Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Birth Control and Natural Family Spacing

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This may not be of interest to everyone out there but I ran across this post i wrote on another blog several years ago. This is kind of our "how we do things" story.

"Children are a gift from the Lord. They are his reward... Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Psalm 127 3, 5a
Here is my story of letting go of control in family size and spacing babies.

For most women out there the thought of not knowing when and how many children they will have is scary, or worse, having too many and too close together, is worse! We want to be "ready" and not surprised by His little blessings.

I have always said, since i was young, that i wanted 6 children and of course every one laughed, but i see now that the Lord was preparing me for what He had in store. After our 2nd child was born, I read "A Full Quiver" by Rick & Jan Hess and "Be Fruitful and Multiply" by Nancy Campbell (both of which i recommend and have to lend out if anyone is interested). These books lay out a Biblical approach to family size and spacing. I also read a secular book called "Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing" by Sheila Kippley and learned mainly what not to do, like use pacifiers and let your baby sleep through the night too early (by letting your baby be nourished and comforted through nursing on demand). The Lord really tugged at my heart to let go of trying to control when and how many children we would have. So, we decided to let go and just see what happened only using demand breastfeeding as a natural birth control.

Ok, so i thought, "here we go, I am going to have one baby right after another because everyone says breastfeeding does not work to space babies." I had given God control, but in my mind, doubted Him by assuming i would turn up pregnant any day. I went through countless pregnancy tests because i was just sure i was pregnant every few weeks.

FYI-I started my cycles back at 6 months of age after our 1st baby, but he used a pacifier, was on a schedule, and started solid foods at 4 months, which i know now, contributed to ovulating earlier. When he was 12 months, "we" decided we were ready to have another baby, which made them 21 months apart. Not that i would trade anything or that it won't happen again, but i had a really hard time adjusting to 2 babies that close together.

So back to my original story, months kept going by and i wasn't pregnant. I couldn't believe it! I thought God gave every woman who "let go" lots of babies one after the next. How foolish i was to assume God didn't know what was best for our family! He knows how much space needs to be in between each child and He won't give us more that we can handle or afford, because they are all his anyway. It's when we "control" things on our own, that we may make things harder for ourselves. My 2nd son was 19 months old when i finally had a cycle (by demand nursing this long most women will have 1-3 infertile cycles). The next cycle was fertile, and we got pregnant. So the spacing was 2 years and 4.5 months, far better than i could have "planned" to space them. And i have to say that adjusting to 3 children was by far easier, than having just one and then two.

God truly showed me how loving and caring He is about little old me and my family. He knows best! Only God knows how many more children we will have, but i hope it's lots. I can not imagine being "done" and never feeling a baby move inside me again or kissing and smelling a beautiful baby head, but whatever the Lord has in store, He will prepare us and provide. Children are truly a gift from God and will one day grow up to serve Him. How exciting to be part of that! How can I deny God my womb, when it isn't mine to begin with.

Addition- After our 3rd child was born, our story was a little different. I began my cycles when she was around 13 months but did not conceive again until she was 19 months. How ever the Lord chooses to space our babies is His own will. In this case, i went a couple of months, got pregnant, then miscarried, went a few more months, then got pregnant again (that was my 2nd miscarriage-the 1st was before our 1st son).  The spacing was again around 2.5 years.  The same happened after our 4th baby, cycled at 14 months, pregnant at 19 months and spaced at 2.5.  We now have another baby boy.  He's 10 months and no cycle so i don't know yet what the spacing will be.  I love that my children ask often, "when can we have another baby?"

We now have 3 boys and 2 girls.  We still don't know when or how many children we will have. We just take life day-to-day and wait for the Lord.

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