Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Where I am encouraged to sterilize myself.

Here is where I make my big announcement- we're having a baby! Our due date is February 3rd and we couldn't be happier. Of course, we know to expect the usual reactions - Are you crazy? Another one? Aren't you done yet? Can you afford another one? Was this an oops? Are you crazy?

Needless to say, we've had all these reactions and born them patiently. We are fully aware we are out of the mainstream in our thinking. Our culture is one that believes one plans children, you decide how many to have, and then you're done. Two children is perfect, three is okay, four is unconventional to say the least, and any more than that is just plain weird.

But we just smile, secure in our faith and the teachings of the Church. We have not always been open to life, hence the gaps in our children's ages, but since our conversion to the Church, we understand and embrace the beauty of God's plan for marriage. We do not use NFP, as we have no reason to do so, and we embrace this new life with whole-hearted love.

Of course, in our society we are the crazy ones. We are told that contraception frees women from the enslavement of motherhood, allows her a baby-free sex life, and grants her equality with men. But at what price? From what I can see, contraception has enslaved women. Never before have we been so objectified and demeaned. Instead of equality, we have been used and discarded. Our feminine uniqueness, our life-giving power, has been sneered at and diminished As though it were worthless.

So here I am, 43 years old, naked under a paper johnny, excited for my first appointment with my OB. She comes in, we talk a bit about my health history. She mentions that she would recommend a C-section, which I am fine with, and then she goes on to say that she can do a tubal ligation while she is in there, if this is the last baby I want to have. I was shocked and horrified. No, I mumbled, I wouldn't be interested in that. She then proceeds to mention my age and the fact that pregnancy is more dangerous with age, and since I won't use artificial contraception I should really figure something out.

What do you say to something like that? Do you quote from Theology of the Body? Refer her to Humanae Vitae? No, you mumble something resembling agreement and inwardly try not to be filled with sadness and disappointment that this joyful moment has been ruined for you.

A good friend mentioned that the doctor was just trying to help, as it is a lot better to have oneself sterilized during a C-section than separately. She is right, of course. It would make sense to have it done then, and in our fertility-fixing crazed medical community, I wouldn't expect the doctor to think differently. But it made me profoundly sad and I couldn't put my finger on why. But when I posted about my experience on a Catholic women's online group, the outpouring of emotion from other women made it obvious. The pressure on these women to abort, to contracept and to render themselves infertile through tubal ligations is OVERWHELMING, is CONSISTENT, and is the NORM. It is not isolated! And under the new healthcare mandates it will only get worse.<\P>

I feel most sorry for women who don't have the conviction of faith to withstand the pressure. I can't imagine being deprived of my natural fertility. Nature will take care of that in time. Until then, I will embrace the gift God has given me.

Needless to say, I switched doctors. I went to an amazing website:www.onemoresoul.com it turns out there is a Catholic doctor practicing in the same building! I have an appointment next week. I am so happy I can see a doctor who will celebrate his new life and this old lady! I just wish there were more like him.

3 comments:

  1. I understand the value of NFP doctors! I delivered my first two children with midwives, but my third was delivered by a Catholic, NFP doctor and my experience as his patient was wonderful. I agree with you, sadly, your experience is the norm. It's hard not to feel hurt and it's hard to be gracious when a doctor's "helpful" suggestions feel more like a personal attack. Onemoresoul is a great site, thank you for mentioning it for other's to fine! Blessings.

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  2. Thank you Brittany! God bless you!

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  3. Congratulations on your new addition!

    Your article really resonated with me- to the point where I put a link for your blog on my own.

    The same thing happened to my wife and I, except it happened on the OR table minutes after the OB delivered our daughter via C-section. I was really taken back by the "while I'm in here approach." Of course my wife declined, and the cry of our newborn was enough to keep me out of further shock about tubal ligation. To be fair, it's possible he may have asked my wife about this during one the many office visits- I could have been too caught up in having a baby to hear, or it could have been during one that I missed.

    I agree with your friend, I think my wife's OB/GYN was also just trying to be helpful. Other than the awkward question in the OR (which sadly wasn't so awkward to him), he has been a good OB/GYN to my wife and family, so we've decided to stick with him. Good OB/GYN practitioners are hard to find, and I doubt he's aware of his own cooperation in being anti-life. I hope that in time we would be able to have a better discussion about our faith & values with him.

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