A Balanced Look at Family Planning Part 1

Uh oh. A controversial topic in the Christian community. This one can be very divisive. So, yes, I'm going there.

Let me take you on my journey of family planning, one wrought with tears, struggle, research, and prayers. When I first got married, I got on the mini-pill. Because apparently, that is what people do. I had no convictions about 'taking some time to just be together'. I simply followed what the world was doing. The mini-pill made me extremely moody, when I have never been a 'fly off the handle' kind of girl. I never remembered to take it. I later learned that the mini-pill is abortive. Since it does not contain estrogen, it works by altering cervical mucus to be inhospitable to sperm, and also prevents a fertilized egg from being implanted in the lining of the uterus.

I switched then to condoms and spermicidal films. Man, that really puts a damper on things. Not to mention, I was really starting to feel that maternal instinct coming on, and feeling ready to start a family. After eight months of marriage, my husband gave me the go-ahead to toss caution to the wind and I got pregnant that next month.

Experiencing pregnancy and birth was completely life-transforming for me, and I felt like this was what I was born to do: be a mother. My cycles didn't return until almost a year later, and immediately, I was fighting an instinct to have another one. By this time, I had learned about fertility signals and was very in tune with my body. I knew exactly when I was ovulating, and what day to expect my period. We began to use natural family planning. Which is very effective if you have the internal fortitude to use barrier methods or abstain during your fertile days, which is only a few days out of each month. But your body uses every trick in the book to try to get pregnant at this time. It's like restraining a dozen wild horses or hold back the tide. When you ovulate, you get baby fever. Your libido rises. Your secretions are, well, more pleasant. Naturally, as God designed it, I would succumb to this and get more lax in my use of contraception. Every 14-15 months after each birth, I found myself pregnant.

The fourth pregnancy was wrought with hyperemesis, gallstone and kidney stone attacks and I was unable to parent for several weeks. It was a scary, miserable time until it all passed. After it passed however, I was filled with faith that if the baby and I could overcome this, God must have a great plan for this kid. It ended up being my easiest birth and he was a blissful baby.

My husband was ready to be done. Our lives were turned upside down during that pregnancy, and he had no intentions of ever seeing me go through that again. We arranged for a vasectomy when my last baby was 3 months old.

You know what they say about hindsight? Man, that was a stupid decision. Sterility is such a HUGE, heavy solution and not to be taken so hastily. But God works through all of our mistakes, and He can work through this one if His desire for us is to have more birth children. But though I regret it, my husband doesn't. And even though I have cried out to God in repentance, this hasn't changed. I have researched vas reversals and found that he could get it done for $3,000 - I told him this, and he is still not interested. :-) So I am beginning to see that God uses our choices to still work His will. He might have wanted us to only have four children, or He may still have plans for us through adoption or whatever. My heart is open to whatever He desires for me.

So, there is part one. Now that you know my story, I will post the rest in part two!

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