In December 2011 I had a hernia repair surgery scheduled. My surgeon asked me if I was done having kids. He said he asked because if I was, he’d do a tubal ligation with my hernia repair.
I only had my two girls, and we had just started talking about trying for another baby.
I wasn’t done having kids.
Two days later, I had a terrible morning with my children. I was yelling at my six and three year old daughters. I was throwing things around as if I were the three year old. It was ridiculous, and I remember thinking, “I’m a terrible mom to two kids, why should I have any more?”
So I loaded my children up, still dressed in their jammies, and I drove to the surgeon’s office. I pulled in the parking lot, left my kids strapped in their seats, and I told the receptionist I had changed my mind.
“This is not your time, Sarah.” I knew. I knew God was telling me not to do what I was about to do.
My eyes were full of tears. My stomach hurt. I felt panicky. The receptionist must have been able to tell something was up.
“Are you sure, Sarah?”
Yes, yes I was sure. Because out in my car were two sweet girls I could hardly mother. I was unfit to bring more children into this world. And so I signed the papers.
A couple days later I am dressed for surgery and a man comes in asking me to sign paperwork. I needed to initial for each procedure – the hernia repair, and the tubal.
“This is not your time, Sarah.”
Again I could hear Him.
Still I initialed.
With my initials I signed away my future babies. I have always dreamed of having five children, but those initials meant that wouldn’t happen.
I came out of surgery in so much pain. But the pain wasn’t physical. Just a few years prior I’d had half my colon removed – a hernia repair and tubal seemed like cake in comparison. No, the pain was not physical. The pain was emotional. I ached. I was angry. I had just had a surgery preventing any future children, siblings for my girls. I was miserable. I was an awful patient. I yelled at my nurse. I wanted to rip out every staple and go back to the hours where I could change my answer. Take away my initials. I wanted to leave.
Friends, I have grieved for four and a half years. I have watched my friends have more babies. I have dreamed of carrying another baby in my belly. I have dreamed about a baby boy, and another baby girl. My arms and heart have ached. And there has been so much anger. I have been angry at myself.
So very angry.
These four and a half years have been spent dreaming of a baby, or babies, that will never be. These four and a half years have been spent telling God over and over again how sorry I am. I should have listened.
Why didn’t I listen?!
Three years ago I started researching tubal ligation reversals. I talked with my doctor and she told me a doctor from Seattle came to this office to meet with patients for this exact reason. So I made an appointment, was told I’d have to have $400, and the surgery would be a separate fee later, not covered by my insurance.
A few days before the appointment I realized I did not have the $400. So I canceled. Feelings of disappointment all over again. But I stuffed them away.
And for the last three years I have wondered where I would be now had I kept that appointment. Had that surgery. Would I have a baby or two by now?
A few months ago Josh and I started talking about a reversal again. Seriously talking about it. I started researching and found the doctor in the US with the highest reversal success rate. Josh and I talked and talked. Made plans and more plans.
I called and emailed with the doctor’s office. I got my medical records sent, and I have been approved for surgery.
51 days away.
The flight is hundreds of dollars. The hotel, too. The surgery – thousands. 14 of them to be exact.
We do not have this kind of money. So we have decided to get a loan. Not our favorite idea, but the only way to have that kind of cash by August.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been torn about this decision. This decision that has seemed like a no-brainer. Of course I want this surgery. Of course I want another baby.
It has taken me awhile to realize that as much as having more kids would make my heart happy, the true motive behind having this reversal is to tell God I’m sorry, and to try to right my wrong. It has taken me awhile to realize I don’t have to have this surgery to try to right my wrong.
So how do I right a wrong with God? Humble myself. Ask forgiveness. Move on. Move forward.
Finally, finally I asked forgiveness. And just recently have felt myself beginning to move on. My heart feels lighter and happier, I feel a freedom I can’t quite explain. Don’t get me wrong, if I miraculously found out I was pregnant, I’d be ecstatic, I would. But I’m no longer filled with what feels like a need to have a baby to make my life complete, and to make things right with the Lord.
We have decided I will not have the surgery.
The girls and I had a very long, very good conversation about my first surgery, why I did it, why I shouldn’t have, and why we are not moving forward with this next surgery. As much as they were looking forward to the idea of a sibling, they understand why we are not moving forward with those plans. I’m looking forward to enjoying each day with them instead of wishing they were little again, or wishing for a baby so I could do things right this time.
It’s time I start doing right by them now. It’s time to forgive myself. It’s time to start truly living, and living happily without the weight of regret. I don’t feel I’ve really done that since December 2011.
It’s time to start dreaming new dreams and see where that takes our family.
I feel hopeful. And hopeful feels so good.