Friday, September 21, 2007

Our Family Planning Stand

Because we have this girl gang, I am constantly asked by strangers if we are "done". The short answer is this: I don't know.

The very long answer is this (the last paragraph is a very short summary, lol) :)

I don't know, and I'm really wanting you to not walk away and snicker if I admit I'm considering what life would be like if we had one more. Some days I think I want one more and some days I think I'd like to give one or two away, lol!

You may be surprised to know that we aren't "quiver full" which means we'll have as many children as our bodies produce, thus saith the Lord. Now, I know some QF families and I have much respect for them and their convictions. I cheer for them out in this materialistic world they're butting heads with. But, we've not come to those same conclusions. We believe that God speaks to us about family size in more ways than by just allowing us to become pregnant (or not). We feel he can speak to us through scripture, through prayer, through circumstances and any way he pleases, just like he does all the time when He tells a family they're to go to the mission field or to move or to start a ministry or whatever. A person called to the mission field does not just buy a random plane ticket and fly to an undisclosed location saying the Lord will fly him wherever he's supposed to go, so why would God only expect us to determine our family size by the operation of our bodies? I know God opens and closes the womb, but he also speaks to us. I think God is big enough to do both and we don't have to understand it.

That being said, we do not believe in contraceptives that could be abortifacients (all hormone based contraceptives can possibly allow conception but then not let the uterus sustain that tiny baby's life, causing the baby to be lost usually without the mother ever knowing she was pregnant). I know there's debate over this, but for our family, we aren't taking any risks.
We've used Natural Family Planning or Fertility Awareness Method (NFP/FAM) for our entire 12 year marriage. I'm not super diligent all the time, but I know how to be if I want to be. Right now, I want to be, FYI ;) DH is fully on board with all this.

So, no I did not get "fixed". I hate that phrase. It ought to be in the "You Might be a Redneck Book". Dogs get fixed. As of right now, we've not made a permanent decision. I listened to a great tape series called A Biblical Approach to Family Planning with Dennis Rainey from Family Life. It had a great description of abortifacients and a good discussion on vasectomies and tubals. In my heart, I don't feel it's what God intended, especially for young families. I guess I'm almost QF in that I feel it's sad when families say they only want one child and she had her tubes tied. They just don't know what they're missing. However, I also believe there is a time when it is necessary to consider this route, but I'm not sure exactly when that is other than obvious health risks related to getting pregnant. I'm not sure we won't ever choose this route, but not right now.

Okay, so after that dissertation, do I still want more dc? Maybe. Sometimes just after the baby was born, my husband and I would both feel someone was missing from our family. I don't feel this as often now. I think the further I get from the current baby's baby days, the more the desire will grow. I'm not a baby person, exactly, so I can't explain it...I just don't know if I feel "done" or not.

Some days I do feel very done. When my life is chaotic or the girls are at each other's throats. But that's a flesh reaction.

Some days I want more. But usually its because I've discovered so many cool slings I want a chance to wear them all! That's a flesh reaction, too. Sometimes I think of my labor with #4 and how short it was and I want to experience that again. That's an insane flesh reaction. Just one of those mothery things that happens after you deliver a baby-your brain cells leak out with the placenta.

So, whatever we choose, it'll be okay. I have a superb dh who takes good care of me. If I have another baby and go all psycho again with some mild depression, we'll get through it. If we call it quits, we'll be okay, too. I'm not sure I'll be okay much longer with all the silly comments people are some:

"Boy you have your hands full". Actually, this one doesn't bug me, but it bugs a lot of big families. It's just a convesation starter, cut people some slack.

"Are you done yet?" Really it's none of your business, especially if you're a stranger. If you're my friend, you already know you can ask me anything, so this doesn't apply to you.

"You did get fixed didn't you?" This one really bothers me. I just smile really big and say, "No." It kind of leaves people wondering. What really gets me is when Christians have this attitude. Think about it-is it really pro-life to suggest to someone they shouldn't have any more dc? Why can't Christians be fully pro-life and encourage big families? Don't you think we catch enough flack from the rest of the world? Ick.

Okay, so that's my longest post ever and all it really said is: We use NFP and we don't know if we're done. Oh, and I might add that if we aren't done, please don't give me a hard time, that's what I fear more than not being able to feed/clothe/send my child to college.


deenatully said...

Hey, Gal, I just wanted to say that I really miss you...especially after looking at your blog on family. Whenever we used to walk together, I would feel so connected to you, and I realize I still do. Thank you, and I love you.

Wendy said...

Deena, come walk with me again! As soon as I get my stroller to stop smelling like cat, I'm goint to be walking as many evenings as I can-about 7p at the park-join me!

Amy said...

I just loved this post! I currently only have two dc, along with a miscarriage last winter. I have been struggling with wether or not we will have more children. I feel exactly how you described yourself! It made me feel good to know that I am not crazy, but that I must be a normal "mom." We, too, are using NFP, and so far, nothing has happened. I think we are kind of leaving it up to God at this point.

stuffiew said...

I really liked what you said last, I fear the comments more than being able to feed,clothe....I have often felt the same way, we just had our fourth boy and we did get a tubal I feel in part to what I feared everyone else would think if I didn't, people already look at us like we are crazy because we are not a wealthy family, but God has always provided no matter what. You will be a great encouragement to the people who read this who aren't sure what to do and are afraid of what others think.
Stephanie Watts

Vix said...

You are so right about it being neat to find a person so like yourself! We have a similar view point. Only we are still working out the kinks in the NFP route..#5 is case in point. :)