Natural Family Planning: He Says, She Says

Look at Me Leggings c/o Agoo
*Angelically* She says: “If it’s meant to happen it’ll happen anyway.”
He says: “If that’s the case it’ll happen despite multiple methods of birth control.”
What say ye?

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  1. I say like most methods, it depends on how well it’s used and how committed the users are. I think NFP gets a bad rap especially because one half of the equation is sometimes less than 100% committed to not having a baby and the other half is 100% committed to having sex when he wants to. Not a recipe for success :).

  2. For myself, I have never supported the use of any type of fertility drugs, for or against. I like the thought of God giving me kids. However, I really think it depends on your situation. Before me and Hubby married we had “the baby talk”. He really isn’t for alot of kids and I want a nice handful. Yet I understand that realistically I probably won’t have more than three due to my age and PCOS.

  3. That’s actually a theological question in disguise. The quick answer is that there is a Will higher than ours that should be kept in mind when making all decisions, especially weighty ones having to do with life and death. As a rule, God doesn’t go around making birth control ineffective so he can bless us with a new life. IHe lets us do what we’re going to do (right up until the minute he doesn’t). Saying “if it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen” doesn’t make sense. Do we lose weight while eating chocolate bars every night, just because God (or whatever force it is that “means these things to be”) would like us to be healthy? We have to make those choices and answer for them–both in consequence and in the hereafter.

  4. Well, my sister in-law was so sure that she was done having kids and opted for the IUD. I just found out that she is part of that 1% who it did not work for. =) Needless to say, it will happen whether you want it to or not. And I continue to sit here after 2.5 years of trying to get pregnant whether I’ll even have another baby….oh well!

  5. NFP scares me, but maybe it scares me because I have a friend who is currently pregnant with her 3rd child after having her NFP method fail…Twice. Yes, this is the second baby she’s gotten pregnant with on the NFP method. She’s also decided that NFP planning is not for her. I think I’ll stick with some form of BC.

  6. My mom and dad got married and my mom had 2 kids. My dad said that was enough. They used condoms and out pops my brother. And I’m 5 of 6 kids… We have to do “Natural” methods for our planning since I have so many allergies and I have issues with birth control. So, we’ve never really had that discussion, I’ve never even had to think about it.

  7. I have been doing natural family planning for about 4 years, and when we decided we would get pregnant the 2nd time time around, we got pregnant instantly. I know exactly when I am ovulating. You really make it a point to know your body when you do it that way. Of course my youngest munchkin is 8 months old and I am still nursing so I haven’t gotten back to “normal” yet, so in the mean time we use condoms. (is that tmi? sorry if so!) I just really didn’t like being on the pill. But I agree, if God wants us to have another little one I think it will happen regardless of what birth control method I’m on. We are planning on a 3rd, just not until the baby boy is about 2 1/2 to 3 years old. Of course if it happened sooner, I would be okay with that 🙂

  8. my hubs is in that camp. we can’t even get pregnant on our own (I don’t ovulate) and he still wants to use AT LEAST 1 kind of birth control when we are not trying JUST IN CASE. like others have said I think I would have too much incentive to “cheat” on NFP . . . when we’re not in agreement it’s baby time we need to be using birth control so we know we’re on the same page. I think if I want to push the issues it needs to be done in calm conversation, not the heat of the moment. I won’t take hormones anymore though given my issues, we only use barrier which does have a slightly higher fail rate.

  9. Loving your answers ladies! I must say my “she says” today is a little tongue and cheek (I’ll be writing a full post about this soon). NFP would NEVER (and I hardly ever use that word) happen in our house as a BC method. I agree with Michelle in that one person usually isn’t 100% committed and that person would be me.

    Also, my husband would rather not touch me than have an unplanned pregnancy.

    It’s great for TTC though!

  10. I like both Cindy and Michelle’s (1 and 5)comments. Everyone I have ever met who uses NFP ends up pregnant. But usually they are ok with that. And not every woman is regular enough for NFP to work. And it takes commitment *most* people aren’t really willing to give. I would love to be off hormonal contraceptives and just use barrier, but the hubs is not having that!

    Like yours, I think he would rather abstain than take chances.

    But I don’t understand those who don’t believe in birth control because it’s up to God but then still use NFP, rythms and such. It is still an attempt to take control of the timing of children, which is still taking it out of God’s hands. If you refuse BC for health reasons, that is different. But if it’s for religious reasons then I think you should not try ANY form of prevention.

  11. If a person is so blessed to be free of fertility issues and has the luxury of deciding when to add to/create a family, then you must make conscious decisions to do what’s best for the child.

