NFP use


#1

Hello, I have a question about the serious reasons that the church talks about when you use NFP. It says that you can only use NFP if you have a serious reason for wanting to avoid getting pregnant, Here is my question I am currently pregnant with out 7th child and finances are tight and house space is very limited we cannot possible fit more children in our family and I would like to be done with 7, is that a serious enough reason to use NFP for the remainder of our marriage?


#2

Finances and housing are certainly "serious" issues that should be included in your discernment process...
However, whether or not you can use this "for the remainder of your marriage" isn't easily answered. What if your husband gets an enormous raise and you can buy a bigger house? NFP should rarely be a permanent solution... it should be used for those times when you've discerned that having a baby at that moment would not be a wise decision and you are abstaining as a sacrifice. Sure - those conditions of your financial situation and housing MAY never change... but that decision just has to be made on a month-by-month basis.

Does that make sense?
I'd talk to your priest...
To me, it certainly sounds like you've been open to life in your marriage and are discerning this decision with prayer. Just keep the door open for God to work miracles and don't close off the opportunity with words like "for the remainder of our marriage".

HTH! :)


#3

As a father of 8, I second Emily's response.


#4

is it selfish of me to want to be done and that my family is big enough? I have been more accepting of kids than 95% of America and my husband and I would like to enjoy the children we have instead of focusing all our attention on the little ones. our children range in age from 10 to 1 and # 7 is due in 5 weeks. I am being pulled in so many different directions and I would just like to know that our willingness to accept 7 children already is enough for us to say that is a good size family.


#5

[quote="7minimuffins, post:4, topic:219246"]
is it selfish of me to want to be done and that my family is big enough? I have been more accepting of kids than 95% of America and my husband and I would like to enjoy the children we have instead of focusing all our attention on the little ones. our children range in age from 10 to 1 and # 7 is due in 5 weeks. I am being pulled in so many different directions and I would just like to know that our willingness to accept 7 children already is enough for us to say that is a good size family.

[/quote]

I doubt you are selfish to feel how you feel TODAY. You might not be feeling selfish if you feel that way tomorrow, next week, next month, in three years, etc.

But in general, *feelings *are not good reasons to make long term decisions. However they can sometimes be a good reason to do something today.

I am wondering why you are so concerned about deciding today what you will still have to decide again later anyways.


#6

Finality and utter certainty is vastly over-rated. And if you think about it, anybody who believes he is certain of "being done for good" is just setting himself up for disaster.

Be satisfied that, for now, you've got a serious reason to avoid. The nice thing about NFP is that you don't have to agonize all that much. If your reason ISN'T serious, God will point it out to you pretty clearly in the abstinance times. He speaks louder to those who fast, you see. If your reason IS serious and continues to be, He won't poke you in the ribs about it. God is good that way.


#7

To be perfectly honest we have been wanted to "be done" since our 5th child and NFP hasn't worked out very well as you can tell so we are wanted to be certain that #7 is our last baby, Also during pregnancy I get dangerous blood clots in my legs, I currently have 3 in one leg as I type this so I do have some health issues that get worse with each pregnancy, so I guess what I am saying is there a point where it is okay for a catholic to say "were done"?


#8

The problem is with how you GET there. Are you asking if it's OK to start contracepting because you've already paid heroic dues? (and you have, by the way, God bless you.:thumbsup: )

But I think your stats are off. Methinks you've already been more accepting of kids than 99.5% of Americans. But catholic sexuality is not just about having more kids. It's about refusing to convert sexual intimacy into something less than it was intended to be. Far less.


#9

I think what people are saying, is that it is fine to feel like you are done now, but NFP doesn't really work that way. It is something you have to discern every month and talk about with your spouse. I agree with the others, right now you probably have serious reasons to avoid, these reasons might exist for the rest of your fertile time, or they may not. That is something for you and your spouse to discern throughout your NFP use.

Good luck and prayers for you and your family.


#10

I recommend this article:

conversiondiary.com/2010/10/my-answer-to-do-you-want-more-children.html


#11

Hello. I'm not sure if you ever listen to Father Corapi. We have this CD in the car, that we listen to often:

fathercorapi.com/Matrimony-Humanae-Vitae-2-Talks-P144C48.aspx

In it he talks about reasons for NFP. I found it the most helpful out of anything else in learning to discern just reasons.

I have 3 living children and 2 in heaven. For various reasons we won't be trying to conceive anymore. If a baby happens, we will lovongly accept him or her.

Prayers for you.


