i have bipolar and have to take meds that can be harmful to babies. a pregnancy for me would have to be planned with a doctor. does that mean if i were married i would have to abstain?
No, it generally means that you would use NFP until you were ready (and planned your meds out) to get pregnant.
There are plenty of people who take meds, and keep these things in mind when planning their family. (It gives you good incentive to chart your cycles well.)
(You might also want to have a plan in mind, in the case of an unexpected pregnancy - after engagement, you would start talking to your doctors about it.) I know after I got engaged, I began talking to my doctors, and we were able to transition to baby-safe drugs/treatments, so that we could be open to life right after the wedding. (Which worked well, when we got pregnant a month later, lol.)
If your condition is such that there is NO possible way to handle pregnancy safely…well, I would seek more medical opinions, because there is usually a way…but, if there is NO way, then you would either use very conservative NFP, or if the risk is high enough, then I know some couples use abstinence until menopause…but that’s awfully rare, and I don’t think that bipolar is one of those conditions, usually. Plenty of women with bipolar can be medically managed safely during pregnancy.
The first step would be to discern under spiritual direction whether or not you are called to marriage. You should also bring your doctor’s advice regarding whether or not you should even have children at all into this discussion.
If you discern that you are called to marriage and family, then you have medical and moral decisions to make.
Morally, what you cannot do is contracept or sterilze yourself. What you can do is abstain periodically or completely. Extended abstinence in marriage is difficult and not to be undertaken lightly or without spiritual direction.
Medically, the decisions would be around the type of NFP you could practice (not familiar with meds for bipolar and what impact they may have on signs of fertility) and the amount of abstinence you may need, and such. Again, contraception and sterilization are not options.
Please dont answer anymore of my questions.
So, the short answer is no, you would not have to abstain indefinitely.
When you are preparing for marriage, you would have to discuss with both your psychiatrist and OB/GYN what the best course of action would be. Maybe they would switch you to a med that is safer in pregnancy, just in case you do get pregnant. There are different classes of safety during pregnancy for medication, from “A,” no adverse effects shown during pregnancy, to “X,” do not give during pregnancy under any circumstances. Of course, that would be their call.
You’d also want to become an expert at tracking your cycles with NFP before marriage, perhaps using multiple methods, such as sympto-thermal and Marquette together. When done properly, NFP can be just as effective (or more effective, depending on the method) at postponing pregnancy than artificial birth control.
And of course, no one should ever suddenly stop taking any psych meds unless a doctor advises it.
Also if you do find yourself pregnant while taking bipolar medications, make sure you don’t get talked into terminating the pregnancy
What 1ke said is true.
You may not be called to be married. Not everyone is.
If you are called to marriage, then you would need to discuss your health and medications with your doctor.
If you need to avoid pregnancy, then you will need to practice NFP. And something to consider is if your meds effect the symptoms that you would need to observe.
again, i have to say, i am not even close to being engaged, married or pregnant. these are things i am thinking about, considering etc. 1ke upset me for a number of reasons. obviously if i am catholic and care enough about it to try to find answers then i know about vocations and callings and have been wondering about them my whole life. give people credit, the benefit of the doubt, etc. if someone asks for directions to the market you don’t tell them “first, leave your home.” but that’s not even the main reason why that person’s comments are upsetting to me. anyway i have heard it said "God is not trying to trick us - if you feel a strong desire toward a calling, then it’s probably your calling.’
Ike is one of the most knowledgeable posters on CAF. If you want just opinions which may or may not be based on Church teaching, by all means ignore what she says. If you want to know what the Church teaches or how to apply Church teaching, you ignore her at your loss.
i have heard it said "God is not trying to trick us - if you feel a strong desire toward a calling, then it’s probably your calling
While you may have “heard it said”, that’s not entirely true. If you feel a strong desire toward a vocation or “calling”, it means that you should seriously discern God’s will for you in that regard to see if that is truly your vocation. Desires can be clouded by emotion or recent experiences. It does not mean that it is your vocation (although it may very well be).
Kitty, I saw nothing offensive in 1ke’s post. Keep in mind she (like us) knows nearly nothing about you, so cut her a little slack if she might suggest something that you already know, or doesn’t match you ideas/situation. From reading her posts, I do know she is exceptionally knowledgeable, and has given great advice to many.
I note you have not told us the main reason that 1ke’s comments upset you. So none of us know. So any one of us could upset you by making the same remark, and we will not why. Will we then be barred from conversation with you?
