Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.
It had been 18 days since my missed period. In my head, I wasn’t even really thinking of it as “pregnancy” yet. I had been in this place before, terrified every time I had to go to the bathroom, positive that I would see my fragile reproductive system give up again. I called my gynecologist’s office to tell them that I was having headaches, feeling light-headed and a little nauseous. The nurse was calm and positive as she scheduled my appointment for later in the week.
Before my visit could roll around, the bad news was already here. The bleeding had started, along with the cramping. I knew what was happening. Another cautious bit of optimism was tossed aside. I felt numb to the disappointment. I was getting used to it.
This was the scene last week before I went to visit my truly wonderful OB/GYN. She’s the lady who held my hand as she told me the news about my ectopic pregnancy. She’s the one who had an arm around my shoulder when I cried over the loss of my Fallopian tube. And she’s the one who had a tissue ready when she looked me in the eyes last week and promised that I would carry a baby to term. She was going to see to it.
Struggling with infertility is awful. But I have to admit that I’ve been incredibly blessed when it comes to finding a doctor that keeps me positive and hopeful. Honestly, I could not imagine going through this process with anyone else.
For the first year and a half that I was struggling to get pregnant, my previous gynecologist rarely spoke to me about trying to conceive. I was young. I had plenty of time. She wasn’t concerned. When I came in with cramping and light bleeding just a few weeks in to my pregnancy last year, she seemed to brush off the whole thing. Either it was nothing, or we were just going to have to keep trying. She threw around the term “spontaneous abortion” with little to no understanding of its extreme impact on my emotional state. She talked about the whole thing so nonchalantly, it was as if people lost pregnancies every day and I had no reason to get so worked up. (I realize that they do, but that doesn’t exactly help a woman going through a miscarriage.)
It just so happened that when I needed surgery, my OB was on vacation. Instead, her partner was the one who got to come in to the emergency room in the middle of the night to deal with me and my soon-to-burst Fallopian tube. After that surgery, I switched completely to my current doctor.
It’s amazing the way a simple change in demeanor affects everything about my infertility process. My doctor’s positive attitude is contagious. Her perseverance is inspiring. She doesn’t ask me to sit back and wait, merely hoping that things will suddenly get better.
My doctor runs tests. She asks me if there are any ideas that I want to get checked out. She talks to me about diet and exercise and thyroids and family history of clotting disorders. When I walk into her office disgruntled and broken, she gives me a reason to get determined. She demands that I stay hopeful.
I’ve seen a doctor that ignores or brushes aside my infertility. And in the past year, I’ve seen what it’s like with a doctor who really cares, who really feels dedicated to helping my husband and I grow our family. Our doctor is now indispensable to our fertility journey.
So as I go into another round of tests, as I say goodbye to another lost pregnancy, I want to take a minute to thank my unfailingly positive Dr. Chung. If I am ever blessed with a child, it will mostly be because of her, because I had such an inspiring lady to help me in this battle. I hope everyone struggling with infertility finds a doctor like mine, one who feels like a partner in their process. Everyone deserves that level of care. And I’m so lucky to have found it.