DEAR HARRIETTE: I have two kids, and I am pregnant with my third. I love my kids beyond words, but I am not sure if I want any more. I am in a relationship with another man -- not my new baby’s father -- and intimacy is important. However, I don't believe in birth control or contraceptives. I am considering getting my tubes tied, but I understand that this is a big decision for me and my family. What if I change my mind in the future? On the other hand, if I get pregnant again too soon, it would be a huge financial burden. Do you have any advice for women like myself in this situation? -- Contraception
DEAR CONTRACEPTION: I appreciate your honesty, and I want to challenge you to think about your choices. You are about to have a child even as you are thinking that you don’t want to have another. You say intimacy is important, yet you do not believe in birth control or contraceptives. Ask yourself why you think this way. You need to question your belief system in the deepest ways. Intimacy without responsibility leads to children for whom you may not have the resources or bandwidth to usher into this world. Is that fair to them?
If you truly do not believe in any type of birth control, then abstinence should be the option you choose -- not intimacy -- as that is the only way you can prevent pregnancy.
Since abstinence is an extreme that most people will not maintain, birth control is the next-best option. I suggest that you speak to your obstetrician about your options. Having your tubes tied is one. Less severe options include using condoms, taking the birth control pill or having an IUD placed. It is time for you to reconsider your position on this -- for your own health and that of your growing family.