Thursday, August 29, 2013

Response to Kelly

Kelly that is awesome and beautiful.  Congrats again.

I think we are going to do NFP.  The reason I was on the mini pill after Oskar is because I don't have periods while I nurse.  As far as I'm aware it is hard to track your cycle without that key reference point.    There are free NFP classes at the local hospital.  Should Timothy and I attend one or can you figure everything out just as well from the internet?  Do you have any experience with the computers designed to track your cycle?


If I could do the NFP thing I totally would.  I might still be desperate enough to risk it.

Yes - it is baby number 6...a little surprise souvenir we brought back from Mexico this winter.  ;-)  But we are super excited.  After we told the kids, both of our older daughters said that they'd been feeling lately like they were missing a sibling.  Josh and I had similar feelings in the year or so leading up to this event, so it was special to think that we were all getting prepared for this addition!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Response to Kelly

Birth control:  I am scared of IUDs.  First because they stay inside you which is weird (I also don't wear tampons so I am fully cognizant that I am the weird one).  Second, I don't want a hormonal one because I know I don't respond well to hormones.  I don't want a non-hormonal one because nobody is exactly sure how they prevent pregnancy and I am uncomfortable with that.

The pill creates unpleasant hormonal problems for me.

Abstinence is not an option and neither is only condoms--I hate condoms and with both abstinence and condoms my marriage is likely to suffer.

So . . . we're thinking of buying the little computer thing that records your temp every day and gives you a red light when you're fertile and a green light when you're not.  That way we are doing NFP but without my having to record it all myself.  Plus, we only have to use condoms on red days which is a easier for me to wrap my head around for the long term.  Fortunately, I am extremely regular.

I also think that the open womb/closed womb idea is wonderful.  I don't have the faith to trust it.  I am much more inclined to think that Heavenly Father wants us to seek his counsel and then do our part.

I'm glad you posted about your mom--see, other people have heard this counsel.  That was something my family members have said; it can't be that important if we haven't heard about it before.

I'll read the depression one when I have a little more time.

PS Is this your 6th?  Congrats on the pregnancy--that is wonderful!

surgical sterilization

I'm not sure what the old handbook said, but I have a vivid memory of learning this lesson when I was a teenager.  My YW leader had told us a story about how she or her husband had gotten sterilized, and then after a bit they ended up pregnant, and she felt like this baby was a special blessing that was meant to come to her family.  My mom jumped on that and pointed out to me that the prophets had counseled against those sorts of procedures.  I'm sure she didn't want me to get the impression that we can do whatever we want with our bodies and Heavenly Father's plan will come to pass no matter what.

That story, and your SIL's experience with her stake president, reminded me of Elder Holland's recent conference talk where he said God has imperfect mortals to work with and how frustrating it could be to Him.  We don't always get the messages we should be getting from our church leaders because they are no more perfect than we are.  I think if someone counsels against what is in the handbook, I would disregard that (since the handbook is technically coming from a higher source).

Anyway, timely topic for me, as I was studying on it last week.  I'm 6.5 months pregnant and pretty sure this is the final baby.  I don't think Heavenly Father has any more planned for us (at least it would be QUITE a while down the road, and then probably not through my own pregnancy), so I feel good about that situation.  I'm just trying to decide what to do about it.  I have mixed feelings.

On one hand is the open womb/closed womb idea, which I think takes a lot of faith and can be right for some people.

On the other hand is the idea of making a prayerful decision and then YOU and spouse exercise responsibility and take care of your birth control needs - which involves using the mortal agency that God has given us.

I think I lean towards the second philosophy, but I just really want to be sure that I'm doing the RIGHT thing, you know?

