Three year ago I made the choice to get a tubal ligation. At different times I wish that I had not, despite my busyness with the children that the Lord already gave me I do feel an emptiness, which I knew that I would.
I first started thinking about tubal ligation 7 years ago. My view on birth control is simple: I always knew I would not take a pill or put a foreign object in my body to weaken the natural lining of the cervix. To be 100% pro-life IUDs and all forms of “the pill” are out. To space my children I used Cycle Beads and I knew that when I emotionally and physically believed that I was done having children I would get a tubal ligation. One week after my 27th birthday it happened. My fourth child was born and after a wonderful, normal delivery I had a 1 inch long incision made right below my belly button through which my life altering surgery was performed.
Inside I cried a little and I’m fairly sure a few tears fell down my face as my body was numb from the ribs down, but I can’t quite tell as I was in a state of heavy lethargic peacefulness. I’d had a good run: Two children born on the west coast and two on the east coast all within less than a decade. I had a 22 month gap, a 17 month gap and a 26 month gap. It just seemed so right. My husband 17 years older than me and epilepsy in my body, it seemed like our story was full and ready to get moving beyond the baby stage. In all senses of reason, it was time to go beyond the baby outfits, bouncy swings and cribs. Soon we’d sell the stroller and become, well just continue to evolve with the children’s interests. Perhaps get a couple cats and some day a dog.
2012 is ancient history now. My baby is potty trained, and while she can’t put more than two words together yet, she’s sassy, spunky and believes herself absolutely equipped to take on the world. We have two bunk beds instead of toddler beds, pack n play and a crib. We no longer own clothes under size 4T and donated even my favorite baby carrier over a year ago to a family bringing a child home from Ukraine.
One reason I wanted a tubal ligation was that I didn’t want to be hurt by loss again. This was not a selfish choice. God gave me a son, second child who was not born alive, a daughter who came full term, a second son who made full term and a fourth full term pregnancy, my youngest. That’s 4 healthy and one waiting for me on the other side. I absolutely went into the surgery knowing that God is bigger than any plan that ever I could have. My child that died had a name and a face to me, and I expect to know her when I’m on the other side of the physical world. I think of her daily and know God is using her to help me forward in my earthly journey to strive to be present for my kids here. Perhaps that only makes sense to someone who has lost a little one preterm.
Going into tubal ligation I also knew myself. I am someone who does not stick with decisions. That being so, I had to have an escape route to fix my eyes on should I ever change my mind. That answer was then, and is now Embryo Adoption.
My doctor did not want to sign on my Tubal Ligation because of my age. He said he’d be much more comfortable with it if I were over 30, but I was very adamant about my choice and had it written into my hospital plan way back in the second trimester. He did assure me that my interior workings were perfectly intact, with the exception of being “cut tied and burnt” which rendered my fallopian tubes unusable which is just what I wanted. I did not want tubes that would grow back together with heavy scaring likely resulting in a tubal pregnancy which would statistically be likely if I didn’t have all three measures taken in the ligation.
If you’ve already judged me as someone who plays God, get this. I remember when I first was talking about getting a tubal ligation I said, “God will probably give us a child with severe birth defects as a result of my wanting this.” What a thing to say! Three months after I had the surgery, 5 years after making that statement, I discovered Reece’s Rainbow, the organization that helps parents adopting internationally pair with children who have special needs. God put it on my heart to want to be involved, and from the day I saw that website I became an avid advocate of exactly what I once wanted to act against. I so craved having a child in my life who needed a home. I’ve not gotten that, and accepted that it does not look to be part of our family’s story. But how wonderful that God put on my heart something to balance out my heart.
When the subject of Tubal Ligation comes up on parenting groups, I say that it’s the option to take when moms decide that they are done having biological children. I believe it’s a healthy choice.
I believed that my plate was full with four children, and I knew about Embryo Adoption and had the promise from my doctor that little known option was a healthy possibility. God had now given me the heart for International adoption which I dedicate every November thru December 31st to. I am content, blessed, loved and appreciate the gifts that I have from God. My choice is not a cornered in dead end. I haven’t played God, I am and always have been open to His will in my life. My testimony continues to grow and my faith develop daily as I ebb and flow through this present realities changes and challenges.