My husband and I are expecting our 4th child. We are catholic and have been using natural family planning. I have some health issues that make it difficult for me while being pregnant. I have Crohn’s disease, hypothyroidism, and am very prone to kidney stones and urinary tract infections. I also have asthma which has gotten worse over the years. My husband doesn’t have any health issues except mild asthma that is actually improving since he quit smoking. I feel that we are done having children, but the church frowns upon any acts that could stop us from procreating. I can’t have any surgeries until 6-12 months after having the baby because my body needs more time to heal on the inside. Have crohn’s can weaken my immune system and cause me to get an infection easily. My husband could get a vasectomy now before the baby is born. I want to have the time and energy to care for and spend time with my family and the children we have now, including the one on the way. If we have more children, that may be difficult. Plus, we barely have room for the 4th child in our home and can’t afford to make more room or get another house right now. Is it possible that we could get a dispensation for us to do something permanent to not have anymore children? I want to feel supported in our decision.
I should add that we are not trying to pick and choose which parts of our religion that we want to believe in. I don’t want to put my health or any future child’s in danger by getting pregnant again. I want to be able to take care of my children and family. We would be up for adoption or fostering children in the future if things change financially for us. I also run a day care so, having more children means, less children that I am allowed to care for other than my own. I also should add that I am 26 and my husband is 28.
I am again going to mention that we were using natural family planning, but my cycle is sometimes unpredictable because of my health issues.
Answer by SUSAN P
In my opinion (and you won’t like it) is that if you are going to believe in a religion, you have to accept the whole package. Perhaps the Catholic church is not the right one for you? You really can’t pick-and-choose which parts of a religion you want to follow and which parts you want to ignore without being hypocritical.
My whole point is, you have some beliefs that do not match those of your chosen religion, so I thought you might find a religion that is a more comfortable fit. I’m certainly not against what you want to do – I think it’s a wise decision on your part.