You have apparently not used GoogleMaps.
i use it all the time, it doesn’t say that
Ok, so I will try to tell you… There are general reasons but there is one thing that really upset me. Here are the general reasons -
Yes, I am looking for Catholic answers. I am looking for what the church teaches, what people have learned from their studies, their priests, catechism but also their lives. Every answer that I have heard from her comes across to me as lacking empathy, emotion, warmth, lacking any connecting or relating to personal experience. It comes across as robotic, black and white and that’s it. The tone bothers me, the content does not engage me but makes me feel like I’m being smacked with a brick wall. I’m not saying that she is a holier-than-thou, cyber know-it-all but she comes across that way.
But really, the thing that made me tell her not to answer my posts is she said that I should ask my doctor if I should have children at all. what. the. eff. really? And what makes her think that I can’t have children? Because I have bipolar? It’s such an offensive thing to put out there and shows she has zero knowledge about the topic, about people with mental illness. Maybe she didn’t mean anything by it, and it is my personal sensitivity, but still - it shows she doesn’t know anything about bipolar, so why did she answer? People with wisdom know when not to stick their nose into things.
Read my post below on why I haven’t gained anything from 1ke’s posts… But I agree with you about emotions and discernment. But of course I pray for God’s direction and I’m not in a rush to do anything that might not be what God wants. I’m coming across kind of mean but I love God and I’m just trying to get some footing.
Chances are you are not going to find someone with bipolar, taking the same meds you are taking and is on this web site ready to answer your questions.
We can give you information based on what we know. No one is sticking their nose in anything. YOU invited us into this problem.
You told us that you are taking meds that you can’t be taking while pregnant. Are these meds, meds that you can stop taking? Are there substitutes? We won’t know that information. You do. Or if you don’t, you need to speak to your doctor about it. Same with any medication that shouldn’t taken during pregnancy.
Mental illness is very common so chances are that yes I can get answers from Catholics who have to take meds or who are dealing with family members who do. TraderTif gave an excellent answer, and none of the other answers offended me.
It is good that you are engaging in conversation which will help others to understand you better. Firing off a question to start a thread and then not participating further is itself a bit robotic, but that is how many of your previous threads have appeared.
I don’t know the ins an outs of bipolar, but a quick look on the web reveals that pregnancies at least need very careful management given the patient’s need for drugs, and the adverse consequences of those for babies. For all I know (and I don’t think I am uniquely ignorant) there may be variants of bipolar where there are no baby friendly drugs, and where the patient really needs the drugs! Which makes 1ke’s comment regarding your medical situation - as it pertains to pregnancy - relevant.
me asking questions then not participating - not robotic… more like shy? cautious.
and the way you guys are acting now is making me remember why i was wary to begin with - people on internet forums get cliquey. are you all now just going to defend 1ke for some weird internet camaraderie? no, her comment was not relevant. just because i asked a question on a public forum doesn’t mean i want every person with an opinion to answer. obviously i am expecting that someone with knowledge and experience will answer. the chances of that are high because many people deal with meds and mental illness. if you don’t know, why would you run your mouth off? seriously. what attracts you to the question? if it’s not the ability to give a useful answer then what is it? just looks to me like the person is not all that wise. just runnin’ their mouth.
Anyway, I’m sorry, I’m not trying to disrupt peace which is why I chose not to elaborate when I told 1ke not to reply to my posts. Elaborating usually doesn’t help in this kind of situation. I have a right to my feelings and to ask someone to leave me alone if they are upsetting me.
Here is the problem.
1ke has been with CAF for years. She has many posts.
You on the other hand have been here for for just over a week. With just a few posts.
So we look back at your posts. Many are starting a thread with a question, but never returning to answer questions or to give more information. Some are attacks on posters that are trying to answer your questions.
So, what are we to get from that?
no, her comment was not relevant. just because i asked a question on a public forum doesn’t mean i want every person with an opinion to answer. obviously i am expecting that someone with knowledge and experience will answer. the chances of that are high because many people deal with meds and mental illness. if you don’t know, why would you run your mouth off? seriously. what attracts you to the question? if it’s not the ability to give a useful answer then what is it? just looks to me like the person is not all that wise. just runnin’ their mouth.
How about you back off for a second?
You posted a question about “medical and pregnancy.” Your question had to do with taking medication and getting pregnant.
Pretty much anyone *can *answer that question. I don’t need to know anything about your illness. I just need to know that you are taking medication and you might want to get pregnant in the future. And that is all the information anyone needed to answer your question.
Sorry, but it just seems that you didn’t *like *1ke’s answer, rather than she gave you a bad answer.