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It seems like alot of people who use NFP or FAM have alot of kids or want alot of kids. Now I want 5 and I know many of you have quite a few yourself. Do you think it's just coincidence or do you think it's because alot of those who use NFP/FAM have Catholic backgrounds or come from families with lots of kids?
A friend of mine got married recently and in her marriage classes they had a lecture on NFP. she was telling me about it and she was laughing at it because she said the lady started off by saying "We have 7 kids and all of them were planned." That does kinda make it seems like, ha yeah right they were all planned??
I know that with me, I am only planning on 3. I know that if I so chose, I would have 3 and be done and still use it until menopause. Most of the time it does seem like they are coupled. My grandparents used it and they chose to have 14 children and were done when they were done despite the large number.
I actually think it just seems that way because larger families stick out more. When you see a family sitting there at church with lots of kids, most people might think "Oh yeah, that's an NFP family." It may be, but it may not be. But of the smaller families with only 2 or 3 kids, how often would you think "Oh yeah, they must be an NFP family." Most people don't, so it's partly just a matter of perception I think.
Oddly, I come from a non Catholic large family. DH coems from a small Catholic family. His grandmother had his uncle and his father. His uncle had 3 (and of the three there is one grandchild). FIL had two and of the two, he has 4 grandchildren right now.
We want 4 - mostly cause I want a big family and DH went along with it. My grandmother was 1 of 11, she had 5 and my mom had 4.
AJ (age 7) & Katie (age 2.5) PM to see if I am available to make a siggy - decisions will be made on a case by case basis.
I think actually the big family thing hurts NFP some. I want a big family, so that sounds weird. But it makes it harder to tell people "No, NFP totally works, you can choose not to get pregnant." And then their like "Yeah, I know some people that use that, they have 8 kids." And you are like "Yeah, they have 8 kids cuz they wanted to." And the person you're talking to wants maybe 2, so they think no way did anyone want 8 kids, so they blow you off. Idk if I think NFP = big family, or if maybe just NFP might make it easier to get it. What I mean by that is sometimes you hear of birth control messing up somebody's system for a long while and then it is harder for them to get the bigger family and as they get older they start to want it less, but if you use NFP you only have to deal with whatever issues your body already had...which I'm sure we could all right a book on what our own are...
yeah I totally think it hurts NFP. I also think it's funny how if someone using NFP accidentally gets pregnant people are like...well yeah, they were usign NFP! But I work with a TON of women who got pregnant while on the pill or what not. Actually out of 4 of us that were pregnant, I was the only one not on anything.
I think in a lot of cases NFP users are the type of people who want a bigger family anyway. Like the PP said, BC and IUDs, etc. can mess up your body and cycles so people who are wanting several children are naturally going to be more inclined to not want to use them.
We want a decent sized family, probably 5-6 kids. We've never really used NFP for prevention yet (we've never really had the need. We were ready to have kids right away after we got married, then had a baby and I was BFing until recently with no return of my fertility, and now we're about ready for another!) But when the time comes, we will use NFP/FAM
I also just wanted to add that those who use NFP as part of the Catholic faith believe that it is God's will and not their own that must be followed as far as how many children to have. For Catholics, NFP is to be used to avoid only after deciding through prayer that the couple has a serious reason to avoid pregnancy. So, I think it may be a different mentality towards having children - instead of asking "do we want to have another baby right now" or "are we ready to have another baby right now" Catholics ask - "Is there a serious reason why we should avoid having a baby right now." This, in general, probably leads many NFP users to have more children then a couple using contraception.
I suppose the real question comes down to, is it our call as married couples to prove to the world that NFP works - or is it our call to be open to God's promptings when planning our families? It's easy to fall into the temptation of wanting to prove something, but there's no need. The science is already there, the clinical trials are already there, and the smaller families are already there.
That said, I don't think an NFP presentation couple with a large family should ever announce their number of children FIRST. People will write off the science immediately and tune out the rest of the presentation. When we do presentations, we share our number of children last. Then I say, "And I know what you're thinking, NFP must not work if we have 5 kids. But in order to arrive at that conclusion, you have to make a few very big assumptions about us:
1. That we intended to avoid and wound up with all these kids anyway
2. That we always followed the rules as I just showed you in the presentation, without ever taking any chances
How can you possibly know such personal details about us?
They usually laugh. I've already presented the science by that point, so they can draw their own conclusions. I usually explain that we wanted a larger family since before we were married, that's our choice and it doesn't mean everyone is called to that. I also share that I have several clients with dire need to avoid - taking meds that can harm a fetus, or in situations where pregnancy could put the woman's life at risk for example. I would not be able to sleep at night if I doubted the effectiveness of BOM for those couples. Teaching couples with dire need to TTA is a responsibility I take very, very seriously. If someone were to complete the full BOM course with me, follow all the rules, and still conceive in spite of that, I am supposed to fill out a Pregnancy Investigation and send the chart to our headquarters in Australia for evaluation. In 4 years of teaching, I haven't had to fill out a single one. There's a failure rate of 1%, so those pregnancies do exist out there - but I haven't seen one yet. Pregnancies from not following the rules? Sure, I've seen those. But that's no different than anything else - if you don't use it correctly, the chance of pregnancy increases.
Last edited by ShawnaCAN; November 10th, 2009 at 11:12 AM.
I think I've come to the conclusion after this week I have a dire need to avoid for my own sanity after this baby...but on the other hand I knew I was ready in September and because I had convinced myself I'd never have a baby before my youngest was at least one I had a hard time accepting it, so I suppose I shouldn't talk about the future until I'm closer to it...