Thursday, August 24, 2006

Straight talk about NFP

(One women’s perspective)

Not everyone is excited about NFP as those of you who practice it I assume are well aware. We have a good friend who says that we should call it NFB which stands for (Natural Family Building). As I pondered his jest, I couldn’t help but to think how seriously beautiful that would be. And I’m sure you women have been laughed at by at least one physician when you said you were using this method. I believe the reason NFP gets such a bad rep is due to the lack of understanding on the part of most people. It’s about the heart and not necessarily about the head. It’s about love and communication on a very deep and spiritual level. Let me explain...

When we first started using NFP we were postponing pregnancy for “us” reasons which were somewhat selfish (birth control mentality). As the babies started to come my heart began to soften a bit to the call of motherhood. Kale on the other hand was content to stop after our third baby. I told him that I didn’t feel we were done. And I think he nearly passed out after the birth of our fourth baby when I came home from the hospital the next day and said, “ I could do that again “. Then God began to work on his heart when mine became more reluctant due to complications after baby five. After discussion and prayer we welcomed baby six. So now here we are; you see it’s the heart with the constant input of both partners and the grace of God that allows for the building of the family.

Some people stumble on the phrase “grave reasons”. They think that the Church is calling for constant reproduction no matter what the cost. This is not so. Grave reasons are different for each couple and that’s why it is left up to the couple. At times Kale and I have asked ourselves, “Why not?” If the couple is struggling with what are “grave reasons” they can go to a priest for help with discernment. Most couples with well formed consciences will know simply through prayer and intuition. I suppose some of you are thinking, “Great, she just dumped a load of sand into the already murky waters.” Let me give you a personal example:

Our youngest baby is now 16 months old. Many people who know us have been saying, “Well, its about that time.” The other day Kale also said we might want to start thinking about welcoming another soul into the world (Wow). For some reason though, my intuition, my inner being has been saying no; I can’t put a finger on it. I’ve prayed and yet I keep getting a “no”. The other day I went to pick up a load of books from a home-schooling mom who has older kids and out of the blue she told me a story. She said that before her last baby was conceived (they have five) she and her husband were struggling with the very same thing I am. She said that her intuition was saying “no” even though there was not an obvious reason for postponing pregnancy. So, they used NFP for about three cycles. Then her dad became extremely ill and passed away suddenly. She told me that there would have been no way she could have done all the things she did or have been as supportive to her family if she would have been pregnant. After her father’s funeral, they conceived their daughter; the time was right.

There is a time and season for everything. NFP(NFB for others of you) is something very personal, very spiritual, and especially for women, very intuitive. Women, listen to that inner voice God gave you as a women. It’s part of our feminine genius, it is not scientific, not clearly definable, but put within us for reasons only God knows... and what a gift!

In Christ,
(Kale’s other half)


Matthew said...

A wonderful post!

Puff the Magic Dragon said...

The Document, from the Vatican Website states the reasons have to be serious, not "grave"

They can be for financial, physical, psychological, and some other, I can't remember, for a short time or indeterminate period of time.