There’s a story…a long story about why we made the change to using a fertility awareness method, but I’ll save that for a cup of coffee on another day. The short story is this: We’d been married about 4 years. I had been asking my doctor for an alternative to the birth control pill since we weren’t ready to expand our family yet. Something low-dose that didn’t make me an emotional nut-case every month. She told me there wasn’t an effective option (or wasn’t willing to explain any). So onto prescription change number 4 in four years. After 6 weeks on the new method, I was having “call your doctor” side effects. And that’s when I knew it was time to move on to a method that was better for my husband and I.
It was important to me that my hubs was in on the decision too. Yes, it is my body, but he had to be on the bandwagon too. If we were pulling the goalie, was he ready for the added pressure? I made sure to do my research and bring him along. We talked about the options and decided on Natural Family Planning.
That was 10 years ago. This month, we’re raising a glass to the decision that changed our lives, and made a big impact on my mental, emotional, and physical health.
Even before I went off the pill, I practiced taking my temperature each morning. It didn’t mean anything because I was still on the pill, but I got into the practice every morning so I’d know what to expect if we decided to take up NFP. It’s important to chart your temps so you can identify potential problems, know if you are pregnant, and go into your doctor’s office with information about your cycles. Or if you’re not sure when you ovulate, you can identify the range of days to abstain from sex or not be so careful if you’re ready to meet the next member of your family.
If you have a goal to keep things a little more natural, and you want to learn more about NFP or are ready to try it, here are a few resources to check out:
Taking Charge of Your Fertility – This book used to be more than $40, so $18 is such an excellent price for this resource. I’m constantly turning to it. And telling friends about it.
Charting apps like OvaGraph and Kindara make it easy to keep up with your temps each day, and you won’t have loads of paper to keep track of. Even Fitbit has a period tracker now (though it’d be great if they would add a way to track temps *wink*).
Daysy Fertility Tracker – I don’t use this tracker myself, but I so want to try it, just so I can talk about it. The NFP charts can kind of be intimidating. The fertility tracker does it all for you. It’s a thermometer that tracks your morning temps and monitors your fertility window. Follow them on Insta to learn more about the tracker and see how it works. And yes, you have to take your temp at the same time every day, right when you wake up.
Don’t be scared off by the name of the method. Natural Family Planning can help couples get pregnant, but it can also help you to avoid pregnancy. I’ll help you with the math: 10 years of NFP, 1 smiling kiddo.