How has NFP worked for you? -Part IV

How NFP has worked for me
Continued from Parts I, II, and III

Maggie’s Answer

How has NFP worked for me? NFP has helped me in a psychological and emotional way. Without going into too much ugly personal detail, I began various forms of birth control when I was 15 years old, and it was NOT because I had acne or heavy periods. I became a slave to sex and men even though birth control is thought to be “freeing.” But I was doing what every other girl my age was doing, so surely it was all OK. But life never got “OK.” I dreamed of finding “The One” but all the guys I was with only cared about one thing and once they got enough, they broke my heart. To ease my pain I would stumble from guy to guy and soon I couldn’t take it anymore. I stopped taking birth control when I was 20 years old, long before my “spiritual growth spurt” because of the emotional and physical toll it was taking on my body. I was on the Depo shot and it was messing with my hormones and making my weight jump all over the place. Plus the more I gave my body away (and it was very easy to do knowing there was a very high chance of not getting pregnant) the more I was chipping away at my soul and my own dignity. I felt worthless because of how I let men use me.

When I experienced my reversion back to the Catholic Church I immediately read into sexual morality because I believed that my sexuality and womanhood was one tool Satan used to keep me away from God. I read about the horrors of artificial birth control and understood why it was a mortal sin to use it. (Guess how really naïve I was before I came back to the Church? I honestly thought that the Church taught that birth control was frowned upon because it caused premarital sex but it was acceptable to use in marriage. Talk about having a Homer Simpson “D’OH!” moment when I learned that wasn’t true…) I read about the beauty of NFP and I immediately accepted it as the way to plan my future family. It wasn’t because “the Church says so” but because it just makes sense.   I don’t need to preach to the choir here about the negative effects of artificial birth control and the awesomeness of NFP, but when I learned about all this I was blown away.

When I started dating my husband I went on the birth control pill because a few horrid, stressful semesters had caused some serious discomfort with my menstrual cycle. Ugh… how hypocritical, I know. I was a theology major for goodness sakes! I knew I could help ease the problems of my period by diet and exercise, but I just felt I was too busy. I took that typical easy/lazy route and popped a pill. The physical temptation was so great for my husband and I as soon as I got on the pill, but I just ignored it. I was a good Catholic girl now, I could stop us before we got too far.

It was my husband who asked me to stop taking the pill and to research if there was a vitamin or diet I could go on to regulate my period. He was completely honest with me and said he was starting to struggle with seeing me as an object and he didn’t want to go down that path. Here he was, a criminal justice major who had just started going back to church and had never even heard of Theology of the Body telling me what I had learned in all of my theology classes. I knew right then and there that he was my soul mate and that he truly and honestly loved me. That opened the door to us really understanding how NFP can help a marriage. Sex with my husband is a million times better than any kind of physical relationship I had with previous men. Not just because we are married, but because with NFP we are totally giving ourselves to each other and we are following God’s will. It’s not a selfish or distorted relationship like I had always experienced before. I finally feel like I can be myself, and I know my husband loves me completely and totally and gives his whole self to me. I used to think birth control was freeing… wow, did I have a distorted view point. It is with NFP where the true freedom lies. It makes our marriage so much richer and fulfilling in and out of the bedroom.

You can read more about Maggie’s experience with NFP at her blog From the Heart.

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8 thoughts on “How has NFP worked for you? -Part IV

    1. Rae Post author

      I don’t mind off-topic, but I’m not sure that I have much to say. You can always look for a doctor who specalises in fertility awareness or an “NFP only” doctor, but I think that most women (including myself) are fine with any good doctor.

      1. Mama Kalila

        While I get that.. keep in mind that some dr’s that are not NFP only may give you a hard time. I’ve heard of ones insisting on patients going on the pill after a pg and handing a prescription anyway. Thankfully my old OB didn’t go that far. He refused to listen to me about my charts when my EDD was off though (thankfully his not quite 20 week ultrasound confirmed what I and two hospital trip ones said) and then laughed at me at my PP visit and said he would see me soon. I think not lol. Not only did I space my kids out but had already picked out my midwife for the next time. Who thankfully is 110% ok with what we’re doing (is Catholic too!).

        Anyways, what I was going to say lol… I like that you posted these. Sorry I haven’t commented I didn’t get the notice that you’d posted. Nice to read the stories though!

        1. Rae Post author

          Very good point. I’m sorry that you had to deal with a not-so-great doctor! In some ways I guess that I’ve been quite lucky/blessed. I’m glad that you’ve found a good midwife!

  1. That Married Couple

    Maggie – That is soo awesome of your husband!

    Kathleen – I agree that it really is so interesting as to how NFP colors your views! I’ve been shocked at how much more I am drawn to living a more “natural” lifestyle.

  2. Hannah

    Mama Kalila- I could have written your post.

    I am not Catholic but use NFP. My family doctor refused to listen to the due date I had calculated (even after the ultrasound showed a date much closer to “mine” than “his”, I had to insist that he use mine….he wouldn’t use mine but agreed to go by the ultrasound due date).
    Postpartum he repeatedly asked about birth control and said “sometimes women who are breastfeeding don’t get pregnant…sometimes they do”, and “well, I guess if you get pregnant then you just…have another baby”. Both true statements, but wow. Not going back.

    I’m grateful for NFP because it increased my knowledge about and commitment to breastfeeding.

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