The mainstream press has, over the last few days, been writing about the Church's promotion, especially among young people, of Natural Family Planning. This article, http://tob.catholicexchange.com/2010/07/21/2068/, is a short-and-sweet explanation of why this is such a practical and healthy choice.
Having said this, I must add something. I have never had a baby or been pregnant. My kids are all adopted, and while I have great parenting experience, I have zilch-zero-zip pregnancy experience. This comes up when I talk about NFP, of which I also have no experience. Let me also explain that my kids are biological sibs, as they all have the same birth mother. We adopted our two oldest at the same time, and then the next three as they came along.
When talking to a mom one day about NFP, she said to me, in an exasperated tone, "Yeah, well, you had it easy. You already knew there was a baby. You HAD to take it." (This wasn't true. We weren't under any obligation to take the new baby.) My response was, "How do you know that God doesn't have a brother or sister planned for your kids? Are you at least open to that?"
Literally, we got a phone call telling us about a new baby. I wonder if more families would have more babies if they had to actually say "Yes" or "No" to a real live person: "Sure, we'll take the little girl" or "No, we really can't right now" or "Are you kidding???? We can't handle another thing". Is the baby more or less "real" in these circumstances? How do we know what God has planned? Are we open to His will, or stuck on our own?