Ashamed, but I need help


#1

Hey everyone. I have been going back and forth debating whether I should post this. Mostly because I am ashamed by my choices but I guess the time is now. Especially when I spent a half hour this morning trying to write this post and something happened to my computer and I lost everything. Maybe I’ll make more sense the second time around!

As I repair my Catholic faith, I have worked to change things in my life so that I become not only a better Catholic but a better person. The biggest issue I’m having right now concerns birth control. My mother didn’t really talk to me about birth control before I got married. My dad’s timely advice was, “just remember, if you play you pay.” Not exactly award-winning advice. But my parents made it clear from when I was a kid that messing around with sex and having children too early was a big no-no. As I grew older I took the message to heart and behaved the way a proper young woman should and my husband and I restrained ourselves until marriage. I used to believe that since we don’t live in the dark ages anymore, and we don’t need 15 kids to run the farm, that the concept of NFP was a bit silly.
Currently, I take a low estrogen birth control pill and we use condoms. I can’t stand it. While I love what my husband and I share, it feels tainted because of the measures we take to prevent pregnancy.

My husband in particular can’t stand the pill. He worries for my health in the future after being on it. Not to mention apparently the first 2 months I was on it I was a little “crazy.” I’m all better now but he still is uncomfortable with me taking it for that and because he worries that if for reason our BC failed, the pill might cause an abortion. I talked to my obgyn about this and she said it wouldn’t, but who knows, right?

Neither of us have participated in a NFP class and our pre-cana classes didn’t even mention it. I used to think NFP was just the catholic way of trying to get around the pill but still trying to prevent pregnancy so I saw it as hypocritical. Now I understand that it’s not simply preventing pregnancy but being open at all times of coitus to the possibility of pregnancy. That’s where I’m still scared stiff. We are newlyweds (3 months) and putting aside the fact that I’m horrible with a chart, we simply cannot afford a baby if for some reason NFP didn’t work.

We do okay with just the two of us. We live paycheck to paycheck as we chip away at debt and haven’t even started a savings. A baby would completely explode our finances. I just can’t imagine how unfair it would be to a kid to come into the world in the state we would be in. Now I know the old saying, if you wait till you’re ready to have a kid, you’ll never have one. But there’s room for planning accordingly. Ideally, we would like to start having a family in 3-5 years. I just can’t imagine any sooner. And that’s where NFP terrifies me. I have confidence that we will stay baby-free with what we’re doing. But I can’t ignore the guilt that plagues me every time I fill my prescription or buy another box of condoms. I feel so dirty. My husband would start doing NFP with me in a heartbeat. We are not animals and perfectly capable of abstaining when we would need to. But I still fear it and don’t entirely trust it. Which makes me feel worse because then it feels like I’m not putting my trust in God.

So I guess bottom line, I need some convincing to take this leap. I feel like I’m already 50% there, but there is still a huge wall in front of me. Help!


#2

do you believe that the Church really, truly teaches what God has revealed about human sexuality? do you, in your heart of hearts, believe that the Church voices God's meaning for married sexual relations?

if so... even if almost so... then i promise you this: obedience brings an astonishing amount of unexpected, immeasurable graces from Him.

we can be smart. we can make plans. we can communicate and listen and identify our fears. we can use the brains 'God has given us' to map out our lives and timetables. the whole world can do that-- believers and non-believers alike.

but it's ONLY through holiness that we can **obey **Him.


#3

Excellent advice!

Obedience to what the Church teaches on faith and morals (The Voice of Christ) brings incredible grace, blessings and peace.


#4

This information from Dr. Janet Smith is valuable.

janetsmith.excerptsofinri.com/

(about contraception)


#5

It sounds like you and your dh both know that the artificial birth control (ABC) is not the right thing. This is a great place to start.

First off, I'd beg to differ with your OB. The reason MD's claim that the pill doesn't cause abortion is it doesn't actively kill the baby, and because they don't count the pregnancy if it hasn't yet attached to the uterine wall. The question to ask the OB is - if the pill fails in its primary goal of preventing ovulation, does it have a secondary effect of preventing the embryo that might be conceived from attaching to the uterine wall? I'm guessing that the honest answer will be yes. The pro-choice / pro birth control community will not call this an abortion, but the pro-life, Catholic Church does. They are only differing in semantics.

Second, I'd recommend taking an NFP class. The two most popular ones are Creighton (mucus only) and Sympto-Thermal (mucus and temperature). I have taken both classes, and used both, and while I prefer the Creighton method (because after having had babies, I don't want to have to take my temp in the morning), I can see the value in the Sympto-Thermal method as well. I wouldn't be surprised if your instructor is familiar with how to transition from ABC to NFP. I'm guessing it will involve a period of abstaining altogether. The transition will be the hardest time, but once you get going, I assure you, you CAN do it! The woman with textbook cycles might have to abstain for about a week during her fertile time. The average woman probably doesn't have textbook cycles, but most people will be able to find plenty of opportunities to have relations, both before and after the fertile period. Those with extreme need to avoid pregnancy (like those whose life would be threatened), might follow what Sympto-Thermal calls "Phase 3 Rules." This is when they abstain from the beginning of your cycle until after you are certain that ovulation has occurred, and only have relations during the last phase of your cycle. What you will probably do if you are needing to be strict, is start out abstaining more than you need to. And then as you learn the method better, and learn your body's patterns, you will get better at judging which days are fertile and which are not, and you will have more days to "use."

