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Give Me Children, or Else I Die



Nobody can understand the heartache of wanting children and being unable to carry a child to term. Not unless you've been through it.


Me? I haven't.


I was married in June of 2008 and found out I was pregnant in December. I've had five pregnancies and I carried four of them to term. While I have been tremendously blessed I know many women, many couples, who haven't.


Because of them, and many others, I have been afraid to write about the problems with surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, and other reproductive technologies.


Why?


Because I love them.


Give me children, or else I die.


I don't want to hurt them. I don't want to drag something up that will upset them. I don't want them to think, "Well, yeah, it's easy for you to say this. You have your babies." Most of all, I don't want to hurt their chances.


What if I say something and they decide I'm right and they don't get the child of their dreams? What if I write something that causes them to doubt their past choices? What if they think I'm judging them because of what they chose?


Give me children, or else I die.


But, what if I don't? If I don't write about it perhaps they won't think about the ramifications of their choices. Maybe they'll make a decision and it will hurt them and I'll know I should have said something. Perhaps later they'll be angry with me for being silent.


Or, I could present the facts as rationally as possible and let them choose. Not just my friends, not just the people I know, but everyone. Too many people have stayed silent on this topic because we're afraid to offend. We're afraid to give people the facts. We don't want to seem callous or judgmental.


I want you to see my heart. I don't know what you're going through, but I love you. I don't know how you feel, but I want to be there for you. I don't really understand, but I'm praying for you.


Give me children, or else I die.


I also believe in you. I believe that you can look the facts in the face and make a good choice. I believe that you can hear the hard truth and pick yourself up and move on. I believe that you can read what I'm writing and understand that everything, every blog that will cover these topics, is based on these truths:


1. You are a beautiful person made in the image of God.

2. I don't pretend to understand what you're going through or how hard it is.

3. I love you no matter what.

4. I'm not judging you for your choices, whether you've made them yet or not.

5. Your child or children are not less valuable because of how they were conceived. A human is a human, no matter what.


Every blog post I write on reproductive technologies will link back to this one. This is an incredibly tough topic. The stakes are high and emotions are raw. The quote, give me children, or else I die, comes from the book of Genesis. Rachel, the beloved wife of Jacob, is unable to conceive. She has the love and esteem of her husband, but no sons.


Her sister, Leah, was foisted on Jacob by trickery. They got him so drunk* that he didn't realize someone had swapped out the ugly older sister for his beloved. Do you know how long she had her husband to herself? One week. She got her wedding week, all the while knowing that her husband was furious with her and longed for someone else.


But she had one thing that Rachel didn't have. She had sons. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. Four sons. Four heirs. The Bible tells us that God saw that she was unloved so He opened her womb.


So what did Rachel do? She went to her husband. She told him, in Genesis 30:1, give me children, or else I die. Jacob became angry with her, he asked her if he was God that he should open her womb.


Rachel had a plan. She had, what we might call today, a surrogate.


In this case, the surrogate's name was Bilhah.

Bilhah's wishes aren't mentioned. Did she want to have a child with Jacob? Did she want to bear children for another woman? Did she want to permanently bind herself to a family that saw her only as a vehicle to fulfill someone else's wishes?


We don't know. What we do know is that Bilhah conceived. She had two sons, Dan and Naphtali. At Dan's birth Rachel said, "God has given