Natural Woman -- so typical of many people we've known who have adopted NFP, through twists and turns and sometimes despite their pastors and DRE.Now, I say the rest of this with the following qualifiers:
(1) Believe it or not, I really try to be a faithful Catholic. Oh, Lord knows I mess up sometimes. I've never said otherwise (except to irritate my wife, but that's different).
(2) My wife and I practice natural family planning, because, first, I understand the theology associated with it, it makes sense, and even if it didn't, my name does not start with "Pope"; and, second, my wife and I are not cavalier about the side effects of the pill, especially in light of her family's history of breast cancer.
(3) I'm not really going after anyone here, at least in my usual bared-teeth way.
I'm calling bullshit.
My wife and I have used NFP since we got married. We were -- no pun -- religious about it. We understood the whole thing -- temperature, mucus, cervical position, even (a fourth dimension on the graph!) certain bodily sensations associated with ovulation. My wife is an engineer. I am the son of an engineer and a microbiologist. We both love to chart things. My wife is an obsessive compulsive. I'm a paranoid freak. We never miss a day of charting.
We wanted to wait, after we got married, for one year before having a family. We wanted to make sure we were settled in where we were gonna stay for a while, and we wanted to make sure we had enough money to properly care for the little one. (I've never bought, not cared much for, the "We had to get to know each other" crap as a reason to wait: If you didn't know each other before you got married, why did you say, "I do"?) Accordingly, my wife charted everything for months before we got married. We continued once the
We were married in June. We apparently conceived in late July. You know, less than two months later.
Don't get me wrong; I count as God's greatest blessing to me, my son. I love him much more than my own life. I would not have his existence any other way.
But let's be honest about this: If you buy the Church's, um, teaching, that NFP is 99% or so effective, you'll buy anything.
Yeah, but it's just one time, you say. Freak incident. The exception that proves the rule.
Au contraire, copains. My wife is now in sixteen weeks along with our second child. Same religious attention to detail. Had the doctor help this time to make sure. We had been planning to wait until about, oh, now, to do this; the starting gun went off early, apparently.
Again: Don't misunderstand. My life in trade for my children without hesitation. The tortures of Hell for their safety, in a heartbeat. I am fully aware of what those tortures are -- to some extent, I've lived them for periods of time -- and I say that even so.
If you have a very regular, set-your-watch-by-it cycle, NFP will work for you. Guaranteed. But for those women who do not -- who, like my wife, drop multiple eggs just at random, or who have variable cycles, or whatever -- you're playing with loaded dice. As my wife's extremely Catholic OB told her (the lady won't discuss any sort of "contraception" except NFP), when we told her that we think the wife is just scatter-shooting eggs, "Looks like you were made to be a Mommy."
Which brings me back to my point: People who use NFP -- or at least, a larger percentage than the folks at pre-Cana let on -- really are called "parents."