Tuesday, April 8, 2008

One Step Closer

Today, I have to sing praises to the Creighton Model Method of NFP! I am it's biggest fan right now. I have to admit, it didn't start out that way....not even close!

I was raised Roman Catholic and even though the Catholic Church recommends using natural means for family planning, I picked up on the fear and mistrust of NFP all around me, and carried that with me into my marriage. The fear got much, much worse after I went through a difficult pregnancy and delivery--No way did I plan on throwing myself to the wolves, using a system that would fail me again and again (as far as I had been taught), leaving me with child after child after child and pregnancy after terrible pregnancy just because my church told me I should. They just wanted me to have a huge litter of kids no matter what my body and mind should suffer, right? They, didn't understand or care what I was going through in my personal life, right? I couldn't have been more wrong and I have to tell you: I AM SHOCKED. Shocked and humbled and grateful that somehow, through the thick sludge of lies and rumors and misinformation, I stumbled upon the truth of the matter. NFP ACTUALLY WORKS (And that's coming from someone who's body has many "issues" in the fertility department!). One day, after listening to me rant about this matter for the umpteenth time, my husband (who, up until this point in time, had been pretty uninvolved in this aspect of our lives together) brought up an interesting point. "Do you actually KNOW how to use NFP?" he asked. "Well, no..not really. I have an idea, though," came my reply. "If you don't know anything about it and have never tried using it, then how do you know it doesn't work?" Hmmmm...good question. I tried explaining how everyone who dared to use NFP ultimately ends up with surprise pregnancies and a houseful of kids they can't afford. Isn't that the famous picture? (It never occurred to me that the people with lots of kids WANTED and even PLANNED to have that many!) Well, after hashing and rehashing the dangers of artificial birth control and the fact that we do most other things in our life the "natural way" (not to mention the "Catholic way" ;o), I agreed to LEARN about NFP. I announced to the practitioner right off the bat that we planned to begin using it at a time when we didn't mind being pregnant, so that when/if the system failed, we wouldn't be too devastated. I was so ignorant! And I really did have this idea in the back of my mind that this would be what finally got me to be pregnant, whether I was ready or not--a great big "Oops!" that would take the responsibility of decision-making off of my exhausted shoulders. I'd use NFP, get pregnant by accident (proving that the method didn't work and that the Church had it all wrong), and then I'd chalk it up as God's will and go on my merry way. What I didn't expect was for NFP to work like a charm. I didn't expect the method to be so scientific, so accurate, so effective. I didn't expect that it would bring my husband and I instantly closer (I had actually cracked up when the practitioner told me NFP was a bonding experience--I mean, what did bonding have to do with charting periods? I'm just not the type who buys into that sort of thing). I didn't expect for it to open up my eyes to so many things that were going on inside my body--things that had always been there without my knowledge--important things that every girl should know about and understand, Catholic or not....and things that were wrong that I might never have found without learning the Creighton Method. Most of all, I really, really (REALLY) didn't expect for it to help me get over my fear of being pregnant so that I am now one step closer to having another child. Which brings me to....

Dr. Collins:

My NFP practitioner is an RN named Nancy McGrath (She is WONDERFUL!!). The entire time she has been teaching us, Nancy has been recommending me to go see an OB/Gyn (over an hour away from where I live!) who is also an NFP practitioner for the Creighton Method. Long story short(ish), I finally decided to make an appointment with Dr. Collins and went to see her yesterday. It was so amazing! Before examining me AT ALL, she could already see some problems, just by looking at the chart I have been keeping of my menstrual cycle for the past eight months. She told me she thought I probably had something called an ectropion on my cervix...then examined me and saw that I really did have one. She also sees a possible progesterone deficiency at a specific point in my cycle and is having me do blood tests for estrogen and progesterone on three specific days on my chart. She thinks that if we iron out a few little kinks, I might be able to have a better pregnancy this time around. Our theory is that there is a progesterone issue mixing with problems from my under active thyroid (both can cause pre-term labor among other problems). I will keep you updated on everything as I pave this winding road to pregnancy....and if this doesn't work out the "old-fashioned way" (and even possibly if it does!), we are already prepped for the adoption process . On the NFP front, I am being certified to teach it next year so my soapbox might get that much bigger--Ha ha ha! That's for another post entirely! :oD

10 comments:

Andrea said...

