7.02.2011

Thoughts on Birth Control

Almost three years ago I watched my first Mark Driscoll sermon, called Birth Control. At the time I was single, with no prospective suitor, and had no intention of requiring birth control for a long long time. Three years later, and I'm married, and this sermon has truly impacted my life.

When I first got engaged a year ago, I remember thinking back to this sermon and thinking only one thing: options. Mark Driscoll lays out all of the different types of birth control that married women may use. He also speaks truth about these options, eliminating those that are abortifactant.

Birth control is a huge decision for a wife, or wife-to-be. If you are considering your options, or have never really considered them, I would encourage you to do three things:
1. Pray: Sometimes the easiest option isn't the best for you. I will expand on that thought later. But, I think it's important to pray about birth control.
2. Decide Together: I don't think that birth control is a decision to be only made by the wife. Have an ongoing dialogue with your husband or husband-to-be about birth control. Pray together.
3. Research: Research the different birth control options. In this post I hope to include many resources that you can start with. Make sure that you trust the people that you are getting your information from. I would strongly urge you to do intense research if you plan on putting any pill or drug inside of your body. Pray while you research! Listen to your convictions.

While deciding which birth control option to use, I began to feel a lot of pressure from family and friends. My husband and I are 21 (me) and 22 (Dan). My husband will be completing his final year of university from September 2011-April 2012. My husband will work part-time, and I will work full-time, but we will likely experience some financial strain. We also live in a very small one-bedroom apartment, with little space for a baby. Many people were shocked that I was unsure about the birth control pill.

Most people think that the birth control pill is a no-brainer when it comes to birth control. Any other option is just too risky. This is so obvious, that when I called the pharmacy near my home to get a diaphragm, I was told that Canada no longer manufactures it. I continued to list alternatives to the pill that I was hoping to try, nothing was available in Canada. I was in a panic. At the time, our wedding day was only 1 month away, and all of my options didn't seem to be available. I began to feel even more pressure to get a perscription for the pill, but in my heart I felt God continue to convict me.

Finally, about 2-weeks before the wedding, I found my alternative. If you're interested please check out a link that explains about it is here. So far, the VCF has been effective and easy to use. I also have been reading a very helpful book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It is an amazing book that will help you in preventing prengancy, or getting pregnant by charting your fertility signs. I know some people who are reading this are probably groaning right now, and thinking this is hocus-pocus. I would just encourage you to do a bit of research, and read this book as well.

In the end, I found the birth control method that works well for me. Things may change in a year or two, and Daniel and I may just use the Fertility Awareness Method found in the book above. We continue to pray and seek God's will in our decison-making over this important topic. We know that God is sovereign over all things, and we aren't afraid to have a child if that is his will.

I tried to shy away from being too negative about the birth control pill in this post. The truth is, I don't know why God has convicted me so much about the pill. I would like to say one thing, before I end this post though. In my research, I came across this very clear and concise sentence of what the pill does:
"The Pill uses the body's negative feedback system to prevent ovulation and implantation of an embryo..."
(found on this website under "How The Pill Works")

What is an embryo?
An unborn human baby, especially in the process of development in the first eight weeks from conception, after implantation, but before all of the organs are developed (Dictionary.com)

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

17 comments:

  1. I am with you. I have always felt deep unrest about the pill; even the slightest chance that I might unknowingly abort a baby made it not an option for me. Like you, it's not my conviction to change others' minds, only my calling to, along with Hason, seek Christ's will for us. Now, if I have any sister in Christ (or even a non-Christian friend) who wants to use an IUD I do make sure they know that it works by denying a fertilized egg the ability to implant. Since biblically life begins at fertilization then I believe IUDs are abortifacients, no matter how hard my OB tried to push them on me!

    I will warn you that my friend followed the fertility awareness method in TCOYF rigidly (her husband charted her cervical fluid every single day) and they were uber careful and still got pregnant. If it really doesn't seem wise to get pregnant then some form of barrier method is usually best! We chose condoms bc we feel that if we in good faith employ them as wise means to prevent pregnancy but God chooses to allow them to fail then praise Jesus that he's blessing us with a pregnancy and hopefully a baby!!

