Hi Brittany. Thank you for your thoughts and frankness. I think that your husband's desires to spend time with you and participate in works of charity are praiseworthy. But, giving life to children, loving and raising them to love others is the greatest work of "charity" that we can do in this world right now. Parents who are open to life are a witness of light in a dark world that says, "Fulfillment only comes from meeting my own desires." We who embrace the gift of life say to this world, "Love is self gift. It is in giving that you receive. I must decrease so that He may increase."
Spending time with your spouse, building a relationship, is essential. Without it, the family cannot survive. But it can be done with children. Indeed, love cannot grow without self-sacrifice, and children provide the best (and most consistent) opportunity for that sacrifice. And your parenting life, even with a large family, won't be your whole
life. Our childbearing years are limited -- even if we start early.
So many people idolize retirement and the "golden years" only to find themselves in a purposeless life after they are "free" from the burdens of their family or job.
By the way, I think that using NFP is an acceptable means of limiting family size or spacing births if there are grave reasons to do so. I would never advocate that a woman knowingly endanger her life or bear a child into abject poverty simply to serve an ideological position. But, we must respond generously to God's call to "be fruitful and multiply."
I have been inspired by the courageous women who responded to the original post. There are many open hearts, ready to embrace the gifts that Our Heavenly Father showers upon us. We are the light of the world, the salt of the earth. Please pray for me as I will for all of you.