@lifeisbeautiful, thank you your comments are very helpful. Although, I believe, hope and pray our NFP years are behind us.
On the other hand I do want another baby. It is just that my children are so beautiful. No, I'm not biased at all. If you could give the world another Mona Lisa or Sistine Chapel you would feel really guilty if you didn't.
It is amazing the vastly different treatment that NFP is given now. Compare the style of these two books that deal with the subject.
“The art of Natural Family Planning” - CCL
“Natural Family Planning reads the language of the sexual powers. In other words, NFP teaches us the meas to come to know ourselves and our spouses. In knowing ourselves and our spouses through the sexual powers, we also tough the mystery of God because these power reveal love, the most human act and the act of God. This knowledge leads us to an awe and wonder of ourselves, our spouses and God. This discovery of the mystery of ourselves, our spouses and God. This discovery of the mystery leads to authentic love, and authentic love leads to generosity. In other words, NFP can leas precisely to the knowledge that encourages us to treasure each other and God. I this way NFP builds marriages.
NFP is advertised as a positive influence and as something that builds marriages. They are obviously selling a product.
Contrast this with “The Catholic Marriage Manual” Rev. George Kelly published in 1958
First he notes
“The rhythm method [yes, I know, NFP is not the rhythm method.] is sometimes described as Catholic birth control. This description is erroneous. This method is neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Church. The Church merely permits it under specific circumstances outlined below”
He then goes into very specific details about when NFP may or may not be used. In any case, he isn't selling a product to enhance communication and build your marriage.
Later on, Rev. Kelly devotes two pages to listing the negative consequences of using NFP even when the very serious and specific reasons he outlined are used.
“The rhythm method, therefore, may tend to overemphasize physical aspects of intercourse and to repress its spiritual and emotional aspects. Another danger is that continued periods of abstinence may cause open or unconscious resentments in one or both partners”
“Practicing rhythm is particularly in advisable for young couples. During the early years of marriage, the emotional and physical needs for intercourse probably are at the greatest. Moreover, a young husband and wife who abstain during the “fertile” period have no way of knowing if their marriage really will be fertile. If they do not take advantage of their fertility when it is at its peak, they may discover later that they have lost their opportunity to have children.”
<-- This is something that is hardly ever mentioned anymore but is a very valid point. My wife is only 32 but if we're going to have another child it will likely mean months of expensive fertility treatments. If we had used NFP early on to build our marriage we would be childless.
I would be floored if anything like this appeared in any modern book discussing NFP. Today all you see is lovey-dovey talk about how NFP divorce proofs your marriage and helps foster communication. It is assumed that even young couples will start their marriage using NFP.
Compare that to the no nonsense approach that used to be taken. You don't want to use NFP because children are a blessing. NFP is not a product the Church is selling to you but if you absolutely have to then the Church permits it. If you are unlucky enough to have to use NFP you need to be cautious because using NFP negatively impacts your marriage. We seem to have lost that wisdom.