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Why I Ditched Birth Control: Natural Family Planning

It’s February ya’ll. The month of L-O-V-E. A month that reminds us of how we should be treating our spouses/significant others the rest of the year. A month of pretty flowers, a vomitous (is that a word?) amount of red and pink, and chocolate that goes straight to our thighs.

It’s also a month that should be full of lots o’ lovin’ {wink emoji, heart eyes emoji}.

So Imma going to talk about birth control.

Or not really birth control, but rather a different way of family planning. One that doesn’t involve the use of hormonal birth control pills or foreign devices hanging out in your uterus.

I’m here to chat about NFP: Natural Family Planning.

For about 12 years or so, I was probably the biggest proponent of hormonal birth control EVER. I started the Pill at age 17 and went off it at age 28. Then I had my twins 12 weeks early and almost died. So the idea of another pregnancy terrified me. When my OB mentioned the Mirena, an IUD (intrauterine device) that would virtually eliminate my periods and painful cramping plus didn’t require me to remember to take anything, I was ALL IN.

Well, it didn’t take too long for me to realize that while the Mirena did, in fact, prevent pregnancy, it also made me a raging, hormonal nutcase, made my face flashback to age twelve and added about ten pounds of water weight that would NOT GO AWAY.

So I started looking around at other options. Natural Family Planning popped on my radar pretty quickly, especially after my return to the Catholic Church in 2011.

Natural Family Planning

Natural Family Planning (NFP), in a nutshell, is a way for a woman to know when she is fertile by observing the signals of ovulation her body provides such as a change in temperature and cervical mucous. There are even methods that use a fertility monitor which tells you exactly when you ovulate. I’m not gonna list out all the methods or the pros and cons of each. That’s boring. You can go right on over here to learn about all that good stuff.

Anyhow, I was intrigued, but didn’t think it could work for our family. At. All. 

It took some soul-searching, but finally in May 2013, I had the IUD removed and we started our NFP journey. Thankfully, I found an amazing OB/GYN, Morningstar OB/GYN, right here in Gilbert that offers fantastic one-on-one instruction. Bonus: our insurance covered it. Even if your insurance doesn’t cover it, give the office a call. I’m sure they would work with you on payment arrangements.  Another option is to contact the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. They also offer affordable one-on-one instruction plus a variety of in-person classes.

Many folks would say that NFP obviously failed since we ended up pregnant in September of that same year. But without getting into all the details, my husband and I looked at the chart and knew that if we decided to engage in the s-e-x, pregnancy would likely happen.

We took that chance and Miss Olivia Grace was born on my birthday in May 2014. In August of 2015, my hubs was feeling frisky. We looked at my chart and said, “Hmmmm…is it worth the chance?” The answer was obviously yes and in September 2015, we received the shock of our lives when we learned we would be welcoming our second set of twins. 

So here we are, five kids later, elbow deep in poopy diapers and snotty noses and right smack dab in the middle of the madness of toddlerhood. I am in no way ready for more children during this season in my life. Will I be later? Who knows? I’m getting older (39), but still have many years left of fertility. All I can tell you is thanks to NFP and the instruction I received, I know my body very well and am so thankful to be able to spot my obvious signs of fertility. Each month my husband and I can choose whether we are ready to welcome new little souls to this world.

***Author’s note***

NFP is also a recognized as a way to achieve pregnancy as well as identify issues with fertility. Natural Procreative (NAPRO) Technology uses the Creighton Model of Natural Family Planning to identify fertility problems and natural solutions. If you are having difficulty conceive, I highly recommend contacting a certified NAPRO Technology physician.  

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One Response to Why I Ditched Birth Control: Natural Family Planning

  1. Erica March 29, 2017 at 11:27 am #

    Thank you for sharing about NFP in a way not connected to religion. I think a lot more women would choose NFP if they knew about it. My husband and I have used NFP since we were married 9 years ago. We have 5 children, but that was by choice. We have very successfully achieved and postponed pregnancy using only the natural signs my body produces.

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