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Are you good at NFP?


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  #1  
May 5th, 2012, 04:25 PM
LJD3Tdance's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Had some parent talk time today. Was sitting with a lady due about a month after me with her 4th and when another mom asked her if this would be her last she said she was not sure because of the "moral issues." (We're all Catholic we're sitting in the church watching our soon to be First Communicants getting their photo taken). She said she wasn't too good at NFP, so it inspired me to ask, do you think you are? If you wanted to be done (don't know if anybody in here has said they are who hasn't had their tubes tied...?) do you think you could do it with NFP?
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  #2  
May 5th, 2012, 07:34 PM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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It took us some time to become confident, partly due to how complicated my cycles are with PCOS and partly due to some poor training in the beginning. But we've got it figured out now. I have no reservations about our ability to use it until menopause, even if we felt it was really necessary to be "done." I think NFP refreshers are a good idea any time there is a significant change in a couple's situation or intentions; such as after having a baby, entering peri-menopause, or when the couple decides it's imperative to TTA long term. I think a lot of couples learn to use NFP when it's not super important to TTA, they are ok with the possibility of pregnancy if it happens. Then when it becomes important to really buckle down and TTA, they get freaked out about whether they have the skills to do that. Refresher time!
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  #3  
May 6th, 2012, 05:23 PM
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We've never used birth control at all, I just used OPK's when we were WTTC/TTA and we've never had an Oops. But we would have been happy with an Oops, if we had one. Now we're TTC basically the same ways OPK's and I'll probably start charting this next cycle if I don't get a BFP.
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  #4  
May 7th, 2012, 05:29 AM
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I am pretty confident with it. I think I can do it when we are done. I avoided between AJ and Katie and so far almost 17 months after Katie. There were a few months that I was concerned I might have messed up but not deeply. I got lax with some of the charting and lately I rely on an app I have on my phone that I put start and end of AF, spotting, dry, and wet notes. I have "regular" cycles (bleed every 24-32 days) but don't always ovulate.
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  #5  
May 9th, 2012, 10:12 PM
LJD3Tdance's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I feel confident in it. I have said before the only month we haven't had the exact outcome we wanted was the one I broke the rules...and I'm glad I did, I like LJ
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  #6  
May 9th, 2012, 10:26 PM
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I am. I know I am lol. When I'm not pregnant, I have to take a medication that can cause miscarriage or horrible birth defects. The manufacturer of the med suggest that if you become pregnant on it, you should terminate the pregnancy. Anyway, when I'm on it, I CANNOT get pg so I have got to be good at NFP. When I decide to ttc, I have to switch to a different medication so that it's safe for baby!
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  #7  
May 28th, 2012, 06:27 AM
LiamsMother's Avatar Amanda (Amahnda)
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This is my first post here. I find this thread very interesting. I learned NFP when I was 20. Not for family planning reasons but to know when my period was coming. I had PCOS back then (I had an ovarian wedge resection that took care of that years later) and honestly never knew when my period was coming. My cycles were 18-65 days long. I was an intern at a Catholic fertility care center and it was free to learn, so I learned.

Three years later, when I got married, I'd say I was an expert at knowing precisely when I was fertile and when I wasn't. My husband and I didn't want kids in the beginning (we wanted them eventually), so it was nice having a scientifically sound method of avoiding pregnancy. We got pregnant with our son in less than two months (2 years and 2 months after the wedding- on purpose). He was quite the handful and we weren't in the best spot financially to have more than one child, so we had to avoid pregnancy for a long time. We got pregnant again when my son was 5 1/2 (on purpose) and delaying pregnancy for that length of time was quite easy. I never felt like I was deprived or that my husband was being deprived. We have sex less when we're trying to get pregnant than when we're not. Nine weeks after we got pregnant last year, we had a miscarriage and then were pregnant again two months later.

NFP is cheap, morally and scientifically sound, makes my marriage stronger and we feel no guilt in trying to avoid pregnancy and feel no frustrations in trying to achieve pregnancy because it happens so quickly. I will definitely use NFP until menopause, for sure.
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Last edited by LiamsMother; May 29th, 2012 at 05:58 AM.
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  #8  
May 29th, 2012, 12:05 PM
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Welcome to posting here, hope you post more
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  #9  
May 29th, 2012, 12:43 PM
LiamsMother's Avatar Amanda (Amahnda)
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Thank you, I will post more. I really like this group.
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  #10  
May 30th, 2012, 01:53 PM
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I just discovered this board and I thought I would just be a lurker, but after reading this thread I have to say... I think I'm terrible at NFP.

