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#1 of 10 Old 11-18-2010, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ook.  I've been needing to write this for like..a year.  OK, i'm 30, grew up catholic.  turned away in high school.  got married, had 3 kids with my husband (unplanned).  When my first son started school we went with a catholic school.  my husband decided to do RCIA.  we got  married in the church, started going to mass again, etc.  OK.  so before we could get married (again) we had to do counsiling with the priest.  It was then i realized the big birth control issue.  I told my husband that I really didn't mind if we never had sex again, because i couldn't do any more kids at the moment.   I've been at home for 7 years.  I'm not happy, per se.  I do it well, but i don't like it very much.  i want to go back to school, so that we can have 2 salaries...because being poor is....hard.  (poor me.)  No really, we can't send all the kids to catholic school and have a house and a car on my husband's income. we don't have health insurance...i'm stressed out a lot..my husband works many hours...  plus i have very little support....anyway.......so we got married and i prayed that my heart would change and that i would be open to more children.  in the mean time every one i know is like.......do not have more kids.  are you crazy???????????????  don't let the church tell you what to do, etc.  even catholics--my own family. even my midwife was pusing for a vas. so my husband and i could just "be happy".  so...i'm like......hum...we used condoms for awhile, but i felt horrible about it.  so, i read 3 books on NFP and thought we could do it.  well, a few months into it--we were very conservative--i am pregnant.  I had just got into nursing school and was all set to go......my family and many friends think i m an IDIOT.  no one is even acting like i am pregnant.....ANYWAY......i'm really wondering if i should even be catholic at this point.  i believe that contraception is evil.  i see the logic.  i just don't know what to do.  can i go to mass, use condoms, not take communion? is this terrible?  i REALLY don't care if i ever have sex again.  i haven't wanted to for years.  but it totally .messes my marriage up when i express this.  NEED advice.....please.

god bless

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#2 of 10 Old 11-19-2010, 04:51 AM
 
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that sounds really hard. unplanned pregnancies can happen with any family planning method, even the ones perceived as 'safest' like the pill or condoms. if you learned the NFP method and followed it accurately, then i can imagine your frustration and confusion. but i don't necessarily think that NFP is a failure; it's worked really well for many families (catholic and non-catholic). are you worried that NFP won't work next time? it sounds like you aren't interested in any other birth control methods besides NFP and abstinence and your faith is in alignment with that, so i say go with your conscience. you definitely need to talk with your husband so you are both in agreement.

fwiw, i'm catholic and have used NFP both to avoid and to ttc. it's complicated! the learning curve was much bigger than i expected.

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#3 of 10 Old 11-19-2010, 06:23 AM
 
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Reading books on NFP is really not the same as having a certified instructor who can guide you.  My Creighton instructor has been invaluable to me.  If you let them know money is an issue they should be able to work with you.  I found that a lot of those fears I had really evaporated once I felt confident in using NFP.

 

 

 

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#4 of 10 Old 11-21-2010, 12:46 PM
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I second the advice to take an actual NFP class and find a method that works for your needs.  I would also recommend not bringing up that you would be OK with never having sex again to your husband.  I know that's how you feel, but that puts your husband in a really awkward position, and it doesn't generally make for the best of discussions, as you have noted.  Your willingness to abstain could be helpful if it is really important to not get pregnant.  For example, if you wait until you are sure you have ovulated, you are very unlikely to conceive, if you wait for 3 days of full thermal shift and 4 days of dry up, and if you really need to, you can add another day or 2.  Most couples find that they have the effectiveness they need if they abstain until the start of mucus after the beginning of the cycle, but some do not and have to choose another way to decide when to abstain after the beginning of a cycle.  For couples who have a really serious reason to not get pregnant, many use the post-ovulatory phase only, though this requires a lot of abstinence.

 

The bottom line is that you can make NFP work one way or another and still have at least some intimate contact with your husband.  You just may need some extra help and maybe some extra abstinence, but it doesn't have to be complete abstinence or condoms.

 

Congratulations on the new baby.  God has a plan for you and for that child, and he sent you that miracle for a reason.  He or she is a blessing for sure, and God will give you everything you need to bring up this new life.  Hugs to you, mama.

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#5 of 10 Old 11-21-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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Have you looked into the Fertility/Family Planning forums here on MDC? There's a monthly thread on Charting to Avoid, with some amazingly knowledgeable women. If you don't mind giving them the gory details of your use of NFP they might be able to pinpoint what went wrong (if anything - there's always the small possibility of method failure, just like with any BC). My SIL got pregnant twice while using Creighton's, and it turned out she was misinformed on a simple little fact... that being how long sperm can survive inside a vagina. Kind of an important fact to be straight on, you know? :p She's OK about the pregnancies, but she did borrow my copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility so it won't happen again! I'm not saying you were necessarily misinformed, but it might be worth double- or triple-checking - SIL thought she was being conservative too, but yeah... nope.

 

There are ways to be SUPER conservative with NFP - you wouldn't have many safe days, but it sounds like you're willing to have none at all, so this would be an improvement on that! Did you temp last time? Check cervical positioning as well as CM? Chart for a few cycles before relying on it as BC?


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#6 of 10 Old 11-22-2010, 02:56 AM
 
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First, many congratulations on your new life. Deep breath. I'm hoping that my sister's story might inspire you. She was beginning medical school and had just taken the rubella vaccine. She used two methods of birth control and became pregnant. She began medical school anyway. She was pregnant the first year and then wore her son to class for the first 6 weeks, nursing in class. Then she had him in a day care center on campus next to the med school and went to nurse him every few hours.

