Friday, April 13, 2012

NFP and Average Me

NFP Buttons

NFP from my totally average perspective, by which I mean:

- non-ecological breastfeeding (sleeping-thru-the-night, pacifier-using) delays fertility by an average of 10 months
- cyclic mucus changes are obvious
- easy-to-read biphasic temperature shift

I have mixed feelings towards NFP. Why? One the one hand, it's opened a window making me an active observer as my body works to offer, bring forth and nurture new life.  On the other hand, gosh darn it, I can't unlearn it. I know, in a culture of control-freaks, this sounds weird, doesn't it? In fact, most women I know with large families or closely-spaced children make a point of letting you know that these children were "planned," as though to prove that NFP works, but they're open to life. But isn't there something beautiful about the idea that God's plan is better than ours? As I write this, I can feel my heart rate go up: What am I signing myself up for?!

Does this mean I'm a providentialist? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. Regardless, I think the 50% unplanned pregnancy rate found in our contraceptive culture seems unlikely for the average NFP-user. I guess it depends on what "unplanned" means. Particularly at this point in my ife, I'm not at all opposed to having an "unplanned" pregnancy, but considering my textbook averageness, I doubt I'll ever get pregnant by surprise. The closest I'll probably get is leaving it up to a God who has a better plan that I, knowing all the while when we're offering Him the right of first refusal. For the completely average woman, deciphering fertility is about as challenging as being toilet-trained. 

What you do with that information, well, that's up to you...but don't call the result an accident.

Here are some links for more information, but I gotta warn you, once you know your fertility signs, they're hard to ignore.

 - has awesome detailed explanations of the hormone cycle and the mucus they produce, just click on the various links for an education unlike any found elsewhere.

- teaches the basic "sympto-thermal" aka, mucus and temperature NFP method
- free charting website stores and interprets fertility data. 

- teaches a detailed mucus-only NFP method. 

- uses the Creighton method to decipher and solve women's health issues such as abnormal cycles, recurrent miscarriage, infertility, etc. in a way that works *with* a woman's body rather than circumventing the problem via birth control pills, ivf, etc.

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