Don’t you know what causes that?

You betcha!

Don’t you know there are ways to prevent that?

Yes, I know plenty of ways, and none of them are moral.

Oh. You’re one of those Catholics who really believes all that stuff?

Yes. I despise hypocrisy. Don’t call yourself a Catholic if you aren’t one.

I don’t believe that God wants me to have as many children as is physically possible. I believe that I am expected to be prudent and wise. My husband and I use Natural Family Planning, a sympto-thermal method that requires a woman to pay attention her body and recognize the signs of fertility. Seldom have we failed to recognize these signs. Unfortunately, the way to avoid conception during the fertile days is to abstain from marital relations, and in this, more than once, we have “failed.” But I trust God, and when our “failure” results in a beautiful new life, my tears are only of joy and not regret.

Are you done yet?

Right now, I’m tired. Toddlers are a lot of work. And I haven’t yet forgotten the extreme discomfort of late pregnancy nor the pain of childbirth. Do I want to do this again? NO! Of course not. I felt the same way in those early days with my oldest, and yet I’ve gone on to have five more children.

But every year, I get older. So far, it’s been very easy for me to conceive. One day, I know it will not be. I am not ready or willing to state with certainty that I will never have another child. I trust that if I am meant to bear another child, I will, and if not, I won’t. I trust that if we were meant to adopt, then all the details would fall into place for that.

And if my husband goes and gets me all liquored up at the wrong time of the month, well, there’s not much I can do about that now, is there?

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