As Julian's arrival draws nearer and nearer, family and friends keep making subtle remarks hoping a third does not follow too closely behind. So I thought I would give an update on where we are with all of this.
Oddly enough, almost as soon as we had conceived Julian, RJ and I felt that for the long term, trusting God should not involve so much a perpetual wandering in the dark, or a free fall, so much as a relationship. Not that this was new concept, but it threw family unplanning into a new light for us.
My belief that contraceptive medication is potentially abortifacient, harmful to a woman's health has not changed. The effect of these drugs is so harmful and unnatural to a woman's body. If anything has become clear to me during my life long health struggles it is that the most natural methods of working harmoniously with our body are best. Aside from my undeniable aversion to making my body inhospitable to new life, I believe that it is sinful to put things in my body that cause it to act contrary to its own natural and healthy processes.
Furthermore, I am still very uncomfortable with using a condom. I feel very strongly that this interrupts God's intended purpose for our marriage relationship. Once I started prayerfully along this journey I would be so convicted that I felt physically ill every time we used this method of birth control.
What has changed is my perspective on natural family planning. It feels so right to me for a couple to work prayerfully in harmony with their bodies' natural processes to space children as the Lord leads them. This requires us, not in some noble free fall into faith, but in a daily conversation with God, to trust his guiding in the area of our family growth and child spacing.
So this is where we are;
I am confident that, at the time of Julian's conception, God was moving strongly in RJ and I's hearts, leading us to trust him with the spacing of our children, and the result of that was this new life. This pregnancy is not an accident, or the result of naive and foolish piety, but submission to God's guidance in our lives.
I believe that the first part of God's plan for child spacing is natural mothering, or what some call ecological breastfeeding. God made my body in such a way, that when I respond intuitively to my baby's needs, and take primary responsibility for caring for and bonding with him, it will wait to allow the conception of another child until this one is old enough to meet his own needs more independently.
This said, following this model strictly in modern society can be very demanding, and our bodies' imperfect health in a fallen world sometimes keep them from functioning as they were made to. Additionally we live in a culture where serving God often means a very limited income in a very material society. Because of these things we intend to carefully watch for signs of returning fertility. If it appears that my body will return to fertility before we are at peace about bringing a new life into our family, we will use the sympto-thermal method of natural family planning, which is much more scientifically reliable than the calendar or rhythm method most former generations are aware of, to abstain during fertile times, until we again feel God calling us to make room for one more.