Condemned for a Lacking Quiver

After the birth of my son in 2002, my body was not the same. We have four children and Timmy's birth was a tremendously difficult one. I experienced some incredible difficulties and at one point we were faced with the possibility of the decision.. "me or baby". A friend who was with us, leaned over my belly and prayed. Our son was stuck and my cervix wasn't allowing him to pass through. As soon as she completed her prayer, my son literally flew out and by God's grace, my husband caught him before he hit the floor. It was a genuine miracle. 

My body told me, "I've had enough. No more babies."

For the next year after Timmy's birth, I battled with the decision of making it surgically final for our child bearing years. My health was suffering in other areas and my doctor told me my cervix would never be able to pass another infant. If I were to become pregnant again, I would need a C section.

I was so concerned about my uterus being able to actually hold another ten pound child. When Timmy was stuck, each push brought my uterus further down and I could have lost it all. I was becoming increasingly adamant that I wanted to prevent anymore pregnancies, but the birth control methods available to me were causing sever migraine headaches and cystic acne.

I then began hearing people 'warn' me not to use birth control because they said it was no different than abortion. Others would tell me it was a personal decision and not to worry about what the other camp thought. Then there is the movement of people who think we need to raise our children like soldiers for religion, because so many people keep leaving churches. I felt like I was in a tug of war between all these 'teachings'. 

My husband finally went in for his surgery. Here's where it became even more confusing. After his surgery I got pregnant again. He went in for a test and he had a sperm count of 435 million! But then I miscarried. My emotions were so tossed against the rocks of a stormy shore and I couldn't make sense of any of it. The first thought that came to my mind was condemnation. I felt like I was being cursed, condemned, and belittled by the 'words' I had 'heard' in 'teachings'. Teachings that say 'if you do this, that will happen and it will be your fault'.

I became bitter at the camp that said it was a personal decision and I embraced the camp that said we should have a reversal and try again. But my husband was not interested in having his area cut up again and I carried this guilt of our decision with me everywhere I went. I couldn't stand hearing of anyone having more children. Seeing beautiful pregnant bellies made me angry with myself and the various teachings on this subject.

It took me years to realize that I was under grace. Life happens. We make decisions and things happen. We have no control over some things in life.

It's been six years since the surgery and my son is now eight years old. He is such a blessing to us that if it were possible, I'd love ten more Timmy's just like him, but no two children are alike.

We considered adoption, but it's quite expensive and our home is too small. Now that my children all older it is such a blessing to be able to travel without car seats, diaper bags, swings, and playpens. No more poopy diapers, drool on my favorite sweaters, or cupboards filled with bottles and sippy cups.

That 'phase' of our lives is over, but we don't see our 'lives' as over. We no longer live under the condemnation of not being able to have more babies. Oh..yes..we still get ga-ga over cute little chubby cheeks and the coos of a baby is still music to our ears.

But life has happened and it continues to go on, no matter what is in the past. If I keep carrying the baggage of my past with me, it's no different than carrying a casket everywhere I go. My body can't give birth to any more little lives, but the Christ who lives within me can give spiritual life to many more. 

It's ok if you can't have anymore children. It' ok if you and your husband decide it's time to stop having children. It's ok if you want to keep having children. The decision you and your husband makes is yours alone. There is no condemnation to those in Christ.

When we make a decision it is OURS to make, not someone else's. People may or may not agree with the decisions we all make, but it is not their decision to make for us. Don't let anyone condemn you if your quiver isn't as full as theirs. For my husband, four is a full quiver. And we're very happy and blessed, because our aim is in Christ, not in how many children we have.

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{ Kathleen } at: December 5, 2010 at 7:43 AM said...

Hello, your words have touched my heart, and I'm sorry you went through the judgementalism and legalism with people.

My husband and I went through similar circumstances, only I was the one who had the surgery. Our last baby died at 2 years old as a result of a heart condition she was born with as a result of my insulin-dependent diabetes. We were still in a lot of pain when years after we joined a "famous" homeschool church, unaware of the mentalities there.

The pain of feeling judged and also, actually debates about the "sinfulness" of choosing not to have more children (even with my diabetes: they sort of didn't know how to fit it in to their thinking) came up frequently. Those that continued to have more children were lavished with praise, while people often spoke how selfish it is for families to not have more. The brainwashing abounds.

We left and have had to take years to heal. I haven't been a part of any church for years, either, though I love Jesus, my God.

Thank you for sharing, though I know it has to be painful for you. Just knowing someone else has compassion to know how others are hurting means a lot to me.

God bless,
Kathleen

{ gardenmomma (Chris) } at: December 12, 2010 at 10:22 PM said...

It has been 19 years since my first and only delivery. This topic made me so sad for me and for you. I so loved it when you said "Do what you do, either way, there is not condemnation in Christ Jesus". Period. End of story. Though we didn't absolutely plan one child, we didn't submit and obey. At the end, we had one wonderful daughter. Now, many years have passed and I know in my heart I have missed blessings and my husband agrees. That said, there is no condemnation. Just acknowledgment. There are many young ones to mother and grandmother, and my job in labor and delivery gives me many opportunities to rock babies and love their mommas! My home is open to neighborhood children. We are getting ready to do "foster grandparenting". Though there is only one way to heaven, there are many ways to live here on this earth and I hate that people who profess to be Christians would cause their sisters in Christ such pain. May God bless you and keep you!!!

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