Soon after Matt and I got married, we agreed that we would have as many children as God gave us. We put our faith in God, trust in Jesus and believe the Bible. God always refers to children as a positive thing: gift, blessing, treasure, reward, inheritance, etc. We were both uncomfortable with any form of birth control. It just didn't seem right to us to try to prevent a possible gift, blessing, treasure, reward, or inheritance that God might have for us.
So, we were very delighted to find out we were expecting our first little blessing right before Thanksgiving, just 5 months after our wedding. Then, we were filled with grief when we buried that sweet baby just a month later. I have given birth to 5 healthy babies since then, and I can tell you that the pain of miscarriage is the pain of death. The pain of birth is life, and so much easier.
|Malakai, Eli, Isaiah, and Ana 2011|
It was when Eli was 4 months old that we were introduced to the world of hemophilia. He had a couple hematomas along his waistline. Blood tests showed that he had less than 1% of factor 8, severe hemophilia A. A few months after that, I was tested. I thought he probably had a spontaneous mutation. I didn't have any family history of hemophilia at all. Well, I remember getting that call like it was yesterday. The test came back, and I was a carrier. My heart sank. Was this my fault? Could I have more children in good conscience now? What does this mean for my home births? All these questions and more weighed me down immediately.
|Our family of 7 with Matt's Mom and Grandma 2011|
So, we stuck to our plan. A few months later, we were blessed again. This time, birth planning was a lot different. We chose to get an ultrasound to find out if the baby was a girl or a boy: BOY. Then, we started interviewing midwives. It definitely puts a twist in the interview when you mention, "Oh, by the way, our baby has a 50% chance of having a severe bleeding disorder. . . " It wasn't so easy finding a caregiver this time.
Then, my husband lost his job, and we moved clear across the country from California to New York where he got a new job. Homebirth just wasn't working out this time, but we had a great midwife who had privileges at the Women's and Children's Hospital. I insisted on a water birth to give my baby the most gentle birth I could. They'd never had a water birth, but in the end, they approved my request. We used our pool, and they moved the bed out to make room for it. Malakai was born, making hospital history! His cord blood test came back that he did not have hemophilia.
|Malakai and Silas 2012|
Matt and I are very excited to look forward to the future. Our beautiful family is growing, and although they keep us hopping, we just love our little crowd! If God wants us to have more children with hemophilia, then it is what is best for our family. If not, then that's what's best. We choose to trust Him.
Matt and I have lots of friends and family whom we highly respect that do not share our beliefs on childbearing. We believe it is a personal choice for each couple to decide on their own. I know that I may have lost some people when I mentioned God, but I wanted to share our heart with you, and I can't do that without mentioning God.
Anyway, isn't having any child a risk? People who don't carry a genetic disorder are not guaranteed a perfectly "healthy" child every time. Elijah and Silas are just as much a blessing to our family as Isaiah, Ana, and Malakai are. I believe with all my heart that God has a special plan for each one of our children. I believe that everything in their lives is there for that purpose, to make them exactly who they are meant to be. No matter what happens, God always loves us and we can always trust Him.