To find a Creighton Teacher, go here: fertilitycare.org/
To find a Sympto-Thermal class, go here: register.ccli.org/

God Bless you.


#6

NFP can be extremely effective in preventing pregnancy, especially if you are in a situation where becoming pregnant may not be in the best interest of your family (from experience it seems people are more diligent with the rules when it’s more necessary). I would encourage you to really look at your financial situation right now and see if things are as tight as you think they are. For example, when you do start NFP, you won’t be purchasing BC or condoms. There are also a lot of things people deem essentials that can actually be cut out, like cable tv and eating out. I know trusting God can be difficult but if you are blessed with a child He will provide for your needs. He did for us :). Be a good steward of your fertility. Oh and remember to pray :smiley:


#7

[quote="lo_amo87, post:1, topic:241986"]
Hey everyone. I have been going back and forth debating whether I should post this. Mostly because I am ashamed by my choices but I guess the time is now. Especially when I spent a half hour this morning trying to write this post and something happened to my computer and I lost everything. Maybe I'll make more sense the second time around!

As I repair my Catholic faith, I have worked to change things in my life so that I become not only a better Catholic but a better person. The biggest issue I'm having right now concerns birth control. My mother didn't really talk to me about birth control before I got married. My dad's timely advice was, "just remember, if you play you pay." Not exactly award-winning advice. But my parents made it clear from when I was a kid that messing around with sex and having children too early was a big no-no. As I grew older I took the message to heart and behaved the way a proper young woman should and my husband and I restrained ourselves until marriage. I used to believe that since we don't live in the dark ages anymore, and we don't need 15 kids to run the farm, that the concept of NFP was a bit silly.
Currently, I take a low estrogen birth control pill and we use condoms. I can't stand it. While I love what my husband and I share, it feels tainted because of the measures we take to prevent pregnancy.

My husband in particular can't stand the pill. He worries for my health in the future after being on it. Not to mention apparently the first 2 months I was on it I was a little "crazy." I'm all better now but he still is uncomfortable with me taking it for that and because he worries that if for reason our BC failed, the pill might cause an abortion. I talked to my obgyn about this and she said it wouldn't, but who knows, right?

Neither of us have participated in a NFP class and our pre-cana classes didn't even mention it. I used to think NFP was just the catholic way of trying to get around the pill but still trying to prevent pregnancy so I saw it as hypocritical. Now I understand that it's not simply preventing pregnancy but being open at all times of coitus to the possibility of pregnancy. That's where I'm still scared stiff. We are newlyweds (3 months) and putting aside the fact that I'm horrible with a chart, we simply cannot afford a baby if for some reason NFP didn't work.

We do okay with just the two of us. We live paycheck to paycheck as we chip away at debt and haven't even started a savings. A baby would completely explode our finances. I just can't imagine how unfair it would be to a kid to come into the world in the state we would be in. Now I know the old saying, if you wait till you're ready to have a kid, you'll never have one. But there's room for planning accordingly. Ideally, we would like to start having a family in 3-5 years. I just can't imagine any sooner. And that's where NFP terrifies me. I have confidence that we will stay baby-free with what we're doing. But I can't ignore the guilt that plagues me every time I fill my prescription or buy another box of condoms. I feel so dirty. My husband would start doing NFP with me in a heartbeat. We are not animals and perfectly capable of abstaining when we would need to. But I still fear it and don't entirely trust it. Which makes me feel worse because then it feels like I'm not putting my trust in God.

So I guess bottom line, I need some convincing to take this leap. I feel like I'm already 50% there, but there is still a huge wall in front of me. Help!

[/quote]

On thing to keep in mind is that if you're having sex now and you're on the pill you're still taking a risk. I have two (and I think actually three) nephews who were "birth control" babies. Their moms were on the pill and got pregnant anyways. If your having sex there's a chance you could get pregnant, pill or no pill.

I know that it can be scary. I was terrified that I wasn't "ready" when I found out that we were expecting the first time. At the time we made $26,000 a year and I really didn't think we were in a position where we could afford it. Now we have two little ones, make half that (we do have student loan debt) and while we squeak by month after month it always seems to work out. It's not easy, but it's rewarding.

So learn NFP, and if you have serious reasons (and it sounds like you do, although it's always good to talk with each other, pray and talk with a priest about these things!) use it to avoid and know that if it comes down to it, you will be able to do it. People have been raising children on far less than we have in western society today (even at a mid to lower level) and still do.

And look into sites that teach you to live frugally. I use sites like hip2save.com to help me find couponing deals and it means that we get a huge amount of our purchases for free (think Extreme Couponing).

