I wrote this article in 2011 for a Father’s Day cover-story at the request of a website that ministered to couples who experience the heartache of infertility.
Prayerfully, I hope it will again provide a measure of comfort and encouragement to heartbroken couples who are today experiencing the pain of loss and infertility.
God offers us Peace that is greater than our void, and Grace that ministers to our pain.
“Dave, come quickly, by the time you arrive at the hospital, your wife will be in emergency surgery!”
What? Not exactly the opener to a phone conversation with our doctor and family friend, Dr. Chris, that I would ever have expected. He went on to explain briefly about my wife, Teresa’s medical emergency.
Three Early Trimester Miscarriages…
My wife and I had barely been married two years by this time, and while we had been hoping to build a family, we had already experienced the heartache of three miscarriages in their first trimesters. The second and the third losses were just as traumatic to our hearts and dreams as the first loss.
Now, my wife was pregnant a fourth time and had seemingly been progressing well. She began to experience some pain in her right side, so she made an appointment to see our doctor just to make sure everything else was fine with her health.
Our doctor ordered an ultrasound to gain a perspective on the pregnancy and on her internal organs from where the pain seemed to emanate. The ultrasound technician did a fairly thorough exam of her abdomen and womb, and though the pregnancy tests had been positive some time earlier and again on that same day, he could not locate a pregnancy with the ultrasound scans.
Prior to releasing Teresa from the ultrasound lab, the technician called our doctor with his results. Nothing was found, wrong or otherwise. The scans were all normal, except no pregnancy was found.
Anticipating there was a problem, our doctor instructed the technician to keep looking, to keep scanning, and to not let her leave the lab until the pregnancy was located. He was certain she was pregnant, and he wasn’t going to release her until he could understand her symptoms and condition, pregnant or otherwise.
Forty minutes more of ultrasound scanning and probing and the technician said, “There it is!” He called the doctor with the results, both good and bad news.
The good news was that the doctor had been correct in his insistence for the ultrasound scan to continue until something was found. The bad news was that it was an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, very advanced, and on the verge of rupturing. A woman in that condition will almost always die of internal bleeding if the tubal pregnancy ruptures.
Upon reviewing the results, the doctor immediately ordered emergency surgery, and he picked up the phone and called me at my place of work. He informed me that he and another specialist were preparing for her surgery, and for me to hurry the approximate 30 miles from my location to the hospital in which she was already located.
My mind raced as I tried not to race my car to the hospital. To this day I hardly remember the drive, other than trying not to speed and be stopped for a ticket, thus making my arrival even later.
I arrived at the hospital and a nurse was waiting for me at the front door to guide me through the small maze of hallways to where my wife was being prepped for surgery. I arrived and had about ten minutes with her to talk, and pray, before they wheeled her out of the room.
Several hours of waiting followed. Finally Dr. Chris came into the waiting room where I was, and he said that Teresa’s surgery went very well. He said the timing of opening her abdomen was providential because just as they reached the ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, it began to rupture. They were able to tie off the bleeding with no time to spare.
Peace & Grace for Living with Infertility…
My wife and I have now been married almost 30 years, and we have four children in heaven awaiting our arrival. It has been difficult not being able to bear children. Though we have been involved in foster care, and at one time came very close to adopting a young girl at the specific request of the courts (a heartbreaking story of its own), we still carry a void in our lives.
Though the void of being childless remains, there is a Peace of our Heavenly Father that exceeds the emptiness of that void, and a Grace of His that mitigates our pain. Do we still feel the void? Oh, yes, we do! However, the Grace and Peace of our Father provides something that is greater than that painful void.
As for me personally, I thank the Lord so, so much and so, so often that He spared my wife, Teresa, on that fateful day when our doctor and family friend called and said, “Dave, come quickly…”.
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