The other day as I was leaving the grocery store, I saw a woman pushing a grocery cart that had two baby carriers in it. I rushed over and asked if I could see her twins. I’ve had a fascination with twins since I was eight years old. We moved and our new neighbors had nine children including identical twin girls. My aunt and uncle has a set of twin girls with their nine children, too. (As a side note, these cousins are my double relatives because their mom is my father’s sister and their dad is my mom’s first cousin!)
As a young girl, I decided that I would have THREE sets of twins, one set of boys, one set of girls, and a boy/girl set. Well, over the years, I learned that God has a sense of humor. I’m sure many times He, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit have a good chuckle from our plans, especially when they don’t align with His plans. (Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”)
Fortunately my desire for twins did not come true when I became pregnant for the first time, as I was not married. Two months shy of my 19th birthday (September 10), I gave birth to my son, Damian, on July 10, one week past his July 3 due date. My grandmother wasn’t thrilled about me having a baby out of wedlock and had given me some grief about it, but because there are no coincidences with God, Damian was born on her 63rd birthday, which also happened to be the birthday of my aunt (the mother of my twin cousins).
Seven years later, I got married. Because we already had three sons between us, WE planned to have once child together and then I’d have a tubal ligation (no consultation with God about our plan!). Two years after we were married, we were ready. I got pregnant quickly and was given a May, 1983 due date. Sadly, in November, 1982, I miscarried at three months. My doctor didn’t instruct me to wait before getting pregnant again. In January, 1983, I was ecstatic to learn I was pregnant. We had a scare where I thought I was going to miscarry again, but God had a plan. I gained so much weight that my doctor thought I could possibly be having twins! I was excited and was hoping I was pregnant with twin girls (no way did I want twin boys!). I eagerly went to the scheduled ultrasound only to get the disappointing news that I was not having twins. I didn’t want to know my baby’s gender until the birth.
Our baby was due September 25. After enduring an extremely hot summer with ptyalism (production of excess saliva during pregnancy) and being two weeks overdue, I thought surely, only a boy would put his mother through all this. My husband, who knew how desperately I wanted a girl, teased me saying I was having boy – I did not get his sense of humor!
My doctor scheduled an induction for October 10. On Sunday, October 9, I went into labor. As I couldn’t progress past six centimeters, the doctor performed a cesarean, and our BABY GIRL, Deanna, was born on Monday, October 10! Having had a child out of wedlock, a miscarriage, and an overdue pregnancy, this was the happiest day of my life, even though I didn’t have the twin girls I had hoped for. Deanna now shared being born on the 10th with her brother and me. She later had her first child, my granddaughter, in May (remember, I had miscarried in May prior to getting pregnant with Deanna). Deanna had her second daughter in October at age 29, the same age I was when I had Deanna. No coincidences with God.
I had had a tubal ligation during my cesarean birth. We didn’t seek God’s opinion on the matter. We just did what WE thought was best. About three years later, I had my second miscarriage. Not totally unheard of as the cumulative 10-year probability of pregnancy following tubal ligation was 18.5 per 1000 procedures*. I didn't seek God’s direction when I had the tubal ligation. Instead of seeking God’s direction after this second miscarriage, I decided to have ANOTHER tubal ligation by a different doctor using a different method. About 7 years later, I had severe abdominal pains while driving home on the expressway. A trip to the hospital via ambulance landed me in intensive care following emergency surgery due to a ruptured fallopian tube. Yes, after two tubal ligations, I had had a miscarriage AND an ectopic pregnancy.
For someone who wanted six children (three sets of twins), my plans definitely did not come into fruition…somewhat from my own interventions. I’ll never know if any of these pregnancies would have yielded the twins I had desired. I do know there are no coincidences with Him because He works everything out according to HIS plan. Ephesians 1:11 In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
I’ve learned during my Christian walk that God has had plans for me since the day He brought me into this world. Thank You, Father, for Your plans for my life – they will always work out for MY good. Amen!
*The efficacy of tubal ligation has been most extensively studied in the US Collaborative Review of Sterilization (CREST) study. This study followed 10,685 sterilized women for up to 14 years following their tubal ligation. The findings demonstrated that tubal ligation is highly effective, though effectiveness varies by the ligation method employed and by the patient’s age, race, and ethnicity. The cumulative 10-year probability of pregnancy following tubal ligation was 18.5 per 1000 procedures. Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2492586/ )