You can do this. Just trust in God. He doesn't put obstacles before us that we can't overcome.


#8

truthfully, i commend you with posting this. It's hard. It's tricky, and most of all, It's not what we plan.

Girl, you just need to look at Jesus on that Cross, and say, "yes lord...i will take that cross." Children are money pits. That is what it is, however they're also the proof of your legacy. They tell everyone 100 years from now, you existed. Also, think of what Jesus said of Children....They are the hope, woe to those who harm them. the pill, is an abortive method. It leads to the justification of abortion. Man was never meant to seek control over natural law. That is God's. NFP is a myth. It is what it is. You give up that time together, and hope the timing is right. If Not, God drops an A bomb, that is tough, but manageable through love. Kids are a sacrifice, pure and simple. However, nothing is better than seeing God work through you, and to create and change the world through cause and affect for eternity. Your choice could create great joy in the world. Your child could cure cancer. Could cure Aids. That soul came into creation because God willed it. embrace your ability to reproduce, and let God take over that responsibility. You are to be the bride groom to his spirit. What a powerful ability, and God will bless you for doing it.

Good luck dear.
I pray the fear lessens and you realize what a powerful weapon you are for God.
God could use a few more hands to help.
Are you up to giving him his army?
Good luck and blessings to you.
Cat.


#9

Life is precious. In our prayer time we need to pray that we never regard a pregnancy as an inconvenience or a financial crisis, but a blessing of a new life created by God.

Being a wife and mother raising a family is a blessing and a challenge whether we have one or ten children.


#10

I wish people wouldn't marry if they aren't open to children, that is what God intends us to do, unite for the purpose of bringing new life into the world.

I don't mean to blame anyone, it is what the culture of materialism has done to all of us, our individual desires are put as the supreme reason for existence and if we don't question and fight that, we just don't even see it as what is happening.


#11

Thank you all for your helpful posts. It's nice to see what I've been struggling to realize actually put into words. And to the poster above, while I find your wording a little insulting, I have already felt the guilt of feeling as if I had no right to get married if I wasn't ready for kids. But at the time, using contraception wasn't a big deal to me. It is what it is now.


#12

You have nothing to be ashamed of. None of us are without sin - we are all a work in progress. I think it's great that you are considering you may have been on the wrong path. Learn more about NFP - when done properly, I think it does have a high success rate for preventing pregnancy. Pray and ask God to continue to lead you. Trust in Him.

I will pray for you today at mass. God bless you!


#13

[quote="lo_amo87, post:11, topic:241986"]
Thank you all for your helpful posts. It's nice to see what I've been struggling to realize actually put into words. And to the poster above, while I find your wording a little insulting, I have already felt the guilt of feeling as if I had no right to get married if I wasn't ready for kids. But at the time, using contraception wasn't a big deal to me. It is what it is now.

[/quote]

Believe me, I wasn't addressing you in particular and maybe I shouldn't have said it. I know from my own life that I was choosing when it was MY time instead of being open to God's time. I used ABC from age 15 and it enabled me to have sex outside of marriage with few consequences (or so I thought at the time). All I can say from my experience is that while my husband and I were open to live and after we conceived our first son, we had the best sex of my life. The barriers were gone, and it was how God meant for us to be.

God bless you, dear sister, I am sorry that I added to your burden. I did not intend that. And I deleted my post because it wasn't helpful to you.


#14

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:13, topic:241986"]
Believe me, I wasn't addressing you in particular and maybe I shouldn't have said it. I know from my own life that I was choosing when it was MY time instead of being open to God's time. I used ABC from age 15 and it enabled me to have sex outside of marriage with few consequences (or so I thought at the time). All I can say from my experience is that while my husband and I were open to live and after we conceived our first son, we had the best sex of my life. The barriers were gone, and it was how God meant for us to be.

God bless you, dear sister, I am sorry that I added to your burden. I did not intend that. And I deleted my post because it wasn't helpful to you.

[/quote]

I understand a little better what you were saying and I appreciate you clarifying, Juliane :)


#15

Was i the one with the little insulting post? or was there someone else that deleted? :shrug::confused: However, I could see my comments being insulting because i was a secular humanist for many years. Children, to the liberal crowd, are commodities, so it’s hard to separate that selfishness even if you’ve figured out they’re people not a choice. Kids are Gods. They are the most precious of us on this earth. Christ gave special warnings about harming them. I believe because they lack experience, they are angels on earth who lose their wings at the age of Reason. it’s probably a fairytale whimsy…however, I feel joy when i see a baby. So completely oblivious to anything but God and you. lol. If i offended, I apologize. Sometimes i’m too blunt for my own good.


#16

:slight_smile: no, Catheriena, we’re good :wink: and the poster I referred to has since made more sense out of what I originally found insulting. :stuck_out_tongue:


#17

Coolio..many times i insult without knowing it, soi thought i'd preemptively strike my foot shoved down my throat. :thumbsup:


#18

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.