Written by Linda Tu’ulakitau
My husband and I married young (I was 18, he was 20). As we were planning to continue our studies, we did not start a family right away. The plan was for us to finish college before we would try for a baby. However, after we graduated from University, we started planning to have kids. Not being able to get pregnant within the first year was frustrating but not alarming. After two years of trying, I became concerned but not worried. I told myself that I was still in my twenties, I was young and healthy; still plenty of time for babies. My relationship with my husband was great because we love each other very much. We felt complete in ourselves. But it was our Tongan culture and families’ expectation that put a lot of pressure on us. The kind of words we hear from Tongan folks: “When are you going to have kids?”, “You should have a baby by now”, “It’s important to have kids”, “Imagine yourself in old age without any children to help out!”, “I feel so sorry for you”. During this time, we took concrete steps toward getting answers with the help of doctors (infertility specialists). The infertility specialists informed us that I was not ovulating regularly, and they prescribed Clomid, which is an oral medication that encourages ovulation. I took the prescribed medication as directed but the treatment still failed to produce a pregnancy. The doctors took further tests, but they could not understand why I still failed to conceive. It reached a stage that they had no answer anymore. They could not find any reason for my inability to conceive!
Years came and went, and it seemed like pregnancy blossomed everywhere except within me! The worst part of it was the fact that people who were called specialists in their field did not even know the answer to my dilemma. It was a very tough time especially since the dream of having babies was now on my brain and birthed in my heart. I’ve shed silent tears every time I saw a mom carrying her baby because it reminded me of my lost dream of being a mom. I experienced the painful trauma and loss of failed fertility treatments, and the years I had spent trying to create a family with my husband. The unrelenting focus on mothers, especially on Mother’s Day, made me feel so isolated, invisible and marginalized. I was crumbling and felt very isolated within my inability to conceive. And yet, I knew I was not alone. I knew there were childless mothers out there who shared my pain.
I blamed myself that I was the one who was infertile. And I felt sorry for my husband. I knew he was the eldest son in the family. I knew he needed an heir, his family needed an heir. I could not provide him with the most important thing he needed - children. I felt guilty, and I felt that I should not hold him if I could not give him any kids.
One day, I asked my husband to drive me to an isolated place where we could talk. He drove me to a beach. On that beach, I asked him to let me go back to my family. He asked me why? I replied: “Because after 12 years of marriage, I still failed to give you a child. And you deserve better. I am selfish if I still hold you to myself knowing full well that I can’t give you a child”. I will never forget what my husband said to me that day: “I did not marry you to give me any children. I married you for yourself. I will stay married to you until death do us part. And I still believe that God will give us a child. Abraham and Sarah waited for so long, but God had finally fulfilled His promise to them. Like Abraham and Sarah, God will give us a child. One day, we will hold our MIRACLE BABY. Believe me, I know we will!”. He spoke in what we called: “a mountain-moving faith!”
We prayed to God: “God, please remember us, and give us a child. And like Hannah (the mother of Prophet Samuel), we will give back that child to You, Lord all the days of his or her life... to do Your will. It is our promise”.
That same year, after 12 years of marriage, God remembered us, and He gave us our MIRACLE BABY. Everyone expected a son, but God gave us a daughter. My husband asked his paternal aunty, a Pastor, to name our little Miracle Baby. She named her UIMEILANGI (Called from Heaven). She was named after the Apostle Paul in the bible. If he was a boy, he would be named Paul. After 2 years, God blessed us again, and I gave birth to a son. My husband and his mother named him after my husband’s late father. After a couple of years, one of my brothers died unexpectedly in Tonga. God allowed my husband and I to raise his little son and daughter and educate them in Australia. They still live with us in Australia and we count them as an addition to our kids. We love them as our own. God has blessed us tremendously, and we are so grateful to Him. He is such a good, good Father! As, what these bible passages said:
Psalm 113:9 “He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord.”
Isaiah 54:1- “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.”