I'm having trouble figuring out where these accusations come from. Tamara is doing nothing more than relating her own personal experiences. She's not pushing them off on anyone else, nor is she saying that it applies to all women or all men. She certainly hasn't said that children are a burden (in fact I believe she stated clearly that she loves being a mother), nor did she say "no sex for you, you inconsiderate male-breeding machine." She simply said that her grandparents were (BOTH) strict Roman Catholics who felt that celibacy was appropriate in light of the fact that she couldn't bear any more children.
There needs to be complete assessment of all Tamara's posts. "I hated being pregnant" doesn't read like I like being a more. Geneally, when a person assesses the blessings and joys of an expereince, they don't say they hated it and mention all of the horrors associated with that experience. When reading Tamara's posts, I was under the impression that prenancy is nothin but pain and suffering. Of course some women don't experience pain and suffering? I would say that most women do experience pain and suffering in pregnancy, right? Isn't uncomfortable? I would assume so. The reality that a living and growing human being in the womb of a mother depends completely on the mother for sustanance is a obvious fact of biology, isn't it. I mean, duh?
Tamara is right to point out that all women have different experiences. For some pregnancy is a tremendous burden physically.
Howeverm the OP was simply mortifying. It even contains a shot at MEN. Here, read it for yourself:
I have read many opinions over the last few years from young married or almost married MEN about the use of contraception in a marriage. Many of these idealists have proclaimed or vowed not use it in their marriage. But be prepared for the consequences of how multiple pregnancies will affect the long-term health of your future wife. I have many friends who followed this path and I admire their large families. But most, if not all of these mothers in these families (age range mid 40s) have long-term or debilitating illnesses (ex:crippling rheumatoid arthritis, severe anemia, hormonal imbalances, stress-related disorders, etc.) due to caring for large families.
I'm sorry, but debilitating illness resulting from multiple pregnancies sounds pretty burdensome to me.
Read the OP. It is a generalization.
IN fact this is what the first response to her OP includes:
Painting a bleak picture of having many kids seems a bit overdone. Yes, it is good to warn people to the risks involved, and not allow them to get caught up in some sort of idyllic dream.
But I repeat... what a downer!
Here's another post by Tamara:
I guess it has been hard for me to watch all of my church friends with large families suffer from health ailments over the last few years. When they were young, they were able to bounce back easily but now, as they are reaching menopause many of them are falling apart physically. Many of them look years older than their husbands. I look around at my female neighbors and girlfriends who do not attend church and have smaller families. They are all so much healthier than my church friends. My one girlfriend at church always has deep, dark circles under her eyes. She just found out she is severely anemic and most of her boys are teenagers right now (she has six children). Its been very stressful for her with her boys. They are good kids but they put her through the ringer emotionally. Her husband is very supportive but he works all day. I guess I just want men to appreciate the sacrifices women make to bear large families.
Generalizations. This is not her personal experience, but her personal interpretation of other peoples experiences.
Later, she says this
It is interesting how this thread as developed but also I notice only men are now posting here.
Umm. So what? IN the same post:
First, I hope that any man who is planning to marry and not use contraception does not pressure his bride-to-be into
forgoing contraception if she disagrees. Bearing children takes alot out a woman's body and she should be apart of the decision making. And when I speak of contraception I am only thinking of the kind that does not abort a fertilized egg or that does not harm a woman's hormonal system.
And second, remember, not every woman is sturdy or hearty enough to have a baby ever year or year and half. I was advised by my OB to space out my pregnancies by three years so my body had time to recover. By following my doctor's orders I was able to have two really healthy pregnancies and two very healthy boys. So please include your wife's health and her doctor in the equation to make sure her body can bear closely spaced children.
The generalization here is that "men" don't already do these. Are these good points, yes. Do they apply to all men. No.
Here is a reply to one of my posts:
Then whoever you marry may severely limit how often you enjoy the marital embrace. I know that I would if I was married to someone who refused to use any form of contraception. The woman is the one who carries the baby and pregnancy is very difficult for some women. I will be honest with you. I hated being pregnant. I was nauseous all of the time. My sciatic nerve was constantly being pinched which made it painful to walk, lay down, or sit for the last six months of the pregnancy. And my pregnancy was considered normal and healthy.
Again, no mention of what a man feels or any pressures men have when his wife is pregnant. Hello, men have feels and struggle too. We are different and NO ONE ever talks about that. When a couple is united by the Church in the Mystery of Holy Crowning, the are joined together. Why don't I hear about what men have to go through? Is it just unimportant?
