Feeling weak...2nd guessing NFP...=(


#1

My husband and I use NFP. We have gone to theology of the body seminars , and read books by Christoper West. We have also read books on "Catholic marriages" " remaining faithful" etc. I think as a couple, we are fairly well read in the subject.

Last March, after carefully monitoring my temp DH and I abstained from days 9-17. ( it was a while ago, but I believe those were the days) and still ended up pregnant. It was a HUGE surprize to us, because this time around, we had been the most careful..scrupilously monitoring both cervical mucous and Basal body temp. We had been told previously by my GYN that I could not conceive anymore children due to a medical issue 6 months prior but was still meticulously chartting due to having 3 sons under 3 and being a full time nursing student at the time. I admit, hubby and I wanted more children, and so I had prayed quite passionately to St. Philomena asking for her intercession that some day I might conceieve again...imagine our surprize when 8 weeks later I found out I was 3 weeks pregnant!

I am struggling now dear friends. I am so overwhelemd with my 3 sons..now 5,3, and 2. I cry almost daily. I can't imagine adding another baby to this mess. I am so blessed because this is finally our precious baby girl that we have wanted so long for..our little Annabelle Philomena. But as my due date approaches..Dec 27..I find myself going through panic attacks. how will I fit a girl into this house? how will I raise one? I feel like I have absolutely no patience left for another child. Hubby feels the same...he keeps saying he doesnt want another baby and how will we afford another one in this economy. I feel so lost, my DR keeps asking me what my "plan" is after this baby..."are u tieing your tubes?" "will you start the pill" and my personal favorite..."obviously your NFP is not working" I feel so desperate right now.
sorry so long.

In Christ,
Nicole


#2

(((HUGS))) Nicole... I have no words of advice or wisdom... just want to offer you my thoughts and prayers...
I have boys named Jacob and Joshua also... followed by our third - a girl... and what a BEAUTIFUL blessing she has been to our lives!!! Now, I can't say it's not challenging (and I only have 3!), but each challenge God presents to us only makes us stronger and grow closer to Him.
Look for practical ways to find help... can you find time to exercise, seek counseling/medical attention for your anxiety, help around the house with the kids and the housework? Your worries and anxieties are all very real... but I know you can find creative ways of tackling it all and moving forward - you ARE, after all, a mother of 3 boys so far... I'm pretty sure that qualifies you as heroic! ;)
Also know that things are always changing... as the kids grow they'll eventually go off to school - giving you time with just the younger ones during the day... and every year things get easier and they're able to care for themselves more and more. Boys are tough, I know, because they don't always have that independent initiative to be "responsible", but when forced into it your boys will grow into very responsible and family-loving men because of this!!!
Continue to look for all the wonderful blessings in your life... seek the HELP you need and deserve... and I will keep you in my prayers...


#3

First I want to say, I am so sorry for the way this is affecting you. You seem so overwhelmed.

I have met couples where they had decided to not have any more children, and after having sex just ONCE during a time where they didn't have sex for months even-- they were pregnant. One mother told me, despite the marital troubles she and her husband were having, she strongly believed that God wanted her 2nd child to be born.

I personally think God wants you to have a daughter. And I think God wants you to take this pregnancy gracefully and allow you to raise your children healthily.

I would suggest seeking counsel with your priest along with a psychologist who specializes in post-partum depression. I am not saying you have it or anything, but considering the feelings and stress you're experiencing, it wouldn't be a bad thing to look into.

You've got to settle this overwhelmed feeling first, and then move forward with the steps to try to make the best of this situation.


#4

my miracle child number 6 is one of those look-at-my-charts-how-did-i-get-this-mixed-blessing-of-a-baby??????? it was hard -- i was sick all throughout my last pregnancies -- i was scared and fatigued and worn out and unhelped by my husband. but i am so wonderfully blessed by these wonderful children of mine. remember -- you will be not pregnant anymore so you will feel better and have more energy -- your children will all be a few weeks older and will love the baby and actually can be big helps with calming and entertaining and loving the baby! it will be good because you were blessed with this child especially by God. it is good. all will be well. be at peace. most of all -- don't fear -- don't be bullied into bc -- wait until you are postpartum a few months and things get easier -- pray -- remember why nfp is right and bc is wrong -- don't kill your marriage with getting your tubes tied and shutting God out -- that way only leads to sadness, guilt, loneliness, discord.


#5

I prayed to Saint Philomena to conceive too and I have a wonderful little boy.

I really hope and pray that through her intercession we will have another child.

Saint Philomena is the wonder-worker for a reason!


#6

The beginning-of-the-month transition from infertility to fertility could be one of the "trickier" elements of NFP. My wife and I follow the "20 day rule" from CCL's older program (don't know how the recent program update changed that). We don't trust our ability to read CM to determine the beginning of fertility. This can result in longer abstinence times, but well worth it if avoiding.


#7

NFP is great to use for the right reasons and it seems that you were doing all things right. However, NFP doesn't trump God's ability to see what is best for us and Him. This is a blessing and, like many blessings, leave the instrument of the blessing looking up to the heavens and asking God, "Seriously?!? What are you thinking?!?" My prayers will be with you. I have a couple people in my life who are facing miscarriages or other problems with their yet born child, and my heart hurts for them. I had my tubes tied and it was a poor decision. Give yourself time and trust in God. (And it is a girl- so different then boys! That is exciting!)


