Monday, August 11, 2008

NFP

Christine at the Simple Life and Pure Faith mentioned NFP the other day and linked people to this woman at Testosterhome who wrote a very interesting post on her opinion of NFP, the ups and downs. Discussing what is never discussed. She has quite a few comments, although those anonymous comments are a little annoying to say the least. Ladies, thank you for discussing this important subject, among Catholic women. Warning: This might be a little PG-13!


We follow NFP or Natural Family Planning. Yes, it is hard sometimes, well, it is hard every month for about a week. I love it though. I love knowing my body. I love when I do get pregnant I know the due date of my baby before the doctor. I love that I am doing it all natural both in the eyes of the doctor and in the eyes of God. I love that my husband shares in the responsiblity of abstaining if needed to do so. I am reminded how much he loves me every month in a different way than every day. (did that make sense?) It is a sacrifice sometimes. I think I love it mostly because it is God's way. After almost 12 years of marriage, we don't chart, I just know when it's wet, it's fertile, when it's dry, it's not. That's it in a nutshell anyway. Of course, I am regular every month, especially with the "dark factor" (if you darken the room you sleep in, covering all lights, even the digital alarm clock, you can read the signs of your body better). The hard part comes in when trying to not achieve pregnancy, the time the woman is fertile, she desires her husband in a sexual way, when she is not, she usually does not. God makes us women this way. It is a gift.



I have a bone to pick a little with the way NFP is portrayed to couples getting married. It is portrayed as another form of birth control. It is not meant to be used in that way. it is meant to be used in extreme cases of poverty and in matters of health. Am I wrong? I think it is abused. I do realize Health reasons can be many, they could be spacing children with enough time for the mother to care for each child in the way God wants her to, her mental health, her physical health, weight/size, a number of reasons. The father also comes into play, is he healthy? Some men need bigger spaces between children too, for their mental health. Small children are exhausting. I do believe in our society today, with the cost of gas and groceries rising, poverty can be an issue. I'm talking about people who use it to not achieve pregnancy for no reason at all other than they are done, they do not want any more of God's gifts. Isn't this wrong? Yes, it is the acceptable way of the Church, but isn't it abused and not used in the way it was intended?



Babycakes is now 2 and every day she is talking more and more. She is growing and learning new things. She is starting to want to see her poop after every diaper change now, which means potty training is coming soon. She is getting easier. I can understand how people say "we are done" when their youngest gets to this point when they don't have that "open to life" mentality. I guess it's such a gray area and not clear black and white as to the reasons people use NFP. Her getting easier makes me have this desire for more children. I love seeing the new personality that God gives us. I love being completely open to that new gift of life. I want a baby!


I have been a type 1 diabetic since I was 10 years old. It makes for slow weight loss, it makes for tough pregnancies but it is worth it in the long run. I also have had 4 c-sections. Being open to life means being open to hard things, struggles, pains, sacrifices. But it is our duty. For a good and not too long read, please read Humane Vitae . It will describe the beliefs of the Church on this subject.


This is my opinion on this subject. I meant in no way to offend anyone. I probably said too much and at the same time did not say enough. It seemed a good time since other bloggers were giving their opinions on the subject! I also believe it is only up to God to judge and for whatever reason people are using NFP it is between them and God. I just hope it is for the right reasons. I hope it brings them closer to God.

10 comments:

  1. Well done! You are so blessed to have the children you have and to be able to have more. I'm so glad you are open to life!

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  2. Jaime, thank you so much for writing this! Fertility and motherhood is a gift from God. Women who are able to get pregnant and have children are very blessed. Children are a gift from God.

    I pray for the grace of motherhood and for a miracle to be able to conceive every day. I was recently blessed to find an excellent Napro technology doctor to help treat my endometriosis and infertility. He was very patient with me and spent several hours with my husband and I explaining what endometriosis is, how it is an auto immune disease which must be treated, what I can do in terms of diet and exercise to help with pain due to the endo, how diet and nutrition affect fertility, how I can improve my chances of concieving, told me basically I need to lose weight and stop drinking Pepsi as well as other foods, answered all my questions, put me on some medication, and ordered up some lab work.

    The amazing thing is after my doctor's visit I spent the night at my mother's house (my birthday was the next day) and Mom bought all my favorite foods: Pepsi, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, ect. I didn't cheat once. I've been following my new way of eating pretty well and I'm beginning to lose weight. I am beginning to feel healthier and have more energy too, which is great.

    The only thing is, I haven't really started a good exercise program yet. I have several of Leslie Sansone's walking DVDs, which I love, but I haven't started yet. I bought them several years ago.

    The diet he basically gave me is based on the book "The Fertility Diet". No more colas, pasta, rice, meat (only once a week), sugary foods, ect. for me.

