Making Babies

This article recently came out regarding how we may be able to genetically modify DNA material from three people to create one (hopefully) healthy baby. And this article came out regarding a huge surge in the fertility trade, where eggs, sperm and wombs have become commodities. While I was impressed with how far science has developed, I felt it was crossing a line into playing God that humans should not be crossing. It also seems to devalue human life by the buying and selling going on. This brings me to the question that I’m sure many couples have asked, “How far would you go to make a baby?

This is a deeply sensitive subject, so I make no assumptions into what others choose to do or not do and only share what Skywalker and I have discussed and the reasons for what we’ve decided for ourselves. Our thoughts are framed by two key points:

  1. We do not assume or take for granted that we’ll be able to have children when we decide we’re ready to have them. We’ve walked with dear friends who are struggling to conceive and we know that new life is truly a miracle and a gift from God. Having children is not a right.
  2. God knows best…whether He gives or not, or gives and takes away…we hold fast to our belief that God loves us and is good.

From that we’ve decided that any child born to us will only be the product of the two of us, joined in covenant marriage as husband and wife. We will not involve a third person whether as donor or surrogate. As a girl friend put it, “To have someone else’s DNA in my body, other than my husband’s, feels like cheating!” We also don’t want our future child to have to wonder who the other half of them are if not the parents s/he grew up with. Nor do I want to look into my child’s face and see half of someone else’s face. There are also the genetic nightmares passed from donors. I read/heard stories of the pain these situations bring and I don’t believe God intended for it to happen that way.

We also decided that we will not use IVF procedures. If the egg and sperm aren’t naturally joining and implanting in my uterus then it’s not going to happen for us. I cannot bear the thought of having a dozen fertilized eggs, equivalent to a dozen children, and then risking their lives to have one or two successfully implant while the rest gets destroyed or end up being used in research.

As for fertility treatments…that’s a grey line for us….me in particular. Perhaps we’ll cross that bridge when/if we get there.

Lastly, we already try to stay away from genetically modified produce….much less entertain the idea of having genetically modified children. *shudder* If I will love my child, healthy or sick, the same then I’m not going to try to control their DNA in hopes of having a child that is “easier” to take care of. Do I want to prevent them from having to suffer? Of course! What parent won’t? Actually, if I really wanted to prevent my children from ever suffering, I just wouldn’t have any kids. Life IS about suffering…half the time. But truth be told…we have very little control over anything. We can try to use science to control one thing, but another unrelated event could happen. It’s best to surrender my life and any future child’s life in God’s hands alone. Because He loves us and He is good.

Will we feel differently if we find ourselves on the otherside? Having put some critical thought through this, I think we’ll still draw the same line if we get to that bridge. I honestly don’t feel having biological children is my “sole” purpose in life such that I’d be incomplete without it. Certainly it makes relating to a large majority of our population a little more difficult, but with creativity and openness to each other, I think community can still be built. Of course there is the option to adopt or be foster parents. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” so that’s what I hope to do, whether or not I have my own.

Will see what God’s hand has in store.


(Image not mine)

We finally had a chance to meet up with friends we hadn’t seen in a while. They’re both tall and beautiful…so I’ve substituted their names with Elvish names: Lessien and Fingolfin Lissësúl. (You can generate your own Elvish name here if you like.)

“The last three years have just been horrible for us”…..That was how the gutwrenching but inspiring Story started….omigoodness….

They started trying for a family three yrs ago. Their dream was to have a big family. And it was just not happening…meanwhile friends left and right of them are popping babies out. “We got pregs on our first try!” etc etc. They didn’t know what was going on…but you have to try one year before you start the testing for other issues. Meanwhile ppl kept asking “When are you starting your fam?” or “Don’t you want children?”…and it became a thorn in the side. With every menses came feelings of failure. Disappointment. Frustration.

