Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Solution of the World

It is a topic that I've been reluctant to talk about because I know, it sounds like I'm trying to be superior and it sounds funny coming from a mom of ten children.

But I've used birth control so I know the arguments. I've made them. I've swallowed them. The doctors told me I was high risk, that every pregnancy could result in a tracheotomy, and that the next one might be permanent. I had a medical reason so I thought "I'm good."

The sympathetic priest told me it was a legitimate health concern, but in truth, it wasn't. The express purpose of taking the medication was to ensure I wouldn't get pregnant, so I wouldn't jeopardize my larynx with the possibility of a trachetube. It wasn't curative of the problem, it was preventative of a possible situation by eliminating being open to life.

Being a new mom, I was eager for a break, fearful of the possibilities and took the package with the approval of said priest. It didn't occur to me that I was sinning, as the doctor had said I must and the priest had said I could. I took the medication.

For the next year and a half, I took the medication and wondered what had happened to me. Emotionally, I was angry all the time. Nothing felt happy. Everything felt stretched out of proportion. I told myself it was recovery from birth, from becoming a stay at home mom, adjust!

Then we moved to Maryland, and I told myself, it was having to start over. I kept telling myself things would be better, but the romantic passion I'd felt for my best friend, for my beloved had faded to a pale imitation of its former self. I'd tell you that it was just because we'd matured, but that would be a lie. We'd dated for six years and found each other alarmingly interesting, and three years of marriage had done nothing to dim that feeling, but everything had flatlined since. I loved my husband, but there was this gap between my feelings and my desire that honestly made no sense to me. It was a painful time in our marriage, because we both loved each other deeply.

Then, we scheduled a visit to see my parents that summer. My dad's family (Pre-Hurricane Ike) owned a beach house that had been my growing up summer place and I loved loved loved loved loved it. It was also my prayer place, that spot on this Earth where Heaven seemed closer. It didn't matter if there were mosquitoes galore or the fishing was bad, this was my favorite place in all the world to be. I was so excited to go, I packed hastily. I forgot the birth control.

My husband had to work, so he was not on this journey the first week I was there. He fed ex'd the medicine with a note: The only reason I can send you this sad cargo, is I know one day, we won't use it. Reading that note was the "You had me at hello" moment. I threw the "sad cargo" in the trash and that was the beginning of what followed.

I won't say it hasn't been hard, that it isn't hard, or that it won't get harder. I will say, it's been beautiful and rich, it is beautiful and rich and is going to continue to be a luminous experience. I will say, I have no regrets over having ten children. I do have regrets of the lost year and a half of full feeling.

I say all of this not because everyone has to have ten children, but because a lot of people say to me, "I could never afford...or I'm too old...or I can't handle..." and I would say in response:
The solution the world offers to all problems is always less love. The solution God always offers, is always, more love. Children are literally, the creation of the need and the source of more love in the world. Children will require you to love more deeply and to become more loving. They will also love you.  They are the both and that is love, requiring more love, giving more love.

Much has been made of the Church's refusal to dispense birth control or condoms in the poorer nations of Africa. The solution to poverty in developing nations is "Birth Control!" Except we've had birth control here for fifty plus years, we've had abortion since 1973 and killed babies by the millions and we still have poverty. The solution? More birth control! More abortion on demand! Yes, the road to riches, glory, power beyond your wildest dreams is locked up in those little daily doses of estrogen and Planned Parenthood.

Also, the rich need birth control to stay rich. The middle class need birth control to get rich and  the poor need birth control so they can stop being poor. Apparently, there is no point at which one has made enough money that one does not need birth control.

Don't believe me? Watch the Yaz commercial. Advanced degrees, homes, fabulouso trips to Paris, all yours if you just warp your body by super saturating it with hormones for decades.

The message over and over again, in magazines, on television, on radio:

You can be rich if you don't have children.
You can be successful if you don't have children.
You can have everything you ever wanted if you don't have children.

The funny thing is, the way of the world never works.  Sure you may become richer financially, more polished, more powerful, more important in the world, these are all things that might happen, but none of those ensures that you will have more love or be more happy. All the pill ensures is you will have guaranteed, fewer people to love.

God's way, the way of more love, of being open to having your lives' script rewritten again and again and again, always works.  It may require sacrifice to raise all these people, but it is no sacrifice to be surrounded by people that love us.


Stephanie said...

Love, love, LOVE this! Well said.

Anonymous said...

So, did you ever need that tracheotomy?

SherryTex said...

I did have a tracheonomy with my first pregnancy and it was for this reason, the doctors feared subsequent pregnancies might require this procedure, but no. Techonology has advanced such that there are now alternative means of securing an airway for me that have been used over the course of time --I've been intubated using a pediatric tube, and I've weathered pregnancy well.

BlessedMom said...

Beautiful post!

gaylene said...

I love how passionate you always are about your values and beliefs. Thanks for sharing them with us!

LindaF said...

Remember the Beatles song - La, la, la, la, la, LOVE is all you need.

amm said...

Beautiful words, Sherry. Thanks so much for putting it out there. You are a gift to us!

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!