Just kidding…it does :)
To people reading this blog who might not know, NFP (Natural Family Planning) is a way of being aware of one's fertility and using the awesome cycle that God gave us to intentionally have a child, or to try to avoid a child (with the openness to life, if God wills it, as center). NFP is often mocked by those that don’t use it. People think it doesn’t work. Although, studies have shown time and time again that NFP is as effective, if not more, than artificial birth control. However, to many, many people, Aaron and I have probably given a ‘bad’ witness of NFP, because we have the blessing of being with child ONCE again :) We will have three kids in three years. Our children are only 14 months apart. What a failure we were, only, after sometime, I realized, we weren’t using NFP to avoid pregnancy when we got pregnant.
We weren’t using NFP to avoid pregnancy when we got pregnant with this third child. I just thought I should let you know that. I have been trying to find the words, for some time now, to explain how this gift of a third child came about, when we have made it very clear we were going to try to wait a year (mostly because of the two c sections and my hatred of pregnancy- love the result, hate the process). To be honest, even though I announced this pregnancy like this, I had written another blog, 2 weeks early that was defensive and angry and answered people’s accusations before we were accused.
We weren’t using NFP to avoid pregnancy when we got pregnant with this third child. You see, I have told many of you that I am still having a hard time ‘wrapping my head’ around having a third. I have ALWAYS wanted a big family, but truthfully, it just ain’t smart to have three kids in three years. And it really ain’t smart to have three major surgeries in three years. I cannot wait to hold this baby that I am blessed to carry in my body right now, but truthfully, ‘timing’ would have worked out better in the fall. We had things planned. We planned a ‘we are out of debt’ cruise with our really good friends. I REALLY wanted to drink a few bud lights on St. Patrick’s day. Although this child is not a mistake (why, in God’s name would anyone call a child a ‘mistake'), the timing of this child was certainly unplanned or less than ideal. But it wasn’t because NFP failed at helping us avoid pregnancy.
You see, I read THIS ARTICLE this morning, and it made it all clear to me. NFP has rules. You follow your signs, and you follow the rules. I HATE the comparison, but if you are taking artificial birth control, and you ‘forget’ to take a pill one day, you broke the rule. And, with NFP, if you ‘break the rules’ you can’t blame the process. Now, I am about to get a little, ‘TMI’ up in here, but I think it is worth it, so I am going to proceed. If TMI, turns you off, you might want to skip this next part. Aaron and I ‘broke the rules’. We decided to um, “engage in marital relations”, on a day when we knew that chances of fertility were VERY low, but possible. I had looked at when I ovulated, and decided we were ‘probably good’. BUT, the monitor clearly said, ‘low chance of fertility’. The signs were showing low chances of fertility. On that night, we knew there was a ‘chance’ (albeit) small that we could conceive. And, we decided to proceed anyway, even after having a conversation about the low signs of fertility. See, for a split second, I let my brain forget that my family is CRAZY fertile, so a ‘low chance’ is a ‘high chance’ in our family. There is no such thing as a low chance. To some of you that might struggle with infertility, I get this might be difficult to read, but if at any time during the window of fertility (the looongest window possible) we choose to um, ‘engage in marital relations’ (not sure how else to put that) we will get pregnant. Our family’s history has shown me that. And still, we decided that night to proceed.
And, God blessed us with a third child. And it wasn’t because NFP failed, it was because, for that night, we decided we weren’t going to use NFP to avoid pregnancy. So, for those of you that might be thinking, ‘see, that Catholic way just does not work’, it does work…we just decided to break the rules. The cool thing about it is, when you break the rules, you get a kid! And although it has taken me sometime to wrap my head around it, I can say with 100% certainty, when I get to look in the eyes of the kid who is cookin’ inside of me, I just might think it was the best rule break I have ever done!
So that I don’t bore you with too many things in one day, I am going to label this Part 1, with Part 2 to follow. In part 2, I am going to tell you about a conversation I had with my favorite other NFP couple blessed with crazy fertility about how NFP really does ‘ruin the romance’. And, my response :) I am sure you will be waiting at the edge of your seat!
In the meantime, if you know me, and you hears someone say something about how we are expecting our third because we are too silly to use artificial birth control and instead use that ineffective form of spacing called, ‘Natural Family Planning’….can you clarify that when we got pregnancy with our third, it wasn’t because of NFP, we weren’t using NFP that night :)