I’ve been using Mondays to get caught up answering the messages in my inbox. This week’s question was prompted by our new music video, Do You Wanna Have a Baby? What if the answer is no, because you’re afraid you can’t handle more children — or any?
Question: What if I can’t handle having any (more) children?
I wanted to ask you a question, I have been thinking about it for a while. I always wanted to have a large family, but now I think it will not be possible. I recently suffered from a major burn-out and have really seen that I am not as strong as I thought I was.
When I listen to your song “Do You Wanna Have a Baby?” (I LOVE that song), I feel guilty for not wanting many children anymore.
But I know we have to be very careful. We can’t enjoy sex without me worrying about a pregnancy, and we do need to use birth control until I am fully recovered.
But we also have our responsibility for my health. What do you think about this?
Answer: A few considerations to take into account when making this decision
It doesn’t really matter what I think, but since you ask, I will tell you what I tell my own children: Having a large family made perfect sense in my particular situation — I’ve always had smooth pregnancies, easy deliveries, healthy babies, a strong body, a stable marriage, an aversion to contraceptives, an intense desire for lots of children, and a loving, supportive husband with a good job that allows him to provide for all of us.
If any of those factors had not been the case, we might well have chosen to do things differently.
I understand that not every couple has been blessed with such ideal circumstances, and — depending on the extent or severity of the challenges they face — it may make better sense for them to limit family size by practicing some form of birth control. That is a decision that must be prayerfully made by each individual couple.
If you do opt to use birth control because you can’t handle more children, I’d only suggest that you…
Choose a method that is not abortifacient
Hormonal contraceptives work by thinning the lining of the uterus so that it cannot sustain a developing embryo. IUDs make the uterus similarly hostile. These methods don’t necessarily prevent fertilization from occurring; rather, they prevent implantation. Additionally, hormonal contraceptives can cause serious health problems (for both mothers and children subsequently born to those mothers) you would do well to avoid.
So if you’re going to use birth control, choose a method that is not potentially abortifacient. Some options are barrier methods (condoms, diaphragms, and the like) or Natural Family Planning (which calls for tracking your cycle an d abstaining during fertile times, though how “natural” it is to forgo sex during the time when most women’s libido is highest is debatable)
Avoid doing anything permanent
Feelings vacillate. Circumstances often change, and so may your attitude toward having [more] children. So hold off getting a vasectomy or tubal ligation, just in case. Those surgeries carry health risks, too, and even though they’re sometimes advertised as being “reversible,” those reversals are expensive and often don’t work. Instead, leave some room for God to change your mind on the matter.
Make any decisions on family size BEFORE you get pregnant
I’m fine with a woman’s choosing not to have a baby before she gets pregnant. But once that little one is conceived? I pray she’d be able to see it for what it is — a blessing being knit together in his mother’s womb and one for whom God has a special purpose — and narrow her choices to two: Shall I keep this baby and raise him myself or place him up for adoption?
Continue to nurture the physical aspect of your marriage
Finally, I would warn you not to let your fear of getting pregnant cause you to push your husband away sexually. He still needs your closeness, and you his, so don’t neglect the physical part of your relationship just because you’ve chosen to limit your family size. 🙂