This post comes with a warning: It contains lots of “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar” type feelings, Catholic stuff, and graphic mental imagery (but only if your mind is so inclined). It’s been a big ” Aha!” experience for me, and it’s what’s been on my mind and in my heart so bear with me as I put it all out there. Oh, and Dad, if you’re reading this; I still have no idea how these kids got here.
Though all Christian denominations had a stand against Artificial Birth Control (ABC) until the 1930’s; today as the hunka-hunka-stinky cheese standing alone is the Catholic Church that still stays “No”. That’s not to say all Catholics are saying “No” also. Many think its an archaic rule for families in the 1950’s and the few clingers who want to drive Astro vans with a small army of stick people on the rear window. We choose to set that teaching to the side with the thought that this one doesn’t apply to me, God understands, the CC is out-dated and what do a bunch of celibate old men know about sex and family life (sheepishly raising hand).
That changed for me on Thursday when I had my IUD (I’m not explaining this here, google it) removed. I haven’t been wandering around encumbered by the thing for the last two years or given too much thought to the fact that it was there but when I stepped out of the doors of the doctor’s office and into the sun I had the urge to give a fist pump and a C&C Music Factory inspired shout of “I Got the Power!” I felt that my body was restored to it’s natural state, able to do once again what it had been designed to do. The awe-inspiring power to give life had been returned to me.
It was and is more than a direct dose of Baby Fever to the brain. In the past few days I’ve felt more respect for my husband, the gift we’ve been given in each other and the power of the marital act that has been graciously granted to us. We’re no longer circumventing His Will, we’re working with it. Forehead slap. “Now I get it!”. That Catholic teaching isn’t one of sexual oppression or an attempt to fill the pews. Aside from the stand against the abortifacient properties of most forms of ABC, it’s a call to strengthen our marriage. I won’t be using him or him me for a fleeting moments pleasure, we’re required to respect ourselves and each other more than that. Our bond as man and wife extends to mutually accepting responsibility, practicing temperance and self-control for the good of our family. There is a time to “refrain from embracing” even within the bonds of marriage. The burden of family planning doesn’t fall on one or the other, it’s another way to unite us.
There has to be something to the statistic that in a time when half of all marriages end in divorce, the rate among couples using a natural family planning method is .2%. I don’t want to be the old woman in the shoe, I certainly don’t want anything larger than a mini-van. I don’t want my children to miss out on anything we can’t afford because there are so many of them. I do want to give them the absolute most solid foundation possible, a happy family.
Gas to doctor’s office: $6. Insurance Co-pay: $15. Enlightenment on marital bond, family and age-old teaching: priceless.