Ending NFP

In a previous thread, I had mentioned that my wife and I had determined that we could no longer actively avoid having children. We had previously been using NFP and things were clearly going well for us in that regard. Now, we’re not actively avoiding pregnancy, but not actively trying to conceive either – leaving it up to God, as it were.

Here’s the interesting catch. Since we’d spent a significant amount of time learning her cycles, we pretty good at knowing when everything is happening. We’ve found that our sex drive during her fertile times is rather low – so we’re still inadvertently avoiding. We’re not trying to conceive, so we’re still in a weird mood when we know it’s highly likely that we would conceive. Previously we knew that we should abstain when she’s in her fertile stage. Now we know she’s fertile, and we think about what we had been doing previously. We end up just not doing anything on those days since there’s no sin in simply not being in the mood, after all. Part of the motivation of this is that the idea that we’re going to be parents is kinda scary – okay, utterly terrifying. I know that reaction is fairly normal, but that still kinda kills the mood on occasion. Eventually, I would rather conceive on a day when we decide “Okay, let’s do this” rather than a halfhearted “Well, we didn’t really decide to, but it happened anyway”.

For those of you who have been in a similar situation, I have a question for you. How awkward was it when you first had sex on a day that you would have previously abstained? Did you just throw caution to the wind, or were you more tentative about things? I’m assuming that most people did keep charting for various reasons and didn’t just say “Okay, we’re done with that – back to ignorance about my monthly cycle” so you would still know which days had a likely chance of conception.

“My situation” is that we were using NFP to help us avoid pregnancy and now we’re going to “stop” avoiding, but we’re not actively trying to conceive. We would welcome a child if she got pregnant, but if it didn’t happen this month, we would not be upset or concerned. So I’m looking for advice from anybody with that experience, with no regard to when in your marriage it happened. If it was before your first child, or after you thought you were done, or somewhere in the middle – all advice is welcome.

Well, my DH and I have always tried to concieve so I might not have the viewpoint you are looking for, but I would suggest that you stop charting. The data from the chart might subconsciously influence your mood. If you do or do not concieve, you will know that it is God’s plan for you at that time. Your wife at least will not be completely ignorant about her cycle, she will still notice any mucus and have a good feel for where she is.

My son was conceived on a bend in the rules that we knew might result in conception, but was unlikely (my last “sticky” day). So, while I haven’t exactly been in your situation, my husband was way more excited about conceiving than I was.

I was not excited at all about conceiving. I cried when I got a positive on the HPT, I started to cry when I told my husband (but he was so excited that I didn’t), I cried when we told his family (just a little) and I cried for about 30 minutes before I got up the courage to call my mom.

Despite all that, I love my son with all my heart, and I am grateful to God for His gift. I will be very happy to conceive on purpose next time (if that’s His plan), but even if all of our kids are conceived the same way, that’s okay.

So my advice is that if you are not super-excited about having a kid NOW, then don’t worry about not using the fertile days. The wonderful thing about NFP is that if God wants you to have a baby, then you will. If not, then you don’t have to worry about it. You’re not stopping Him from making it happen if you don’t use the fertile days.

If you happen to find yourself in the mood on a fertile day, then go for it, but don’t stress about it. When God wants you to have a baby, you will.

My wife and I just kinda threw caution to the wind when we no longer needed to avoid pregnancy. We didn’t have the same situation, though, in that once we no longer needed to avoid, we were both eager to enjoy her fertile days.

It’s understandable that you may be nervous or terrified about becoming parents. That can be the case for each new child as well. My wife and I had these feelings to an extent with our first and fourth (who is still in the womb :slight_smile: ) and we just prayed about it, evaluated our circumstances, put our trust in God, and that brought us comfort.

Our second child was fully planned…we were trying to conceive. Our third was more along the lines where our “just reason” wasn’t quite as “just” anymore and, well, it’s hard for us to avoid when we don’t really have a good reason. :wink: (My wife was not happy about it at first, though…another story for another time perhaps. )

Anyway, my recommendation for you is to take your time, pray about it and discuss these feelings with your spouse. Don’t have sex just because you feel pressured to…do it because you love each other and you want to experience everything God has prepared for you in your marriage. :slight_smile:

This isn’t quite what you’re looking for, but along the same lines so I’ll share.

