I love birthdays. I love being around my friends and family and birthdays are a great reason to get together! For my 29th birthday, Ray had decided to bless me with a gift of two nights at a hotel in a quaint town a couple of hours from our home. I was going to be able to bring along four friends and my mom. It was the making of a great weekend! The day before we were to head away on our girls’ getaway was also the day of our results appointment with our fertility doctor.
With great anticipation, knowing that God was with us regardless of the results we were about to receive, we sat in the waiting room and prayed. I was finally – FINALLY! – at peace with my infertility. If the results pointed to a problem with me, that was ok. If the results showed there was an issue with Ray, that was fine too. If we were both at fault, we would survive. We were also very settled in knowing that if the options were limited or non-existent for having a child on our own, we were very excited to proceed with adopting a baby. This appointment would clearly show us which avenue to parenthood we were going to take.
When our names were called and we were lead to the exam room, Ray and I once again confirmed to each other that we were at peace with whatever may come and that an IVF recommendation would mark the end of this part of our infertility journey. The doctor entered the room with a very friendly resident and let the resident take over the appointment. Let me say, this was the best we had been treated at this particular doctor’s office and all it took was a resident! And it was this kind resident who delivered the news that, due to our various test results, our only option to conceive a child would be through IVF.
You would think that I would be shattered from hearing this news. We had asked God to reveal His plan to us, we felt He had put limits on what He wanted us do, and then He answered. Crystal clearly, we heard Him speak. Everything in me wanted to jump out of the chair I was sitting in and get out of that doctor’s office! I clearly recall saying the words in my head, “Ok, let’s go adopt!”
But, the doctor was not so quick to watch thousands of dollars of treatments walk out the door, so he attempted to convince us to proceed with IVF. We shared our reservations with the treatment, particularly the fact that I was unable to tolerate the fallopian tube dye test, and could not imagine how I would tolerate the length of time needed for IVF to be completed. We even asked if I could take a mild form of muscle relaxant to help me relax enough to attempt the dye test again and we were given a negative response. The doctor then proceeded to recommend me to a sex therapist who would do hypnosis on me to help me relax my vaginal muscles. Honestly! The therapist he wanted to send me to was a man and so I asked if Ray would be able to be in the sessions with me and again I received a negative response. Feeling like the only way we could get out of the exam room was to allow the doctor to make an appointment for us, we relented knowing that we could, and most likely would, cancel the appointment.
We walked away from that doctor’s office never to return. I have never felt so pushed by a medical professional to proceed with treatment I was unsure about. Even when we expressed our reservations, he quickly dismissed them and told us that he was comfortable with what he was recommending for us so we should be as well. He had done nothing to make us feel at ease in his presence or in his recommendations. In retrospect, I have to accept that God sent us to this doctor so we would know without a shadow of a doubt that we were not to proceed with any fertility treatments! When God wants to make His will obvious, He does!
My 29th birthday will forever be etched in my mind as a turning point in my life. A door was closed on a portion of my life that I never would want anyone to ever have to live through. And yet, I know many of you are living through it as we speak. The results given to us by the fertility specialist did not put an end to our infertility. God simply altered how we viewed our infertility. I had always felt like it was a curse but I have come to understand God had blessings in the wings for us. The waiting continued, the infertility remained, but now there was purpose.
I shared this verse earlier in my story, and I share it again now because it is still a truth I hold dear to my heart. It was true at the beginning of my infertility journey and it remains true when the path I was on took a fork in another direction. Praise God for knowing what is better for me than I do!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11