#8

Unless I am reading it wrong, you were using NFP so that you would not get pregnant yet but praying to St. Philomena for another child? It seems like you were sending 2 different messages.

Well, your prayers were answered! :D

Don't worry - the baby will settle in to the family and you will cope. The panic attacks are quite normal. You are imagining all sorts of difficult situations, but this is your longed for daughter. In no time things will settle down.


#9

My wife and I definitely struggled during the baby years. I just didn't know how to totally give myself over to my children. I was selfish. My wife had her problems, as well.

The kids are teens/20s now and the last five or ten years have been awesome! We have gotten over being overwhelmed and we matured/grew as our children did.

For some, the baby years are the best. For others, the older children are more to their liking. I swear I used to hear circus music when we took the brood out somewhere, because we were living in a three-ring circus.

It gets better. Relax.


#10

At least you guys were open to life. I am using ABC out of acute fear of becoming pregnant again. It's an irrational fear that I just can't shake. Once I've stopped breastfeeding and my schedule is regular again, I may have the strength to give NFP another shot.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, congratulations and the grace you have received from trusting in God is a beautiful baby girl.

btw...girls are a lot easier than boys (generally), so it won't be as bad as you may thing. My son has been so much more difficult than my daugther was.


#11

I completely understand your feelings. We just discovered we're expecting our fourth (in June), and we have three boys. Our boys are older than yours, and more widely spaced, but it's always daunting, the idea of bringing another wee babe into a home!

As for raising a girl after raising boys, I am so with you there. Obviously we don't know if we're having a boy or a girl, but I admit I'm hoping (mostly) for a boy. I know boys, I understand boys, and I'm comfortable with boys. I am NOT comfortable with pink or glitter or fairy wings! LOL. At the same time, I trust that God knows best for our family and will give me the grace to be a good mother to girl or another boy.

I am a firm believer that God does not call the equipped; He equips the called. If you are following your calling, He will give you the ability to deal with the (temporary) chaos that will follow in December, trust me.

And it is temporary. One thing I really had to give myself up to was the chaos. I'm a litlte OCD, and I just had to relax about the house when a new baby came home. My one rule was keeping the kitchen usable and not messed up; as the kitchen goes, I've found, so goes the house! As long as the kitchen and bathrooms are reasonably sanitary, I didn't worry about laundry not being folded, or changing diapers on the floor.

Remember that you have little ones who can pitch in--even a three year old can put his clean clothes in his drawers. They won't be folded, but they'll be put away. I always put pictures of the items that go in each drawer on the front of the drawer, and they learn very quickly where their pants and shirts go. They can put their toys away, as long as there are designated spaces.

As for NFP, have you thought of using the Marquette Model? It uses a Clear Plan ovulation monitor, and checking cervical mucus and other signs. I never used the temperature method; it didn't work for me. The Marquette Model is pretty new, and I know the Couple to Couple League frowned on it, but it has really worked well for us. The monitor is an investment, but I'd rather spend money on that than on ABC!


#12

I for one am very grateful that NFP is so ineffective. If it weren't so ineffective there is no telling what kind of excuses we would come up with to avoid children. And without children coming along there is no telling how "soft" wife and I would get with things like sleep and disposable income.


#13

[quote="samcarter, post:11, topic:218436"]
As for NFP, have you thought of using the Marquette Model? It uses a Clear Plan ovulation monitor, and checking cervical mucus and other signs. I never used the temperature method; it didn't work for me. The Marquette Model is pretty new, and I know the Couple to Couple League frowned on it, but it has really worked well for us. The monitor is an investment, but I'd rather spend money on that than on ABC!

[/quote]

I think I know why CCL disfavors it. It has the potential to lull the user into dependence on a piece of technology that has no backup should it fail. Marquette also advocates training by medical professionals, as opposed to CCL's ethic of using only practicing couples as teachers.

If your basal thermometer is unavailable, you could likely use a fever thermometer until that is corrected.

Still, as a tool used in conjunction with other signs, Marquette's gadget could provide valuable confirmation in certain difficult situations.


#14

Thank you for all your responses...
JoanM: Yes I was praying for the ability to conceive children in the future due to my DR believeing that I was unable to become pregnant again due to medical problems. Please don't misunderstand me, I am ETERNALLY greatful for having another baby--and a girl no less! But did not think now was the time. I was more or less praying "proactively" lol in my head, I was thinking 2-3 years from now--and was utterly shocked at God's different timing.

I will def. look into the marquettes method, thank you for the suggestion.

I have been told that raising a girl is so very diff. I guess I am struggling for 2 reasons: 1 I am afraid I will fail her as a mom because I only know how to raise boys. and 2: I guess I am being selfish also. I can't imagine breast feeding every 1-2 hours again. My toddler still wakes up in the middle of the night, and my other tot sleeps with DH and I. I guess I just miss "me" time. so I admit I am being selfish. :(

In Christ,
Nicole


#15

I don't think you're being selfish-- it's very important for parents to have "their" time along with couple time. If you think that the stress and overwhelming feeling of trying to get a handle on things is taking a toll on your marriage, you and your husband need a date night out. Get a babysitter, or take the kids to the grandparents, their aunt, uncle, whatever and have a night for just the two of you. The next day you two can pick up the kids.