I'll respond to this in an e-mail as soon as I can.

Mandy said...

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before, but I stopped using BC after hearing Scott and Kimberly Hahn give the actual explanation of what it really does to your body. I just never knew. I confessed my sin and now we are on the NFP wagon. I am sooo glad you posted this and that you are going to be certified to teach it! Now I know where to get my info. We have been doing this since January. I suppose I am doing it correctly, but then again...I would love to have a third baby. Anyway, I am looking forward to reading more!

Sharon said...

Oh my gosh, this post just brings me back to when Pat and I were learning our first method of NFP (when we were engaged), and you and I were talking in my room at my parents' house. Do you remember this?

I am very happy you're finding it to be so user-friendly and successful. :) VERY happy for you. Once we learned Creighton (in 2004), it really made me wonder why there is such a strong push for STM, which, imo, stinks!

When we lived in MI I was traveling nearly an hour one-way, too, for my NFO-only OBGYN. Aside from the moral similarities, I found it to be a great experience on top of that. What I mean is even if I didn't believe in the moral reasons behind NFP, I found it to be such a great growing experience. With an actual supportive doctor, my perspective changed so much.

I'm going on too long for a comment, aren't I? Sorry! ;) I just find it hard to say all that deserves to be said on this topic.

One question-I recall our Creighton instructor telling us the long, lengthy and expensive process it is to be certified in Creighton. (much more so than the other methods). Is that what you find to be true, also? Or are you becoming certified in another method, like Billings or Marquette?

Jennifer said...

Mandy--I have had just about every problem with charting that can possibly be had, so I might actually be able to help you if you ever need it--LOL! I have pretty much memorized the book by now! My practitioner wanted me to be certified this summer, but I can't travel to Pennsylvania, so I have to wait til next year :o) How do you like NFP so far?

Jennifer said...

Sharon--Yes, I remember talking to you about this TONS!! I remember all of the times we complained about having problems with charting, too!! It is soooo hard sometimes, but overall, I am soooo happy to have found NFP, you know? So many good things have come from it.

I have no idea how much it costs to be certified, but they are really, really great about helping anyone with expenses they can't handle--I'll have to e-mail Nancy and ask her tomorrow--I'll get back to you :o)

jOe_Soko said...

Thanks for posting about this, Jen! It's really opened my eyes to the necessity of charting and paying attention to my cycles. I've always just taken for granted that they're normal and thought I was pretty aware of what is going on in my body. I don't really need it for BC, since Joe has decided to make it virtually impossible by getting the ol' snip, lol! And we always have used condoms...not always fun, but whatever...I was not EVER going to use hormones or any type of intrauterine contraption...no thank you! Anyways, after having both kids my periods always came back really soon after (even though I BF completely on demand and frequently day and night..lucky me!), but they HAVE been slightly irregular and it would most likely be very beneficial to chart them and find out what's going on, if anything. So thank you!! I'm looking forward to the bigger soapbox :)

Kim said...

LOL, the comment by Joe-Soko was mine, hahaha! You were probably like WHAT??? A guy commenting about charting his cycles, ha! I guess I was logged in under his account, lol.

Crystal said...

Jen, thank you for sharing your story! can't wait to hear you on your "bigger soapbox", LOL!

nicole said...

Thanks for sharing your story. It is fantastic that you are going to be certified to teach too. I've considered doing that, but my husband is not interested and I'm afraid people would take our 5 kids as evidence that it does not work. Good luck on your journey!

Jennifer said...

Nicole--I'm so glad you visited my blog! Thanks for stopping by! :o) It's too bad your husband isn't up for you teaching NFP--we need more people out there teaching who are passionate about the cause--I want to just sort of help people to NOT be afraid and to trust that people with five kids WANT five kids--lol--If you're ever interested, don't let your number of kids scare you--Five is a great number! And you'd be the perfect person to tell people you chose to have five kids. NFP is more than just a birth spacer anyways! I hope you'll come back and read my blog again. send up prayers for me on my journey if you ever think of it--Nice to meet you, Nicole!!!