I am a 36-year old Catholic mother of three who is now practicing NFP. My
regret is not about a surgical abortion. My regret has to do with the pill. A
Catholic using the pill? Well, I wasn't always Catholic. In fact I grew up
protestant. In defense of my parents, they did teach me that sex outside
of marriage was wrong. But when I got older I decided that they were old
fashioned and didn't really know what they were talking about.
I went through a very dark period of my life where I quit going to church,
lost my virginity, and got into a relationship that I should have never been in.
During this time I was on the pill for six and a half years. I was on the pill
because I believed the lies of the world that try to separate the sex act from
its natural end - children. The funny part is that I did want children one day.
I desperately wanted to be a wife and mother and all that this entails. I simply
did not want the man I was with to be the father. He had way too many
emotional problems to be a father. I wanted to fix him and help him heal and
then my fairy tale idea of weddings and motherhood could come true. Although
I didn't know it at the time, I'm sure anyone reading this can see how lost and
confused I was at this time in my life. I was thinking with my ideals and
emotions and the things that I thought were so obviously true were not actually
rooted in reality.
During the time that I was on the pill I was an emotional wreck. Up and down
with my moods, not being able to sleep at night and generally assuming that I
was just "nocturnal" - something that I would tell anyone who asked why I didn't
go to bed earlier. (I often wouldn't even try to get sleep until 3 or 4 am) The
only other time I have had any similar symptoms was when I was pregnant, which
causes me to wonder if it wasn't the pill that was causing all this. But I don't
really know for sure. At any rate, while this could be considered troubling, it
is not the main cause of my regret.
When I was on the pill I actually missed a period. Aside from my pregnancies,
it is the only month I have ever missed a period in my life, even to this day.
At the time, I wondered if I was pregnant, but wasn't sure. You see, the pill
never completely regulated my cycles. I was often times late, etc. I never
really bothered to wonder why that might be. Even off the pill I was always
"late" due to the fact that my body seems to run on a 32-35-day cycle and not a
28-day cycle. Since I was always late, maybe that is all this really was. I
didn't know what to think but I was concerned enough to read the information
that comes with the pill.
The first thing I read was that the pill works by preventing ovulation. This
was something that I already knew and was no surprise. I continued on to
anything that would pertain to my situation. Lo and behold, I read something
that went along the lines of this. "Sometimes the hormones in the pill can cause
you to miss a period. If a period is late or missed, keep taking the pill until
your next period. If two or more periods are missed, stop taking the pill at
once and consult a doctor because you may be pregnant."
"Oh!" I told myself. "That is exactly what is happening to me. Of course with
my goofy cycles that is what's going on. I will wait and see what happens before
I even say anything to anyone. No reason to have people worry, etc." So I kept
taking the pill and I waited. Sure enough I got my period the next month and
eventually the pill regulated me enough to where I wasn't late anymore and my
periods were always when I expected them to be. (In retrospect, I do have to
wonder what that was doing to my body. Now that I am no longer on the pill, my
body has again reverted back to the longer cycles and my OBGYN says that I am
perfectly normal that way.)
The man who is now my husband was raised Catholic. It was with his influence
and the working of the Holy Spirit that I became Catholic and learned NFP. In
the course of learning about the Church and her teachings, especially those on
NFP, I learned something that made my heart skip a beat. The pill can cause an
abortion?? Could that be true? I read that it is supposed to prevent ovulation
but sometimes doesn't. In that case there is a secondary action that just
doesn't allow the egg to attach to the womb and it is flushed out of the body. I
didn't want to believe it. All the reading I had done about the pill while I was
on it and there had never been any mention of anything of the sort. I remembered
that missed period a few years back and wanted to throw up. What if it was true?
I started doing web searches. It is true.
First I was angry. I felt deliberately deceived. How could that sort of
information just not have been included with the pill? Or was it? They had to
have known. It must be the exact reason that they put that little part about
waiting until you miss two periods. I felt more than deliberately
deceived; I felt betrayed. I have always been against abortion. I simply was
never taught that contraceptives were wrong. I knew that my parents said
premarital sex was wrong but I had no idea that I could be killing a
baby. How can there be a baby if there is not even ovulation? I know that there
are some women who wouldn't care about all this but what of those like me who
did care? Didn't they disserve to know before they chose to use the pill?
My husband knew I had a past so I didn't hesitate to tell him. He is a very
good man in many respects but he just couldn't understand. He was very quick to
point out that I was getting upset over something that I didn't even know for
sure had happened. There is no way to be sure I killed a baby. It is a might
have been. It wasn't something I deliberately set out to do. Why decide it
definitely did happen and get all upset about it when we don't have a way to
know for sure? I still felt a deep-rooted guilt. It was true I didn't know for
sure. But it was also true that I was doing things that put me at risk for it to
happen and I knew I should have led a more chaste life. Before it could truly
eat me up inside I went to confession. I told the priest everything and he
prayed with me and Jesus forgave me. I felt like I could float to the ceiling.
It was the most healing and wonderful confession I have ever experienced. I
truly know I am forgiven and I am more than grateful that I didn't find out
about the truth until I had recourse to the confessional.
Still, somehow I know that there was at least one pregnancy that was lost in
those six and a half years. I can't explain how I know, I just know. That missed
period was a baby; I just didn't know it at the time. Whether there were any
others during those six and a half years is anyone's guess but I truly think
there was just the one. I sometimes wonder what the baby would have been like -
what he or she would have grown up to be. At those times I am sad for the life
it missed. Sad that it couldn't have had the mother that my other children have.
And I am sad in secret. I mourn a child that only my intuition can confirm was
ever there and so I can only grieve in private.
If there is ever a campaign that deals with the pill as opposed to surgical
abortion, please share my testimony. It sickens me that society degrades women
to the point where their fertility cycle is treated like a disease one must take
a pill for. It angers me that so many women advocate and buy into this view. It
is diabolical the way the pill is just considered matter of course and fairly
harmless. I want women to know that there are those of us who were on the pill
and now regret it. I suspect that I am not the only one to mourn a baby lost to
abortifacient contraceptives and I want others to know that they are not alone.
Contraception paved the way to surgical abortion in the first place. It's time
to strike at the root of the weed. I want my testimony to stand up and tell
other women and girls who are on the pill that I was on the pill, I regret it,
and one day you will too. I regret ever, ever taking the pill. In fact
when I look forward in life down that road, I will not even take estrogen for
menopause. Menopause is not a disease either and I am off artificial hormones