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The Journey to Fatherhood

June 18, 2012

Some of you know this story. For others, this will be new.

Father’s Day was yesterday. It was also my son’s 7th birthday. Our family had a great weekend filled with a pirate birthday party, church ministry, cook-out, and visits to the pool. I looked at both of my kids often and reflected on how blessed I am to have such healthy, happy, smart, beautiful children (and wife!). About 10 years ago, I would have never guessed I would be where I am today with this family.

Almost 15 years ago, I had experienced some health issues. As a result of some testing, it was discovered that I would not be able to father children. According to the doctor, I had a 0% chance. Fast forward to right after Laurie and I were married. We had talked about wanting children. I was open with her and shared what I just now wrote. We decided to meet with my doctor again. We did and all 3 of us reviewed those test results from years earlier. He was emphatic that the test results were accurate. But he also agreed to have me retested knowing how much we wanted children.

A couple of days after the test, I received a call at work from the doctor himself. I was a bit concerned knowing that nurses usually make return calls. But the doctor said he wanted to tell me the results of the test himself. “There is 35% chance of you fathering children,” he said. I was shocked. I asked him how I went from 0% to 35%. He didn’t know. I then said, “it almost sounds like a miracle, doctor.” He didn’t buy that. Needless to say, Laurie and I were thrilled. We had hope.

Then Laurie was experiencing some health issues. From examination by her OBGYN, it was determined that her tubes were blocked and she needed out-patient surgery to fix this. We met with her doctor to talk about it. We shared the story about my situation. The doctor then informed us that he would not do the surgery unless I submitted to one more test. “If one of the tests was a fluke and you cannot father children, why put your wife through this surgery? If your goal is to get pregnant, then I want you tested again,” he told us. So I did.

The results? They showed I was 100% normal (well, my test results were)! Laurie’s surgery was scheduled for the beginning of April, 2003. The surgery went well.

On Mother’s Day, 2003, we learned that Laurie was pregnant with Hannah. What a great Mother’s Day gift, eh?!

The next months proved to be difficult ones. The pregnancy was not without its scares. We thought we had lost Hannah, changed OBGYNs, had multiple ultra-sounds as we closely monitored Hannah’s development.

Then on New Year’s Eve, 2003, we had gone out to dinner with my brother, Jeff, and his wife, Nancy. We were going to see a movie later that night. We walked over to a Crispie Cream shop for coffee. Jeff and I were walking in front of the girls. I heard Nancy cry out, “oh no!” and turned to see Laurie face down in the parking lot. She had tripped over a parking stop and landed on her knees and then her belly. I was shaking when we all got her up and inside the donut shop. Laurie calmed down faster than I did. We decided to call the emergency OBGYN number to talk with a doctor.

We reached a doctor who after listening to what had happened, asked us to drive over to the hospital so he could examine Laurie. He was calm and even told me on the phone, “oh, pregnant women fall down all the time.” That didn’t console me.

We made the short drive to the hospital and Laurie was quickly hooked up to all kinds of monitors including a heart monitor for her and the baby. Another kind monitor was showing flat lines which would periodically jump radically.

The doctor came into the room and did an ultra-sound. He said Laurie and baby appeared to be fine but that it looked like there was either blood or other matter floating around the baby. Knowing that Laurie was due in about 2 weeks and that we would have a c-section anyway, he informed us that it was best if the baby was born tonight. (Now, I had packed Laurie’s suitcase in the van before we had left for the restaurant/movie – but I didn’t have my cameras). The doctor said he would wait for me to run home, pick up those things and run the dog to my folks.

At 11:10 pm, Hannah Grace was the last baby born at Lutheran Hospital in 2003.

Karsten Douglas was born on June 17, 2005 without much incident. That pregnancy went so much better.

This story could have turned out so differently in so many ways. But God, rich in His mercy and love, decided to bless us beyond what we could imagine.

My children are miracles as far as I am concerned. Father’s Day is a good, good day.




From → Family

One Comment
  1. Jana permalink

    love, love, love ❤

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