A fertility clinic ultrasound exam room is filled with hope for signs of new life as Rachel awaits the outcome from years of infertility and treatments.
Following a brief sharing of her symptoms, she prepares for a vaginal ultrasound to determine if her pregnancy is viable while the uncomfortable silence envelopes the room.
Rachel’s and Adriel’s eyes are fixed on the ultrasound monitor; they have been down this road before. Infertility has consumed their married lives and they have just completed their final in vitro fertilization (IVF) attempt. Five weeks ago, we thawed and transferred their last remaining embryo. Now, years of struggle become defined by one moment in time.
Many patients have passed through my office, all with a unique story but all with the same purpose – a healthy baby. As a physician, I’ve lived their story for 20 years, including my own prolonged arduous road as an infertility patient. My privilege and honor has been being a part of another’s profound life altering journey.
As they held their breaths, Rachel and Adriel braced for my diagnosis. The ultrasound was obvious and I simply conveyed to them, I’m sorry but you’ve lost another baby.” Their world began to crumble in front of me.
They were silent with despair – no tears, only a stoic expression.
Since closing her adoption agency, my wife continued to receive notices of babies available for placement. We would routinely consider friends, acquaintances, and patients who may be interested in expanding their families.
The evening of Rachel’s and Adriel’s loss, another one of the notices arrived. This time I had a specific couple in mind so I immediately called Rachel whose tears turned to laughter. I provided the necessary contact information and prayed for them to be selected.
Over the next several months, my wife guided Rachel and Adriel through the necessary steps toward adoption. We received welcome updates regularly and were overjoyed when we learned of their acceptance. The day they brought their daughter home was three months to the day of their pregnancy loss.
No one’s life proceeds according to the original plan. Yet, as one door closes another opens. Rachel and Adriel chose to walk through the door because they realized the only regret in life is the risk you did not pursue.