On the outside chance that you haven’t already decided that we’re completely nuts, this post will probably convince you. You may previously have figured out that we’re Catholic converts leaning toward the traditional, but now you’re going to think that we’re bordering on total lunacy. Who knows? Maybe you’re right. And this topic is going to be a hot button for controversy, but I’m gonna post it anyway with this proviso: this is what WE’VE chosen to do and why. It is not meant to be a preachy judgment on those who have made different choices or believe different things about sex, marriage, fertility, contraception, etc. Ok? Ok.
As I mentioned the other day, we’ve been trying to decide what kind of NFP to use now that my fertility has returned post-Baby Lucy. Our journey toward Catholicism (which I keep meaning to write about) led us away from artificial birth control.
Luckily, we’ve discovered the perfect method of birth control for us! It’s called Awesome Family Planning. Here’s why it’s great: you can have sex whenever you want, you don’t have to use condoms, you don’t have to put carcinogenic hormones in your body, you don’t have to chart, you don’t have to take your temperature every day, you don’t have to even think about cervical fluid. Sounds perfect, amirite?!
But I should warn you that there is a possible side-effect: babies! Yes, you’ve figured it out. We’ve decided that for us right now, the most appealing kind of family planning is not our plan at all. Instead we want to completely turn our fertility over to God and let his timing be the right timing. (The one con to AFP is that everyone you know will think you’re completely insane. So you might have to make new friends that are also weird Catholics…which, now that I think about it sounds more like a pro.)
I’m not saying that NFP isn’t perfectly permissible in order to space children. The Church allows it. And, if there is an insurmountable financial problem or a serious medical reason to postpone pregnancy, we may resort to NFP at some point in the future. But right now, we can afford to feed our family. By making some sacrifices we are able to live frugally on one modest income. We have one car, we grow our own veggies, we cook at home, we don’t make unnecessary purchases. You get the idea. And I am perfectly healthy so there is no medical reason that would make another pregnancy dangerous for me or for a future baby.
So, we’ll see. I could be pregnant right now. Or maybe we’ll never conceive again (although I pray that’s not the case). Either way, it’s out of our hands. And not worrying about it anymore is such freedom. We’ve learned again and again that our plans fail and God’s plan is best. So we’re turning it over to Him.
When Baby 3 arrives someday (hopefully), we’ll need a new vehicle because three car seats won’t fit in the back seat of our Camry. But if we believe that God became man and dwelt among us, died for us and was resurrected, surely we can trust that he can get us a van…
This post was NOT written to make you feel guilty for using NFP. There’s nothing morally wrong with NFP, (check out Simcha’s recent post on the topic here) but for us at this time, we think that neither avoiding pregnancy or trying to achieve pregnancy is the most compatible method (or lack thereof) for our family’s view of faith and sex. And it wasn’t written to convince you to quit birth control, either, or make you feel judged. It’s just an explanation of why we’re living our life in this crazy, wonderful way.
You may be wondering: “But, what’s the point of this insanity?! You’re going to end up like the Duggars! What’s wrong with birth control?”
More on that in the next post (I didn’t want this post to get so long that it looked like a dissertation, so I broke it into two parts)…
I humbly request that in the comments you are respectful of our decision and the stance of the Catholic Church regarding contraception, although you are welcome to express disagreement in a kind and charitable manner!