When Roslyn Evans was 22 years old, she made the drastic decision to have a tubal ligation. At that time, she already had three children to raise and felt strongly that she was done with her childbearing years.
With little guidance from her doctor, the surgery was completed -- and several years later, after she'd divorced her then-husband, remarried and wanted to start a new life, she was faced with a critical decision: accept the status quo, or have the surgery reversed and suffer the probability of permanent infertility.
According to momlogic expert Dr. Suzanne Gilbert-Lenz, the reversal of a tubal ligation has a 50 to 90 percent success rate -- and regret, especially with those who had their tubes tied under age 35, is the biggest hurdle.
Roslyn's story is one of faith and perseverance that ends happily with what she calls a "miracle" baby. We sat down with Rosalyn to discuss her journey and the new light of her life, Jasiyah.
momlogic: What persuaded you to make such a "permanent" decision at such an early age?
Roslyn Evans: I was 22 years old when I had my tubes tied. I decided to do [it] because at the age of 22, I had three kids already and I could not take birth control pills at the time. Other means of [pregnancy] prevention were few at the time, as well. So I felt that I had enough and did not want any more children -- not knowing that I would someday end up divorcing their father and would want more kids later in life.
My doctor was an elderly doctor who had practiced for years; matter of fact, I think he retired shortly after I had my tubal. He explained that it was permanent, but he did not bring up [other options].
ml: You went through two procedures to have your tubes "untied." What was that like for you?
RE: I tried to reverse my tubal the first time back in 1998, and during that time, I was able to conceive -- but it was ectopic. As time went on, I was not able to conceive again. I thought it was not going to happen. I had attempted IVF treatment once I was remarried, but was unable to continue.
We moved, and once we were in our new home in Georgia, I went to a new OB/GYN and asked if there were any new science breakthroughs for tubal reversals. I felt that if you could receive a transplant of a heart, maybe your tubes could be done the same way, too. So she referred me to a specialist. That is where I found out that the reason the first reversal did not work was because of the type of suture the doctor had used. The entire cost of the [second reversal] was $6,900 -- far less expensive than IVF. And my surgery took only 55 minutes.
When I woke from the [second reversal], the doctor told me that, due to the missing section of the [left] tube from the ectopic pregnancy, he was not able to fix that side. But he was able to repair the other side. I went home to heal, and began working on conceiving a baby before my husband was deployed overseas for the next six months. I managed to get pregnant 45 days after the surgery.
ml: Your husband was stationed overseas and received an emergency leave when you had a miscarriage -- yet good news followed, correct?
RE: My husband had just begun deployment on a six-month tour when I miscarried. I lost the baby on March 1, 2008. By the time he got home it was March 15, 2008, and also the first day of ovulation for me. By day 21, I was pregnant again. He was back on deployment again when I gave birth to Jasiyah, but he was overjoyed about her arrival.
ml: The decision to have another child after a tubal ligation was a big one. Tell us about it.
RE: I truly wanted to experience motherhood again, and it was a part of my life that I longed for. I became a mother very early and young in life, and my older kids grew with me -- but now that I had time and patience, I wanted to be a mother again. I wanted to enjoy everything about giving birth to a child again.
ml: You've called your new baby "a little miracle." Tell us why.
RE: She is my little miracle child because once I found out that I was pregnant again, I also found out that my husband was having an affair at the same time. I was beginning to spot again around the same amount of weeks that I had miscarried before, so I placed myself on bedrest and prayed every day all day.
I had to attend a high-risk doctor and a regular doctor because of my age and because of the fact that I had high blood pressure as well. So it was a very risky pregnancy, and with all the other drama in my life, it was only God who brought me through. During my pregnancy, [the baby and I] began to rely on each other to get us through the good and the bad times that we were enduring. She would often respond with an early-morning kick -- once I asked her to let me know she was OK! -- and I would pray and laugh out loud so she could hear me. Jasiyah is now 16 months old and acts as if she has been here before -- very bright and smart.
ml: We're so thrilled that your difficult journey resulted in such a beautiful little girl!
momlogic readers, did any of you get a tubal ligation -- and then regret it?