    And I did get pregnant unintentionally long before we meant to start trying and it was utterly inconvenient financially and in other ways but every time I look at or even think about Roger my heart just bursts with joy and love and gratitude. And it's clear that despite our best intentions God's will & timing have been quite perfect :)

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  2. Jason, not Hason. Silly iPhone :)

    And those strips sound interesting--never heard of those!

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  3. Hey Tami, thanks for your beautiful comment. Yes, I agree about the IUD's. I am also hesitant to push my beliefs on others about the pill (although I do hope people consider their options before thinking the pill is the only way).

    I do worry about the Fertility Awareness Method. I would likely only use this method if both Daniel and I were working full-time. In the end, children are a blessing no matter when they arrive. As you obviously know with your sweet baby roger ;)

    PS: Yes, check out the VCF's. They are available at Wal Mart in the pharmacy section. We also were going to choose condoms but found that we weren't exactly very disciplined (sorry if that's TMI) haha...

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  4. Well, we weren't very disciplined either--that's how we got Roger!!

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  5. When I saw the post title, I immediately came over to suggest you read TCOYF, but I see you have already done that. I read it after I went on BC years ago and got very sick on it. I realised my body just didn't need all those chemicals. Every woman should read it; whether or not you are sexually active. You learn SO much about our bodies! But I agree with what you said; you have to choose what is the BEST for you, not the easiest.

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  6. Tami - too funny! :)

    Daniela - Yes I love the book because I truly learned some amazing things about the female body. I know a few women that have used the Fertility Awareness Method successfuly. I just LOVE the idea of knowing your body so well that you can prevent or achieve pregnancy without any "product" or medication. When Daniel is working full-time I think that we will likely stop all store-bought birth control and rely solely on FAM. :) Thanks for your comment!

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  7. I am with you 100% :) i heard that same sermon awhile back.. though don't recall everything talked about :)
    Even as a nurse i would NEVER go on the birth control pill.
    I also got married a few months ago and wanted to have a diaphragm as some of my American friends have, and ran into the same problem!
    I have the book taking charge of your fertility as well :)
    My husband and I have prayed a lot, though its counter cultural, we firmly believe that children are a HUGE blessing from the Lord.
    i Know more than one couple that have not been able to have children and have adopted, or are in the adoption process.
    My husband and I are praying and planning to go on the mission field as soon as the Lord a allows, but whenever the Lord wants to give us a little blessing were super excited :)
    I have patients who have no children or loved one around to help them in their old age and they are very lonely and sad, with abundance in your household, you always have people to take care of and people to take care of you :)
    My husband comes from a family of 11 and when the family gets together it is SO much fun! so many different personalities and genes and you can't imagine a single one of them never having been born!
    We're not sure we'd be able to handle that many lol, each couple is different. We want to make sure we can properly care for and nurture each one God gives us... another hope is to also adopt if we end up living in another country :)

    thanks for your opinion Brianna :)

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  8. It's upsetting that so many people are against the birth control pill. I initially started the pill because I had problems with severe cramps likely caused by Endometriosis (I was told it can only be diagnosed through surgery, which I don't care to do because even with surgery it can't be 100% eliminated). I did not get it for the purpose of preventing pregnancy however it was a convenient form of birth control down the road. My cramps were so bad I often couldn't make it to the washroom to the morning without help, and even then I still nearly fainted. I wasn't able to stand to take a quick 5 minute shower without collapsing. This would typically last for the entire week I had my period and I was rarely able to leave my bed. The only thing that has provided me with any relief has been the pill...my periods are now 2-3 days, the pain and suffering has been lessened in a way that no strong prescription medication has ever done for me. My life has significantly improved because of the pill. I understand many people are against it only as a personal option, however for those who are against anyone taking it I encourage you to also look at the positive side for what it's done for people like me before judging! :)

    Also...I can honestly say that I feel no guilt in using the pill to prevent pregnancy. I believe that I am not in the right place to provide for a child in the way I want to, and I really feel like God understands and supports this choice because he wants all of his children to be loved and taken care of as much as possible and I'm just not capable of that yet. If he was against me taking the pill, I'm sure he would intervene in some way (making me forget about taking a pill, losing my pill pack, etc.) so that I do become pregnant, if of course that is his will.

