Monday, October 22, 2012

Redefining Life

Once upon a time I was a birth control user and called myself pro-life. Little did I know that made me a hypocrite.

How so you ask? Don’t women by taking birth control prevent unwanted babies and thus possibly abortion? Nope. But don’t ask your doctor that because you’ll get a different answer. I know. I asked.

Prior to 1965 conception was considered to occur at fertilization or when the egg is fertilized by a sperm thus creating an embryo, which has all the necessary DNA of a human being.

In 1965 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (per Planned Parenthood’s suggestion) redefined conception as the implantation of an ovum, or when the embryo attaches itself to the uterine lining.

Why’d they do that? Because this newfangled pill was coming out, but people weren’t jumping on the bandwagon because it ended pregnancies. How many times are we going to be fooled by semantics?! The pill works like this:

First it releases a synthetic version of progesterone. Progesterone naturally occurs in a woman’s cycle only after ovulation (when the egg is released to be fertilized) to prepare the body for a potential pregnancy. By releasing this hormone earlier it tricks the body into thinking it’s pregnant and therefore does not ovulate. No ovulation means no chance to make a baby.

Thanks for the graphics!
However, because the pill originally had extremely high dosages of progesterone that were causing serious issues in women (like cancer and death) developers of the pill have cut back on the amount of progesterone thus allowing ovulation to occur (though we still get many of those nasty side effects). If ovulation happens, the egg can become fertilized. Ovulation occurs 28 percent of the time with regular hormonal contraceptives (that means the pill, the patch, IUDs, and other contraceptives that use synthetic hormones to trick the body). Ovulation occurs 33-65 percent of the time in progestin-only mini-pill cycles. *

So backup function of the pill is to thicken cervical mucus and slow tubal motility so the two halves of a whole person can’t meet. But still, that might not be enough to prevent new life from forming.

The pill has a third function and it’s abortificant in nature. It thins a woman’s uterine lining, aka the “embryo food”. So, if an egg and sperm were to meet and create a baby, the pill makes a woman’s body inhospitable to that life continuing, thus causing an early term chemical abortion. That means hundreds, thousands, millions of babies have been aborted due to hormonal contraceptives according to the definition of life that starts at fertilization.

Don’t believe me; ask your doctor. Ask, that if your definition of life begins at fertilization (and science has proven that it does), if the pill (the patch, IUDs, etc.) causes the embryo to be unable to implant (aka die). Their answer should be yes and that means that hormonal contraceptives can have an abortificant effect.

I asked my doctor at the age of 18 if the pill caused abortions, and I got ‘no’ for an answer. I didn’t know that her definition of when life started was later than mine. And it was because of that answer, and my own unwillingness to investigate into the issue, that I went a year and a half on birth control while married. That devastates me looking back and wondering about the possible lives I might have ended because the pill seemed somehow easier and more effective than the other options out there. I thought I wasn’t hurting anyone, but I had no idea I was potentially ending life … life that my husband and I created … my own children. I don’t know if that happened and I might not ever know until I leave this world, but that’s my burden to bear. I just hope I can help others realize this truth so they can embrace life when they are ready and exercise responsible parenthood and make adult decisions before they are.

If you are pro-life, you don’t use hormonal contraceptives. That’s that.

Want to learn more about this from an NFP doctor or teacher, visit to find one in your area.

* Larimaore W Standford J. Postfertilization Effects of Oral Contraceptives and Their Relationsihp to Informed Consent, Arch Fam Med 2000; 9:126-133

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Operation FALLOUT Part 2

Remember when my kitchen looked like this?  
It wasn't my favorite, but after Operation FALLOUT, which was a direct result of Operation SPLINTER SPINDLES, we had a working kitchen. Not perfect, but much better. 
This past week my parents came down to visit! They live in Illinois and hadn't really had a chance to come see our new digs in Florida. But when they did come they came bearing gifts! My dad lays tile by trade and after each job he usually has a little bit left over. A few weeks ago he sent me a picture of this:
I had wanted something with glass, but also an earthy feel. This seemed perfect! So being the amazing dad that he is, he said he would bring it down when they were here to visit. What I didn't know is that he had to buy a few more boxes to make sure there was enough for my backsplash! He wouldn't let us pay for them and he even installed it while he was here visiting. BEST DAD EVER! Ben worked with my dad for about four years, so he helped. Below is the process in pictures. :) 
Ben cutting tile with a handsaw. We had limited equipment to work with.
Putting it up!
That's my dad :)
Grout. I was worried it would be too light, but we figured it would match the cabinet paint.
Ben wiping away the grout.
I helped a little bit.
And ta-dah! It's beautiful, yes? 
Now I just need curtains and some rugs to cover that ugly tile on the floor.  Someday we might be able to replace that.
A backsplash just makes it feel like a legitimate kitchen. Thanks, Dad!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Choosing Life by Teaching NFP

It's October! The month of national fill-in-the-blank months! I think I've seen about a dozen things that October is celebrating (because who doesn't love October?), but the one that stands out the most is National Pro-life Month or 40 Days for Life!

NFP and being pro-life are inseparable. It's fertility awareness coupled with responsible parenthood so that adults can make decisions together on whether or not they feel called to have children. There's a true openness to life inherent to NFP.

As such, my husband and I are so excited that we get the honor of teaching people the difference between being closed to life with contraception and being open to life with NFP. To make it feel really truly real, we got our Couple to Couple League name tags today!

Feeling pretty legit with these!
I hope to spend some time this month on posts about life this month, so stop by. Today, I want to pass on a prayer that my pastor read at church last Sunday. I thought it was so beautiful.

"O Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of us all, we turn to you today as the one who said 'Yes' to Life. 'You will conceive and bear a Son,' the angel told you. Despite the surprise and the uncertainty about how this could be, you said yes. 'Be it done unto me according to your word.'

"Mary, we pray today for all mothers who are afraid to be mothers. We pray for those who feel threatened and overwhelmed by their pregnancy. Intercede for them, that God may give them the grace to say yes and the courage to go on. May they have the grace to reject the false solution of abortion. May they say with you, 'Be it done unto me according to your word.' May they experience the help of Christian people, and know the peace that comes from doing God's will. Amen."

The line that says, "May they experience the help of the Christian people" is strong to me. I hope, as Christians, and in general as human beings, we each can make an unexpectedly pregnant mother feel at peace with her future because of the support of those around her. I pray that we don't alienate her, that we don't judge her, and that we love her.

Keep it pretty,