Warning: This is probably a controversial post. But, it’s my blog and I can write about what I want, right? Please know that I share from the heart, how I feel. I’m not keeping a notebook of friends that do and those that don’t. Quite honestly, it’s none of my business. I can’t stand it when folks ram beliefs down your throat. Nobody likes that. I just felt compelled to share my story…so here goes.
In yesterday’s “top news” on my iPhone app, I saw this article. Mother’s Day marks the 50th anniversary of the debut of the pill. I found that unbelievable ironic. Yes, 14 years ago when Scott and I got married, I was a faithful (and adamant supporter) of this medical marvel. I mean, I was staunchly pro-life, but this was just a pill that allowed Scott and I to be responsible about introducing children into our family. Just as we finished year one of marriage, I began to hate that pill box. For one, I hated having to remember to take it each day. More frustrating, though, is that I began to wonder if putting a pill like that into my body could have medical consequences. Just how safe was it to be on that kind of medication long-term? It wasn’t because of any book or article I read, it was just a gut feeling.
Fast forward to year three. I was an accomplished career woman, loving my job that allowed me to travel and feeling very liberated. You know, in a conservative kind of way 🙂 Scott and I had a tearful discussion on the couch one night. I wanted kids, but my career was more important. My fears took over and I rationalized that staying on the pill allowed me to have control over my fertility. Because, I believed, having a child at that point in our marriage would be a burden, not a blessing. As Dr. Seuss so eloquently says, “I was on my way!”
Year four, Scott and I traveled to Italy and we felt like we had finally reached the right time to have children. God agreed and nine months later I gave birth to my first child. About that same time, Scott and I had participated in a men’s and women’s retreat, respectively, at our parish. Things were falling into place, just as we had planned. Life was so good. When Will was ten-months-old, we decided to sign up for the Natural Family Planning (NFP) class at the hospital. It was a natural method of birth control, which happened to be endorsed by the church. I was intrigued to see if it would really work and excited that it might mean no more medication. When Will was 15 months old, we found out we were expecting (again, all according to our plan) and we were ecstatic. Nine weeks later I miscarried.
It wasn’t until that warm embrace with Scott in our kitchen, with Will hanging onto my leg, as I sobbed my heart out that I realized I was not in control. I never had been.
Scott and I had only been practicing NFP for seven months, yet its affect on our marriage is the reason why we are still married today. It got us communicating, it got us praying, it got us giving control to God.
We knew that there were fertile, infertile and possibly fertile times in every woman’s cycle. So, those “surprise pregnancies” you hear about when women are on the pill are explained. We began to realize that no matter what type of birth control you use, if you’re intimate when you’re fertile, you open wide the door to a pregnancy.
That’s why, when I read this article about liberation and medical marvels, my heart got a little sad. I know what amazing things NFP has done for our marriage. I wonder how many other marriages it could strengthen? What would that do to our world? How would generations of children benefit?
I don’t have the answers to any of those questions.
But, I do know that I am at peace trusting God with every part of my marriage, and my relationship with Scott, and God, are better for it.