ROCKY RIVER, Ohio - Erin and Rick Perk adore their 18-month-old daughter Lucy, but the Perks have medical science, or rather the reversal of medical science, to thank for Lucy and their marriage.
Rick had a vasectomy 17 years ago after he and his now ex-wife had two children. Vasectomies, at that time, were considered permanent.
Life and science change, Rick met Erin and before they considered marriage, they wanted to see if a reversal of Rick's vasectomy was possible.
"I really couldn't envision life without children but I couldn't envision life without him," Erin said, "so it was a very serious discussion we had and it was the reversal was our first step."
A vasectomy ends male fertility; a reversal is made possible by advances by micro-surgical techniques.
Rick's reversal was done by Dr. Edmund Sabanegh at the Cleveland Clinic.
"There has been an increase in men who seek reversals," said Dr. Sabanegh, chair of the department of urology at the Clinic. "This is (partly) because some men originally pursued a vasectomy, thinking it was an easily reversible form of contraception – a notion we discourage."
According to the Cleveland Clinic, more than a half million vasectomies are performed annually in the United States and as many as 10 percent of those men will later seek reversals.
RIck was monitored after the surgery to check his sperm count, "...and obviously, with me, a pregnancy test, " Erin said.
One year after the reversal, Erin discovered she was pregnant.
"So we put our faith in the Clinic, Doctor Sabanegh and God and we've got one miracle baby and one on the way," he said.
The couple has been married four years, Erin is pregnant with their second daughter, due in November.
Rick smiled when asked what Father's Day means to him.
"It's magnified because I've got two great adult children, we joke, I have two in college and I'll have two in diapers real soon," Rick said.