A.B. asks from Matthews, NC on November 23, 2008
Advice on Birth Control - Matthews,NC
Ok, mama's....I've got a personal question and I hope to only get supportive and helpful advice. My husband and I are both Catholic, we were using Birth Control when we first got married, b/c we thought it was the right thing to do. We didn't want kids at the time, and knew it was effective. Well, during our pre marital classes we discuss birth control and the "church's" view on this. We also talked about NFP, Natural Family Planning. The idea is to remove birth control and make a serious commitment to work together to help either plan for babies or to avoid the times when babies could be conceived. NFP, is simply put as listening to your body, observing your mucus levels, taking daily body temperatures and recording what's going on down there. It's not very complicated and it worked for us, at least for 6 months. The week of baby time, happen to fall when we took a belated 1 year anniversary cruise and well, 9 months later we had our first child. We were thrilled and knew it was a possibility and were happy that God had given this opportunity in our lives. Well, after our daughter was born, I chose not to go back on Birth Control, and use NFP again, however, as you all know, your menstrual cycles doesn't happen for quite some time after birth. When my period did start, it had been 6 months, that month we got pregnant again! We knew the possibility was there and we were happy and surprised it happened so quickly. But what can you do, their 15 months apart, and it's a crazy wonderful life we lead!
Here's the dilemma....after the birth of our son, I convinced my husband that I didn't want to risk the chance of getting pregnant again while nursing him. I was unable to finish feeding my daughter when I got pregnant with our son b/c my milk dried up and I was very disappointed. So I went on a low -dose bc pill after he was born that would not affect my milk and still keep us protected. I promised that after our son was done nursing I would re consider using NFP.
He nursed for 14 months and I have been off the pill for a month now. I can tell a big difference in my personality and attitude since being off the pill, however, I'm scared to death to get pregnant. I'm done having kids, at least I think I am. But I don't want to get back on a hormone pill b/c it messed with me. My husband finds that using bc is not in the way God had intended. NFP is free, and healthy and it makes us more connected b/c we work together. However with two kids we don't always find time to make NFP work, at least I don't. We're not very consistent with taking temperatures, and my body is still out of service with when my periods start and stop. There either 4 weeks apart or 2 weeks apart, or I spot on and off throughout the month, so I know something is up.
SO....do you all know of a hormone free birth control?. My husband doesn't like the idea of condoms, nor the idea of a "snip snip" for him. I've looked into Mirena and other IUD's but what do you all think?? Am I silly to want to go back to a birth control option?
BONUS: When we were using NFP, I have never felt more connected with my husband, I was more in tune with my body, and he was more in tune with what was happening, and we both knew at the same time that we were pregnant by looking at the chart. Which made the bond even more special, it was such a surprise for him, we knew it together. So there is one aspect to going back to using NFP. But on the down side, I've gotten to the point of not being very intimate b/c I'm afraid of getting pregnant since being off the pill. My body is still out of sync, I'm very irregular and my wet/dry days are all different.
The media portrays BC as a good thing and an ok thing to do. How can I get my husband to see eye to eye with me.
ALSO if I was to get pregnant again, I'd have to have another c-section, and I don't want to go under again. HELP!
S.W. answers from Charlotte on November 24, 2008
I also had trouble with birth control, for the longest time we used the inserts they were very effective for us and you didn't have to be on it all the time just. i found encare, i think that is the name, but it's been a long time since i used them. I have a one year old and had my tubes tied when i had her c- section i know i couldn't risk having anymore at my age. suzy
A.B. answers from Charlotte on November 24, 2008
I have not been on birth control since I was 30. I am now 43. I had my first child at 27 and went on B/C pills and got pregnant on the pill. I figured God really wanted me to have this child. I did not know I was truely pregnant until I was 10 weeks. Denial I guess. My husband at the time had 2 other kids from another marriage and did Not want anymore kids. He had the snip snip 6 weeks after she was born. I divorced a few yrs later and remarried. My husband and I today have not ever used anything other than the NFP. I did have one slip up a few years ago ( got caught up in the moment) and miscarried but, otherwise we keep up with the NFP. We have 5 kids between us. I believe God knows what is best and like me it did not matter if I was on B/C or not I still got pregnant. I would not trade her for the world. I did look into Mirena only because my doctor was suggesting it . I think its good but I just don't like Hormone stuff either.
I would have to say stick with the NFP - I was sad when my x had the Vasectomy. I was still young and kept thinking what if something happens and I want another child.
Prayfully consider your options.
C.B. answers from Charlotte on November 24, 2008
I am not Catholic so I don't know the church's views on BC so I am not sure what difference it would make to use oral contraceptives or having a tubal ligation or your husband having the "snip snip". Vasectomies are not what they used to be. They have made it so easy for them now that it should be an option. Have him at least talk to a Urologist about the procedure. He doesn't have to do it if he doesn't like what he hears, but he should give it a listen. You have been through enough. You should be able to enjoy making love to your husband and not having to worry about getting pregnant the whole time. I am sure that he would enjoy it more if you were relaxed, as well. God gave these doctors the knowledge of how to prevent pregnancy so why not use it? Mirena is a good option but it lasts 5 years so if you are 30 years old, you will have to have at least 3 implanted. A vasectomy costs about the same as one Mirena. Explain it to him that way and maybe he will want to save a little money!! Good luck!
D.R. answers from Charlotte on November 24, 2008
i wanted to say how moved i was by you talking about the closeness and bond you felt with your husband while practicing nfp. that is exactly what it is supposed to do, along with the obvious family planning aspect. we are also catholic so i do know the church's teachings. my doctor put me on bc pills after my first child was born because i had such irregular cycles that he told me it would force my body to find a regular cycle and then i could come off of them and be able to track what was going on. what i learned was that your body is only forced into the regular cycle for as long as you are on the pills. there is no guarantee that you will stay "regular" after you come off of them. another thing i learned that greatly disturbed me was that bc pills won't necessarily keep you from getting pregnant but they will force your body to naturally abort the baby with your next menstral cycle and you will never even know that you were pregnant. i was devestated when i read this. this was information presented to me while i was investigating nfp. i find it hard to practice nfp without a doctor who supports that decision and can help with questions. most doctors don't understand the process completely and don't recommend it. i have recently learned about a practice that is a completely nfp practice. and they are a family practice, not just and ob/gyn office. i live in monroe, nc and this doctor is located in concord, nc. if you are interested in his name please let me know and i will send it to you. i would not encourage your husband to have the vasectomy as this is against church teaching as well. you both seem to have a strong faith and i'm sure you can work together to get back on the nfp tracking so there won't be worries. i understand your fear of getting pregnant again. we have a 8 1/2 year old and a 6 year old and just found out #3 is on the way in may. it's so exciting and scary at the same time. i hope you can find a way to make nfp work for your family again. maybe finding a doctor or some sort of support group that can help you with monitoring symptoms would help. you will be in my thoughts. best of luck to you and your family.