I am Catholic, married to a Lutheran minister. Our children are being raised Lutheran. Up until now, my husband has always deferred to me and my conscience when it comes to birth control/child spacing. We've practiced NFP at times but mostly have just allowed the babies to come when they may. In the past 11 years, I've had 3 miscarriages and 6 children, the last being twins who were born 7 weeks ago. I am 38 years old.
I almost died twice over the babies' birth. Not only did I lose 3600 CCs of blood and have two separate procedures done on my uterus to stop the bleeding, but I also went into heart failure and have been diagnosed with something called peripartum cardiomyopathy. The complete story is in the birth stories forum here on MDC or on my blog.
When I went for my six week check up, I was told that another baby would, in all likelihood, kill me. I usually don't trust doctors when they make dramatic statements like this, but based on my own research I firmly believe that this was no exaggeration. I feel like I am extremely blessed to have walked out of this alive with my two babies and I am still not out of the woods. There's no guarantee my heart will improve or recover.
My doctor said I shouldn't have sex until my husband had a vasectomy AND passed the 3 month test. As a Catholic, I struggle with this. I don't want another baby (I mean, I do, but I have accepted the fact that I shouldn't have one) and I don't want to die. I don't want to put my family through this again. I want to be here for the children God has given me. I wish they had just done a hysterectomy when I was bleeding so I wouldn't be in this position. If I had my way, we would just be celibate for the rest of my child-bearing years, but that could be the breastfeeding twins hormones speaking.
DH is willing to get a vasectomy. He wants to, actually. I know I am not morally responsible for his decisions, but I feel really guilty that I feel relieved that I have an "out". I know that according to church teaching, sterilization is wrong. This is the first time I've ever felt completely at odds with church teaching. I feel like this last birth was a pretty clear sign that we're out of the baby making business.
I don't know what I am really looking for here-- does the fact that I'm relieved he can/will get a vasectomy somehow make me morally responsible for the decision? am I a horrible person for not wanting to risk another pregnancy? I am having such a difficult time with this.