Monday, April 29, 2013

Babies (full warned!)

We are (I am, actually) constantly struggling with the whole Catholic teaching of NFP. Basically, should we use it or not? Probably not the way you think so, if you're interested please read on, I will explain.

For those of you who are new here, or don't realize because of my amazingly chipper demeanor and always flawless appearance (not to mention my razor-sharp wit), I am 44 years old. (I know, shocking ;00) We came to the whole marriage/family party late (which is why the pilgrimage this summer is soooo very important) and we are beyond blessed with the miracles with whom God has chosen to entrust us.

We have five children here and one (or more) in Heaven. My husband is almost 48, and we're nearing the Abraham/Sarah age. Truthfully, I have felt like Sarah since the beginning (and have been told so, each pregnancy, by the lovely medical community). So, what do we do?

Catholic teaching is pretty sparse unless you seek it out. When you seek it out, NFP is "necessary for all Catholics". I'm sure they mean as opposed to the Pill, or an IUD but, is it "necessary"?

I have friends in their late 20's with several kids already. If that were me, we wouldn't be having this discussion. I'm fairly sure I don't have the mental stability for 10 kids. As I have said, I'm 44 so it's a different question for us. We have no reason (financial, mental...well, some days!, physical) that is "grave" enough to say "no" to another miracle, should God choose to send one our way.

So, do we need to practice NFP? DH says no and I wish I could let go and go with it. Mind you, I'm as open as he, I just wish I could let it happen. I like charts and graphs and knowing the possibilities. That's my area of control-freak and I am working on it daily. I think I have a fundamental dislike of "suprise". I know, I'm odd.

In the end, we will probably just continue as is. I am sitting here at the end of another cycle that looked perfect on paper. Why am I not sitting here pregnant? I don't have that answer. I do know that God opens and closes the womb at His appointed time. His timing is perfect. So, I'm getting used to the fact that mine may be closed. I think I'm still OK with that.

Today especially, on the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena, I have to be joyfully expectant to all possibilities. She, after all, was #23 of 25 children. Wow (for all sorts of reasons)! How could I pass up the chance of a later-born who might do such great things?

Thanks for listening to my rambling. If you have any good insights, let me know ;0)

St. Catherine, Pray for us!


  1. I've found that when I talk to people about NFP, we often have different understandings of what we mean by it. So let me just clear this up first: By "practice" NFP, do you mean just charting? (which can be useful for dating things and for "knowing") Or do you mean intentionally timing 'certain activities' so as to attempt to conceive/avoid pregnancy?

    As you mention that you have no grave reasons, I'm assuming when you ask about using NFP, you mean whether you should use it to try to achieve pregnancy.

    It is good and natural for a marriage to produce babies. As long as you are doing nothing to prevent it, you aren't doing anything wrong. There is zero obligation for good Catholics to use NFP to try to conceive, even when they have no grave reasons for avoiding. It's fine to just see whether God decides to work a miracle in the normal course of things.

    But if you find yourself wanting to increase the chances by using NFP...that is fine, and there's nothing wrong with it!

    I'll pray for you both.

    1. I don't make a good point.

      We have always had to use NFP to achieve ( I have very wacky cycles) and have never chosen to use it to avoid. Does that make sense?

      Since DH is happy to not have any more or happy to accept more blessings, he is ready to throw the chart away.

      I find, when I chart, I have the real temptation to, ahem, up the activity during fertile times (I do love babies) and perhaps that's a problem in itself. So, perhaps we will try it his way for a while and see what God has planned ;0)

      Thanks for the prayers!