Conflicted on birth control….

Welcome Catholic Moms! Forums Religious Questions Conflicted on birth control….

This topic contains 30 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  vinnyslady 9 years, 7 months ago.

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    I’m pregnant with child #5. We love having children. We’d have tons, if we could. The problem is pregnancy is taking a real toll on my body. Each time gets worse. I’m very tired and in great pain. I can’t do my daily tasks and the housework falls behind. I’m not up on the usual discipline, so the kids start to get out of hand. With these two factors, I’m not serving my husband very well, nor our family. Due to this my husband has decided that we really need to stop having children. We have no idea if the next one will incapacitate me, hurt me, or hurt the baby.

    I am agreeing with him, because I just don’t feel it’s fair to our family for me to be out of commission for 9 months, then devoted to a new born for another 6 months, before I’m able to do it all on my own, and not rely on my husban so much. I love giving birth, but the pregnancies are just about killing me. I have a very high pain tolerance (i.e.: I don’t take medications for migrains, I go natural for childbirth and go home a day early, after my emergancy C-section 2 years ago, I “freaked” the nurses out, because I didn’t take any of the pain meds I was offered, and went home a day early…), so this tells you how much I must be hurting.

    We are planning to have my tubes tied after the birth of this child. We love our family, love having children, and our children are very polite and very well behaved. I am often asked for advice by other mothers and complimented often on our children and our parenting. I know I’m a good mother and could handle more children, undoubtedly. It’s just the toll on my body really is unbarable and little too much for the family to deal with, as well.

    I can’t help wondering if God intended for us to adopt. He gave us one son and 4 daughters (this 5th one is a girl). We’d very much like more boys. We have seriously discussed adoption in the past, and there are many out there in need of good homes. If we adopted, we wouldn’t ask for a baby. We’d gladly accept older children. Our plan is to wait a number of years until our children were older before adopting. I know we have a lot to give needy children and this feels so right…

    But, I, also, aware of the teachings of the church. As a convert, I’m even more torn, as I tend to have much more faith than my cradle Catholic husband.

    By stopping, I am submitting to my husband, and being able to serve my husband and family at all times. Also, in years to come, with adoption, we’d be able to help those less fortunate (unwanted/no family), and share love, family, and faith with them.

    Any thoughts, opinions, or responses are very appreciated!



    Hello! Welcome to the boards! I love your username!!! I can’t wait to get to know you better. This is a wonderfully supportive group of Catholic mamas. I am a SAHM to only 2 little ones. I am praying that God will bless me with many more in the future. Your post had a sort of sad tone to it. I want you to know that I will be praying for you and your husband and that God will lead you. I also will be praying for your health throughout the pregnancy and delivery. How far along are you?? How old are your children? Do you live somewhere where you have a support system? I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to have 5 children in the home especially when you feel that you can’t give them the 110% that they need 24/7. First and foremost, I will be praying for your family situation as it is and your pregnancy and health. You said that you feel that God may be calling you to adopt. He very well may be. There is such a need for loving individuals who will open their homes up for children (not just infants) who need a home so desperately. I truly believe that if we pray and have faith, the Lord will never give us more than we can handle. He will also give us the graces that we need to handle even what we think will be impossible. Bring these concerns and thoughts to Him daily in your prayers. That is what He wants all of us to do. Have you been trained in any form of NFP? You didn’t mention it in your post. I would recommend searching out the reasoning for the church’s teaching on sexuality. There is a lot of great info out there that pertains to situations like yours. A website that I know of is . Janet Smith is a great speaker on this. I think that you can order a copy of her famous lecture on this topic for free off of that website. If not, I have a copy of the cassette that I could send you if you pm me. Maybe others on the board could suggest other resources for you to check out as well. I can’t think of others off hand.

    I will pray that you will have peace in your heart, marriage and home.

    Please check back in whenever you can and let us know how you are feeling and how things are going for you.

    God bless you!



    i just read your post and am now praying for you too that you and yoru husband gain the discernment about what God is truly calling you to do. It must be really tough to feel like you can’t bear another pregnancy – just keep asking God, in love, what he wants. Also, ask Mary for help as she is a mother and understands your heartache of wanting to be 100% for your family. I recommend Janet Smith as well. The Catholic Church does not believe it is ok to get your tubes tied. I don’t know if you know that. NFP is a wonderful birth control method if you need it for that and it is natural, not harmful to your body or trying to artificially alter it. I too believe in natural childbirth – I just had my 2nd 6 weeks ago, all natural via the Bradley Method. If you need a shoulder, feel free to PM me or put another post up!

    God bless,



    NFP is no longer equivalent to “the Rhythm Method”, which was notoriously unreliable. Nowadays, NFP (also known as Fertility Awareness Method) is extremely effective…as effective, if not more, than artifical bc means. The only thing is…you have to work at it. You have to be willing to pay attention to your cycle, to invest in taking your temp daily and charting (you don’t have to do that, but it’s helpful!), be willing to abstain from relations for possibly large chunks of time during your cycle. We practice NFP right now and since I am no longer temping and charting, I’m just using my cycle and checking my Cervical Mucous, I try to err on the conservative side of sex…there’s about a 10-14 day span where we abstain. So far, it’s been 21m and no pregnancy.

    I know it’s not perfect and I know the concerns you have. But surgically sterilizing yourself is so permanent. They say they can reverse it, but that is not a guarantee. Just really think long and hard before you do this. YEs, your health is important of course! God doesn’t want you to hurt yourself. But he also doesn’t want you to go against His plans. You have to have faith that He will take care of you.

    Many prayers for you while you weight this important decision!



