While I had a mostly positive attitude toward NFP from the beginning of my marriage, in hindsight I still thought of it as “Catholic Birth Control.” In other words, my husband and I would use it until we wanted to have a baby (which was very soon), and then we would stop, and boom, I would get pregnant.
So we stopped. But no “boom.” No baby. Month after month, year after year.
All the “birth control” in the world won’t give you an ounce of control when you want to have a baby, and you can’t. It was when I wanted to get pregnant and couldn’t that I experienced how very different Natural Family Planning is from artificial contraception.
NFP isn’t a blunt instrument for manipulating the reproductive system; it is rather a means of obtaining information about one’s own body, information which can serve a woman’s health in a variety of ways.
When I was diagnosed with infertility, the very same methods that we thought we were using to delay pregnancy were immediately turned toward the goal of conceiving a child. All the records that we had kept and all the knowledge that we had gained about our mutual reproductive system were put to the service of healing that system so that it could do what it was supposed to do: create new life.
And that is just one way that NFP is much bigger, and much better, than mere “birth control.” Natural Family Planning respects the whole reality of women’s bodies, including the goodness of healthy human reproduction. Natural Family Planning respects science, and uses the methods of medical science to understand more about how women’s bodies work and how to heal them when they don’t. And Natural Family Planning respects women (and men), by empowering us with the knowledge that we need, both for prudence in family planning and awareness of our own reproductive health.
Thanks to the knowledge we gained from Natural Family Planning, and the skilled assistance of medical professionals trained in NFP, we are now the parents of two beautiful daughters. Through NFP, we found real help, true healing and new life.
Kristen Grant is a wife, mother, graduate student, and an alumna of WSFT Media Training. She and her family live in St. Paul, Minnesota.