    It is such a blessing and a relief to find a doctor who treats endometriosis with diet and nutrition rather than try to write you a prescription for birth control, which I didn't want to take.

    Does anybody need a diet and exercise buddy?

    Jaime, you are such a wonderful Catholic Mom! I pray that if we are so blessed to be sent a child or children from God, that I can be a good Catholic Mom like you!

    P.S. I love mail and mailboxes too! I will send you some snail mail soon!

    May God Bless you and your lovely family.

    Love,
    Maria

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  3. Jamie, I think you addressed this subject with clarity and conviction. Even though I've long ago finished with that part of my life, I can feel the confusion and emotions of the women commenting on the NFP blog. Thanks for your honesty. Nerm

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  4. Hey, Jamie! I have so many thoughts, but I am trying to type with Baby Henry under the table trying to unplug all of the cords. That darn NFP failed me and gave me four kids in 4.5 years and I can't keep up! Totally kidding!! Gee, maybe I shouldn't joke. The NFP discussions around the internet have been pretty fierce lately.
    Seriously, I appreciate your thoughts on the topic.
    Theology discussions aside, I love NFP because it is so natural. I am a convert to Catholicism, so when we first got married I was on the pill. I hated it. It literally gives me the shivers to think that I actually swallowed a chemical everyday. When I converted and we took our NFP classes it was such a relief. I didn't have to 'do' anything to my body but let it be what it was made to be!
    I'll e-mail you a few more thoughts later or this will get a little lengthy. I will also explain why Paul, who was Catholic, 'allowed' me to be on the pill- it involved several priests telling him that it was totally fine. :(
    Ok, have a great day Jamie!

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  5. NFP is a very good topic to touch on. We should discuss if once a month just to keep the fires burning.

    So many people are just not informed and they just do not understand about NFP.

    So many people do not want to sacrifice. They want what they want and want it now.

    Sometimes we just do not know why some people have one or two. Sometimes they just cannot have anymore.

    I think a marriage where both the husband and wife are truly life givers there is some serious love going on.

    Great topic!

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  6. Thank you Jamie for posting this. You and I have been discussing it a little on the side.

    I myself have never used birth control pills, just condoms and NFP. Before marriage I was hormonally swept up into a storm of urges from age 17-22, causing me to be promiscuous o nseveral occasions. A real shocker to those who knew me then. I am so glad that phase is behind me. I know better now.

    When I first learned about NFP at our engaged encounter I was already pregnant so I didn't think much of it. After that I really wanted to get pregnant, so I used the base rules to acheive a 2nd pregnancy. When I was ready for child #3, I miscarried twice before getting pregnant. SO my whole marriage has been about making babies.

    Now that baby #3 is here (11 months old), all c-sections, I find myself actually scared to get pregnant again because of health reasons (mental and physical, and also financial.)

    So now we seem to be back at that point we were before we were married - trying NOT to concieve. I hate it. I feel so selfish, even though my reasons are valid. I tell my husband I never would have dreamt that we'd be here again, having to control such strong urges, not using any method except NFP, and my fertility signs are so weak lately - it sometimes is just easier not to "do it" at all. Tom and I go weeks without out of fear and frustration.

    Well, that is where I feel that there is that fine line between wright and wrong. Being fully open to life versus using NFP as a means of birth control. What does "being open to life" really mean to a woman in my position. I love children, I wish I was in a state where I could get pregnant again. I am ProLife all the way. So why do I feel so guilty?

    I just wish I could be free to love my husband as I desire, and if God brings a baby into it - than so be it. No charts, no rules, no frustrations that take away from that loving, bonding moment between husband and wife.

    I'll be reading that blog link soon.

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  7. Jamie, That "dark factor" thing is so strange, it does work though. Since we have moved into our house, we don't have blinds up yet in our bedroom (or anywhere else) and our bedroom seems so lit up a lot of nights, especially when there is a full moon. And it really has made a differnce in my signs. But now that I am PG the signs aren't an issue:)
    It helps to talk to other NFP'ers for reasons such as the the dark thing. I don't remember if I learned that taking classes. Any little trick to make charting easier is worth a try.

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  8. Beautiful, Jamie.
    I think you are right that many of us have a contraceptive mentality even while using NFP. It is not easy sometimes, but what a gift our fertility is! Seeing my young daughters, who are new wives, embracing NFP and really wanting to be mothers is one of the greatest blessings in my life!

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  9. Melissa - you could be me! I had a few doctors actually discuss sterilization with me before my third was born; it got thicker after we realized it would be another c-section. I succumbed to the pressure. Do your research and don't give in. I wish I had looked into NFP (I knew it was there, but ignored it). Kimberely Hahn had all six of hers C-section. There are many women who continue to have children via c-section. I defintely recommend a time of letting your body heal - NFP can help you and your husband during the interim. Don't let your fear immobolize you from finding out.

    God bless!!

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