Last year was all testing….and testing is super painful. It was a time of hell for all the emotions that come with waiting for results as well as waiting month to month. There were inconclusive tests one after another. Nothing seemed to be wrong with either of them. In one particular test, they shoot dye into your uterus at higher pressures so that it would shoot into your fallopian tubes and highlight the entire area for a scan. Painful test. Lessien remembers laying on the cold table and feeling the fluid gush right back out because it would not flow into the fallopian tubes.

Sometime in the middle of all this…she and Fingolfin remember a prayer they prayed in their small group. They had asked God to remove or keep away from them anything that would become an idol to them. They never cared about position/status/wealth/fame…but then they realized that having a child could be that idol. And God was answering their prayer by keeping that from them.

So with that revelation they started to let go of the dream of children. They had just built a big house a couple years back in preparation for growing a family….but have to now let it all go. They also recently heard a sermon about spiritual children…and they saw with new eyes the people in their small group who didn’t have Christian families/parents to mentor them and saw opportunities there. They talked about adoption. There were ideas of IVF…but not for $12,000. They had peace…they were letting go…they were moving forward.

Which was just in time…because at the end of last year one of the tests came back and the Dr revealed that Lessien could never have children. She had suffered a crazy sports accident when she was younger and the emergency surgery she had caused scar tissue to internally spread all over the place. Including her fallopian tubes and uterus. There was no way the egg would ever enter the fallopian tube to make it into the uterus because it was scarred closed. And the uterus is bent from the scar tissue. That’s why the fluids in one of the last tests kept gushing out…it was completely blocked.

It was hard to hear…but they had already let go…so by God’s grace it was easier to receive the news. Her pastor’s wife still told her to just take a few days off work so she did and spent it in quiet time with God. So…it’ll just be the two of them then. And then they sat down and started to change all their plans for the future. Ministry/work/family/etc. Just her and Fingolfin. Just him and Lessien.

They had been saving up for family but now that it wasn’t going to be a reality…they decided to go on a trip themselves to just get away. She also decided to get laser eye surgery done. Moving forward. Letting go.

During the discharge from the laser eye clinic early this year, the nurse was explaining the regiment of eye drops to her. One drop was a steroid and so she asked if Lessien had a chance of being pregnant. Knot in stomach, Lessien said no. But the nurse asked several more times…“Are you positive” “Are you sure”….

Feeling weird about it….and with faint hope of miracles…she told Fingolfin about the nurse asking….who told her to check. So she did…and the stick showed positive!!! Staring at it in amazement, they also saw the test stick was expired….so Fingolfin went and bought a few more sticks. ALL. POSITIVE.

It was a crazy crazy time……Fingolfin was bouncing off walls giddy. Lessien was bawling her face off because in the last three years of trying, they had never seen a positive. (So now she didn’t even need the harmful steroid drops because she was crying so much.)

But now there was the fear that the fertilized egg would attach outside the uterus since everything to the inside was blocked. This of course, is a huge risk to baby and mother’s lives. Through Fingolfin’s Dr contacts…they got Lessien in for an ultrasound….

And the Baby…found to be about 11 weeks old already…was placed neatly INSIDE the uterus….doing absolutely fine!

!!!What an incredible miracle!!!

It also means that when they were surrendering to God the fact that she would never be able to have children…was when she got pregnant.

(I was bawling my face off when Lessien was sharing all this.)

There’s still concerns about whether or not the uterus will stretch properly to allow the Baby to grow in it. But at this point…God has done so much in them and revealed so much to them that they are happy to have been parents for these few months at all. She was once worried about morning sickness because her sisters had it bad….but her first trimester’s already nearly over. Just amazing….! AH-MAZING!

On our drive home after that lunch…Skywalker and I were just in awe. He felt super convicted to pray a prayer like that….to ask that anything that could be idols in our lives be pulled away or prevented from us receiving it. I was floored by their faithfulness to accept and make best of where God was leading…and just try to trust/obey in all things. Either way…their Story was really really inspiring.

And I hope it has encouraged you today.

(Quick update: Baby is now 14 weeks, size of an apple and doing great!)