Sorry for the silence for an entire month. I’ve been down with morning sickness, though it hits me pretty much throughout the day, not only in the morning. Yup, I’m expecting no. 3 and yes, 3 is one too many. Baby is now 8 weeks old and I’m due 29 December. I’m praying baby will come January 2013 so that I won’t have to fight for school admission when baby is Primary 1.* Heh =)
All I can conclude for this pregnancy is that, God is the God of fertility. He opens and closes the womb of those whom He pleases. It is totally unexpected and in my understanding of what we learn in science about fertility, this pregnancy is quite impossible because the chance is so very slim (shall spare you of the details, heh) but the ultrasound is proof that God has done it. Another baby is fearfully and wonderfully made in my womb. I am fully convinced, after this time, that God has total control over our fertility and I submit to His blessings, though at the moment I do not exactly feel that way. People (Christians!!??) has asked me if I want to abort it and suggested I should use “protection” or just go for ligation. (because they know I am already struggling). I can only hold my breath and shake my head. I get a mixed of reactions, some with encouraging reactions like “do you need help?” , “what blessings!” but some with comments like these which I don’t know how to reply except to smile and remain silent. (I wish I had the courage to speak up)
So far, none of our children were planned. 8 months into our marraige I conceived the eldest boy, TC. The conditions in which TC was conceived was also rather bleak, though it didn’t affect me as much as it did for DH, since he was out of job and we were just starting to rebuild out savings again after wiping them out for the wedding and home purchase and renovations. I believe God has spoken to WM and increased his faith greatly that time such that he seemed so nonchalant about how to make ends meet when I told him I am pregnant again. In fact he encouraged me several times that God will provide. (He was out of job for a total of 9 months and eventually got a job 1 month before I gave birth). I credit this circumstance for him to take another step of faith to allow me to stop work 18months after I gave birth to TC.
As I progressed in my Christian walk, I am more and more convinced that we ought not to do family planning. In the past, I always thought this idea is stupid because it is unwise to have children before you have the ability to provide or take care of them. Later on, I realized how this idea is actually selfish and fear-driven – it is a lie that Satan and the world wants us to believe. I didn’t realize this is in direct contradiction to God’s commands in Gen 1:28 to be fruitful and multiply and believing in God’s promises in Psalms 127:3-5 that children are a gift from the Lord. Who are we to select only what we want to believe and obey? I used to disassociate myself from this idea partly because I used to think it is a crazy idea of the Muslims, Catholics and Mormons. (sorry no offense to these religions but I used to think they were just “out of this world” and impractical, not adapting to the times.) By buying this idea, I am really saying to denying God as a Creator, Author and Giver of life. Have you ever thought that “family planning” is a subtle idea that says “me first”? Or should I bluntly put it that it means “my career first”, “my conveniences first”, “my comforts first”, “my time first”, “my financial plans first”? Have you ever considered that this idea is actually driven by fears, instead of faith in the Lord? Fear that the children will not be well taken care of, that we will not be able to provide, that we cannot cope etc…101 reasons! Of course, with each additional child, we are stretched, financially, physically, emotionally…to the point we feel that we might not even cope (yes I feel that way now), but do we really think we are in control of everything? Can we plan and execute everything? Where is God? Where is the element of faith? I hear many sad stories about how couples choose to “wait” before they decide to conceive, and by the time they think they are ready, they cannot conceive. How sad to miss God’s blessings this way.
Family planning is a new invention of modern times. In my opinion, the only family planning that are in the Lord’s is abstinence. However as I mentioned in my previous post on how to be a good wife, sexual relations is a duty to each other. You can also put it that family planning is actually a selfish way of not wanting to bear the responsibility of child bearing and rearing while desiring pleasure. Doesn’t it sound like sin, pleasure with no responsibility? By entertaining such idea, it is a precursor to abortion. Many Christians will readily agree that abortion is a sin (murder) but they will not hesitate to think that using of contraception in the name of family planning is not. A baby is a baby even in the mother’s womb, not a foetus. God’s word clearly said life begins in the womb. Baby John the baptist was filled with the Spirit and became excited when he met baby Jesus, both in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:44).
What about IVF, surrogate motherhood, sperm banks and the like? I think that in God’s eyes, a family unit of just a man and wife is complete, even if they cannot have babies. Just as a person is complete in the Lord even if he/she is without a spouse, a marriage is complete in the Lord even if there isn’t any children because the couple weren’t able to conceive. =) In any circumstance, we ought to exercise trust and obedience to the Lord, fully submitting ourselves to His will instead of attempting to gain control of our lives. When we think we have control, God will show us that we actually do not. Let us be content in whatever circumstances (Philippians 4:11) whether married or single, quiver-full or childless, rich or poor…and God will give us grace and help us to do all things required. (I’m saying this for myself as much as for my dear readers!)
What if husband is insistent on family planning and using “protection”? A sister-in-Christ has wisely advised me that we ought to submit (1 Peter 3:6) and appeal to him in the Lord with respect and a spirit of submission. As I am writing this now, DH is yet undecided on this. Despite that, God was “faster” than him, He has caused me to be pregnant again with no.3 despite the sporadic “efforts” and trying our best not to conceive and even before WM could get any rubber. Isn’t God humorous?
Oh well, I have at least 10 years of child-bearing ahead of me and I am fearful (I AM!!!!) and I know I can easily have another 5-10 kids. I’m not sure if I can. I’m not sure if I’d become depressed…(Yes, motherhood is HARD!!!) I’m not sure even how I can cope with the next one since I am barely coping with the current 2 that I have…I am scared and, yes, I feel so dreadful…All I can say is, I am learning to trust and submit God too, in every small or big area, just as how God brought me to leave my job (which it was so unthinkable at that time), have children (Uhh? I didn’t want to be a mother, didn’t think I could, I’m not someone who really adores kids, serious. I thought I might need some good parenting myself) May God help us and reveal Himself to us as we choose to obey Him each step of the way.
*2012 is dragon year in the Chinese calendar and it is considered an auspicious year to have babies.