Shared with Permission from the Writer
The news I have been so eagerly longing and praying for for months: there is a second baby in the oven! Praise God! My husband and I are over the moon with joy. Thank you SO MUCH for your prayers. The original prayer was that I would conceive by the end of the year, which God in His providence didn’t provide. Of course, I was also preventing pregnancy in the month of December, which was directly working against that prayer. (More on that in a second!)
There is an especially sweet blessing in having conceived this month. Back when I lost my son, I was staying with a pastor’s wife and her family in *** for a Presbytery meeting my husband was attending. This woman was pregnant with her fourth baby. That weekend I went into labor and delivered our son. This other couple was such a loving support to us in our pain.
A week after delivery, they made the drive down to Illinois to attend our son’s funeral. Not more than 2-3 weeks after his funeral, ***** experienced a still birth of her fourth child at 16 weeks, a son. It was terrible. We lost our babies within such a short time of each other. We cried together, prayed together, and kept in touch over the months.
Come the last week of March, I found out I was pregnant! It also happened to be around the same time of *****’s expected due date. I wrote to *****, asking how she was holding up. Would you believe, she is pregnant again as well! We are only about two weeks apart from each in our pregnancy! Isn’t God so good? It is wonderful to be able to rejoice with this dear sister at the same time that I rejoice over my own newly conceived child. God’s timing is perfect.
Back to what I mentioned earlier. In the midst of our pain the last six months, God has been doing a refining work in my husband’s and my heart. He has been exposing sin, showing our need of repentance, opening up our eyes to precious truths in His word, and teaching us how to cling to Him alone in our distress. It has been painful, hard, and really good. And I know the process of sanctification is not over with yet!
One of the changes in our hearts that has taken place is a recognition of God’s sovereignty over the womb. The implications of this truth are something that I have fought and resisted for years (even before I got married, I thought about and wrestled with this issue often). As you know, of course, I sent you that email last spring that prompted your blog post, “Be Fruitful and Multiply: Why?” I must be a slow learner. Perhaps one of the reasons God took my son from me was to teach me this truth.
Praise God, my husband and I are now at a place where our conviction is to welcome any and all of the children the Lord may bless us with. Your blog post pointed out one of the central issues in this area: the kingdom potential of each child. The glory that is brought to our Savior by raising children to know and love Jesus!
There have been other truths that were crucial in bringing our convictions to this point. One was the recognition that there is the potential for new life even BEFORE a husband and wife come together in intimacy. The prophet Micah speaks about the Lord desiring a godly seed from marriage — the word “seed” is usually used in reference to a husband’s semen. E.g. the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: the children are thought of as children even before the husband’s seed meets up with his wife’s egg!
The implications of that fact are profound. It is not enough to promote life from the moment of conception, Christians need to support life even PRE-conception. The sin of Onan (Genesis 38) has also taken on fresh meaning to me. Onan’s sin is the one and only time that a method of birth control is mentioned in Scripture. And the mention is resoundingly negative. I came to the realization that my husband and I were spilling, or wasting, his seed — cutting off our offspring by never giving the seed a chance to reach its intended destination.
Also, I had absolutely no idea that the Protestant church’s approval of birth control is a relatively new development — only a 100 or so (or even less) years old. My husband and I watched the new film The Birth Control Movie, and I read articles that brought up the history of contraception, such as this one:
Why was I never told that the church fathers (Augustine, Luther, Calvin, etc.), and the church for all of history until the recent present, resoundingly condemned birth control? The church fathers referred to birth control as an abomination. Calvin had some very strong things to say about the sin of Onan in his commentary on Gensis 38. When I went to my husband’s study to look through Calvin’s commentary on Genesis, I was shocked to find that Calvin’s writing on the sin of Onan has been removed from the book! I will need to check the publication date of that commentary.
Well, I need to refrain from writing you a thesis paper here. THANK YOU for your blog, and for your kind encouragements through email, and for your prayers. God has used you as one of the influences in changing my heart towards my present baby and any other future offspring. We prevented pregnancy in December and most of January (since I was scheduled for a pre-pregnancy transabdominal cerclage surgery on February 4th), but then came to our current conviction and threw away our method of birth control. It was a joyous occasion.
I didn’t conceive in February, to my great sorrow, but perhaps the Lord was trying to drive home the point once more that conception is in His hands. But here we are! This little baby is 5 1/2 weeks along, according to my LMP, and my pregnancy symptoms are beginning to increase in intensity. I couldn’t be happier! Come nausea, come fatigue! It is all worth it.
I will be having my transabdominal cerclage placed during week 10 or this pregnancy, probably near the beginning of May. It is supposed to be a safe procedure to do during pregnancy. I mourn the loss of ever having a vaginal delivery again (each baby will be delivered via c-section), but months of prayer and wrestling continually bring me back to the conclusion that the TAC is the way to go. It has a 98% success rate, and I can be like a regular pregnant woman with absolutely no bed rest or pelvic rest. The doctor who will be performing my surgery has encouraged me that it will be possible to have many children. He has delivered one woman’s 11th baby by c-section, and I have read other stories of women delivering up to 13 babies via c-section. It will definitely be an adventure of faith!