In honor of Natural Family Planning Week, I’m hoping to devote a few posts this week to the subject. We’ll see how it goes but here’s one at least for now.
”Are you done?”
Like she said, that’s probably the worst and most annoying question anyone could ask especially so soon after a baby’s born. I really do hate it. Who am I to know that? Who am I to tell God when we’re done accepting children from Him? There are certainly times when I hope he doesn’t think I’m capable of having more but who am I to make that decision without consulting with the Big Guy first? We believe God designed our bodies in truly remarkable ways and are thankful for the knowledge we’ve been given so we can understand the natural y cycles of my fertility. We believe this is a way for my husband and me to share in the decision with God concerning children.
Of course everyone knows Catholics are opposed to any type of contraceptive method (including barrier methods) to prevent pregnancy. But I don’t see why you’d have to be a Catholic to see how a condom or ‘magic’ pill becomes more than a physical barrier in a marital relationship. Duh. And even if I wasn’t Catholic or if I was a Catholyc (as Thomas Peters likes to say) I’d still never dream of swallowing or injecting or implanting any foreign object or hormonally-loaded synthetic substance into my body.
Aside from all that though…what if we were done? What if this was it? In an effort to always portray ourselves as open to God’s will (as we are), I’ve almost taken it for granted that we would have more than 3..some of our family members are pretty sure we’ll have about 16 or 17. But who are we to assume we’ll have any more? In a way it might be good to learn to be ok with being done.
If this is it, then that would mean our baby now would be the last one. This would have been the last time I’d ever carry a baby in my body. The last time I’d gotten to give birth. The last time I’d get to nurse. It would be the last time I’d get to hear a baby of ours coo, gurgle, or cry; or watch our baby smile while sleeping. It would be the last time we’d get to smell our baby’s anointed head after baptism. The last time I’d have to get up in the middle of the night and get to cuddle with my baby or take time out during the day to play or just sit with my baby. The last time we’d watch a baby of ours learn to scoot, roll, sit-up, crawl, and walk and talk.
If we had no expectations about having more maybe I’d enjoy these precious moments with our young children now more, instead of assuming we’d have more after these and always looking ahead for the next one to enjoy. I hope we are not “done”. I’m sure maybe I’ll laugh at this post one day when we’re surrounded by those 16 or 17 kids. But for now, I’m content and grateful for the 3 wonderful blessings we do have.