I have a hard time writing about NFP because, honestly, I am not sure I am a good spokesperson. I love and hate NFP. Ok, ok, we should never hate anything, so I guess I dislike it a lot sometimes. As I said earlier this week, there are so many benefits to NFP and, truth be told, that post really only scratched the surface. So why do I dislike it, sometimes? Because it forces you to think.
How easy would it be to just pop a pill once a day and forget about it?
Hey, wait! Where are you going? Just hold on a second!
I know taking the pill is not easy. You see, I knew nothing of NFP until about 10 or so years ago. I have been married for almost 22 years, mind you, and yes, in the Catholic Church. No one mentioned it at Engaged Encounter. No one mentioned it when we went through any of the preparations for our wedding. NO ONE. As far as we knew there were no holds barred.
My husband is a cradle Catholic and I converted at 18 (a year before we were married). And neither one of us knew. This shows you the state of religious education in the 80s and 90s.
I was on the pill for a long time. And it almost killed me. I am not over exaggerating. It seriously almost killed me. And, yet, I was still scared to go off of it. All I was taught growing up was you take the pill or use a condom. That was that. But when you find that you have nearly every side effect from a medication, it is time to let it go. Add a latex allergy and you are forced to get educated.
I had been off the pill for several years before I even heard that it was an abortifacient and what that actually meant. I will have to live with that for the rest of my life because I was sold a lie.
I guess, I feel I am kind of preaching to the choir here, but that being said, NFP was truly a gift from God for us. Even though, it occasionally felt more like it was knocking on my door, screaming,"I won't be ignored, AMY."
You see, thinking is good. Nothing worth doing is easy. NFP brought me closer to my husband, myself, and yes, God. It helped us understand the true meaning of marital love and made our marriage better. Most importantly, it taught us to put our trust in God. That is not always easy but always worth it.
Here are some things to help you with NFP:
The How To:
- The Art of Natural Family Planning (Catholic and also gives you the why. I recently game mine to someone who needed it and I need a new copy!)
- Taking Charge of Your Fertility (secular, but easier for me to understand at first. It tells you to use another form of protection during your fertile period. In the case of Catholics, that means abstinence).
There are a ton more books, but these are ones I have read and helped me.
Apps are great for keeping track of your cycle. After a few months they will even tell you when your period is going to start. Talk about brilliant!
- Basal Digital Thermometer
- Do a search for charts if you want printables. There are tons out there. If you have low temps like me, those are a little harder to find. That is the nice this about the above apps.
To quote High School Musical, we are all in this together! Do you have anything to share? Great Apps or books I didn't mention? Please share them in the comments!