too. Mayyim Hayyim has a funny way of having an impact on people, myself included. So I want to share with you some of what’s keeping me busy lately, in the form of the first post from a personal blog that I started keeping a few months ago. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can read the beginnings of it below, and then click over to to read more:

This Idea that I Had…

I used to joke that I should have someone else’s baby. I’m good at being pregnant, I thought. I get pregnant easily… I stay pregnant easily… I give birth easi fast… it just feels like something I do well. And in some sick way, I’ve enjoyed giving birth. I like hospitals… all those people coming to help take care of me, bring me water, bring me food that I don’t have to cook or clean up myself… no one with the chutzpah to argue with me over the remote control… (I know – I’m nuts, right?)

Except you know what I really don’t need more of in my life? Kids. They’re everywhere – we’re infested with them.

“I’d love to have another baby,” I’d say. “I just don’t want another kid.”

So I joked like this for a while until one day I thought to myself, “Huh. I wonder if I really could do that. That’s a thing, right? No – I’m sure I’m too old,” I told myself.

But then one day, I looked it up. Yes, it is a thing. No, I am not too old. Yes, I can do that, it seemed.

In 2006, I started volunteering at Mayyim Hayyim. Two years later I joined the staff and I’ve been the Executive Director since 2012. People come through our doors for all kinds of reasons, finding joy and healing in a small pool of water called a mikveh. Our visitors have had a real impact on me, particularly the ones who have been on some kind of journey to build a family. I’ve seen women and men in pain over repeated failed attempts to have children, more miscarriages than I could possibly count, and the loss of stillborn babies late in pregnancy. The sadness, isolation, and anger is intense. I’ve also seen the sheer delight when one of these women returns for an immersion in her ninth month of pregnancy, a couple brings their long-awaited adopted child to convert to Judaism, and when two men visit with their infant who undoubtedly has taken incredible determination to bring into their family.

Want to read the rest of Carrie’s story? See the full post here.

Carrie BornsteinCarrie Bornstein is the Executive Director at Mayyim Hayyim.



  • SUMMER HEAT ADVISORY: We have new measures in place to combat the high summer temperatures which may affect your immersion. 

    Learn more

  • Discover more from Mayyim Hayyim

    Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

    Continue reading