We've practiced it since I came into the church in 2006. I don't feel like I have the self-control it requires, and I know my DH isn't the best at it either. None of my children are accidents - they were planned by God, but they didn't happen quite the way we had envisioned.

NFP is something DH and I are struggling with since becoming pregnant with our latest addition. I know it's the right thing to do and so does he. We know our self-control stinks. We know we really shouldn't have more kids, but we are open to life. Does that make sense?

I feel like I struggle with this every day on what to do. I know NFP is the right thing to do, but I also know I suck at it and we really can't get pregnant again. This last pregnancy was very hard on my body, we don't have any more room in the house (3 bedroom, 1200 sq ft with 4 kids= cramped), and financially we barely make it now...

Sorry for the ramble, especially since none of you know me, but I guess I needed to just get it out. Most of my family isn't Catholic, so they don't understand. I'm afraid of talking about it with my very few Catholic friends. I'm afraid they will judge me... and I don't blame them for that.
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  #11  
May 30th, 2012, 04:12 PM
LiamsMother's Avatar Amanda (Amahnda)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pautzie View Post
I just discovered this board and I thought I would just be a lurker, but after reading this thread I have to say... I think I'm terrible at NFP.

We've practiced it since I came into the church in 2006. I don't feel like I have the self-control it requires, and I know my DH isn't the best at it either. None of my children are accidents - they were planned by God, but they didn't happen quite the way we had envisioned.

NFP is something DH and I are struggling with since becoming pregnant with our latest addition. I know it's the right thing to do and so does he. We know our self-control stinks. We know we really shouldn't have more kids, but we are open to life. Does that make sense?

I feel like I struggle with this every day on what to do. I know NFP is the right thing to do, but I also know I suck at it and we really can't get pregnant again. This last pregnancy was very hard on my body, we don't have any more room in the house (3 bedroom, 1200 sq ft with 4 kids= cramped), and financially we barely make it now...

Sorry for the ramble, especially since none of you know me, but I guess I needed to just get it out. Most of my family isn't Catholic, so they don't understand. I'm afraid of talking about it with my very few Catholic friends. I'm afraid they will judge me... and I don't blame them for that.
Pautzie,

If you don't mind me asking, what specific method of NFP are you using? I use the Creighton Model and there are only 5 days a month that we can't have sex. The other 25 days, we go to town (TMI), when we're not trying to get pregnant. I'm pretty sure Billings and Sympto-thermal are the same way. By the time our abstinence phase comes around, we actually want a break. A woman is not fertile most of the month, at all. I hope I don't sound judgmental but is it that difficult to hold off for a few days?

Even when I had PCOS, I'd have mildly fertile mucus when I actually wasn't ovulating. My NFP practitioner taught me how to tell the difference between truly fertile and what appears to be that way. Otherwise, I guess our abstinent phases would've been longer if I thought I was fertile when I wasn't. I guess abstaining during those times- when I think I'm fertile but I'm not, would lead to "giving in" when I'm truly fertile.

So, I think you can be successful at NFP if you have the right practitioner and using one of the 3 very scientifically sound methods (Billings, Creighton, Sympto-Thermal). Calendar rhythm may not be the most accurate, or convenient (in terms of abstinence intervals), if that's what you are using.
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Last edited by LiamsMother; May 30th, 2012 at 04:17 PM.
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  #12  
May 30th, 2012, 08:00 PM
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You aren't being judgmental... We've used the Sympto-Thermal method; unfortunately it's mostly self-taught. We did go to a two evening class after our first child, but we didn't make the second class as I became pregnant and it seemed pointless, plus there wasn't much follow up. I guess I'd feel better if any of my physicians were knowledgeable enough to help me. Or even my local parish; the class we went to was at a neighboring parish, but like I said we didn't make it to the second class and there wasn't any follow-up. I WANT to practice NFP, I just am not a good self-study... 4 kids later.

