Tube Tied

Strapped down, drugged, and tired I watched as my husband left the room. I still split open. Him carrying my beautiful Sprout. The pressure of hands diligently putting me back together tugged at my empty belly. I kept my breathing light, waiting for the words that I’d prayed for, I’d begged for. When they came, I was left dumb. “Are you certain you want to do this?” mumbled the voice of my OB, bringing me the opportunity I’d longed for in secret. The opportunity, I reluctantly and painfully, turned down. The room went to work and I asked my anesthesiologist to put my guilt-ridden heart to sleep.
After not desiring motherhood (that’s another story), I’d been unexpectedly swept to my knees with joy, with Bean, my firstborn. I loved him before I was certain he was real. I adored him from the second the double lines appeared on the simple plastic stick. But growing him was not an easy task on my body. At 5 months, I was taken off work and warned to limit my standing time. A wise prescription since I had developed a habit of passing out at work. The next long weeks were devoted to stress tests and monitoring. I was careful but not too worried. Many women I’d known had a worse go of their maternity months. My baby seemed safe at every doctor’s appointment. I was tired, achy, fat and mostly happy.
Then came the birth, 38 hours of panic, pain, and punishment for an emergency cesarean, a newborn with water on his lungs, a frantic husband and family, and even more pain and weakness. I’d nearly lost Bean two times during labor. One of which I myself was in trouble, and prayed that God would have the medical team make Chef leave the room, so terrified hubby wouldn’t have to watch me die. God was more than gracious to answer my prayer and go above and beyond my request. Bean lit up my world and the world of those he touched in an instant. I was charmed and changed and converted. I actually enjoyed being a mother. I thrilled in it, good ababyfeetnd bad, messy and miraculous, fearfully and faithfully. I couldn’t wait to do the whole thing again.
But it took over two years to conceive Sprout. Again, I loved and cherished her as she bloomed inside my body. This time things were better. Until the end of my seventh month, when my heart couldn’t take the excitement or the strain. I, again, started passing out. Though, now, I had a terrified toddler watching me do it. I also began blacking out, while sitting. At 9 months, I was told it was no longer safe for me to spend the entire day alone. My family took care of me. My sister and mother in law visited me often, and let me sleep.
During this time, my husband and mother started to wonder whether another pregnancy would be wise. Even I questioned if my body could carry another baby, no matter how toned and strong I made it before implantation. Loved ones began debating with me the merits of two children having a healthy mother over more children having a sickly mother. Or no mother at all. I understood their fears, but I did not want to relinquish this new purpose I’d discovered. Tubal ligation was casually brought up by my doctor in the presence of my husband. Deal sealed.
So, in the spirit, I prayed. I pleaded. I petitioned. In the physical world, I told my family I would have my tubes tied. They nearly hooted with relief. I signed my consent and filled in all the required forms. Meanwhile, I still hoped If the Lord was willing to protect me even once more, if His plan for me didn’t include my sterilization then I asked one thing of Him. Just one thing. While in the operating room have my doctor ask me if I was certain. I told no one else.
And the question came. A moment of rapture swept over me. A moment I relinquished to fear. The moment after my reply was so terrible and sorrow soaked, I asked for sleep. As if sleep would save me.
Why? Why did I do it if God had given me a Damascus light confirmation? Why did I give up something I could never get back? At first, I blamed my husband. He wasn’t in the room when the question came. I was being submissive and respectful. I was keeping my word to him and my mother. For a long long time, I allowed this reasoning to cover up my hypocrisy. I was embittered and hostile, on a monthly basis for the lack of more children. My poor husband.
It was me. All me. Selfish with the happiness I’d found. Terrified it would be taken away. Unwilling to risk the uncomfortable. I choose to rid myself of more blessing because I wasn’t willing the bear the trial.
Tubal ligation is a decision each woman and her spouse should make in the light of God’s word and His calling for them. I ignored His grace and wisdom. My choice may be the choice God wants another to make for herself and her family. Listen to Him, if it is. But please listen to Him if it isn’t. It is not a choice to take lightly or merely to avoid inconvenient contraception. Allow God to control what only He can truly control. Trust and obey.
For me, every month I hope for the rare statistic. I hope He has made a way for me to conceive again. I mourn for the children I could have carried. I ask the barren to forgive me for tossing aside what they long for. I badger myself for not seeking alternative forms of birth control. (Pills and IUDs are not for me.) I wish I’d researched and found Sheila Wray Gregoire her blog  . There, she clearly lays out multiple forms of contraception. Methods that don’t mess with one’s hormones or heart.
I have never had peace since that one little “yes”. Though I’ve sought forgiveness and know I have it, I struggle to truly forgive myself. I am confident that the Lord is working out my failing to the good of His purposes. I am happy and blessed and my house is loud with laughter. But I will always wonder, I will always pine, and I will always wish I had grabbed tightly to the Lord’s hand and followed.
I know I can’t be alone in my remorse. I also know I am not conventional in my opinions. Neither am I anyone’s critic or accuser. This post is just one woman’s point of view and offering of honesty for my friends who may be apprehensive to share their feelings. For those who may be tube tied and tongue tied, enjoy what the Lord has given and don’t let another adventure slip from your grasp. Hugs to my mom heroes. (that’s all of you) from sarah the coffee jedi

photo credit: sean dreilinger newborn feet – _MG_4072 via photopin (license)License: (license)