I’ve been pregnant only once in my life, and I am so very thankful I have Kathryn to show for it. I loved every minute of being pregnant.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved babies. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but I spent years preventing pregnancy until I was “ready” to be a mother. Then came nearly two years of trying, hoping all those years of birth control hadn’t messed something up, hoping my family history of endometriosis wouldn’t cause infertility issues.
I knew I was pregnant from the day I conceived. Kathryn’s father and I had prayed that night; it’s one of the few times I remember praying with him about anything. Although I believe name-it-and-claim-it preaching is heresy, and that prayer is not some magic charm to get what you want, somehow I knew God had answered our prayer. The pregnancy test a few weeks later was simply a matter of confirming what I already knew. This is why Kathryn’s middle name is Faith.
Several years later, I was divorced and neither of us had learned the lesson I believe God was trying to teach us: the prayers of a husband and wife are powerful.
I had my one sweet daughter, and she was such a blessing.
I was “done” having children, and I was okay with that. I’d grown up as an only child, and didn’t feel I’d missed out on anything. When Ken and I decided to get married, I was rather relieved he’d had a vasectomy years before because I wouldn’t have to worry about birth control. But that was before God got hold of our hearts about this.
We are very pro-life, and we are enthusiastic proponents of adoption; we have often talked about how our work with nilmdts has made us appreciate all the more what a gift every child is; we celebrate friends’ babies… but we had taken the possibility of having more biological children out of God’s hands. We began to be convicted that we were not really living what we were professing to believe.
Ken and I had thought about doing a vasectomy reversal, and had even researched doctors. One of the two we’d narrowed it down to had performed a vasectomy reversal for some of our dear friends, and they had wonderful things to say about him, and a child to show for it. But even with that, we still weren’t sure.
We hemmed and hawed for years. God dealt with our stubbornness patiently but persistently, until we finally got the message loud and clear. Words from a visiting Austrian missionary named Wolfgang were the undeniable “YES” we needed to hear from God.
Just a few days after we’d made the decision to go ahead, we found out our state tax return would be enough to pay for the surgery and all our expenses. Another nod from God.
Ken called and scheduled the appointment, and we then worked out where the kids would stay and who would look after Lacy the WonderDog, because this would require a 600-mile (each way) road trip to Arkansas.
We wanted our kids to know how God was working in our lives, and we did not want to lie to them about where we were going. We want them to be fully truthful with us, so we felt convicted about setting the example in this. Despite the fact that this is a bit of a touchy subject, we explained where we were going, what we were doing, and why.
We explained that God had shown us very clearly that children are indeed a blessing, and that when we took that decision out of His hands, we were not living out our beliefs. We told them that anytime we follow God’s will, people may think we’re we’re crazy.
(Explaining all of this — even to a ten-year-old — was much easier due to the fact that we openly discuss things like this in our home. We want them to learn the truth about puberty, sex, pregnancy, and so on from us, rather than from peers or media.)
Two days before we left, our state tax refund arrived. Perfect timing. Only a few very close friends knew we were doing this, but it was a comfort and blessing to know that their prayers followed us all the way there and back.
There were a few scary traffic situations on the way; a strange man who approached Ken while pumping gas (as I prayed like crazy); a powerful thunderstorm that started just before surgery and knocked out power around the town, but not at the medical center; and another potentially dangerous storm that ran through that night as we were in our hotel room (just a couple of weeks after all those deadly tornadoes in the area).
We liked the doctor immediately. He met with us to find out why we were doing the reversal, and his words as to why he performs these surgeries at such a low cost echoed what we’d been convicted about. Then he prayed with us.
I worried that the surgery would be painful, but Ken said he felt no pain. As we drove to the hotel (making a quick Starbucks run on the way), Ken was chattier than usual. I asked if he was relieved it was over.
Ken said he felt like he had been put back together, back to the way God made him. “Restored” was the word that came to my mind.
We don’t assume that this means we’ll ever actually have more biological children. Reversals don’t always work, and my history doesn’t show me to be extremely fertile. We decided ahead of time that we won’t do fertility treatments because this was just about putting back in God’s hands. If He chooses to bless us with a child from my womb, we’d be delighted; if He doesn’t, we’re praying to be at peace about that, too.