Business Woman Blues
My mother worked while I was growing up so when Tom and I got married, it was only natural that I would work. How else could you obtain the American dream? Mom was always very good in administration and she climbed the ladder. When I started in banking the year before we got married, I also did very well.
Katie was born a month before our first anniversary. The pregnancy was a nightmare, 36 hours of labor turned into a C-section, and she had colic for her first six months. I was done having children. I didn’t do a very good job with the one I had, so who would want more? I thought it would be nice to stay home but felt that if I did, we would never make it financially or be able to give her nice things.
We continued with this philosophy for a couple of years when I accidentally fell pregnant. After a couple of months I got really excited. We had just moved into our first home which we had built. We had a brand new car and things were going good. It would be okay to have another child.
At 14 weeks I miscarried! I was so devastated that having a child became the most important thing to me. We tried for three months and I got pregnant with Phillip. Things at the bank were also going well. I was promoted to Assistant Manager and worked long hours.
After Phillip came I lost all interest in my job. He was so different from our first child. He never cried and was always happy. He nursed well. It was a whole new experience. When he was six months old I went back to work. At this time a friend offered me a part time job to do his books so I left the bank and went into book-keeping, working four days a week. I then got hired on at Boeing.
Two months after I started the new job I found I was four months pregnant. My mom had cancer. Tom’s mom had cancer and I had started a new job so I wasn’t paying attention to my cycle. Tom was worried about how he was going to pay for yet another child!
We decided to have my tubes tied when the third child was born, as this was going to be my third C-section. Since I had very difficult pregnancies the doctor thought it would be wise not to have any more. We didn’t pray about the decision, and while I was signing the paper in the hospital I knew I was making a mistake.
Bills were beginning to pile up, so I went back to work. For a year I robbed Peter to pay Paul and towards the end, it all started falling apart. I would pray and pray but no answer came. The house payment was one month behind and all the other bills were two to three months behind. I raced to the mail box to get the mail before Tom would see it.
Every time the phone rang I would cringe. I never knew which creditor it would be. I didn’t tell Tom any of this because he stressed so badly about money, and there was no point in both of us being suicidal.
We had a financial seminar at church by Larry Burkett’s group called Christian Financial Concepts. The seminar was wonderful but I knew we were in really big trouble. I asked the gentleman if there was anyone in the Spokane area who was trained in financial counseling and was given a phone number.
I told Tom I wanted this man to come and help us, one on one. He didn’t understand why but thought it would be fine. I was sure that Tom would leave me once he found out where things were. That would be okay, I thought. He could have the children and I would end it all. That was how I felt.
You can imagine how surprised Tom was, when at the appointment, I dumped all our financial problems on the two of them. Tom was in shock. How could his banking wife have let things get so out of hand, and not tell him?
Tom got over the shock and said that no matter how bad things were, we were in this together. He had married me for better or worse. If there was ever anything that would show me Christ’s forgiving love, it was Tom’s attitude. We started working hard at selling assets to pay bills. The Lord worked such miracles with our finances.
Soon after that area of our life began to get better I felt convicted that God wanted me to quit work. That made no sense at all since we weren’t making it month to month on two incomes. How could we even consider it on one?
Once again our dear Lord worked miracles. The things we have seen over the last three years have left me with the knowledge that anything is possible with the Lord and prayer. God worked it so that I could come home and be with my children. I gave my boss a two-month notice and began the process of quitting a lifetime of working in the business world. Every one thought I was crazy.
About this time I said to Tom, "It sure would be nice to have another baby." He said I might as well shoot him because he couldn’t handle the three he had. The answer was, "No! No way! Forget it!" I was discouraged but decided to pray about it.
One night Tom got up with Mandie in the middle of the night as she was sick. While he was rocking her and praying, he told God that it wouldn’t be so bad having another one. This started our journey on trying to find a way to have a reversal. We went to a doctor here in town and were quoted $10,000.
Ouch! We couldn’t afford that. Eventually, through talking to different ones, I was put in touch with Dr. Streeter. His price was $3,600.00. This was much lower, but we still couldn’t come up with that amount of money.
A few months later my mother called me and said she had purchased an airline ticket for me to go to Indiana with her for our family reunion. That was where Dr. Streeter was! We called him and asked if he could fit me in during that time. He only does the surgery once a week so I didn’t think I stood a chance. Miraculously, they scheduled me in. Wow, I now had surgery scheduled and no money!
We started saving money. Air-line tickets went down in price so mom said she would buy Tom a ticket and we could pay her back when we could. We didn’t want to leave the children behind so Tom worked overtime to pay for the airline tickets for them to go. So all five of us were going to Indiana for a family reunion and surgery. Two weeks before the surgery we had $1,000.00 saved. I cried the whole weekend.
There was no way we could come up with $2,600.00 and we had agreed that we would not go into debt to finance the surgery. I had to die to the dream.
The next weekend we had a yard sale. Friends and people from the church donated things to sell. They were nicer things than we owned and they just gave them to us. I have done a lot of yard sales but never seen one like this before.
In two days we sold $1,700.00. Both days we came home there were checks of $300.00 in the mail. Another family gave us $100.00 towards the surgery, from allowances and savings from their children. These children gave because they would not have had their brother and sister if their dad had not had a reversal. We only had $200.00 to go.
We flew to Indiana and had a wonderful week of vacation before the surgery. We didn’t tell anyone we were short so imagine my surprise when the $200.00 showed up. I had the surgery and Dr. Streeter put both tubes back together - this was September 1995.
We came home to have our child. I got pregnant in January 1996. I have never seen anyone as far up on cloud nine as I was, but at the end of February we lost our baby. Each month I wait to see if we will be parents again. I can hardly wait for the blessings to start coming.
Tom and Renee have been blessed with three beautiful children - Katie (13), Phillip (9) and Mandie (7).
Still waiting for children since reversal.