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A Bundle of Myrrh

"My beloved is unto me as a bundle of myrrh." Song of Solomon 1:13

Fertility In A Fallen World – Andrea’s Story

February 29th, 2016 by Aubri


I asked if anyone would be willing to discuss a topic that isn’t easy and share the story of their fertility journey. I have had a very good response from many of you and I’m honored to finally begin presenting some of the stories that have graciously been provided by some wonderful women.  

In this series women with different experiences will share the pain and blessings that the gift of fertility carries with it, in the hope of bringing out God’s grace and promise to those couples struggling to welcome this gift when it is not known how it will turn out in a sinful world. 

Whether the result be a healthy child, a child who goes almost immediately to be with Christ, or there is no gift of life, all women of child-bearing age wrestle with this cross and the unforeseen works of God that are to come.

While we might envy God’s work in another woman or couple, Christ alone designs the cross appropriately for each. To desire to please God in this sinful world will entail suffering. But there is comfort in knowing we are not alone. There is value in hearing each other stories, that while our paths are different, it is still a struggle of faith, which all God’s children share. 

And it is a great comfort to know that God’s love is not found in how many children we are given or have taken from us, but in the saving sacrifice of Christ on the cross and in His glorious resurrection.

This is Andrea’s story.

I was born into a family of 2 children. In a way this did affect my decision on how many children I wanted to have. My sister and I were 6 years apart and I was lonely when I was little and always wanted more siblings. We had very few cousins as well.

There was not really a time in my girlhood or teen years that I was taught anything about marriage and children. I’m pretty sure that my mom and I would talk about things here and there but no sit downs, etc. Just in passing.

At the time my husband and I decided to marry we did want children but the number was undefined.

My parents would have preferred us to wait because we were 18 and 20 when we got married. My in-laws were all for children right away. In the little bit of premarital counseling we received, we touched on the topic of children but since we both wanted children and were on the same page, we didn’t focus on it much.

Our feelings on this topic since we were married 17 years ago are much different now than they were then. Back then, we just knew we wanted children and more than one. We assumed it would be easy to conceive and we would use contraception in between children (we were not avid church-goers at the time) because we wanted to be somewhat prepared when we had each child and we didn’t want 10 kids by the time we were 30.  A lot of what we wanted.

So, we had our first 2 children (in 1999 and 2001) before I was 22. I never felt quite done but was overwhelmed with 2 little ones less than 2 years apart and finding it necessary to work full-time outside the house and go back to college to get the degree I never finished. When my husband came back from Iraq in 2005, I just had this overwhelming desire for more children and our girls also wanted more siblings. After talking, my husband reluctantly agreed and 3 months later, we were pregnant with daughter number 3, born in 2006. Our second child was then 5 years old.

We make light of the decision for a 3rd child. My husband wanted a semi-truck and I wanted a baby, so he gave into me because I let him start his trucking business. However, I remind him that we still have the baby (now almost 9 years old) and he does not have his semi…so I think I got the better end of the deal.

Our first 3 children came as we could have expected. No issues conceiving, using contraception in between.

Then in 2010 our lives changed by going to seminary. By February 2011, we decided to let God’s will be done without us interfering with contraception. We conceived our 4th child by April 2011. This child was stillborn in September 2011.

In January 2012 we conceived our 5th child, a son, who was born that October and died that December 2012 due to a heart defect. Our 6th child was conceived in January 2013, but was a 5 week miscarriage. Our last daughter, our seventh child, was conceived in September 2013 and born in May 2014.

The month before I found out I was pregnant with her, I was finally allowing my heart to come to terms with the fact that maybe we would not have any other children. Nine months to conceive isn’t a long time compared to some but for us, it was a long time.

After losing 3 children and this being a tough time on my body and emotional state, I had my tubes tied and feel very comfortable with my family being complete. But I will say that having my tubes tied was a mistake. Not because it is keeping me from having children. We would welcome any additional children. But because of the additional medical issues it has caused for me.

Deciding to have a tubal was difficult in some ways but when we decided to have the last baby via c-section because we were worried for her safety. Our previous full-term baby was born via c-section because of a heart defect that was so severe that natural labor and delivery would have been life-threatening. We almost did a VBAC with our last child but my anxiety and my husband’s anxiety was so high that the c-section just seemed like the best for us emotionally at the time.

We had buried 2 children in the previous 2 years and lost a 3rd to miscarriage before our last daughter. If I had not already been open on the table with the c-section we probably would have had my husband get a vasectomy instead but since I was already having the abdominal surgery we thought it made sense. Both my husband and I again were in agreement and felt like our biological family was complete but would be open to adoption if the Lord lead us that way.

I was never a very sexual person prior to the tubal but after the tubal all desire is gone. I feel awful for my husband because he feels like I am rejecting him but I am just so uninterested in sex and it is uncomfortable as well. This is so extreme for even me. It is taking a toll on our marriage.

At the same time, the other physical issues I am having is increased weight and girth around my stomach that just won’t stop. This gives me another issue because I feel awful about myself as well and along with this last baby I have the worst sleep deprivation which has added to the weight issues as well. I was just trying to get through our newest daughter’s 1st year and praying that she got a little less clingy at nap time and bed time and would sleep without being held. But at the same time I was cherishing her clingy-ness because she was my last baby.

Children are a gift from the Lord…no matter how many or how few you are given or for how much time. Everyone’s story is different and we can learn from them all.

Read the entire Fertility in a Fallen World Series HERE.

One Response to “Fertility In A Fallen World – Andrea’s Story”

  1. Katy says:

    I’m sorry for your suffering, Andrea. May Christ and your husband give comfort you.

    Have you considered HRT, or did your doctor talk to you about that?