Anyway, Andrea, if birth control pills are not for you, have you decided on alternatives (if that's not too personal)?  I have tried the pill which worked fairly well for me, I just have an environmental/health issue with them.  I've also tried an IUD (non-hormone) which was only moderately successful as I had some side effects that I'd rather not deal with - but in terms of simplicity it was fabulous.  AND I tried NFP which I think is totally ideal except that my silly body isn't regular so it's really hard to do (so for me, using this method involves a lot of faith in the open/closed womb idea).    I've also had long periods of infertility (thus the reason I have some huge gaps between my children).  That has been the most effective. ;-)

On another topic, a friend of mine shared an article about postpartum depression that I found pretty interesting.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Why No Vasectomies

Some of you are aware that in the most recent handbook there was information about vasectomies and tubals.  Here's the quote:

21.4.15 Surgical Sterilization (Including Vasectomy)
The Church strongly discourages surgical sterilization as an elective form of birth control. Surgical sterilization should be considered only if (1) medical conditions seriously jeopardize life or health or (2) birth defects or serious trauma have rendered a person mentally incompetent and not responsible for his or her actions. Such conditions must be determined by competent medical judgment and in accordance with law. Even then, the persons responsible for this decision should consult with each other and with their bishop and should receive divine confirmation of their decision through prayer. 

Since the discovery of this little snippet of information, my family has been discussing it extensively.  Some members of the family still feel like it is okay to get a vasectomy if they are absolutely sure they are done having kids, and others (myself included) feel that this is a black/white issue now and will forgo surgical sterilization in the future.  My SIL asked her stake president about it and he said he felt like vasectomies are fine regardless of the handbook instruction.  So . . . what I'm about to say is doctrine according to me.

I've been thinking and thinking about the why behind no surgical sterilization.  Since birth control is fine, why not permanent birth control?  I think I found an answer that satisfies me in, no surprise, a Bednar talk.  His talk on chastity, to be more specific.

"The power of procreation is spiritually significant. Misuse of this power subverts the purposes of the Father’s plan and of our mortal existence. Our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son are creators and have entrusted each of us with a portion of Their creative power. Specific guidelines for the proper use of the ability to create life are vital elements in the Father’s plan. How we feel about and use that supernal power will determine in large measure our happiness in mortality and our destiny in eternity.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained:
“The power to create mortal life is the most exalted power God has given his children."
Getting surgically sterilized appears ungrateful in light of Elder Oaks comment.  Even if we aren't using the exalted power of procreation, we should be respecting the power given to us.  We wanted to have Timothy get a vasectomy for convenience sake, to make our lives easier.  It is essentially a selfish reason that doesn't take into consideration the magnitude of the gift given to us to be co-creators with God.  
Also, for all of our marriage I have been in charge of preventing pregnancy.  Since the pill does crazy stuff to my hormonal balance I have long resented Timothy for how little he had to worry about it.  I've come to believe that the pill isn't as easy of a solution as it first seems.  Not that I think you shouldn't use it--there isn't any inherent difference in the non-permanent forms of birth control, but for me, personally, I think it hasn't been very good for our marriage.  Since I refused to be on any form of the pill ever again, my resentment has gone.  We are working together and both of us have to deal with the effects of pregnancy prevention--not just me.  (As a side note--Timothy would have been willing to do this earlier, I tend to have a martyr complex at times and fail to address issues with my husband so absolutely no blame on him for my feelings.)  Maybe part of learning to bridle all our passions is learning to work together with gratitude on this issue rather than looking for an easy out?
And maybe, like my sister Kayli has mentioned, we just don't understand or fully appreciate our mortal bodies in general.  Elder Bednar talks about that in his chastity talk as well.   

"Satan relentlessly works to distort the most important elements of the Father’s plan. He does not have a body, and his eternal progress has been halted. Just as water flowing in a riverbed is stopped by a dam, so the adversary’s eternal progress is thwarted because he does not have a physical body. Because of his rebellion, Lucifer has denied himself all of the mortal blessings and experiences made possible through a body of flesh and bones. He cannot learn the lessons that only an embodied spirit can learn. He resents the reality of a literal and universal resurrection of all mankind. One of the potent scriptural meanings of the word damned is illustrated in his inability to continue developing and becoming like our Heavenly Father.
Because a physical body is so central to the Father’s plan of happiness and our spiritual development, Lucifer seeks to frustrate our progression by tempting us to use our bodies improperly. One of the ultimate ironies of eternity is that the adversary, who is miserable precisely because he has no physical body, entices us to share in his misery through the improper use of our bodies. The very tool he does not have is thus the primary target of his attempts to lure us to spiritual destruction."
Maybe you think I'm a loon and should just go with my SIL's stake president's view of the matter, but I'm pretty satisfied in my own mind that there is a reason for the counsel.