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Baby Paul's Heart and Ours

by Sherry Antonetti
**First ran in The Catholic Standard, September 11, 2008. 

“Will you accept the blessing of children lovingly from God?”

In every Catholic wedding, the priest asks the question and the couple responds.

There isn’t a caveat or a footnote or an asterisk to that particular answer or question, designed to explain away exceptions or alternatives. It is a promise a couple makes to God in the process of obediently submitting to the sacrament of marriage. The choice to have children was made on that altar amidst family and friends, prayers and flowers. “Yes.”

As the mother of eight, soon to be nine children, even total strangers have remarked to me, “You must have wanted a large family.” No. I have to confess, that wasn’t my plan at all. I planned to get a PhD and run a school, and maybe one day teach English at my Alma Mater. That was my plan. I loved my husband to be and we had dutifully gone through the pre-marital inventory, had the interviews with our bishop, and spe…