Friday, March 26, 2010

Let The Questions Begin

At my last midwife appointment I was asked the question every woman gets asked at the end of her pregnancy: "What kind of birth control are you going to use after this baby is born?" I despise this question. It grates on my every nerve. Doctors today present it as if there is no other option besides going on birth control after having a baby. And to top it all off, they ask it at every appointment from 36 weeks on and then 15 different times while you are in the hospital (this is no exageration). My answer is always they same, "We don't use birth control, we use Natural Family Planning." Doctors and midwives usually seem satisfied with this answer, but I am not.

I hate the fact that Natural Family Planning (which is not the "rhythm" method BTW) is grouped into the contraception category. True, some people use NFP as a contraception, but this is not the way it is supposed to be used. It is meant to be used to avoid pregnancy if, and only if, the couple has a moral, valid reason set by the church to avoid pregnancy, such as financially not being able to take care of another child or endangerment to the mother's health etc. Why is it automatically assumed in today's society that a woman has to get on birth control the second she gives birth? I understand women need time to heal and get used to this new life, but nature knows that and usually gives many months before a woman is even able to get pregnant again. Why can't doctors present the question as an option rather than a fact? I have never been asked, "are you going to use birth control", or "would you like to hear about birth control options", it's always "what kind of birth control are you going to use?" When I was about to have an emergency c-section with my son, I was asked 3 different times if I wanted my tubes tied during the procedure. Umm...excuse me?!? Not only was I only in my early 20's with my FIRST child, but I had just been told that my baby might die if we didn't do this quickly and that I was going to be cut open. Do you think I really could have made a good judgement at that time about having my tubes tied?!

I guess all these questions are just another testimony to the anti-life society we live in today. Which is why I need a better answer to these questions that are asked of me. I don't want to answer with, "I'm Catholic, I don't use birth control", because I don't want it to seem that the only reason I don't use birth control is because I'm Catholic. I do agree with the Church's teaching on the subject, but I believe Catholics and non-Catholics shouldn't use birth control for many many reasons I will post on another day. But for now, I need prayers and guidance as to how to respond to this common questions in an effective and charitable way. Any suggestions?


  1. I have suggestions which may be effective, but they are not charitable. So instead, I'll pray that some nice ones come to you.

  2. I had to really rack my brain for something not mean, but I think maybe just saying "We're open to a big family, we don't use birth control" would be a nice thing to say.

  3. Don't you wish you could just say "Nunya"?

  4. I say, "I love my husband. Why wouldn't I want to have his babies?" and then just raise an eyebrow and wait for an answer. If you wait long enough, they will apologize, which is as it should be. :0)

  5. Rebecca: Could you please give me some of your guts so I can respond with that boldness? Seriously, I need to grow some...:)

  6. 10 more years and a few more babies and you'll be there.

  7. My other answer is to say "No thank you, we're Catholic." and when they respond "Well, most Catholics use some method.." or something to that effect I reply "Yeah, but we mean it." It's snarky, but some days I'm just there.

  8. I told you a was illiterate - I just listed this at the end of the sock thing. Oh Well, the smart people (your mom?), say; 'Truth is always the truth and it never changes even when it is sent in at the end of the list'.

    Anonymous said...
    As a mostly computer illiterate I just read all I was able to find on this page thing you young people do. My sprit is lifted with His Hope because I know He will be replacing me with much better stock. I wanted to post a thanks and tell you to keep inspiring me but then decided to just be a lurker (is that an acceptable definition?), and that I would just kind of follow your insight and beauty from the shadows. As I went back to the top of your site I saw your picture and the white rose - you guessed it - I felt the need to leave you this thought. You and your sisters have always been like that rose. Certainly beauty to look at, but much more too - a rose offers a delightful and pleasing scent that enhances moments of my life and will forever beckon delightful memories with it's subtle fragrance. On with Holy Week.

  9. My suggestions are to be open about your practice of NFP with the nurses/health care professionals. They like to see confidence. Become familiar with at least one good effectiveness study that you can quote (major one from the Journal of Human Reproduction, 2007). Talk about how there are superior alternatives for treating womens' health problems rather than using OCs. More info. on that at Talk about how the health risks of hormonal contraception are not acceptable to you. Show them your chart (s). This all has been very effective with my secular nurse midwife who now has asked me to teach a local class that she can refer her patients to.

    Go to my website for an updated effectiveness document summary and other helpful info.

    Batrice Adcock, RN, MSN