The wonder of fertility awareness
I think every mother will agree that there is something magical about pregnancy. Despite the morning sickness, weight gain, swollen ankles and all the rest of the undignified symptoms that go with it, there is still an element of awe and wonder about conceiving, nurturing, and bringing forth a new life.
There is a connection to one’s womanhood, a feeling of being set apart but at the same time linked to every other mother throughout the millennia of human history.
I certainly felt this when I was pregnant with my daughter. But instead of being a fresh experience, this glow of awe and wonder was actually a very familiar feeling to me. And I credit that to my practice of natural family planning (NFP).
When we became engaged...
When my husband and I became engaged, we learned all that we could about natural ways to postpone pregnancy. We didn’t want to fill my body with artificial hormones or chemicals, and neither of us liked the idea of barrier methods much. We read several books on natural family planning, took a few classes, and by the time we were married, we were both experts on my cycle.
Natural family planning in practice...
We learned how to read my body’s natural signs of fertility, how to record those signs on a chart, and how to determine which days I was fertile and which I was not. Once we were married, I expected the days of abstinence during my fertile time to be difficult. I also expected to have to set my alarm early to take my temperature every day. But something I did not expect to find was how much I loved natural family planning.
Don’t get me wrong, natural family planning is not all rainbows and butterflies. But using it has dramatically changed my life for the better. You see, NFP has given me an awareness of my body and my femininity that I find both empowering and exhilarating. On any given day, I know where I am in the monthly journey of my cycle, and where I am going next. When I am moody and lethargic, or energized and full of ideas, I can look at my chart and understand why.
I know when to give myself a break, and when to push myself. No longer seemingly random, physical and emotional signs and symptoms are understood as part of the intricate dance of hormones and processes in my body. I feel a profound connection to my own biology. I feel alive.
NFP helps my husband to understand me better...
I also know when it’s time for my husband and me to put our desires aside for the good of our family, and to carefully consider what that good may be. NFP helps my husband to understand me better. It helps teach us to connect in different ways. It helps me, a diehard people pleaser, to open up about my body, my heart, and my needs.
I remember in our early marriage, when I would be doubled over in pain with menstrual cramps, my husband would simply thank me for doing what I was doing. He knew that the biological process of menstruation was actually the key to our dreams of a future family. He never suggested that I chemically suppress the beautifully intricate and delicately balanced system that gives me the ability to bring forth life. He would just thank me, care for me, and then do all the housework for a few days!
Fertility awareness helps to keep our relationship fresh and exciting...
Natural family planning has become so much more than simply a way to avoid or achieve pregnancy; it’s become a way of life. Even though my husband and I aren’t newlyweds anymore, fertility awareness helps to keep our relationship fresh and exciting.
It’s a constant reminder of what a joy, privilege and honor it is to come together as one; heart, body, and soul. I am grateful for the people and circumstances in my life that guided me to treasure my fertility, even during those times when my husband and I are postponing pregnancy.
My fertility is a part of who I am, it is a part of our marriage, and we choose to celebrate it.
Source: by Rebecca Menning