Dear Dr. Winslow,
I had decided long ago that no matter what the turnout of our IVF was, I was going to write you a letter and share my story with you as well as thank you and your staff for all they have done for us. We could not have asked for better care from your entire staff starting with Patty and Mandy who have been my primary nurses, to the ladies at the front desk, as well as check out, taking my blood, or assisting you with my exams. I have told everyone that your office is so good and that if they say they are going to do something, they do it. I have also said that your staff helped to make a stressful situation less stressful. Not once did they let us down.
So basically how my path crossed with yours was last July of 2016. I had surgery by my OB/GYN and he recommended IVF. At that time I was very angry and bitter at God for many years while facing infertility. But in the quietness of my own home, 2 weeks after my surgery, I had a prayer of brokenness in which I experienced who God really was. I had been raised in church my whole life, but never really knew him until July 19, 2016. I realized then that my whole reason for living was not to be a mother but that in the end, what is going to matter is how I lived my live for God and I promised him that day, on my knees that whether he gives me a child or not, that I will serve him and I will praise his name. I got up from that prayer and I knew that I was going to be okay. At that time I didn’t know how to describe my feelings but now I know it is the peace that surpasses all understanding. My husband came home to a wife who was singing and folding laundry and I can still remember the puzzled look on his face. It was like the movie Fried Green Tomatoes when the husband came home to his wife and all her “Tawanda” moments. The next week, I told my best friend what had happened to me and she said you sound like Hannah from the bible. She read1Samual Ch.1, the story of Hannah over the phone and it was almost identical to my story. God began a work in me that day that changed my life forever. My husband and I met with you a few weeks later at my OB/GYN’s office. We liked you from the beginning. You recommended IVF, but at the time, I just wasn’t ready. I knew that God had just begun a big work in me and I was still trying to put my life together. We prayed about it and decided to wait. While waiting, I read the whole bible. It took me 5 months. I was searching for answers and trying to learn about the God that I now know. It was the best book I have ever read. During that time, I was praying for God to let me conceive naturally. I wanted my testimony to be that. In January I was contacted by my OB/GYN’s office that it was time for my Pap smear and I began to have anxiety. I knew that he was going to ask me what were we doing to get pregnant and what was I going to say? That I’m getting my life right with the Lord? By this time, I had learned to pray about everything and that way, whatever the outcome may be, you have peace in knowing you prayed about it. So I prayed for my OB/GYN to help guide me in what to do. He pulled up a chair and talked to me for a long time. He recommended the IVF. My husband and I prayed and decided that if we didn’t get pregnant that month we were doing the IVF. My OB had recommended the ovulation sticks again (which we had done many times before and hated them because they never lit up). Well guess what? It lit up that month and at the end of that month we were not pregnant so we started out IVF journey. We decided to share publicly our journey because we felt that God wanted us to share it and was leading us on this journey. I prayed every step of the way. I prayed for you and your team daily. If I told you all the many ways God provided for us during that time, my letter would never end. I prayed every time I gave myself a shot, popped a pill, went to an appointment. I remember being nervous that you were not going to be my doctor for the egg retrieval and then I was reminded that my trust was in God not in man and I prayed for the doctor who did my procedure. Of that, we had 1 usable embryo. I remember the fear that set in when we heard this news, meaning we had one shot! But then I reminded myself that I had prayed and asked God to give us however many he needed us to have. I had promised the Lord if he gave me a child that I would name the child a name that told a story of him. My husband’s first name is Samuel and that is also the son’s name of Hannah in the bible. So if it was a boy, Samuel would be the name and if it was a girl, Hannah Noel, (Hannah from the bible who was bearer and Noel meaning news of a birth). That Sunday, our preacher spoke of Hannah during his sermon and the soloist that day was named Hannah. On the day of our procedure, 2 days later while waiting in the waiting room, it was just my husband and I and someone opened the door and said, “Hannah, Hannah” and we were the only two sitting there. I looked at my husband and said “It’s a girl” and then you called us back and told us it was a female, you also told us it had been an unusually quiet day, but I had prayed for peace and calmness that day, so I just smiled to myself when you said that. We had everyone praying for our procedure and during the 10 waiting days to see if I would be pregnant with our Hannah Noel. Oh how excited we were when Suzann called us on Friday with the news that my hCG was positive. I was so happy all weekend and during Sunday school someone was telling a story and said “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, Blessed be his name”. That night I told my husband how I had been thinking of what she said. I now see that God was preparing my heart for Monday when we received the news that my level had dropped. We were devastated, we went and had it rechecked on Tuesday and it was even lower. As painful as all this is, we have still chosen to praise our God even when we are in the valley or on the mountaintop. For that is what I promised him on July 19, 2016. As for now, we are praying for God to direct our next steps and I continue to pray for you daily. Thank you again for all you have done for us. I believe with everything in me that we were supposed to be on this journey and I also believe that we are to share what God has done in our lives whether it be happy times or sad times. May God continue to use you and bless you with the knowledge and tools that you need to do your job.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time”