How do we know when to stop having biological babies?

How do we know if or when we should stop having biological children?

Should we stop ourselves?

This is what I call a "hot" topic.  This talk can get attitudes fueled quickly for some.  It's sort of like topics on abortion, women being submissive, staying at home . . .

Personally, this was a question that my husband and I had to ask ourselves. But before we were able to sense the direction God was leading us, family members, friends, church members and lo and behold, even strangers, would ask the dreaded question, "Do y'all plan on having more?"

I never could understand why it mattered to people that we didn't ask to help us in anyway with our children.  People who weren't involved in our lives cared to know.  Why?  Whose business is it?

Rarely do we allow our children to sleep over people's houses, and we never let anyone other than my mother and a few times my sisters-in-law keep our children.  We never had our hands out for money to anyone so why on earth did it matter to anyone?

I think this subject should be one discussed between a husband and wife.

As I've shared with you all on many occasions, I had eight pregnancies before being able to carry my babies to term.  I lamented and prostrated myself before the Lord on behalf of the seven we now have.

I vowed to the Lord to never do anything on my own to stop having the babies that He saw fit to give me, and I told Him that whatever calling He gave me to see that they were instructed in the manner in which He wanted I would do—hence homeschooling.

While delivering my third baby, Kyle, his heart rate began to drop dangerously low and I was whisked into the operating room to have my first cesarean section.

I would go on to have four more c-sections.

By the time I got to baby number five my doctor was alarmingly worried as he said that I have a whole lot scar tissue and that cutting me is like cutting through brick.  This worried him deeply.  It scared me.

Immediately I went into prayer and fasting, asking the Lord to stop giving me the babies!  He gave me a peace about what I was doing so Kennedy and I continued having them.  When I was in the O.R. having baby number five ... well, let me back up a bit.  I had peace, but after dear Dr. Cook called Kennedy and me into his office for a meeting and told me of his fears, I became fearful.

I trusted him and still have the utmost trust and respect for him.  I knew his concern was for my life and well-being.  That was his only priority. My husband and I had become very close to him.  He'd shared the difficulties of his wife being able to conceive and he respected what we felt God wanted us to do.  He was always just as happy for me as we were, until baby number five. 

I'd begin to wonder if he'd not become like the many people we'd come across. People who thought we should not attempt to have so many kids. He assured me that he was not. He told me about patients he had that had eight c-sections all done by him.  He said that it wasn't the having of the babies that he cared about it was the scar tissue.  None of his other patients had ever had so much scar tissue he explained.

"Okay, I said.  You can tie them."

Long story short, he tried twice—on two different deliveries {five and six} to tie my tubes, but my veins were too swollen and he said I would have bled out on the table.

So the babies kept coming.

When he found out I was pregnant with baby number seven he was so upset until he took himself off my case and his associate was the one who dealt with me.

And just a side note here—my husband tried twice having a vasectomy, but it was cancelled both times!

As it grew near my delivery, he called me into his office and told me that I would have to deliver at a trauma one hospital.

My husband couldn't go in with me to see the birth of our last child.  The delivery was too grave.  I was petrified.

Once I got to the hospital I saw where Dr. Cook had everything planned in case I began to bleed out or had some other type of emergency.  There—in the delivery room beside me stood an elite team of Houston surgeons, oncologist, plastic surgeons along with droves of extra blood. 

For the first time, I was in there without my husband and I felt alone.

My doctor and I hadn't talked til that day, with the exception of him meeting with us periodically to let me know the team he was getting in place for the delivery.

There on the slendor table I shievered and he stood stroking my arm, "You scared?  You know I care about you and I just don't want anything bad to happen.  You do know that right?  Say a prayer for me Angie ... please pray for us."

This was at least his fifth time asking me to pray.  He'd called from his cell phone once and ask me to have my church pray.  Then he asked a friend of mine who was a nurse that he knew really well to pray, too.  He'd also shared his fears with her.

Not only was I about to give birth to my seventh baby, but that delivery on that day made it seven years to the day that I'd had my first c-section delivery.  That means that Kyle and Kennlie are seven years apart and their birthdays are on the same day.

We made it through with no complications.  They had at least expected that I would have a hysterectomy, but I didn't even have to have that.

I was awaken.

"Mrs. Ambroise!  Mrs. Ambroise we were able to tie your tubes!  We tied your tubes!"  This is what I'd awaken to hear.


"We tied your tubes," said the associate.

"You tied my tubes!"  I repeat in a confusing way.

"Yes.  You were out cold on the operating table and I saw where my hand could squeeze through and get to them, so I tied, cut and burned them."

"Who gave you permission?"

"Your husband.  We sent a nurse rushing out to the waiting room to get permission.  He told her, 'Tie them tubes!'"

"Whew, thank You Lord!

You knew that the pregnancies were tasking my body.  You knew that I'd vowed and couldn't go back on what I'd vowed.  So You allowed my husband, the head of our family, to make the decision.

Thank You Father."

Our family was completed with seven.  And on the seventh year anniversary of my first c-section, I gave birth to my seventh and last child.

It was finished.

God answers prayer.  God is very much involved in the lives of His children.  And it is so refreshing to know that the God of the universe, the creator of heaven and earth has a plan for your life and for mine.

So back to the question of how do we know when to stop?  The answer is different for each one of us.  I think that it's whatever way God purposes in the heart of the couple is right for them.  It is He who must do the leading—no one else.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.  Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! ~ Ps. 127:3,4,5a 

This post is linked to Time Warp Wives , Women Living Well and From Inmates to Playdates


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