    While no one is ever fully ready to have children, you must do your best. At the least, it means BOTH parents must be on board with adding to the family before proceeding and if you’re not, that is not what is best for the CHILD.

    First and foremost, we have children because we’re ready and able to handle the responsibility and both parties are ready and willing participants, not just because.

    And I know you asked the question to spark debate and your side was tongue in cheek, but with aaaaaalllll the planning you did for the first one, you’ll let all subsequent ones just happen?? I’m not buying it.

  12. Desiree, you’re right. I’m too much of a planner and so far birth control has been working fine and dandy for me and unless it fails we won’t be getting any surprises.

    When I say “angelically” I really mean “sarcastically” cause my husband and I are sorta on the same page as if you’re not preventing you’re ok with having another.

    Big rant coming soon!

  13. There’s a HUGE difference between using NFP/FAM and not preventing. We are FAM users and have been since 7 months before conceiving our 2 year old. We used FAM for 6 months to prevent pregnancy, and then used the same principals to get pregnant with her (and it worked the first time). When my cycles came back at 12 weeks PP (despite nursing every 2 hours around the clock) we went back to FAM. We use back up during my fertile time and have been quite happy. If you are educated, and use FAM/NFP properly it is VERY effective, unfortunately most of us are not educated enough to understand our cycles that well.

  14. So funny you mention this! DH brought up wanting to have another one last night during dinner. I nearly choked! I want another one but wasn’t ready for him to initiate the conversation like that. He said once our 7 month old is out of diapers he’d like to try again. For now I use a non-hormonal IUD and it’s great.

  15. I used to agree with your husband, but now as I’m learning more about synthetic hormones and how they affect us, I’m starting to thing NFP is the way to go. As much as I love not having a period, I don’t think the Mirena is doing me any long-term favors.

  16. Jenna, I had the Mirena, I liked it but I totally know some aren’t cool with extra hormones etc.

    I’m not a “if it happens it happens” person cause, well, I like to plan these HUGE events… Or at least prevent. I do believe NFP CAN work if used effectively as Katy said but there’s no way my better half would EVER go for that for a method of birth control.

  17. In reply to Sarah—if your religious reason for not using birth control is to leave the timing of your kids up to God, then yes, I agree with you. But some people are spiritually not okay with the abortifacient side effects of hormonal birth control, but are okay with barrier methods and FAM.

    Note that FAM (fertility awareness method) is completely different from the rhythm method. It goes by fertility signs, not the calendar. So it works even for ladies with very irregular cycles (I have super irregular cycles and we used FAM to prevent pregnancy for a whole year before using it to get pregnant with Malachi [now 4 months]). Its theoretical effectiveness is 97% compared to 81% for withdrawal, 88% for condoms sans spermicide, 98% for LAM (first year postpartum) and Mirena, and 99% for the Estrogen/Progesterone combo pill. However, as someone already pointed out, it requires both partners to be completely committed to either abstaining or using another method of birth control during the fertile period.

    I am keeping an eye on my fertile signs, but so far have been using LAM to prevent return of fertility. When I see my body gearing up for ovulation I will start temping religiously again. We plan to wait until Malachi is 1 year before getting pregnant again.

  18. LOL. Sounds like he’s not a fan of the natural planning. I say that a compromise is needed. You don’t want one parent to be ready and the other not to be ready. That could make for a rocky situation.

  19. After our 3rd (and final) child was born, we continued to rely on the NFP – it worked….for 8 years…now we have a 4th….and would you believe that that’s still our preferred method? Vasectomy coming soon…but until then…:)

  20. To piggyback on Jessica – I personally think NFP gets a bad rap, mainly because many of its users either really do (or are perceived to?)rely too much on the calendar. As a woman with PCOS and its resultant wonky cycles, I can’t imagine any woman relying on the calendar. In my opinion, any woman having unprotected sex has the responsibility to monitor her fertility signs, as it’s never too early to take care of yourself in the event of a planned or unplanned pregnancy. Says the woman who downed half a dozen raw oysters the week before her BFP. 🙂

    My concern with the conversation above isn’t so much a question of “is it right or wrong to use birth control”. That, as well as the question of fertility treatments, is up to the parents and their own family, personal, relationship, health, etc, etc, etc circumstances. In other words, the answer is unique for everybody. And if you want to get spiritual, I think God recognizes that morality and life decisions such as these are rarely black-and-white.
    But whatever birth control a couple does decide to use, BOTH partners need to be on board with their eyes wide open as regards what that method entails.

