30 years ago, my husband, Max, and I were married in the Catholic Church. I was not yet baptized and didn’t belong to any church when I was pregnant with our first child. Max III was born on March 24, 1986. After he was born he developed a strep-B blood infection and wasn’t expected to make it through the night.
On March 25, my husband, being raised Catholic, called the nearest priest to ask him to come to the hospital and have our baby, baptized. I remember having a nurse take me to the hospital chapel and for the first time in my life praying very hard for a miracle. The next morning things were looking up and our little baby was still alive. Max III was a fighter and God had granted us a miracle!
Even the doctor couldn’t explain it. He said the only explanation was a miracle. This was the beginning of my conversion to the Catholic Church. After our second child, Tyler, was born I started going to RCIA classes and I also was baptized on March 25th three years later on the Easter Vigil.
While I was pregnant with our second child, my husband said he was going to get a vasectomy. Not knowing the teachings of the church and in my naivety, I went along with it, a decision I ended up regretting.
When Tyler was around 3 years old I really started longing for more children, especially a little girl. I remembered the story of Abraham and Sarah and how God was going to grant her a child in her old age. And also the story of Elizabeth and Zacharias and how God granted them a baby in their old age. So I thought, if God can do that, and if I pray on it, he will grant us a miracle of another baby as well.
I continued with my prayer for many years before my husband finally started coming around. He looked into getting a vasectomy reversal done, however the doctors he went to gave him no hope of it being possible.
Through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother (Oh and what a loving Mother she is!), I continued with my prayer for more children. When Max III and Tyler were around 7 and 8 years old Max had a dream: we had two more children. In the dream Max III and Tyler were older. This dream gave me new hope, so I continued with the prayers.
We had started homeschooling, and in 1997 we moved to Ohio. There we met some wonderful Catholic homeschooling families and Catholic friends. The longing for more children would not go away, but continued to get stronger. During Mass one day I asked God to take the longing away if it wasn’t His Will for us to have more children, but it remained. My prayers continued with tears as I imagined my little girl and holding her gently in my arms.
One day as I was looking to see if there were any new books to inspire me to become a stronger Catholic, I came across a book called Saint Philomena: Powerful with God, by Sr. Marie Helene Mohr S.C. It was a very inspiring story of a spectacular 13-year-old Virgin and Martyr who lived during the time of the Emperor Diocletian. She was the favorite saint of St. John Marie Vianney.
Saint Philomena’s parents longed for a child and became Christians to have their prayer answered. This too was inspiring to me. So now my prayers continued not only through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, but also Saint Philomena.
At this point I wasn’t only relying on my own prayers, but Max and I had turned to our close friends in Ohio asking them to pray for our intentions as well. We prayed many St. Philomena Novenas and 54-day Rosary Novenas. Finally, one day as Max was driving home from a business trip in Michigan he spotted a billboard, of all things, that read, “Vasectomy Reversals Guaranteed,” and a phone number to call somewhere in Texas.
It sounded too good to be true. I looked up this place on the Internet and found they were advertised in the Enquirer. This made us a little nervous, but it got me searching online for other possibilities.
I found a doctor in New Jersey who wrote a new procedure on vasectomy reversals and looked very hopeful. Sometime in January 2001 I called the office to make an appointment. They were not able to get him in until September — but wait! She said there was one day left in August. That day was August 15th — the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother! The day before the procedure we arrived at our hotel in New Jersey and looked for the nearest Catholic Church so that we would not miss the Vigil Mass.
After Max’s procedure we left New Jersey with great expectations. We had learned many years earlier that the Vasectomy was a sin. Now it was finally lifted and we were right with God again!
As we were driving along we talked about the homily the night before and how the priest started his homily off with these words, “And you too will conceive!” The priest was referring to the love of Jesus and Mary, but Max and I believe God was speaking to us as well. Those words kept me hopeful while I anxiously waited to conceive.
Dominic was conceived 9 months after Max’s reversal and he was born on February 20, 2003 in Ohio. Then, right after moving to Michigan in 2004 we found out I was pregnant again! Our long awaited precious little girl, Filomena was born on April 21, 2005! Oh, and what a joy they both brought to the whole family! God has blessed us so much!
With much love I am sharing this story so that other couples may not make the same mistake we did so many years ago. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that children are a burden or that you can’t afford more than one or two.
Put your trust in God he will provide. Children are a wonderful gift of pure JOY, from God!