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.