Anxiety, Faith and Conception: How to Keep on Keepin' On


#1

This is one issue that causes four unique questions (both to do with sacraments and family).

A little background: I became Roman Catholic at age 12. My husband converted prior to our marriage. We practice NFP. We became pregnant five months after marriage, and we dropped all NFP rules about a year after our son was weaned from breastfeeding. We became pregnant again last summer, and I had a miscarriage and D&C in August (my moniker is for the baby, which I felt was a little girl). After a few months, my cycles came back, and we completed three cycles before again trying to conceive. We've tried for one month, no luck. Here's where the issue begins:

I've always been a very anxious person. I've had it under control for years, until about a year ago (hypochondria). I've decided it's time to take further action and get some help, since I can't seem to help myself. Tomorrow, I'm setting my first therapy appointment (perhaps through our archdiocese family development department). I'm very excited about getting some help and getting mentally healthy again. However, I'm afraid therapy will not be enough, and I'll need to go on medication. I'm VERY anti-medication, mostly due to my anxiety. I fear my last pregnancy potentially ended due to allergy medications and/or an antibiotic (both taken with my doctor's knowledge of the pregnancy). There's no way to prove that, obviously, but I'm still very nervous about medication, especially during pregnancy.

Secondly, much of my anxiety stems from a crisis of faith I've very recently come to terms with. Basically, I've realized that my faith is built upon a crumbling foundation, based on not a love for Christ but instead an acceptance of reality. That's just not enough any longer, nor should it ever have been enough. I've talked with my husband about it, and we've already taken lots of action to help me develop a love for Christ. I've talked with my priest (very shortly -- I need to set an appointment), I'm reading some terrific literature, I've started journaling, and I'm attending extra masses.

Here's my list of questions:
1.) Should I be receiving the Eucharist? I do believe in a creator. I desperately want to believe in everything the Church teaches. I think I will get there, but I don't know how long it will take. I do not currently have a love for Christ or accept that the Eucharist is in fact His body. But I want to receive as many graces as possible during this difficult time. I plan to continue attending confession.

2.) Should my husband and I continue to try and conceive? My fears are both to do with excessive anxiety during pregnancy and the potential that I may need to be medicated with non-safe drugs, both of which can be detrimental to a pregnancy. I really don't want to miscarry again. On the other hand, I really feel called to have another baby, despite everything. At this point, my son will be at least 4.5 years old when his sibling is born, and I really didn't want my children to be so spaced.

3.) If my husband and I decide to put off conception until things settle down a bit, is it appropriate for us to continue relations with conservative NFP rules? Rather than having relations on less fertile days, we are currently practicing abstinence, since we are not sure if we should be open to life at this moment.

4.) If after I have the anxiety under control, should we move forward with conception if I'm still questioning my faith? That one is for my husband. I don't think he's comfortable conceiving a child with a woman who isn't full of Christian love for God. I don't blame him. I'm not exactly the woman he married right now.

Thanks for hanging in there and reading my looooooooooooong post. : )


#2

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