#12

[quote="Mary_Gail_36, post:11, topic:219246"]
Hello. I'm not sure if you ever listen to Father Corapi. We have this CD in the car, that we listen to often:

fathercorapi.com/Matrimony-Humanae-Vitae-2-Talks-P144C48.aspx

In it he talks about reasons for NFP. I found it the most helpful out of anything else in learning to discern just reasons.

I have 3 living children and 2 in heaven. For various reasons we won't be trying to conceive anymore. If a baby happens, we will lovongly accept him or her.

Prayers for you.

[/quote]

This is exactly the point. You can try not to conceive for the rest of your fertile life, but you know that God can change things. So I think in your mind you can say that you are done (as in we are not actively trying to achieve) but you remain open because of NFP use. If you have questions about legitimate use of NFP, it is being discussed on my blog. Feel free to join in the discussion. (see link below- Church fanatic)


#13

My understanding of NFP is that it is a tool used for discernment. The beauty of how NFP differs from artificial contraception is in the fact that it allows you to plan to achieve or avoid pregnancy. You can use NFP your entire marriage as a discernment tool. During the years that couples are ready to have children, NFP is a great tool to help those couples conceive a baby. In other years when a couple prayerfully discerns that God is not calling them to grow their family, they can use NFP to postpone pregnancy.

As others have stated, you must discern month to month on whether you should be actively trying to conceive. Many times the answer is obvious. Other times it requires more prayerful discernment. I am going by memory, but I believe that the Church states that financial, mental, and physical limitations are all good reasons to post-pone pregnancy. Any one of them would be reason enough to post-pone pregnancy and it sounds as if you are dealing with all three.

Whether you have one child or seven, the answer is still the same, Prayerful Discernment. Once you have discerned, you should be at peace with the decision. I sense a lot of anxiety in your post. Pray and search for a spirtual director and/or talk to your parish priest to help you through this discernment process so that you may have peace.

One last thing, you mentioned in your post that you have tried NFP unsuccessfully after your fifth child. If you haven't already, be sure to take a class on NFP. I recommend Couple to Couple League (ccli.org). There is a fee for most classes, but they will waive or reduce it for couples experiencing financial hardships so don't let that scare you away from taking the class. Interpreting the signs can be somewhat difficult at times (my wife and I know from experience) and they have staff that can assist you. We have emailed charts to them before to help us understand the signs. Using NFP is not something that you can read a five minute article on the web and use it successfully.

I hope that helps. God Bless!


#14

I always think it is strange when people ask us if we are "done" having children--especially when the person who is asking is Catholic. It seems to be part of the Planned Barrenhood culture. Do you think people asked our grandmothers if they were "done"?

I understand the OP's feeling. I only have four, but I think when you are pregnant especially it seems overwhelming. I will pray for you. Congratulations of having such a wonderful large family. You are blessed by God!


#15

[quote="7minimuffins, post:7, topic:219246"]
To be perfectly honest we have been wanted to "be done" since our 5th child and NFP hasn't worked out very well as you can tell so we are wanted to be certain that #7 is our last baby, Also during pregnancy I get dangerous blood clots in my legs, I currently have 3 in one leg as I type this so I do have some health issues that get worse with each pregnancy, so I guess what I am saying is there a point where it is okay for a catholic to say "were done"?

[/quote]

It's enough reason for" today". No a catholic cannot "be done" because we have to consider God's will and be open for his work in our life. But yes you can be confident that you have good reasons for now.


#16

I know that this is a serious subject, but as a father of 8 I'd like to add a little levity and share my response to "the question".

A. I always thought that a baker's dozen would be nice!

I know this is a little uncharitable, but when perfect strangers would ask, this answer sure shut them up in a hurry.


#17

Who really is the judge of the exact number of children to be considered enough????? Also, I personally think (nothing to do with the teachings of the church) financial reasons are a weird way of telling a couple whether or not it is OK to try and avoid pregnancy.

Example: A man has a good income so him and his wife have X number of children. The man is a victim of a recession and looses his job. Well guess what, if the children are all under 18, he has X number of mouths to feed so the fact that he had money a few years ago is no consolation to his dilemna. Having money today does not guarantee the kid will be financially secure until he reaches adulthood.

I think the real issue is disappointment that NFP did not work. And my heart goes out to you. I am sure having 6 kids under 10 and another on the way can be a VERY hectic lifestyle.

I would pray to God to take away my guilt and bring me happiness. Also, I will pray you have the strenght to carry on your duties

CM


#18

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