This was my experience with birth control.
It was all too easy for me to spout off, "CHILDREN ARE A GIFT OF THE LORD, PSALM ONE-TWENTY-SEVEN THREE!" and "GOD PROVIDES!" But you know what? We delayed starting a family mainly out of fear. What if I can't finish school? What if we have to move? What if insurance doesn't cover the birth? (it didn't, and we lived to tell about it) What if? What if? What if? We practiced NFP, which is by far the least aggressive way to control fertility, but the truth remains: we actively avoided pregnancy for nearly two years.
Now, on the other side of things, I tremble a little to see what we did. It's easy to deny life to a theoretical baby, but now that I see he is a real, breathing child with a little personality and a unique face, I realize that we were playing god with a human life.
We were also in effect telling God, "We know best when we should receive our blessings." I'm not going to lie; having a baby is AWESOME. Baby D is a sweet little person who has stretched me in a zillion ways and provided so many smiles and wow moments. Now, when Baby D looks at me and just breaks out into the biggest, happiest grin that says, "You're the world to me!" the thought hits me between the eyes: I actually purposely cheated myself out of this blessing for years?
Choosing to be open to life is a SCARY thing. Even with all the NICU drama and the financial woes, the most terrifying part of this parenthood journey has been choosing to leave our fertility to God. Actually, do you know the catalyst for our change of heart? It was realizing that material happiness might be a long time coming for us. Buying a house, traveling the world, completely repaying student loans, owning a car with a working gas gauge (LOL!)-- it could take years for all that to happen, if they happen at all. So why lose this decade, always looking ahead to when things will get better-- when we can have what really matters and enjoy the time that we are in right now?
So now, I'm trying to figure out where this leaves us. There are signs that my fertility might be returning soon (thanks for nothing, Ecological Breastfeeding! Hmph.), so I have to take a long, hard look at where we go from here. All I know is, even after actually knowing all the pain and work that children bring, I am even less sympathetic to the desire to avoid creating a human being than before.