Friday, October 20, 2006

Our Reversal Story
Four Years Post-Op

After the birth of our 4th child (our first baby died at 1 day old), I agreed to have my tubes tied. I knew that my husband felt great pressure of providing for our family. He was working so hard to provide for us, working 2 jobs. We both knew that it was important for me to be at home with the children and teach them. Day cares and government schools were not an option. We thought we were being ‘responsible’ by not having more children.

A couple of years later, while at a home school conference, I heard Gregg Harris explain that God was the True Provider for the family, and if God created them, then He was capable of providing for them. My heart was so broken, as I began to see what I had done was wrong. I remember driving home from the conference by myself, crying the whole 45-minute drive. I felt so guilty, so cheated, so deceived. I was angry and sad at the same time. We bought the lie of comfort and prosperity. The lie of being able to ‘afford’ to give our children what they wanted. We believed the lie that children cost so much money. As I look back now, I see that our lifestyle really has not changed much, we are no ‘better off’ financially by our closing off the womb. To be honest, I think it makes families even more selfish and materialistic, as if the ‘things’ of life are what a child needs.

I came home with my grieved heart and told my husband what I was beginning to see. He too felt that way, though I do not think as deeply as I was feeling it, but what was done, was done. God forgives and we move forward. I had the hard lesson of submission to learn. I wanted more children so badly, but I had to learn to follow my husband.

A couple of years later he and our son, age twelve, were at a Father Son Retreat, hosted by Vision Forum, and it was there that God began to really speak to his heart about the blessing of children, and how God uses these children to build His kingdom. He began to see that God is the True Provider. One of our favorite quotes by Doug Phillips is, “Children are a blessing, and debt is a curse.” For the sake of having a life of comfort, a life of material gain, we cut off a Godly seed, our heritage. Why do we embrace debt and tell God to give us no more children? We have it all backwards. How sad that we were both so active in church ministries, trying to ‘reach the lost’, and in turn we rejected God’s plan for the family. We have no doubt that if husbands and wives would spend more time (a lifetime) building their families, not only on the Rock of Jesus Christ, but also in number, THEN we would see a revival in our churches, in our nation and in the world. You cannot have a strong church without strong families. It is whole, healthy, Godly families that are able to meet the needs of our hurting neighbors. This does not exclude single people, but we should first seek to be strong at home, and then reach out to others.

In 2002, about a year after God changed my husband’s heart, I had a tubal reversal. He and I went into this knowing that there were no promises. We knew that most women that have a reversal usually do not conceive. It was nine years in between my tubal ligation and the reversal. It has been four years since my reversal. I have had an hsg, which showed total blockage. Devastated does not even begin to explain how I was feeling when the doctor told me I would never get pregnant. It truly was like a death. Most people around us could not understand. They would comment about how we should be thankful for what we have and ‘get over it’.

Seven months later, I ended up in the ER with a possible eptopic pregnancy. The Lord graciously intervened in the situation and I miscarried and did not have to have a tube removed. About a year later during a yearly exam with my gyn, I asked him AGAIN if there was nothing else that could be done. He suggested doing a laparoscopic surgery that may be able to remove the scar tissue. Once again, I had hope. That surgery ended with heart breaking news. I had one tube that was not even connected and the other was in very bad shape, which could have been from complications with the healing process. My reversal doctor did offer to do another surgery at no cost but hospital fees. My GYN suggested a specialist, but this is not covered by our insurance and the price would be very high. My husband felt that I had been though enough, including four c-sections, and that it was God’s hands and that we would cheerfully accept whatever He brings us. My GYN did say that the odds of ever becoming pregnant again would be 1000 to 1, but he also acknowledged that God will do whatever He chooses.

It has been a VERY long road of grieving and healing, but our whole family has grown in our faith through all of this. I would love to have more children, but I have also learned to be content with what God has given me. I have many regrets, but this is where God’s grace comes in and realizing just how dependent I am on Him for everything! I also realized that for about two years I was obsessed with fertility and that I neglected my husband and children. I had to repent and ask God to forgive me of my idolatry. What a merciful God we serve.

I also feel an urgency to share with others that God’s ways are best! Proverbs 3:5, Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.) Do not close the womb. If you are choosing to have things rather than having babies, it is not worth it! The things of the world will be dust and ashes one day, but birthing and raising Godly children will impact the world, and then you will rejoice forever, together, before the Throne. The Christian life is not easy, it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but is there anything more worthy? Don’t we all desire to stand before Jesus and hear, “Well done good and faithful Servant!”

I help run a support group for couples that desire to have a reversal. So often, I encounter couples that have become bitter with God and with their spouse because they have not conceived or been able to give birth. If they are not bitter, they become depressed. And to a certain extent I think that is normal, but there is a point where desire turns into obsession, idolatry. This is sin. Our focus has to be on joyfully serving our Father, no matter what our circumstances are.

Though God has chosen to give us no more children, I would do it all over again. I am learning that our journey in this life is seldom how we think it will be, but His plans for us are good! (Jer. 29:11)


Shelley Jo said...

