NFP – Natural Family Planning: A Beautiful Reminder

So, as you may have guessed…I also got covid.

Yep. Steven and I came back to NYC for 10 days to say goodbye to our friends and have Steven’s birthday party and a going away party…and Steven was exposed to covid at work on the first day and picked it up…so our entire 10 days, we’ve had to be isolated and not see anyone.

Devastated, yes. But we’re trying to focus on the positive…no pun intended…and get a lot of work done for our wedding/new home/finances.

And one thing that we have to do for our Pre-Cana marriage prep that is required for getting married in the Catholic Church is that we have to take an in-depth online course on NFP, Natural Family Planning, consisting of videos, quizzes and homework. So we’ve been knocking some of that out.

Now. Some of you may be scratching your head wondering: what the heck is NFP?

NFP, or Natural Family Planning is a scientifically-based method of fertility awareness that uses the observation of a woman’s bodily signs/symptoms of the fertile/infertile phases of her menstrual cycle to help married couples either achieve or postpone pregnancy, all while respecting God’s design for married love.

I have heard it referred to as the “Catholic Birth Control” method, since the Catholic Church is morally against all forms of birth control.

It is suuuper meticulous.

I have to make these charts, where every morning at the same exact time, I take my temperature on this special thermometer that reads to the one-hundredth of a degree, and record it into a graph. I also have to record other symptomatic things every day, that for the sake of my personal dignity, I’m not going to discuss on here.

But anyway, you then look at all the symptoms and the temperature changes, and through some different equations, you can get- to the day – when you ovulate, when your fertility window is, and when your infertility window is every month.

And although this process is immensely tedious, it is also absolutely fascinating and incredible to see the glory and mystery of the female body, backed by science and presented in actual numbers, facts and figures. It is truly awesome to contemplate the fact that God created us this way.

And as I’ve been recording these numbers and symptoms, and spending more time thinking about my nether-regions than I would like…I’ve been struck by something very apparent.

First: how grateful I am to have regained my fertility after my anorexia. For those who may be new here, I battle a life-threatening case of anorexia right at the onset of puberty in high school. I wasted away to 78 pounds, and it is truly by the grace of God that I am sitting here today, not only alive, but that my reproductive organs did not have permanent, irreversible damage caused by such prolonged starvation. I didn’t have my first period until I was about 24 or 25 years old. It took me that long for my reproductive organs to finally heal after my anorexia. And so, sitting here, today, tracking my regular periods, preparing to one day have children, I am just in perpetual gratitude to God for restoring me, and allowing me this second chance.

What a beautiful opportunity to allow me to step back and recognize the bigger picture here. Which just reminds me that no story is ever finished. God is never finished working, and no one is ever “unsavable” for our Father. What a blessing to remember in this time of Advent waiting, as we prepare to welcome Baby Jesus at Christmas.

Alright, that’s all for now. It’s time for me to get back to tracking the muc…nevermind.

Stay healthy out there, yall.

Until next time…

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43 responses to “NFP – Natural Family Planning: A Beautiful Reminder”

  1. NFP works best if you want to get pregnant, not so great if you don’t . ☺️ But if you’re trusting God with your family , then it won’t be a problem. I had a great book on the subject . I’ll find you the link if you want . Feel better soon!

    • Oh that is verrrrry interesting insight! thank you! and you’re right – trusting God with that area is the best option! Hugs and love xox

  2. My husband and I took a pre-marital course in the US because he is Catholic and we previously lived near the US border. We took the course in North Dakota and it was a good experience. They talked about NFP but we didn’t have to do homework.

    My husband and I actually do NFP and I haven’t had a problem with it. I’ve been doing natural family planning for 3 years now. In fact, I much prefer it over other birth control methods. Personally, I can’t take the combined pill, the mini pill caused me ridiculous weight gain, and I refuse to get an IUD d/t personal reasons. Luckily, there’s books about NFP which are quite helpful. Highly recommend getting a book to anyone who’s interested in this method.

    • Hi Hilary! Thank you for sharing that! that’s awesome! i’m so glad it’s been working for you guys! I am just blown away by the capabilities of the female body and that we have this awesome tool at our fingertips just by tracking data! so cool!!! Hugs and love xox

      • Wow, 6 kids! You have a full house, and you give those who have PCOS hope 🙏🏻

        I have 2 kids and can’t have any more of my own d/t a rare genetic condition that I carry which causes bilateral blindness. It’s incurable and both of my kiddos are affected. I’ve been using NFP as birth control and haven’t had issues with it yet.

      • Oh amazing!!! What a beautiful family. I’m so glad you’ve found such a successful combination 🙂

    • oooh! thank you for looking it up and passing it along! i will definitely check it out. i’ve gotta say..the videos have been a little…dry. Fascinating, but dry. i definitely want to give this book a shot! thank you! Hugs and love xox

  3. The premarital classes were just starting when I got married. They have really come a long way since then; it’s great that you are getting much knowledge from the classes!