 

And then did it again with her daughter 9 months later.  My neice and nephew are 18 months apart and my sister is a very successful doctor, bringing great comfort to the world.

 

It required tremendous family support, hard work and determination on my sister's part. It really can be done. She was aided in her thinking by the examples of my parents, who have 6 children, PhDs and working class backgrounds.

 

You are not an idiot and need to stand up to anyone who is trying to tear at your self-esteem. Since you are pregnant now, put off worries about NFP and what to do about sex until later. Meet with your paster or whoever is in charge of pastoral care in your church and find out what kinds of support they can offer you with this pregnancy and preparing for nursing school and your new baby. Find out what kinds of scholarships your local Catholic school offers if you want to use it for education, being non-begging but clear about your economic circumstances.  See if there is a mom of many who you can click with to get help and guidance on balancing it all.

 

Finally, nursing as a career provides a lot of flexibility in scheduling so after you make it through this bump, things many feel a lot easier.

 

It sounds like the issues with NFP are only part of the problem. You sound like you are struggling alone around how to care for your family. You have the right to get support and help with that.

 

One last thing. Taking an NFP class right after your pregnancy and then finding and participating in a support group for NFP couples seems really important. Consider asking your pastor for help getting situated with that. Call the diocese if no one in your local parish is helpful. 

 

And one last piece of advice that isn't very Catholic, so give it less weight. Do the best you can today with what you have. Sex with your dh is a beautiful gift from God to comfort you both and sustain your marriage. If a step in the journey toward wholeness as a couple is temporarily using birth control to find your emotional and marital footing, there are worse things. Your children need you to be emotionally okay and not feeling like an impoverished idiot.

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#7 of 10 Old 11-22-2010, 05:20 AM
 
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I don't really have any NFP advice, other than I too have seen people who thought they were doing it correctly, but were not.  So an instructor would be a great idea.

 

But I really identify with the disapproval of your family problem.  So far this has not happened to me, but I know if I were to have another baby, it would, and it really really bothers me.  Especially since I really depend on them for help when my husband is away. 

 

When I look at it clearly, I can see that they have been really affected by their own up-bringing and experiences, and just the culture around them.  I find it more and more obvious to me how anti-children our culture is, both in disdaining them, and then in weird ways over-indulging and over-parenting them, and making society un-amenable to them - it is a weird thing.  I try to think of my parents as being victims of this.  It doesn't really help with my feelings of worry and being judged, but it does help me keep my perspective on the fact that their views are wrong and are contributing to many trends in society that I have a real problem with.


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#8 of 10 Old 11-23-2010, 07:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post

First, many congratulations on your new life. Deep breath. I'm hoping that my sister's story might inspire you. She was beginning medical school and had just taken the rubella vaccine. She used two methods of birth control and became pregnant. She began medical school anyway. She was pregnant the first year and then wore her son to class for the first 6 weeks, nursing in class. Then she had him in a day care center on campus next to the med school and went to nurse him every few hours.

 

And then did it again with her daughter 9 months later.  My neice and nephew are 18 months apart and my sister is a very successful doctor, bringing great comfort to the world.

 

It required tremendous family support, hard work and determination on my sister's part. It really can be done. She was aided in her thinking by the examples of my parents, who have 6 children, PhDs and working class backgrounds.

 

You are not an idiot and need to stand up to anyone who is trying to tear at your self-esteem. Since you are pregnant now, put off worries about NFP and what to do about sex until later. Meet with your paster or whoever is in charge of pastoral care in your church and find out what kinds of support they can offer you with this pregnancy and preparing for nursing school and your new baby. Find out what kinds of scholarships your local Catholic school offers if you want to use it for education, being non-begging but clear about your economic circumstances.  See if there is a mom of many who you can click with to get help and guidance on balancing it all.

 

Finally, nursing as a career provides a lot of flexibility in scheduling so after you make it through this bump, things many feel a lot easier.

 

It sounds like the issues with NFP are only part of the problem. You sound like you are struggling alone around how to care for your family. You have the right to get support and help with that.

 

One last thing. Taking an NFP class right after your pregnancy and then finding and participating in a support group for NFP couples seems really important. Consider asking your pastor for help getting situated with that. Call the diocese if no one in your local parish is helpful. 

 

And one last piece of advice that isn't very Catholic, so give it less weight. Do the best you can today with what you have. Sex with your dh is a beautiful gift from God to comfort you both and sustain your marriage. If a step in the journey toward wholeness as a couple is temporarily using birth control to find your emotional and marital footing, there are worse things. Your children need you to be emotionally okay and not feeling like an impoverished idiot.


This is excellent advice.  thumb.gif
 


I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. 

 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 

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#9 of 10 Old 11-23-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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chfriend, just wanted to say thanks for sharing your sister's story.  I will have to pass it along to my sister, who is just starting med school.  She and her new husband are what their friends call "Catholic on steroids", lol.  They are taking NFP classes but don't feel their situation is severe enough to warrant using it to prevent pregnancy.  And she wants to be a mom more than anything.  Even so, the thought of mothering while in med school is daunting.  She will really be encouraged to hear that story. 

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#10 of 10 Old 12-04-2010, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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wow..wonderful advice (everyone!!) I am so thankful...i have a plan and much more strength.  I need to find some more like minded, young, career oriented catholic moms.  Will do.

Blessings to all..

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