Wednesday, November 14, 2007

An odd thing to complain about...

is that I don't have enough of these (above). I mean babies. That was Autumn at a few weeks old. The fact that I have only 3 kids depresses me because I want more! "Only THREE kids!", says the world. "Why that's plenty, probably one too many!", says the world. But not to me. And now I feel the sting of what those women who wait until now (I'm 41) to even have just ONE baby feel: the ticking clock. I have wanted another child (I'd take more than just one) for 5 years this Fall. I remember about 2 years after my Mom, Melissa, died, that I started feeling this nudge. Now, at the time my dh would have rather had his head repeatedly smashed into a cement wall than have another child. His real words, not mine. I figured baby #4 would be inevitably a lost cause.

Interestingly, I was not Catholic, but a practicing conservatve Presbyterican (PCA) when Autumn was born, in early 2000. I had planned on having my tubes tied after her birth. However, the OB assigned to the task said I should wait. (Let me tell you that God definitely intervened there!) Then, shortly after my Mom had died (when Autumn was 7 months old) I was scheduled to have my tubes tied. Again God intervened by way of my dh who, though supportive of the tubal, didn't want to risk something going wrong...seeing as we had just lost Mom.

So, we let things go, by which I mean I didn't get "fixed". Then when Autumn was around 2 years old, I not only felt called to Catholicism (and, trust me, it was a calling, because I was a very anti-Catholic Christian...You know, the kind trying to "Save" Catholics out of their Church) but I also felt strongly about having another child. It was also somewhere around this time dh decided that he would get evaluated for a sterlization. The doctor had to schedule dh out several weeks and God intervened a third time because dh decided he didn't want to do it...even though dh still didn't want more kids.

Fast forward a year and I am sitting in the RCIA room with Deacon Lloyd (father of 10) and he is taking my last 2 concerns about becoming Catholic. 1) Confession and 2)No "artificial" contraception. Now, I wasn't Catholic yet. I had never heard the term "Cafeteria Catholic", I assumed that all Catholics actually followed the Church's teaching. Afterall, when you come from outside of Catholicism, that is what you are asked to do in RCIA if you want to walk down that isle Easter Vigil (or in my case it was 11/11/03). So, thanks to Deacon Lloyd's exceptional understanding of the Catholic faith, the Bible and Church history plus his personable style (okay AND some help from the writings of Scott Hahn) we tackled Confession pretty quickly and painlessly.

The birth control thing had me confounded. Personally, I loathe contraception. I didn't need the Church to tell me it was wrong. I mean, what is to separate me from any other woman my husband could be with? Why I on earth should I be protected from my fertility or his fertility? Is there something wrong with us? Contraception is so misogynistic at it's core. You take a perfectly normal, functioning woman and drown her with hormones or insert her with gadgets to prevent her body from doing what it is supposed to do...create life. So, women, being reduced to not even man-ness is what we get? For what, to be at the beck and call of men who are continually fertile. So, for their sexual appetites, we supress our own by medically inducing ourselves into eunuchs. And that is Feminism? Ha! Yeah right. No thanks.

Seeing that I had already loathed contraception because I have used (and hated) it ALL. Plus that it made me feel no different than any other woman. In that, with contraception you can be with whoever, so what makes being a wife so special if I still have to protect myself from my husband or my husband has to protect himself from me. I had resorted to NFP on my own. I used it get pregnant with Ben and Autumn. But now, coming into the Church I was told it would be my only conception preventing option and though I was well on my way to wanting another child (so I was fine with it) my husband wasn't too thrilled with the idea of nothing but NFP, because he didn't really trust that it actually works (he knows better now). Deacon Lloyd (and my first year of Familia) helped me to see how God really wants us to give of ourselves not just spiritually but physically...just like Christ did. I don't protect myself from receiving Christ in the Eucharist and all the spiritual fruit that births into my soul, so why would I want to protect myself from receiving my husband and all the physical fruit that could birth into my life?

After I finally got the "total, faithful and fruitful love" concept of my communion with Christ and his Church and my communion with my husband, NFP started to work it's real magic on me. And that is that NFP actually makes you want to have more babies because you start to see what a miracle fertility is and how spiritually powerful sacramental-marital sexuality is! Because as I charted those months and years, and abstained because dh wasn't ready for another child, I became brokenhearted at all the possible opportunities for bringing another immortal soul into this world. I read other moms blogs and got a pang of sadness when I read they are expecting #4 or 5 or 6 or.....

So, women of God out there, rejoice in your womanhood. Take pride in the amazing way God made you. Bring more immortal souls to this earth to grow up and glorify God...oh yeah...and pray for me that I can have another baby.


Wendy said...

What a beautiful post. You have put all my random thoughts on contraception into words for me.
Maybe you'll luck up like we did. When we went for #4 we got a bonus baby-identical twins.

Thank you for the comment you left on my blog. I have been having a cruddy day, and you really lifted my spirits.


Ladybug Mommy Maria said...

What a great post!

Very powerful and very well-said.

piscesgrrl said...

Wow - you put some of this into terms I would have have considered before. Lots to think about!