**This story was first published here at Catholic Mommy. Lis interviewed me about my upcoming 9th c-section.**
I swallowed deeply as I reread her answer. This will be her 9th C-section. I know the risks and her faith is evident… but I couldn’t stop myself form asking more questions and then sharing the answers. Because the world has to hear this. The world has to hear the complete trust she has in God and believe that God is bigger than any other decision in our life.
This interview is with Katie Young, a homeschooling blogger of 8 kids. You can read more about Katie at her blog, Raising Young Ones, and be sure to pray for her upcoming C-section. (If you are pregnant, please add your due date in the comment section and we will also lift you up in prayer!) Hail Mary…
Katie: I am. Almost 22 weeks (update: I'm now 29+ weeks!!!). Section already scheduled for 36 weeks. 9th c-section – Oy! ++Jesus, I trust in You++
People, and SO many Catholics, are just mis-informed and justified in their own contraception/sterilization mindset. It’s heartbreaking for me to know, see this, and get comments all the time, especially when I am pregnant in one of these high risk pregnancies.
That feels so soon
Katie: I know! The time is flying by SO fast!
You are courageous. Not everybody sees the beauty in what you are doing
How are the rest of your kids doing? Do they understand it’s high risk?
Katie: I just remember you were one who said I need to share this more and it’s been on my heart ever since we saw those two pink lines to follow the Holy Spirit’s promptings.
Katie: They do know. They are so wonderful about it and know all we can do is pray and have faith.
Katie: I’m already getting comments from Catholic friends who are clearly blinded by and justified in their own actions of contracepting and sterilization.
Why do you think people feel justified to tell you their beliefs when you obviously have made yours?
Katie: Goodness, I have my thoughts on why they do share this, but my pregnant hormonal self probably won’t say this very gracefully. 🙁
I’m sure we both know though….
Satan is good at planting lies and helping people feel justified in their sin.
That’s a sad truth. I think fear consumes so many people too
Fear to lose their loved ones and the fear of the unknown. The more strength you have in Christ, the more you look forward to Heaven, the less scared you are
Katie: Yes!!! 🙂
Is this your seventh or eighth child? Is the baby a girl or a boy? Has she been named?
Katie: This will actually be our tenth baby! Our first little one made it heaven before we could meet and hold her (miscarriage). God willing, little Edith will be our 9th baby here though! So, yeah, she has been named – after St. Edith Stein/St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
Have all of your pregnancies been C-sections?
Katie: Yeppers!! I tried SO hard to have baby #1 naturally. After 21 hours of labor and fetal distress near the end, my doctor did an emergency c-section. When he was born, my doctor laughed and said “no wonder he couldn’t make it out on his own – he couldn’t fit!” He had a large head and was 9 pounds! LOL For the second baby, our plan was to have a vbac. But weeks before delivery, I had a lot of pain near my incision and my doctor thought it was better we have another c-section for fear of rupture.
What does your recovery time look like after having C-sections with so many children?
Katie: 4-6 weeks, which is actually normal recovery time for all c-section patients. Once baby is here and born, I’m just a normal c-section patient. Thankfully! 🙂
What makes your pregnancy high-risk? What are the possible consequences?
Katie: My multiple c-sections (this will be my 9th). Every c-section has its risks, but for me, I am also carrying the weight of an over-worked, stretched, weak uterus that has had surgery 8 times already. The most serious risk is death – for me and baby. 🙁
So many of us have difficulties trusting in God for small things. How do you put something this big in His hands? Do you have any special prayers or devotions that you do for your pregnancy or baby?
Katie: Oh boy!! That’s a hard one… this life is our temporary home to prepare us for our Eternal Home. It is my actions and words here that will prepare me for that life. I hope and pray I make it there!! And, yes, it is through all my actions, including my “yes” to being open to life with high-risk pregnancies, that will hopefully help pave the way.
We could definitely chose sterilization and/or contraception, because it has been suggested/encouraged after my 3rd c-section and all my c-sections after by doctors/friends/family (and even priests!!), but we know that is choosing against God and not trusting Him. However, we do use NFP. We are not perfect at it, obviously. We try our best and it has created some spacing between babies.
Devotions? Absolutely!!! We find out baby’s sex as soon as we can and give that beautiful precious gift a name (there are so many references in the Bible about the importance of names – even at the beginning when God gave Adam and Eve the privilege of naming the animals of creation).
What a powerful witness of being pro-life that we have in giving that baby a name as soon as we can find out the sex! It’s amazing to hear our other children (and even family/friends!) refer to the baby in womb by NAME. She is a person. She is loved and cared for so deeply. And we already know who she is – Edith! So through naming our babies we pray endlessly for their patron saint to intercede for them and the pregnancy.
Most doctors tell women with multiple C-sections to have smaller families due to risks. I know we’re not in the medical profession and can’t tell women what to do, but what made YOU choose to keep having children?