  21. whenever I look @ your adorable girl’s picture, it reminds me of my niece who lives so far away now and I miss her terribly.

    about the qs of pregnancy, if you believe in God then certain things are fated: life, death, marriage and child bearing. However, we play a role in how many, the latter 2 in particular are realized. So, I’m in agreement with both of you. There are cases when women get pregnant despite being on BC pill. However, no one can claim they just got pregnant ‘accidentally,’ if they’ve never taken any precaution in the 1st place. Its like saying STI/STD just happens,it doesn’t if you practice safe sex.

  22. Do what works for you and your family. I’m a planner too but the thought of having kids for me is scary (although I do want them). I know, it’s complicated. Anyway, since marriage I was on OCP but we’ve decided to stop them knowing that we could get pregnant. We decided to do that a few months ago because we are ok with getting pregnant now although we are not necessarily trying to conceive. So in essence I’m planning without being too obsessive over TTC. At least I’m not starting to obsess yet.

  23. I agree that if it’s meant to be it’s meant to be but you can always take some preventative measures if you’d prefer not to have another munchin. This way if it happens it’s still meant to be but if not you’ve done what you can.

  24. First- that pic is totally adorable- you have a seriously cute baby!

    Second, I wanted to chime in that what a lot of people don’t understand is that NFP is not just used to avoid pregnancy, it’s also used to achieve pregnancy. So when I hear things like, “Everyone I have ever met who uses NFP ends up pregnant”, or “NFP failed” or whatever, it irks me a little. It’s not really “birth control”. It’s just being aware of your cycles and using that info however you want. I am coming at this from the perspective of a practicing Catholic though, and I know that non-Catholics who use it often have a different approach, so take that with a grain of salt if you want. 🙂

  25. I agree with your Hubby. My #3 is a product of multiple methods of prevention and by all reasons “shouldn’t” have happened. She is 15 months younger than brother- who is 17 months younger than big sister. We were trying to prevent another 17 month closeness and instead ended up 2 months closer. I cried, he cried. We both got blessings and were told that she would bring us more joy than our other children combined. He delivered on that promise. She definitely fills our home with joy and is exactly what we all needed. =]

  26. No matter my personal opinion, it is always interesting to hear what others think. Personally, and even though I know your comment was sarcasm, I agree with the statement “if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen”. That goes both ways. I know so many who have used multiple methods of BC, (from rhythm methods, condoms, pills, etc.) yet still get pregnant and I know so many women who have been trying EVERYTHING for years (incl en vitro) yet are still not able to get pregnant (or at least carry full-term) though they’d give anything and everything in the world to have a precious baby. I believe we all have our own agency to choose (from God) and yet at the same time…he is ultimately in charge. He already knows our thoughts, weaknesses, desires, goals, etc. and because of that (and despite that as well), HE knows what we need the most at that time to help us grow and become better people/individuals…whether that’s a baby or not. My husband and I practice the method of “live together normally..and let the children come”. That doesn’t mean I want 5 children 10 months apart each..but I would welcome it if it happened because I love children and I couldn’t actually face a sweet baby/child and tell them “I don’t really want you right now.” or “I’m sorry, I only want 3 and you’d make 4”. One time I had a friend who was PRO-BC and she argued that taking my approach is just “letting our bodies be in charge and of course we’d always get pregnant and have a baby whether we wanted it or not”. I BEG to differ. I didn’t want my pregnancy last summer to end in miscarriage but guess what?! It happened. I also have a good friend who’s been trying for 5 years and just had her 5th miscarriage. She still hasn’t been able to carry a baby to full-term. Yeah we can choose our actions but ultimately..we are little nothings compared to the Man Upstairs and his plans for us.

  27. So I know I’m months behind the comments, but I’m so grateful for the commenter who elaborated on what NFP is. I would like to add this: It’s a mindset. It’s about being a fully educated couple, especially a full educated and empowered woman. When we learn what our fertility really means, how to understand the signs, and how to take advantage of both the breaks and the baby-come-to-mama nights, it can only add to your relationship. But it’s a mindset most of all for the health of a woman’s natural body state (as opposed to barriers or chemical additives from various BC methods) and for the mutual input of the couple. I can’t ever lie to my husband. He knows my fertility, so if we are avoiding we have to do so together. And when we want to achieve, same thing.

    But it also acknowledges that a good result of sex IS a baby. To attempt to “block” it means we’re missing a very important understanding. Avoiding still allows for that “chance encounter” without working against my natural state. It’s a mind-blowing way to live as a sexual being, and I highly recommend it.

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