    • thank you so much! yes! it is such a cool thing! it took a little bit of getting used to, watching these videos with Steven that are going into such…descriptive detail…about such personal things…but I’ve gotta say…we’ve both learned a lot, and it really makes you respect the female body and all its capabilities and beautiful intricacies — and the God who created it so masterfully! Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you so much! Oh cool! It really is such a fascinating study of science and the female body in all its mystery! Hugs and love xox

  4. Oh man, I hope you feel better soon! I never had to do a whole course on NFP but they did talk about it during an all day retreat thing we did for our marriage prep. When I told my cousin about trying to get pregnant with my first, she told me to download a period app. The last few years I’ve been using my Fitbit app. It helps me be more aware of what’s coming up and when and I can figure out with that and what my body is doing to figure out my fertile times. I’ve used this way for years. You’ll get into a groove and figure out what works best for you!

    • thank you so much Rachael! We’re on the up and up, I would say! 95% better! Oh that’s awesome! Yeah, as I’m sitting here doing it the “old fashioned way” with graph paper and lead pencils, I’ve been thinking to myself….there’s gotta be an app for this!! I’m sure if I were to dig deep enough on the app store I’d find something. But either way…I love data and it’s cool to see the mystery of the female body in measurable scientific data! Hugs and love xox

  5. Excited to hear you are learning NFP! Just wanted to mention that I track everything on an app called Read Your Body- it’s very customizable. I use a combo of Marquette and sympto thermal and I can put in all my data there. In case you want to move from paper at any point! It does become more automatic as you go, like riding a bike.

    • Thank you Lorelei! Yes! It is fascinating! We are both learning a lot! Oh my gosh – in my last comment, I literally was saying I bet there’s an app for it! and BINGO! You answered my query! thank you!! I will be downloading it right after I finish typing the response! That’s great to hear that it becomes like second nature 🙂 So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  6. NFP is fascinating. It does become easier, and as you figure out your own body, you won’t need to always be checking… things. 😉

    So sorry you got covid. Hope you two recover as quickly and as well as possible.

    • Hi Hannah, it really is so fascinating! haha thank you for that encouragement…i am excited for that to be the case! hahah Hugs and love xox

  7. Glad to hear you are both recovering and making use of the down time. Prayers that you will both be blessed through this season that you have set aside to prepare for the biggest commitment in life. What a great investment! God bless you both!

    • Thank you Pete! Yes, I would say we’re both at 95% – on the up and up for sure! I appreciate your prayers. And yes! a great investment indeed!! big hugs to you! xox

  8. Praying for you both to have a quick and full recovery! When we did premarital counseling NFP was mentioned, but that was about it. I wish they had an online course about it then! We did our own research and have used this method ever since we have been married. We have never gotten pregnant when we haven’t meant to 🙂 We have also made the personal decision (after prayer) to give our family size over to God (and yes, I know how some people feel about that, like I said, personal decision!). We are currently expecting number nine and are just as excited and happy as when we were expecting number one! But like I said, we have never gotten pregnant without knowing that it was going happen, NFP does absolutely work and can be a very wonderful tool! God Bless!

    • Thank you so much for your prayers! Thankfully, we’re both on the up and up, and I would say at about 95%! praise God! It’s been nothing more than sniffles! Oh wow, that’s awesome that it’s been working so well for you! And wow – that is so beautiful! Nine – what a blessing!! You’re right – what a powerful, and life-giving tool we have at our fingertips! Thanks for sharing that – I am so inspired! Hugs and love xox

    • Oh that’s awesome! yes – the female body is definitely incredible in what it is capable of! I wish this method would become more mainstream! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  9. Sorry to hear you are sick. Have some homemade chicken soup with garlic and ginger.
    Catholics make you jump through all these hoops, but it’s for a reason. We’ve been married 33 years. So glad we were married in our church with friends and family. I love the support we’ve always had.
    Good luck with your spiritual journey. Also- nothing wrong with birth control. Not every rule of the church makes sense in 2022 or works for everyone.

    • Hi Teri! Thank you so much! Yes – we’ve been trying to sneak garlic and ginger into our diet wherever we can ever since we’ve gotten sick! You’re right – important hoops that are majorly beneficial in the long run. And wow – 33 years! That is so beautiful and truly something to celebrate! Thank you for this beautiful encouragement!! Hugs and love xox

  10. Hi Caralyn, First, I want to say that I am very sorry that you and Steven are not well and are in isolation! You are both in my prayers for a speedy recovery. Second, I am so happy to learn that God has completely restored your body so that you can have children! Yes, God is our healer and He loves us. My best to you. Delores

  11. Praying for y both of you and for speedy and complete recovery!
    I was comparing Apple Watches. They now have this as an added feature! At my age, I’m just interested in the “fall” feature so didn’t pay close attention. Interesting!

  12. I am just seeing this post and am cracking up. I am getting married in a couple of months and am not catholic, but have been researching natural family planning and CRACKED UP at your comments like learning way too much about your body. It got so clinical to me I was texting my female family members detailed questions. This was so great and made me laugh because I GET IT.

    I’ll end it there… haha

    Also, it showed me as well how perfect God is. He doesn’t miss a detail.

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