This is my story in a nutshell.
I have been married to a non-Christian for fifteen years. I have two children after two difficult pregnancies (preeclampsia and toxemia). The last pregancy was so rough that we both nearly did not survive (I spent most of the last trimester in the hospital, had four surgeries and eight kidney stone episodes because of a reaction to medication and we almost died on the table during the last surgery). My doctor indicated that I would not likely survive another pregnancy and offered sterilization (I declined).
My husband never had much interest in marital relations during our first thirteen years together (maybe one or two times a year at best), which made me comfortable with not having to deal with the issue of pregnancy. I also have a medical condition which causes me not to be able to maintain a reasonable body temperature without drugs. I take medication twice a day and measure my temp constantly – based on the readings, I adjust my medication daily.
In the past year and a half, my husband has begun to show an interest in having some sort of intimacy with me, which (though it has helped our marraige life considerably) has put me in a terrible situation. I cannot use NFP with my body temp and cycle issues. A pregnancy will likely be fatal for at least me, and possibly the child (depending on how long I can survive through the pregnancy). If I should die, I am quite sure that my children will not be raised in the Catholic faith.
At the present time I do not technically “contracept” but we also do not do anything that would lead to pregnancy. I asked my pastor if I am to tell my husband that we have to live as brother and sister for the rest of our lives (which may not be an issue if my husband leaves me due to this edict) and he said “no” but at the same time is unsure as to what he should tell me to do. He suggested that I contact a moral theologian on the issue. Can you help me?
Risking my life – if it was just the two of us – would not be so big of a deal, but now I have the souls of my children to think of. Dying is not something I can afford to risk, given my situation. At the same time, I want to be faithful and will do what I am told by my Church, regardless of what the outcome is. As I see it, either there are special circumstances under which I fall, or I must be married (or not) and celibate.
I held much shame and suffered much because of my husband’s lack of interest in me. Now I realize that it was a blessing in disguise. If you can’t help, can you direct me to someone who can? Please pray for me.