I agree, it isn't a lot to hold off for a few days, but I get paranoid and it ends up being more than a few days... The time I became pregnant with #4 was when I had convinced myself I didn't need the extra buffer days. Which we don't regret at all.
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  #13  
May 30th, 2012, 08:20 PM
AMDG's Avatar Margaret
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Welcome!! I don't think anybody would judge you - I hope not anyway! i bet some of your friends would really understand where you are coming from. I see you have a brand new baby! Congratulations. Remember you don't have make any final decisions now and I think things always seem more overwelming and hopeless when hormones are going crazy after a new baby. There is no reason you need to decide now, with a tiny infant, that you shouldn't have more kids - so many things change!! Do you enjoy a significant period of infertility after you have your babies? I know the CCL - I think that is the same as sympto-thermal - has a specific class for picking up on fertility signs after having a baby. Another thing I would suggest is meeting with a priest. Do you know any really good priests that you trust? I think it is great that both you and your husband are on the same page - as in - know NFP is the only option - want to do the right thing - but recognize that you are struggling! I think that is a huge first step! So many couples do not agree on this at all. Many prayers!!
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  #14  
May 30th, 2012, 08:43 PM
LiamsMother's Avatar Amanda (Amahnda)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pautzie View Post
You aren't being judgmental... We've used the Sympto-Thermal method; unfortunately it's mostly self-taught. We did go to a two evening class after our first child, but we didn't make the second class as I became pregnant and it seemed pointless, plus there wasn't much follow up. I guess I'd feel better if any of my physicians were knowledgeable enough to help me. Or even my local parish; the class we went to was at a neighboring parish, but like I said we didn't make it to the second class and there wasn't any follow-up. I WANT to practice NFP, I just am not a good self-study... 4 kids later.

I agree, it isn't a lot to hold off for a few days, but I get paranoid and it ends up being more than a few days... The time I became pregnant with #4 was when I had convinced myself I didn't need the extra buffer days. Which we don't regret at all.
Self teaching is not good. I don't want to sound like I'm scolding you. You need to go to a certified practitioner. I had a year's worth of follow ups when I learned the Creighton Model, when I was 20. I also met with a practitioner a month before I got married- 3 years after the initial teaching, also 3 months after I got married, and 3 months after my son was born. If you go to a practitioner, you will not have to "guess" and if you have questions, they are a phone call away. Here is a directory of Creighton Model practitioners in Florida: - FertilityCare Centers - United States - Florida. You can be successful at NFP. Once you are properly taught and get the hang of it, you will not fail. I don't know if you can tell, but I'm a HUGE believer in NFP. Good luck.
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  #15  
May 30th, 2012, 09:04 PM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pautzie View Post
I agree, it isn't a lot to hold off for a few days, but I get paranoid and it ends up being more than a few days... The time I became pregnant with #4 was when I had convinced myself I didn't need the extra buffer days. Which we don't regret at all.
Welcome and no judging from me! I think you'd benefit from a full refresher in whatever method you think would suit you best at this time. Often couples who are uncertain (due to lack of training) tend to abstain more than is necessary, then the burden of abstinence becomes too difficult and they take a chance at a fertile time. A refresher with lots of support from an instructor will help ensure you understand NFP inside and out, so you don't have to resort to too much abstinence out of anxiety. There are instructors willing to work with you long distance, or face to face, or whatever you prefer! Let us know if you need any help finding an instructor!
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  #16  
May 31st, 2012, 09:28 AM
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Thanks ladies. I do not plan to make any final decisions- as you are right my hormones are all over the place.

I love our parish priest, but DH doesn't want to talk to him about this, he'd prefer to talk to one of our deacons whom we feel close to. But... Time time time where is the time?

Thank you for the information LiamsMother.

I would much rather be taught properly, but money is a big issue, especially for DH.

I'm sorry I completely took over this thread.
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  #17  
May 31st, 2012, 11:29 AM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pautzie View Post
I would much rather be taught properly, but money is a big issue, especially for DH.
All you have to do is let the instructor know! Almost all NFP organizations will waive the instruction fees when finances are an issue. They will simply charge for the cost of whatever materials you need and donate their time for free. When finances are more stable, you can always make a donation later if you found the support helpful.
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  #18  
May 31st, 2012, 07:28 PM
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I struggle with the topic of "being good at NFP" because for me, I have to guard myself against having a contraceptive heart. I feel like I understand my body very well, but, if you were to see any of my charts in which children were conceived, you would see how distinctively God had planned for me to have impossibly confusing months. I always sense a baby could be in God's plan when I have an odd month that just has a looming question mark over it.

Personally, I don't want to be "good" at NFP if it means that I feel like I'm in some kind of control of things. And, like I mentioned, I struggle with my heart in this area, and I don't want to treat NFP like a form of birth control. We have Christian friends on BC who say, "If God wants us to get pregnant on BC, then we will", and I don't want to have that same view of NFP, like it's sure-fire control against conception unless God just moves a mountain. I really do want to go into each moment of intimacy knowing that God could and just might create a baby, so in that way, for me, I just don't know if I want the confidence to say, "I'm good at NFP", if that makes sense.