Katie: Kinda hinted earlier on why… it is our choices and actions and words here that will hopefully pave our way to Heaven. This is one of those HUGE choices – choosing to trust God or choosing my own will. It is where being pro-life takes on a whole new meaning. It goes to the root of where that life is formed to begin with – through the sexual act.
Should my husband and I be the ones to tell God “no”, that we will no longer be fruitful, that the gift of fertility He has given us is too much of a risk for me? Or should we trust God with this cross and burden of my high risk pregnancies, and remain open to life (only using NFP) and let Him be the one in charge?
Obviously we have chosen the latter. It’s tough, for sure. It would most definitely be easier if we did contracept/choose sterilization. But we are not called to live a comfortable, easy life. We are called to live in faith and trust in God’s perfect plan for our lives.
Can you talk about what it means to say “yes” to God’s plan and what that looks like in your life as a mother of a large family?
Katie: Yes, Lord, my husband and I will remain fruitful in our marriage, despite not knowing what the outcome is. You are the Author of Life. You chose when life should begin and when life should end.
Yes, Lord, I will wake up daily and put one foot in front of the other and love and raise the children you sent our way.
Yes, Lord, I will do my best to live a virtuous life to my husband, children, family, friends, and know that I will fall and fail often and run to You in reconciliation.
Yes, Lord, I will be Your hands, feet, and heart to those around me as best as I can.
Yes, Lord, I will change the messy diaper for the umpteenth time today.
Yes, Lord, I will continue doing the laundry and cleaning up after all these goofey kids.
Yes, Lord, I will love and accept my husband and children for who they are and be grateful for the mercy they (and You!) have on me when I flop.
Yes, Lord, Yes!!! Here I am! I come to do Your will!
(my “yes-es” are that daily/hourly/minutely choice to be His servant!!! I could go on and on with this one – lol!)
Obviously you and your husband are both pro-life. How does the rest of your family/ extended family react to your pregnancy?
Katie: Some think we are CrAzY. Some understand and respect what we are doing completely. Some just smile and don’t say a word. Some do share their concerns (of losing me and baby), but still love us anyways. I think they all learned a few babies ago, that it doesn’t matter what they say, it is God whom we look to for guidance in all choices in our life.
It has definitely been rough at times, and hurtful things were said in the past But through them loving us and us loving them, regardless of the differences in our choices/words/actions, we can experience the mercy of God and we are blessed to still remain very close to all our family.
What are some of the things people are saying? (If you want to copy and paste quotes form your FB but do it anonymously?)
Katie: Probably some of the worst/hurtful things that have been said….
- “God will forgive you for becoming pregnant again.”
- “It’s clear God doesn’t want you to have a big family.”
- “If you die during your pregnancy/delivery, that makes your husband a murderer.”
- “By continuing to have babies, you are not caring for and thinking about your other children.”
A lot of times and more often than not, we get the “we’re done” comment. It’s hard to know what this truly means… “we’re done” trusting God? “we’re done” having babies and prefer a more comfortable enjoyable life? “we’re done” with the fertile stage in my life and know no more life can be formed?
- And, of course, the “don’t you know what causes that?” To which we love to reply, “Yeppers, we are just really good at it. And, you?” 😉
After having shared recently on FB my hormonal/pregnant thoughts on our story (being open to life even with my high risks pregnancies) I am overtaken by the love/care some friends/family show…
- “Beautiful words and sentiments. <3 Your life as an offering <3 I am also very familiar with this hormonal roller-coaster as I care for my 6 on earth and entrust 5 more to Our Lord…As we all strive to live out our vocational calling, may we be reminded that His yoke is sweet, His burdens, light and He knows our journey+++ May God continue to bless you and all your precious “fiats”<3Love, prayers and blessings to you, friend.”
- “Amen! Love you! You’re a beautiful example and living testament to being pro-life and entrusting yourself completely to God’s divine Providence! Praying for you and Edith daily!”
Also, here is another comment of love/acceptance/support from a non-Catholic friend who has very different views from me, yet it is still one of love and acceptance…. (This one brought tears to my eyes!)
- “While our lives and views are different… I love, admire and adore you. I always wish nothing but the best for you and your family.”
Other comments that have me concerned though are those Catholics who also have health issues/high risk pregnancies that have already chosen sterilization/contraception and are proud to have done so and are justified in choosing to go against God’s plan for marriage/trusting Him. I was thankful a sweet friend did bring up that NFP is ok, but most of the time, this is not what people turn to when health risks arise.
There is still that element of trust and a pregnancy could still happen. It’s hard to know what to say when fear overtakes them and is the basis of that decision. It is definitely harder to trust God, because there is still that element of the unknown and putting your life fully in His hands.
What is your favorite thing about the newborn stage for a baby? What are you most looking forward to once baby is born?
Katie: Their complete love and utter dependence and acceptance of us as parents. The snuggles. That instant bond between older siblings and new baby.
Once Edith is in my arms and I am all stitched up and get that “how lucky I am” from doctors/nurses/family/friends. But, we all know, that lucky is a lot more than a lucky – it’s a BLESSING from God indeed!!