why we use NFP - the health side
You can't scroll through your facebook feed these days without seeing at least ten links to articles, blogposts and videos informing us of all the perils that hide in every bite of food we eat. I read and watch nearly all of them because I like to stay on top of things and make the best choices for me and my family. And yet, the reality is that we are being sold on hormonal birth control everywhere we turn like we can't go about life as we know it without it. But did you know that hormonal birth control - the pill, iuds, the ring, etc - all contain class one carcinogens? If you're unsure of what that means, it means it's basically been proven to be as dangerous as it comes in containing cancer-causing agents (think asbestos and lead based paint).
If you're feeling skeptical, I'd urge you to do your own research. The information is out there, though somewhat hard to find at times because birth control is seen as a necessity for the masses. If you would like more links to information I've found, or suggested reading, please don't ever hesitate to be in touch! I am more than happy to share.
why we use NFP - the faith side
Like I said in my first post, the granola girl wannabe inside me is what originally motivated me to use natural family planning when we first got married. The more I read up on the faith side, prayed about it, and asked questions, the more I realized this was the way God had designed it to be. Not to have baby after baby and a "whatever happens" attitude, but to be open to His leading. How much angst I put myself through in high school, college, and right after about what God's will was for me. How much heartache and lament over who The One I was supposed to marry was. Over where to live, what to major in, what ministry to give myself to, what my career would be. And yet, God's will in my family planning? Not even a thought. I wanted the number of kids I wanted. And I think that's how most of us are. We think about the lifestyle we want, the family size, the number of cars, the neighborhood. But God convicted me right down to my core over and over about letting Him take control. Asking Him for guidance. Letting Him use our "family planning" to draw us closer as a couple, as a family.
After I had Lute, our first, I was panicked about getting pregnant again right away.
Then a few months later, I was ready for the next baby. We prayed together, we tried and tried and tried. Every month I took a test. Every month I cried. I was sad and angry, but God was whispering adoption over us all along. I let go and trusted. And as we all know, not long after that I was pregnant. I wasn't shocked, because I knew which days made that possible and we were happily surprised. After I had George, I went into panic mode again a little bit, even though I knew how long it had taken my body to be fertile again after the first pregnancy. I was not ready to add to our little team quite yet, but everything went right on schedule. For the next three years, I charted my cycle, watched my signs, and didn't get pregnant. God doesn't say we have to ignore our fertility, and procreate like crazy. But when we embrace our fertility as a gift, we get to co-create with Him. It's kind of amazing and beautiful. And as much as people probably think we were crazy for having another baby right after we adopted (again), I knew it was a very real possibility that it would happen because I knew my schedule without even really thinking about it. And maybe we are a little bit crazy, but I really believe that letting God in on designing our family has been the best thing that's ever happened to us. And here we are again - in the midst of breastfeeding, no signs in sight - and I have to let go and trust. What a gift to have that option.
So maybe you're thinking about it - making the switch and you don't know where to begin. First, start reading. I love this book. This website is a great resource for learning more and connecting with others who are also using NFP, as well as finding classes in your area if you want to know even more. And I want to encourage you - if your doctor is skeptical, or worse, scoffs at the idea of NFP, switch doctors. I have been lucky enough to have found an OB who is totally supportive (though her nurses think I'm weird).
I have more to share, and promise it'll come in a more timely manner. In the meantime, feel free to share your questions or your own experiences in the comments section and I'll answer to the best of my ability!