Thank you for sharing this. My husband just had a reversal after 15 years! I know that the chances are slim that we will conceive after so long a time, but I am SO thankful that the decision is now in GOD'S hands and NOT in OURS. I, too, have grief in my heart for all the children God may have desired for us that we said NO to. I don't know if that is something you ever totally get over. I'm trying to keep the perspective right in just TRUSTING Him to give or NOT GIVE as HE SEES FIT. Part of me says, "No way do I want to start over when my baby is 16!", but another huge part of me says, "Oh, the joy of starting over, raising and homeschooling more children after YEARS of experience and years in between." Mostly, I just want to be at peace with whatever God chooses to do in our lives.
If I remember correctly, I've been to your blog before and you live in AL. It seems that I saw a quilt guild on your blog before. I live in Florence. I belong to our local guild and we put on an annual quilt show in March each year.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kathy,
I just found your story and ours is so similar. I, too had a tubal ligation. It was for selfish reasons over 8 yrs. ago. I did not know Jesus and was in a terribly unhappy marriage. My husband saw children as burdens and I saw them as my only source of companionship. After we divorced I found a Christian support group. I felt so dirty and ashamed and certain I was not deserving of God's love or mercy. After a few years of giving my life to Him, God blessed me with a wonderful man. I had 2 boys 4 & 6 and he had a daughter, 5. We married and it has been so awesome to have God at the center of our relationship. We decided we wanted to have a child and I went to see my GYN for a consult about a tubal reversal. e said it was possible and the following week I was very sick. Believe it or not, I was pregnant. My doctor was at least as surprised as I was. We had been married about 2 months and were thrilled. Needless to say, it formed just outside the tube and I miscarried. We were very saddened, but became certain through the experience that we wanted more children. 2 months later, I was pregnant again, but that too, failed. 3 months later, I was pregnant again, but my baby never made it to my uterus. 9 weeks later, I was pregnant again, this time the day before Thanksgiving in 2003, I had to take chemotherapy to "dissolve" the tubal pregnancy so that I would not lose my tube. This was the lowest I had ever felt. I felt like I had had an abortion. I was so depressed. I had an HSG and it showed a hole in one of my tubes which was allowing the sperm and egg to meet, but the tied end, would not allow my tiny babies to make it to my uterus. We cashed in an IRA to have the reversal surgery. When I left the hospital, the fertility surgeon's nurse smiled and said "call us when you are pregnant!" He was only able to connect one side, because 4 ectopics had totally destroyed the other. He was optimistic, though. After 3 months and no pregnancy, I knew something was wrong--after all I had been getting pregnant so frequently. I had another HSG--my only tube was so narrow, a fertilized embryo couldn't pass through. I was sent to a specialist at Tulane and he did something similar to a heart cath in my fallopian tube to dilate it. I took fertility medicine and everything in my uterus and ovaries was perfect. We had artificial insemination on our doctor's advice. I was so sure this time---of course once again, I ws doing it MY WAY and MY TIME--not HIS WAY. I was spending too much time praying it would work and not praying His will be done. Needless to say, no baby. 2 years later, I had severe pain on my right side and was scheduled to have an appendectomy--my fertility doc came in and looked around and saw that my tube was split longways from one end to the other. The dilation procedure had actually split my tube. So now, with no tubes I was humbled and so sorry. I am still trying to cope with the grief. I can't allow myself to think about the 4 babies I've lost, but I know they are with their Heavenly Father. Our older children are not completely aware of the circumstances, but they still talk about having a baby brother or sister. They are now 8, 9, and 10. We are trying to decide if we want to try in-vitro. I try so hard to seek God's will and have begged Him to remove the desire from my heart. I do know He kn ows best, but it still hurts sometimes. Thank you so much for sharing your reversal story--I thought I was the only one.
God Bless you and your wonderful family

Wanda Wife of wonderful husband and momy of 7 said...

WOW what a small world I think I got your blog off of another momy,or Martha I cant remember now but I have known you since before 2004 ,I still get both Kathy's confused (SORRY)when you post You and Your group helped my husband and I to have the courage to go to Dr. Perez with God of course! Without all of your help and encouragement We might not be holding our precious baby gracie and Micah. Thankyou for letting God use you and to bless others when things did not turn out the way I know you had prayed, but you have helped so many women , Kathy ,you have helped many many children be born by your board being there to show us that we can do this ,God wants us to do this, where we can do it and encouraging us on our walk to fix the terrible decision we made even if there are no more children in our future. .Kathy, I will always be grateful for all you have done for our family. Thankyou lord for sending your angels when we need them ,God is so big I sometimes forget this I love your blog there is so much to learn. In christian Love Wanda and Family

jamie said...

I had a TR on March 2nd, 2010. We became pregnant right away but sadly it was an ectopic pregnancy. The baby stopped growing in my tube and thankfully they were able to save my tube. I am so hopeful but realize that we may never get pregnant again. We are also pursuing fostering to adopt. I do have a friend that had an ectopic after a reversal and she is now due in a few weeks with a baby girl. Thank you for sharing your story. We too had 4 c-sections and thought we were being good stewards... now I am so upset with what we did. But the Lord has taught us so much through our sin.

Marcee said...

What a powerful story! Thank you so much for sharing. It really touched my heart.