Also, Tamara says women shouldn't be forced into refraining from the use of birth control. IN this post, she states quite contridictorily that it is okay in her eyes for a bride to limit the marital embrace without consent from the husband. I'm sorry, but this kind of think severely harms the marital bond. She does (thankfully) point out that decisions should be made together, though.
For the sake of clarity, the OP should have started like this post:
It is true that...things...do effect the health of a woman. I was in A-1 shape before my first pregnancy. I hiked, biked, swam, worked out at the gym etc. but unfortunately, I was unable to continue with this regimen after about four months of pregnancy. With the second pregnancy I was in okay shape but I no longer had time to exercise as hard as I did before I had children. As a mother, I put the babies first, and so my health came second. It wasn't until my children were in school that I had time to exercise as I had before children. Each woman is different. Some women sail through their pregnancies and I have heard some say they feel their best when pregnant. Others have a host of problems which can become more severe with each pregnancy. You and the woman you marry may need to adjust ideals according to your situation.
This would be a more appropriate introduction to the discussion of child-spacing.
The folloing post is a more in line with a personal experience:
Having the baby makes all of pain worthwhile but the pregnancy part is not a time of joy for all women. Please come down to reality before you get married. Don't romanticize life.
She also makes this post:
I just wanted to bring some real world realism into what many men view in a romantic or unrealistic way. And remember, I was one of lucky ones because my pregnancies were healthy as were my babies. I understand your desire to be a father. Becoming a mother was my life dream too. I love being a mom. Just try to be realistic and enter into your marriage with your eyes wide open and your feet on the ground.
It's a good post, however, the earlier posts don't really give the impression that pregnancy is joyful. I have to wonder if Tamara had ANY joyful experiences during her pregancies. Yes, I know that pregnancy is painful and uncomfortable for women (which, I'm sure is an understatement). How could it not be? I'm sure I don't have to go through the host of discomforts and pains for Tamara or yourself to agree. However, aren't there joys during pregnancy? I assume there are.
I'm glad that Tamara seems completely understood by youself. I think Cleveland offers the best assessment of both Tamara's points, my understanding and his own appropriate words of caution in this post:
I'm sure it's just a misuse or misunderstanding of the language, but if it's either, at least he's already acknowledging the fact that pregnancy is hard, and that he'll never experience it firsthand.
I don't know if anyone that's posting here on OC.net, or at least no one that I've seen so far, has any sort of overly-naive view of the woman's burden in pregnancy - the sickness, hormone swings, physical burden, emotional burden, psychological struggle with living a restricted life, and of course the possible long-term after-effects. I'm glad you're trying to "shake up" anyone that does, just be careful not to paint too bleak a picture.
Okay, basically, you get the picture with my posts.
Tamara was evidencing the fact that doctors are responsible both morally and legally for the health of their patients, and in the case of her grandmother, it was, in fact, her doctor who came to her aid and gave her the knowledge she needed to make an informed decision. Her doctor did nothing wrong, nor did she. Tamara is only presenting the side of the coin that says that, while it is easy for anyone, man or woman, to say "no contraception ever," this decision needs to be made with the health of the woman in mind, as well as the couple's spiritual wellbeing. It would be far worse to ignore the doctor's advice, get pregnant, and then end up in the terrible situation discussed before- where they have to choose between the life of the mother and that of the baby. Better to be prepared beforehand, don't you think?
My questioning of a doctors assessment of the situation is a comcial generalization. I'm not a doctor, nor do I pretend to know anything about making definitive statements concerning life-threatening situations brought about by multiple pregnancies.
I do have to wonder, what factors contributed to the life-threatening situation? I'm mean, it's gotta be pretty serious if the doctor tells you, no more babies or your wife dies. Can the overall cause be treated? What was the overall cause? When Tamara put this example out there, all we, the readers are left with is to assume that her grandmother's multiple pregnancies were the cause of her possible death. More problematuically, the only solution offered by the doctor, according to Tamara's post was, no more children.
It would be far worse to ignore the doctor's advice, get pregnant, and then end up in the terrible situation discussed before- where they have to choose between the life of the mother and that of the baby. Better to be prepared beforehand, don't you think?
Are all assessments of multiple child-births this bleak? I'm not a doctor, but isn't it possible that certain unmentioned factors played a role in this situation? Can the situation be remedied ever? The whole scenario seems very defeatest to me. What if her grandparents wanted another child? Does it always have to end in "Steel Magnolia's"? I mean, what exactly are doctors who study women's health and fertility doing to remedy these situations? Does anyone know?