Sunday, August 19, 2012

Making a conscious choice...

This post is about to get very personal - so you have been warned :-)
I am genuinely looking for input here, especially if you are a practicing Roman Catholic, who can offer some suggestions [although other opinions are valued as well!].

As you are aware, I am a practicing Roman Catholic, and although at time I may not agree with all the 'rules', as a practicing member of my faith, I abide by them.  So here is my dilemma - we currently have a 4.5 month old baby who is the joy of our lives, but we don't want another baby for another year or so. Simply put, I wouldn't be able to take care of a baby and deal with pregnancy symptoms [should we be lucky enough to get pregnant right away] or deal with a baby and an infant simultaneously.  There is also the little matter of my disability hearing, hopefully this winter, and I know that the issue would come up how I am able to care for one child [let alone 2] while I'm 'claiming' to be disabled and unable to hold a regular, daily job.  I would hate for the fact that I'm a mother to ruin my chances to get disability. There is also the issue that with the nasty tendonitis in both hands, they want to start a new treatment next month which is not conducive to being pregnant...and again, for disability purposes I can't refuse medical treatment because I want to get pregnant and expect to be awarded disability.  Yes, I know that it's not a fair comparison or a fair question, but I know that it will be an issue... and for personal vanity, I'd like to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight before trying for another baby [and as of today, that is only 15lbs away!!]

So, the dilemma is, knowing that we don't want a baby for at least a year, do I violate my faith and use birth control in order to have a relationship with my husband?  The natural method is not an option for me as my periods have never been regular [and I still haven't gotten my period yet].  This is really a dilemma for me, as I believe that in order to go to confession and receive absolution, you need to be repentant and want to make an effort to do better, not simply return to doing the same thing.

I feel stuck.  I certainly don't want to reject a baby should God choose to bestow us with one, as I sometimes wonder if we lost Sammy because we had used birth control right after we got married, as we didn't want kids at that point.  I am totally aware that this is God's choice as to how many and when I may have children, but for my medical/disability issues it's just not feasible right now.  Are there any other options I'm overlooking? For now, we simply don't have time or energy to enjoy each other's company, but I know that won't last forever.

Maybe I'm fretting over nothing.  We needed Clomid to get pregnant with Sophie, and it too us over a year to get pregnant with Sammy... but isn't that always the way, when you don't think it will happen, that is just might?

Confused and not sure what choice to make,

8 comments:

  1. I wish I could help you with your dilemma. I thought the church was okay with birth control today. So are condoms out too?

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    1. Yes, all forms of birth control, including condoms :-(

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  2. I know you said the "natural method" was out...but does that include temping and signing up for something like fertilityfriend.com? And maybe using ovulation predictor kits as well. Everyone has a different understanding of what the natural method is...some people think the "rhythem method" so I just wasn't sure what you meant.

    I personally don't 100% agree with the church's standing on birth control. But that being said, I don't know that I'll ever go back to using BCPs simply because I've heard that while the pill is supposed to keep you from ovulating it doesn't always do that and the backup plan is that even if you ovulate and the egg is fertilized then the pill has made your endometrial lining so thin that it couldn't implant anyways. That is where I have my issue. I have taken BCPs in the past...for quite a few years. If I had known about the lining issue I'm not sure I'd have taken it. And I'm not sure if all the pills have potential for this or just some.

    I personally see nothing wrong with condoms and I'm truthfully unfamiliar with some of the other forms of BC so I can't really comment. My thoughts are...God could always unknowingly lead you to a pack of condoms that had expired or had holes poked in them if it was His will for you to get pregnant! :P

    I do NOT think that taking the pill caused you to miscarry. Not a chance!!!

    And I think the best advice I can give is just to keep praying on it and the answer will come to you! (((hugs)))

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  3. As a fellow Roman Catholic who has chosen faith over function several times in reproductive issues and as a marriage prep teacher who teaches the 'sex' class, the Church would only allow for either NFP or abstinence for a short period of time. (long term abstinence would be considered birth control). The Church views sex within marriage as both unitive and procreative; to deny one of those as a possible function is considered sinful.

    Artificial birth control (like the pill) does carry a risk of abortion; it is one of the things in the fine print. Does it happen often? There's no way to know for sure. And, like barrier methods, it can 'fail'.

    When Peter and I were trying to figure out what to do with regards to sterilization because we were fearful of me getting pregnant with all of the issues I have, we consulted with our parish priest as well as religious scholars and eventually had the TAC placed in the event I do become pregnant. But one of the things that was clear from our discussions was that the Church does not have any gray area with regards to birth control/sterilization/etc.

    It's a rough path; that I can totally understand. Lots of prayer and discussions with educated priests may be helpful.

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  4. I, too, am Catholic, so I understand you dilemma. I think you should use whatever form of birth control you feel most comfortable with. God knows your heart and understands that you would not KNOWINGLY abort ANY pregnancy he bestowed on you and your husband. As Katharine mentioned, God could EASILY lead you to a pack of "faulty" condoms or could cause a pregnancy to occur even while on birth control pills. Healthy pregnancies occur all the time, despite a woman being on birth control pills or a man using a condom. Our God is a BIG God and if he wills a pregnancy to occur, it will happen.

    Also, I don't think you should harbor any guilt for using birth control pills when you were first married or think that it is a reason for losing your first baby. Our God is merciful beyond our understanding and I don't think He would sacrifice Sammy's life to punish you. Surely, Sammy's life meant so much more to God than that.

    Finally, God has called you to be in this marriage, and one way to celebrate and rejoice in your marriage is through sex. If you're so worried about the possibility of pregnancy that you aren't able to consider the act of sex with your husband as anything but a joyful celebration of your love, then I think birth control should be an option.

    Good luck to you! I will be praying for you to make the best decision for your family.

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  5. There is no way in the world you lost Sammy because you used birth control. Please give yourself some hugs - loss causes us to think of so many reasons to think why our precious little ones were taken from us. Hugs to you

    From your email I would say wait till after the disability hearing and after that stop absteining. With the treatment you commence next month, how long will the treatment be for that?

    Can you use condoms, or there is this ovulation prediction test which apparently is very good
    http://www.clearblue.com/au/clearblue-digital-ovulation-test.php

    abstinenance or withdrawal, breastfeeding

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  6. God won't ever give you more than you can handle. It seems like you have a good head on your shoulders and know what the best answer for you is. If you believe your faith is the right thing, then practice it and trust god to provide what you need.

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  7. As a practicing, compassionate Catholic woman, I would never, COULD never advice you to sin against your faith.

    Ok. With that sad...

    Fear can overcome and plant seeds of despair in many ways. I've been in your shoes. I know what you are feeing and they are real fears.

    But Alex said it best...God will not give you more than you can handle. The first thing I would do is contact a local NFP teacher. NFP works EVEN in the absence menstrual cycle.

    Do not allow fear to cloud your judgement and speak to those who will give you sound advice not advice that will lead you off the path. But you already know that ;) Asking from others who do not practice their faith soundly will make it easier for you (temporarily) to make an easy choice that isn't the right choice.

    God bless you in your walk and trust in HIM always and only. God does provide for our needs.

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