Children cannot function well if their parents are bone dry and have no energy.


#16

Congratulations!!!

I'm assuming you've told your DH all about this? He's pitching in and helping out right? If not, talk to him.
Many times we stress and worry about something and when it finally occurs it's nowhere near as bad. I had 3 kids- my mom had 6, once your outnumbered its pretty much the same thing according to her. There's two parents and extra kids and they all want something at the same time. They have to learn to wait. You have to realize you can't serve everyone at once and waiting or taking care of the small things themselves will be character building for them.

Oddly, there will be something you'll miss about each stage of your life and your kids development. Try to enjoy each stage and keep a sense of humor. I miss my kids being small and changing them. I even miss walking my real colically baby at 1 am, trading her back and fourth with my wife as we each got too stressed. I complain about cleaning up after them now, but know that when they're gone I'll be missing them and thinking what a minor thing it was.

Your not selfish, your just human. We all want/need a little time for ourselves. You're not saying you want to leave them forever- just get a break now and then. Cut yourself a little slack- God doesn't expect you to be perfect, try as you might you won't be. Just do your best and please, enjoy your time with your little ones they grow so fast. Trite but true, my oldest is halfway through college and I remember changing her first diapers and being all uncomfortable and squeamish cleaning around her girl parts.


#17

[quote="spunjalebi, post:15, topic:218436"]
I don't think you're being selfish-- it's very important for parents to have "their" time along with couple time. If you think that the stress and overwhelming feeling of trying to get a handle on things is taking a toll on your marriage, you and your husband need a date night out. Get a babysitter, or take the kids to the grandparents, their aunt, uncle, whatever and have a night for just the two of you. The next day you two can pick up the kids.

Children cannot function well if their parents are bone dry and have no energy.

[/quote]

Wait till you have kids...this is a pipe dream :)

My kids would scream blooder murder if I left them overnight somewhere. My DD went crazy when I spent 1 night in the maternity ward.


#18

Well from one overwhelmed Mom to another, I can tell you some things that worked for me:
I did not breastfeed - formula and he did great, everyone could feed the baby, not just me.
I used Babywise and by 4 months he was sleeping through the night (10pm - 7am).
I cut WAY back on work. My biggest source of frustration and stress was trying to do a career and take care of me, baby, and hubbie (and the house!). I was on anti-depressants.
I got a friend to watch him one morning a week while I did “whatever.” At first I just came home and slept…later I started going to Mass, practicing the organ, or something nurturing for me.
I started connecting with other Moms, I was previously very independent and didn’t want to need any help. Now we trade favors, bring our kids to the zoo together, etc. The play dates aren’t for the kids! They are so Moms can chat! :slight_smile:
I got a stroller and we went walking every morning.
The entire house (you and the children) should have a designated nap/quiet time in the day. Ours is 11-1pm. THey must stay in their rooms and read or something if they wake early. It gives everyone a break.

Go to www.momsnotes.com and buy the CD ($7.00) called “Structuring your Day.”:thumbsup:

Sending you much love!:slight_smile: God will give you the grace you need. A good book: The Domestic Church. She’s a Catholic Mom w/lots of kids.


#19

[quote="atara, post:18, topic:218436"]
Well from one overwhelmed Mom to another, I can tell you some things that worked for me:
I did not breastfeed - formula and he did great, everyone could feed the baby, not just me.
I used Babywise and by 4 months he was sleeping through the night (10pm - 7am).
I cut WAY back on work. My biggest source of frustration and stress was trying to do a career and take care of me, baby, and hubbie (and the house!). I was on anti-depressants.
I got a friend to watch him one morning a week while I did "whatever." At first I just came home and slept..later I started going to Mass, practicing the organ, or something nurturing for me.
I started connecting with other Moms, I was previously very independent and didn't want to need any help. Now we trade favors, bring our kids to the zoo together, etc. The play dates aren't for the kids! They are so Moms can chat! :-)

Sending you much love!:)

[/quote]

Funny, I personally found breastfeeding easy b/c I co-slept the first 3 months and would just roll over and put my boob in the mouth and then continue sleeping. Each mom finds out what works best for them.

I'm glad you found your rythm. That's important.


#20

[quote="Serap, post:17, topic:218436"]
Wait till you have kids...this is a pipe dream :)

My kids would scream blooder murder if I left them overnight somewhere. My DD went crazy when I spent 1 night in the maternity ward.

[/quote]

That's what people tell me yet they're always miserable! So what gives, seriously?

When my sibs and I were younger we were taken my relatives' places all the time. I only mentioned what I did because I personally don't want to end up like my mother-- caring for the kids pretty much by herself, getting all the chores down, and absolutely tired and drained, and the only outlet she felt she had to let out her frustrations was by beating her kids.

Just saying...


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.