A Huge Mistake
We sat in the urologist’s office talking about the planned vasectomy. I was 21, we had been married three years, and already had two babies. The two pregnancies had been hard on my body, both with premature labor, bed rest, medication, and many hospitalizations. My doctor warned us not to attempt another pregnancy, assuring me I would be on bed rest again. I was tired of being pregnant and I was overwhelmed with taking care of two children 19 months apart. We had just moved to a new state where we knew no one. I felt I had all the "stress" I could handle.
I begged my husband to get a vasectomy. I coerced and manipulated him for about 10 months until he finally gave in. Because we were Christians, my husband asked me to spend some praying about whether this was His will for us, while he did the same. We spent a couple of months praying, but all along I prayed with my hands over my ears.
My prayer was, "Lord, it's okay. to have the vasectomy, right?". I really didn't want to hear an answer. I was convinced this was THE answer for us. I looked around at our new friends in our conservative church and saw them also having vasectomies. Those I asked about it said it was a personal decision - no right or wrong answer.
Deep down, the Holy Spirit nudged my soul and I would think, "Why would God want me to end the ability to have children to raise for Him?" But I would quickly stamp out those thoughts and go down my list of pro-vasectomy reasons:
"We can't afford another child."
"My family would die if I had more."
"I will be on bed rest AGAIN."
" I will go crazy."
" I will get fatter." etc.
I didn't tell me husband about this internal struggle and told him I felt God didn't care if we had the vasectomy.
About three months after the vasectomy my eyes were opened. What followed was tremendous heartache. I began to ache for another baby. As I weaned my youngest daughter I cried at the thought of never, ever, nursing again.
I began to grow spiritually as a mother and see the importance of what God had called me to do. I realized there was nothing in this world that I could do that would be more important than raising up Godly children to serve God. I learned to trust God and lean on Him more and more. Then I realized, I had made a huge mistake.
The Holy Spirit showed me I had prayed wrongly. He showed me how I had pressured my husband and how I had sinned. What a mess I had created, all because I wasn't willing to trust God. My heart grieved. I confessed my sin to my Lord and my husband. Both gave me loving forgiveness, but I still had to live with the consequences of my sin.
I begged God to work a miracle and give me a child, despite the vasectomy. I bargained. I cried. And then I pleaded with God to take away my desire for another baby. I went through this process for three years. Many nights my husband held me while I wept, and prayed with me for a child.
My husband had a hard time completely forgiving me for my sin. While he verbally forgave me the first time I asked, it took almost a year for him to get past the anger over what had happened. He would have readily accepted more children from God. He only went through the vasectomy because of my constant nagging.
After one more of these tearful nights where we prayed for God to give us a miracle, I suggested a reversal. My husband refused. He didn't even want to talk about it and he assured me he NEVER wanted to see an urologist again. He told me that God would just have to work through the vasectomy if He wanted us to have more children. My heart sank. I spent every month hoping I was pregnant and dreading my period.
Then one day we started to talk about a reversal and how it would be a wonderful thing to do if we ever had $5,000 fall into our laps. There was virtually no chance of that ever happening. A couple months later I received a phone call from an urologist's office saying my husband had called asking for information about a reversal! I almost dropped the phone!
The receptionist confirmed what we had been told years earlier, that the operation was $5,000 and not covered by insurance. We had received some extra money during this time but not that much. When I told my husband about the phone call, he told me he was "just looking into it." A couple days later, I overheard a woman talking at my daughter's gymnastic class about her husband's reversal and the great doctor they had.
I had never met anyone who had gone through a reversal. It was a surprise for me. We decided to check the cost of using this doctor. Imagine our surprise when we found out he did so many reversals that he had a special plan with the hospital – the surgery and the hospital stay would only cost $2500.
My husband decided to set up a consultation visit with the doctor and we continued to pray. The visit went well, with the doctor giving us a 90% chance of a successful operation. We spent the next month praying and saw all the doors open for the reversal to happen - the doctor had a excellent reputation, the money came in, my husband was able to get time off work with pay.
The surgery lasted two hours (compared to the 20 minutes the vasectomy had taken) and my husband was off work for five days. He did have some complications in the healing process and more pain than what was usual for this procedure.
At the three month post operative check up, a sperm count was done and the results were horrible. It looked very bleak. The sperm count was extremely low and they were mis-shaped. This shattered our expectations. I doubted and asked God, "Why did you bring us this far just to fail?" and "Why, God, Why?"
He assured me that we had done the right thing. He also gently reminded me that He hadn’t promised me a child, just love and forgiveness. We realized that we honored God by having the reversal, but that didn't mean He would automatically give us what WE wanted. I stopped praying for a baby and started praying for peace, joy and godly contentment.
I still very much wanted a baby, but I also wanted what God wanted. I'd like to say I reached a state of perfect peace but I didn't. It was a constant struggle. Some days were filled with peace while others were filled with hopelessness.
Imagine my joy when, at six months post surgery, I conceived. My husband and I were so overjoyed we smiled continuously for two weeks! The pregnancy was hard, but God blessed us with no pre-term labor, no medication, and no bed rest. He even gave us a doctor who found out the reason for all my early contractions and she monitored me carefully, thus preventing the need for medication.
On November 30th 1996 we welcomed Sophia Sharon into our arms. Her name means ‘wisdom’ in Greek; a symbol of what we gained a little of during this trial. God has truly blessed us!
Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
Mark and Tracy’s blessings are: Elizabeth (6 ½), Victoria (5) and Sophia (6 months).
Written June 1997.
One baby so far since reversal.