I began charting a few months before DH and I got married because we were planning on using NFP to avoid when we first got married (I had student loan debt and was still looking for a job; he had just finished graduate school and started a job.) I was reading my chart a few days before our wedding “just to see,” and there was a high probability that I was going to be fertile on our wedding night and for the beginning of our honeymoon.

So I asked DH (then dear fiance ;)) about it, and we prayed a little while, and said…well, OK. Nine months and two days after our wedding, our little guy showed up. :thumbsup: It definitely helped that I recognized the pattern beforehand, talked with DH about it, and that we knew that even though it wasn’t in our plans, pregnancy was very probable. (After all, it was our wedding night! :cool:)

Were we scared? Kind of! We still are some days, I think. But knowing our “chances” wasn’t going to stop us, and in some ways it felt great once we saw that little plus sign and thought, “We were so worried about this happening early…well, now it’s happening…so we deal with it!”

We love our son. He’s the person he was meant to be, and he arrived when he was supposed to. Being at peace with that makes our lives easier and helps us enjoy parenthood more.

:slight_smile:

Kerebos,

We did not “end NFP” per se but simply stopped consulting our charts (except for a couple of temporary health situations). In our case, libido seems a bit higher during the fertile phase but still it took months to conceive (miscarried :(). I think in part because a “pattern” was set like in your experience, but also because of how much energy the first two took just made us want to go to sleep. :wink:

Personally, I have come to think that it is more desirable to receive children on God’s “accidental” time.

With my now 2 year old, we were actively trying using the Clearblue Easy monitor for about 3 months before we got pregnant and when I got that test I cried and thought my life was over. I was scared and not much can prepare you for it. We were trying, sure, but I thought I would have more time to get used to the idea. That 2 year old is now my whole universe :slight_smile:

I am pregnant now with our second boy, who wasn’t planned but wasn’t avoided. We just thought we would not use anything to avoid for a year and see what happened. If we got pregnant, fine, if we didn’t, we would start trying to avoid because I’m almost 35. I felt almost he same way with this one only actually LESS nervous this time. You’re never really prepared unless you just happen to be one of those people who loves kids and wants a hundred of them :slight_smile:

HAHA!! And even that can change! When my wife and I married, she was hoping to have 10. After our 2nd, she had decided maybe 6, and after our 3rd, well, we’ll take as many as God gives us according to our ability to provide for them, but we certainly aren’t going to be shooting for any records. :wink:

So you’re now psyching yourselves out because you saw a strong correlation between her moods and her fertility? Though admittedly yours is the opposite of our experience - my wife is only in the mood when she’s fertile. NFP was tough (she’s expecting our second currently) but it worked quite well.

It may get easier as you get away from actively avoiding pregnancy - her day is no longer set to taking her biometrics first thing in the morning so her moods may not be as strongly correlated anymore. Move as the Spirit moves you.

Will it be wierd? It’s interesting when you wake up and think “gee, we could be expecting.” It’s actually kind of a giddy moment when you get the first positive test. Or maybe it’ll be terrifying to you. Since it’s now more likely (unless you abstain altogether), work on some of those things that you won’t be able to do once you’re parents. Want to jet to Europe for a week? Book your tickets now in time for Oktoberfest.

And it is really scary to become parents the first time - scary and exciting. Lots of change. I’ll tell you that after 2 p.m. I just want to leave work to get home to my girls, but I also miss some of the freedom we used to have. Parties now mean we need a sitter, though we tend to entertain more at home so we don’t have to cut the night short because of bedtime. It is a change but it’s a good change.

I don’t have any NFP insight…

But wanted to say, I understand how TERRIFYING it is to get PG. We spend so much of our lives NOT DARING doing anything that could end in PG, and then “being careful”… The idea of actually getting PG on purpose, or “on accident” seems SOOOOOO irresponsible… How COULD YOU… LOL! Plus it’s a decision you don’t get to take back.

For me, having a child was the ONE thing I couldn’t undo… no matter how right or wrong, I can’t undo being a mother, but I can undo being a wife, an employee, etc…

I cried when they sent us home with our twins… ON OUR OWN… Where they NUTZ??? but you figure it out… 'cause you HAVE to…(even if it doesn’t feel natural)…

I’d probably quit charting. Try to forget about what day it is… and just go for it. You’ll probably be aware for a while… and then one day, get in the mood 'cause it’s a celebration day… birthday, anniversary, got a promotion… Whatever! Dinner and a movie… then wammo…

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