An Unorthodox Cure for Infertility By Maryella Vause, BSN, RN, FNP (ret)
Approx: 800 Words
How could I be so unprofessional? My own behavior shocked me! I knew better. With a degree in nursing from Duke University and Family Practice Certification from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, I was well aware of correct procedures.
My MD husband and I practiced together in the rural Texas Hill Country north of San Antonio; a comfortable distance for proper referrals and continuing education. Should I tell my husband or worse yet, write in the chart?
The first of my “unorthodox” care was given to a 28 year-old, married woman whose history seemed straightforward. Onset of menarche, regularity and flow, all within normal limits. Nothing remarkable. Married 8 years, frequency of intercourse: 2-3 times per week. No contraception. The couple had not sought medical help for infertility.
“We very much want a child,” she said, “but with our limited budget, we just kept hoping that I might conceive. Eight years is a long time, and I’m not getting any younger.”
As a Family Nurse Practitioner, I agreed to start a preliminary fertility work-up and informed her that after our initial assessment; we might need to refer her to a specialist at the University Medical Center in San Antonio. She agreed to proceed.
I did the routine exam, including pelvic, had the usual blood work drawn and went over the plans for determining ovulation with the basal metabolism temperature charts.
“Everything seems normal on exam,” I explained. “We’ll go over the next steps to follow for your assessment.”
When I paused to check her understanding of what had been explained so far, she blurted out, “I’m sorry; but I was not fully honest on that history form. I have conceived; when I was 18 years old and with the man who is now my husband. There is a lot I already know!”
“Well, yes. We know that both of you were fertile ten years ago. What happened?”
She began to sob. Through her choking, she said, “I….we had an abortion.”
She was so distraught that I took her hand and patted it gently, “There, there. It’s OK. You can tell me about it. Were there complications?”
“No, no. No complications. They said, ‘Everything was normal’ and that I should be fine to conceive again. Would you please pray for me?”
I was a little startled. Many people knew that we prayed with our patients, but this was her first visit. I did not know her socially, or have any contact with her in another setting.
“Well, I guess it will be all right. I’ll be glad to pray.” I kept holding her hand and pulled up a chair beside her.
I closed my eyes and prayed silently, “Dear God, please help me! I don’t know how to pray in this situation.”
Then I heard myself say out loud, “Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive us for the sin of murder and trust us with another child. You know how much we want a baby. We promise to love and care for any children you send to us. Amen.”
I was distressed that I said “sin of murder.” I never made accusatory or judgmental statements to my patients. At that time, I wasn’t even sure that I believed abortion to be “murder.”
“Do you think He’ll forgive me?” she asked.
“Of course, “I said. “His Word says that He will. ‘For if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ Jesus gave His life for us to be forgiven”
She smiled and I changed the subject.
“Let’s make an appointment for you to come back in six weeks, after you’ve checked your basel temperatures, just to learn when you ovulate. Here’s the graph with directions. If you have any questions, feel free to call. Eight years is a long time and your dates of ovulation will be one of the first things we need to know.”
We both stood up and impulsively hugged each other before we went out to the front desk to set her next appointment.
At her first six-week appointment she said, “I’ve missed my period and I think I’m pregnant! Can we check?”
Her pregnancy test was “POSITIVE.”
Nine months later, my husband and I helped her and her husband give birth to a fine, big (eight pound) baby boy. As we placed the child to her breast, we rejoiced in the unorthodox way she had been healed of infertility and was able to conceive.
We’ve kept in touch over the years. Their family now has three fine, healthy teenage boys.
In over thirty years of family practice, my husband and I have prayed with many post-abortive women—for health in mind, body, and spirit; for forgiveness, for fertility, and for conceptions. I do not have the statistics, but we are amazed at the many happy families we have seen birthed through such unorthodox methods.