    Just my two cents...I'm not expecting many to agree but I do feel strongly about my opinions and I hope people can at least take the time to understand!

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  9. Thanks for your comment Liana! I agree with you Liana, although we are using some form of BC because my husband is still is school, we would welcome a child whenever God will’s this. We love the idea of just allowing God to give us as many children as he will’s (we love the Duggars!) However, we want to be able to provide for our children as well. So, we don’t have a set “number”, but we don’t think we’ll be having 20 children.. haha

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  10. This is a very interesting post, and I, being someone who does not have a strong faith as yourself, still found it insightful. As someone who has been on 4 different types of birth control pills I am with you in not liking them. Perhaps not for the same reasons as you suggest, but more so what they actually do to you. Perhaps they work for some but for myself I found them awful. Without going into detail they basically just mess up everything. I think that tracking your fertility is possible ( I took various very informative biology classes in University that got down to every possible detail involved in this)but as the women above mentioned it is never fool proof, but I still commend you on your decisions. I think your blog is very insightful and I enjoy reading something written by an individual who's views are extremely different from my own, I strive to understand all peoples beliefs, and I thank you for giving me an insight into your life. I look forward to reading more from you.

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  11. Thank you so much by your comment! I'm so blessed by your words! I also chose not to go on the pill, partially because of the side effects that I have experienced in the past. I guess I haven't gone into detail about my past...but maybe I will in a future blog. Anyway, I have tried about 3 or 4 different birth control pills like yourself. I found they made me nauseous every morning, depressed, gain weight, amongst other things. :) Thanks for reading!!

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  12. When Adam and I got married I did a lot of research on BC and decided that the pill was the best way for us for the first few months while Adam was finnishing school. But by the end it was becoming really hard to continue to be on due to the sexual side affects. I think that being on the pill as a single woman vs. a married woman can change your view and experience with the pill.

    Lastly only abstaining is the 100% fool proof way of preventing pregnancy. We know people who've gotten pg on every method out there!

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  13. I encourage you to look up a form of birth control called the "lady comp" (/"baby comp"). It is essentially a computerized version of the rhythm method. Every morning you orally take your temperature and then the device records it and lets you know if you are green (can have sex without a condom), yellow (be cautious), or red (you are highly fertile right now-do not have sex without a condom- or if you want to have a baby-have sex now). The device monitors your cycle and records when you have your period and are ovulating. I highly recommend it. I am in a similar situation as you. I married young and we are poor. I believe the pill is wrong and has dangerous side effects. http://www.ladycomputer.com/

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  14. Thanks Sarah -- I'll have to look into that after we have our baby. We ended up getting pregnant anyway - lol!! We're so blessed though to be welcoming our daughter on our first anniversary!

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  15. I chose not to do birth control PERIOD. Me and my husband are not "Well Off" But we are VERY rich in spirit and in truth! God says in his words that he will supply all of our needs.. if he is the maker of life then my faith stands that if he allows me to get married, he will allow me to take care of however many comes! If sarah and abraham would have had birth control what would the world be today? I think we take matters into our own hands whenever we use the word "Control" and I believe God should control EVERY aspect of my fiber being, inlcuding my body!

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    1. thanks for your comment Charelle! If you noticed from my blog, our "birth control" didn't exactly pan out as we have a beautiful precious daughter now. I believed in my heart that the Lord would give us a child if it was his Will, and although we did use the VCF the majority of the time, the Lord blessed us with a little girl. We live on a minimum wage income now, and it's working out, although it's very very tough!!

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