    Hi SAHM and welcome to the boards! I loved reading about your beautiful family. It seems that everywhere you go, you are an amazing role model for family life. I love knowing that people look at you and your family and can see Christ through you.
    Have you read anything about St. Gianna? She was a Doctor and also a role model for all of us on Motherhood. I just recently ‘discovered’ her and marvel at her life story.
    Well, welcome again! This forum is a beautiful way to keep in touch with Catholic moms for support, advice and just sharing the Good News!



    Hi Ladies,

    SAHM-O-MY and LynnT, have you ever checked into the Billings Method of NFP? It is much less time consuming and laborious than the sympto-thermal method which you described. You do not check you cervix or your temperature. You do not have to check your mucous with your fingers. It is all about the sensations you feel “down there” as you go about your day. If you happen to see anything, you record that too but primarily you just pay attention to sensation. It is more than 99% effective, 90+% of women can learn it well enough to use it reliably in only 1 cycle, and it does not require any of those extra steps. There instructors come to your home and their instruction is free. I would strongly suggest to anyone who really needs to avoid pregnancy to check into it.




    Freda, How do we find an instructor? Do we ask for someone knowledgable in the ‘Billings Method’ of NFP?
    Thanks for the info.




    I’m assuming most of you ladies are in the States. You can check out the website and click on the instructors link. Also, almost everything you need to know is in Dr Billings book, “The Billings Method”, which is available in most public libraries.

    If you’re not in the States, then you can go to the official Billings International website at

    Hope this helps,



    I just checked out what you do for the Billings Method and I guess I’ve been doing that all along LOL. I am not temping anymore because I can tell my fertile days just by my cervical mucous…and I don’t touch it, I just look at it. Seems to be what they say to do for the Billings Method. :) I’m not charting it though, I keep a mental tab. Probably not *the* most effective way to go about it but if we got pregnant, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. :)



    HI all! It is so wonderful to find a group of women who share my thoughts and beliefs. If it helps any one, especially SAHM-O-MY and LynnT, we have used both symptothermal and Creighton for NFP over the past 4 years. Both of them are very simple. Couple to Couple Leauge International out of Cincinnati ( has some wonderful links and info. Also, One More Soul (I see someone already referenced this) has wonderful books about why the Church does not support any kind of sterilization (tying tubed, vasectomy, etc), You can also find a boatload of information the the Catechism…everyone should own a copy! I will be praying for you and your husband that you find guidance and peace in God’s love ans wisdom. If you ever need to chat send me a message. I’m also a doula and childbirth educator, so I may be able to help you with some pregnancy “coping” stratagies. God bless.



    @earthmama wrote:

    I’m also a doula and childbirth educator, so I may be able to help you with some pregnancy “coping” stratagies. God bless.

    Quick hi-jack…

    I have always wanted to be a doula!!! I think it is such an amazing field to be in…to help women through labor and delivery, and postpartum care. Ahhh…someday when the kids are older! :)



    That is so tough. I will be praying for you.

    My mother almost died with #4 and he almost died too. They had her tubes tied. She regrets it. She thinks back on it with deep sorrow.

    If it were me, I know it would be really hard, but I would do NFP and just do the most “conservative” method, so that I wouldn’t become pregnant.

    Here is a short article on tubal ligation from Couple to Couple League:

    I’ll just pray for you every day.



    Hi J……

    I’m in a similar boat. I am going to have c-section #5 in October….and the NP warned me that things “down there” start to be more fragile after that many c-sections. There’s increased chance of uterine rupture…etc….you know all that I’m sure!

    Anyways…the first question we ask the OB after every c-section is whether or not we’re clear for another baby. He’s a great, very pro-life person, and understands our way of thinking. So far…so good….very little scarring, etc. He knows to check things out “while he’s in there” 😉 because he knows we would like lots of kids. DH and I have discussed what we’d do if he said it was not safe for us to have any more.

    Firstly, we will probably adopt more if we can’t have any more ourselves. Secondly, we’re just going to get really really good at NFP (very diligent in charting everything, etc.) AND we’re going to pray a lot! 😀 We don’t consider sterilization an option. Besides….I have an acqaintance (not Catholic) who had a tubal ligation. Guess where I saw her when one of our daughters was being born? YEP…at the hospital….in labor with another!!! I guess her tubal didn’t work!! It’s my understanding that your female parts can regenerate in a way to allow sperm through! Also, of course there’s a chance that the OB goofed the procedure! Not sure what the failure rate is….but my friend is part of the statistics! (BTW….my daughter and hers have the same birthday!)

    I’d suggest some prayers for guidance to Saint Gianna. You can read her story to find out why……



    I’m asking for your prayers regarding this topic. I have four kids and am 39yo. We are about to start NFP, but I have to say I don’t have much faith in it. I really don’t want any more because of the toll on my family. My husband is suffering from panic attacks because he wonders how he can support the family, our house is small, but we can’t get a bigger one because work has been awful for my DH and I am a SAHM.

    On one hand, there are the conservative EWTN people telling us to have faith and use NFP. On the other, is our seemingly liberal pastor, who in confession, told me that it would be OK to use some sort of BC, because we were/are open to new life.

    You moms are inspiring in your Trust in the Lord. Like the first post in this thread, I am a little sad about things. Why do I have this unbelieveable fertility when others try and try and can’t have any children?

    Please pray for work for my husband.
    Thanks for listening!!




    I completely sympathize with your situation, and prayers are being said.

    We are in the same boat. The finances to support any more children are just not there. I am also just learning NFP (Billings Method).

    I have 2 friends who have used NFP for years and it has worked perfectly – they get pregnant when they want and don’t when they don’t. I figure if they can make it work, so can I. The method is actually fairly simple when someone explains it to you.

    It is hard to have faith when life gets difficult but I try to remind myself that God knows my struggles and he would not send a child that we truly could not care for.

    I’ll be praying for you,

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