"The fact that the laity just want to be a product of the times rather than eternity is nothing new."
I'll grant you that. The Latin Church certainly seems plagued with that attitude, at least at most levels below the Pope. My 2 cents worth of problem with Humanae Vitae (and its just that because Orthodoxy doesn't teach what Humanae Vitae teaches in any dogmatic manner) is not with what it says, but rather with its results, the ecclesiology which gave birth to it as dogma in the first place and the less than satisfactory way the Latin Church advises getting around it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Church does allow for trying to avoid pregnacy by abstinence for certain reasons. I couldn't tell you exactly what those are because it's late and I'm tired and should be in bed already.
After each of my 3 miscarriages my husband and I abstained during my fertile time basically for my mental health. My body probably could have handled a quick turn around but I am an emotional person. This was not years of abstinence but a short period of a few months to recover. I have no guilt over this.
We are open to as many children that God wants to bless us with and realize than the successes and failures are part of His plan.
Someone mentioned above that big families are rare today(forgive me for not looking back to see who it was to ping them?). However, I believe they are making a come back. My kids are in a Catholic children's choir and we are one of the smallest families in that group. We're working on our 4th. These families are mostly 6-8-10 kids strong. It's truly inspirational to be around them!