And, the heart issue is a major concern for us in terms of what is grave reason. We know that many saints were born into circumstances that weren't favorable to be having more children....times of war/famine/depression. So, it's tough, I think, when we're just worried over where the kid is going to sleep, to think of that as grave reason. DH and I sort of think of NFP as being the bare minimum....the Sunday obligation...the once a year confession sort of thing. In other words...NFP is where you turn when there is just no other way...not like something we just go back to because it's "what we do to plan our family". But I guess we're just constantly re-evaluating what constitutes grave reason to abstain. And in that way, we're great at NFP....it draws us closer to each other because we have to talk about it monthly.
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Last edited by mama4life; May 31st, 2012 at 07:30 PM.
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  #19  
May 31st, 2012, 07:47 PM
LiamsMother's Avatar Amanda (Amahnda)
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Originally Posted by mama4life View Post
I struggle with the topic of "being good at NFP" because for me, I have to guard myself against having a contraceptive heart. I feel like I understand my body very well, but, if you were to see any of my charts in which children were conceived, you would see how distinctively God had planned for me to have impossibly confusing months. I always sense a baby could be in God's plan when I have an odd month that just has a looming question mark over it.

Personally, I don't want to be "good" at NFP if it means that I feel like I'm in some kind of control of things. And, like I mentioned, I struggle with my heart in this area, and I don't want to treat NFP like a form of birth control. We have Christian friends on BC who say, "If God wants us to get pregnant on BC, then we will", and I don't want to have that same view of NFP, like it's sure-fire control against conception unless God just moves a mountain. I really do want to go into each moment of intimacy knowing that God could and just might create a baby, so in that way, for me, I just don't know if I want the confidence to say, "I'm good at NFP", if that makes sense.

And, the heart issue is a major concern for us in terms of what is grave reason. We know that many saints were born into circumstances that weren't favorable to be having more children....times of war/famine/depression. So, it's tough, I think, when we're just worried over where the kid is going to sleep, to think of that as grave reason. DH and I sort of think of NFP as being the bare minimum....the Sunday obligation...the once a year confession sort of thing. In other words...NFP is where you turn when there is just no other way...not like something we just go back to because it's "what we do to plan our family". But I guess we're just constantly re-evaluating what constitutes grave reason to abstain. And in that way, we're great at NFP....it draws us closer to each other because we have to talk about it monthly.
I see where you're coming from. I think that is an honorable position. I realize that there have been great people that have come from circumstances that were less than ideal, like you said depression, famine, and war. I realize that I have never been in those circumstances myself, but I have been in the poverty circumstance. I grew up very poor and I think that that's why I'm hypersensitive about making sure that our finances are on point to allow for decent living standards for our kids. Other than finances, pregnancy is really difficult on me. I have Type II Bipolar disorder and during pregnancy, it gets really hard to treat. I don't want to seem like I have a "contraceptive heart", but it's hard to be extremely open to life whenever it happens, when you have an illness that creeps you into the realm of suicidal tendencies or when you've had extreme experiences growing up impoverished. I know your comment wasn't trying to attack me, I hope I don't come off defensive. But, sometimes what seems like nothing to one person may be a grave reason to abstain to someone else who has had a different life experience than you.
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Last edited by LiamsMother; May 31st, 2012 at 07:49 PM.
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  #20  
May 31st, 2012, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by LiamsMother View Post
But, sometimes what seems like nothing to one person may be a grave reason to abstain to someone else who has had a different life experience than you.
And, I think that's the beauty of the Church's stance on it....that it's between the couple and God. For instance, I have people constantly telling me that they would completely understand if we were doing NFP because I get HG in my pregnancies--people admit they would be using NFP...and I can easily look at other friends of mine and say similar things because of the complications in their pregnancies, and yet they continue on having as many as the Lord allows. And while I do feel like I'm dying until 20+ weeks gestation, for us, it is something that we haven't (to this point) felt to be truly grave matter. That's not to say that we don't have months here or there where we are more concerned about it and we take measures to abstain more, but as a whole, we don't feel like we are done bearing children because of it. For some, they do, and for me, I might someday too. I think it's just important to be examining ourselves and our situations to be in line with God's plans. Don't worry about sounding defensive....I could never judge you or anyone else for using NFP any more than I could judge someone's eternity. That is not for me to say. There is no way I can possibly know what anyone else is going through enough to say they're wrong for using NFP. You're right...grave reason isn't written in stone in this area and it does seem a topic more relativistic in nature because even the Church is intentionally vague on most of this matter. This is a heart issue....one that we all have to make our own decisions about, prayerfully and fearfully (as in fear of the Lord, and fearfully-made). It is with great awe that we use or don't use NFP, that's for sure.
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