NFP information (# of children, spacing, etc)


#1

I'm curious for people who feel comfortable sharing, I'm asking this b/c I see so many threads about NFP and spacing and number of children. For people who use NFP, how many children do you have and how do you feel about the spacing of them? Are there any health issues such that a pregnancy can't be attempted? What about the effect on the marriage? I see so many threads about difficulties with NFP that I'm wondering about people's experiences in general. I'm considering different options at this point.


#2

Our marriage is still in its infancy, but I’ll answer from my experience anyway. :slight_smile:

**For people who use NFP, how many children do you have and how do you feel about the spacing of them?
**We have one child (in utero). We waited several years before starting our family and successfully used NFP to avoid conception. We plan to use NFP to space future children. We like that NFP forces us to consciously examine what God is calling is to do on a regular basis.

**Are there any health issues such that a pregnancy can’t be attempted? **
I have a blood clotting disorder. Every pregnancy will be “high risk” for both me and the baby and for every pregnancy I will need 11 months of $1500/month medication. (Thank God for health insurance!)

**What about the effect on the marriage? **
The more we fully embrace NFP, the happier our marriage has become and the more truly intimate sex has become. Early in our marriage we practiced NFP…plus condoms because I didn’t want children to interrupt my career. :shrug: Then I had health problems for which my doctor put me on hormonal birth control, but once we discovered my clotting disorder I discontinued birth control because it was a potentially lethal combination. Since then (about 14 months?) we got serious about following NFP to the letter. For 12 of those months we practiced very conservative NFP to avoid conception, and the following 2 months we “flipped the switch” and tried to get pregnant. Faithfully practicing NFP was one of *many *small changes in our marriage over the past year, so I can’t say that it’s the #1 thing that made my marriage better, but it was one element of a new faith-centered approach to marriage (as opposed to our previous earthly-centered approach) that has increased our marital bliss tenfold.


#3

I’m glad it’s working well for you. :slight_smile: Congratulations.


#4

Hopefully you get some more anecdotes from others who have been using NFP longer than I have. Like I said–our marriage is just a baby, not even five years old yet. :o


#5

We’ve been married 3 1/2 years and have charted with NFP (Creighton method) throughout our marriage. We had no significant reason to avoid pregnancy early, and we were blessed with our daughter being conceived after just 4 months. I had lots of difficulty recovering from childbirth (perhaps b/c of my “advanced maternal age” of 35). Our daughter is 2 1/2 y.o. now, and I still have not fully healed, so we have been able to use NFP successfully to avoid another pregnancy until my body seems to be ready for it.

Learning to chart, and learning to be confident with it was challenging at first – and especially so during the time of breast-feeding. Thankfully, my husband is incredibly loving and understanding. The gift of learning how to communicate about our fertility and our sexual intimacy has been such a blessing. I have been especially thankful for the ability to communicate well about these things during this long time of post-partum healing which has included decreased libido. NFP has challenged us to communicate openly and honestly. Due to my lack of libido since childbirth, the times of abstinence for me are really quite easy. The times of abstinence, especially prolonged abstinence during the time of breast-feeding, are a challenge for my husband – but he will readily admit to NFP being a blessing to our marriage and to our ability to understand and love each other better.


#6

We’ve used NFP on and off for the full 10+ years of our marriage and all children have been “planned”… no “surprises”. There were certainly times that it was hard to distinguish my signs (especially during breastfeeding), but outside of that I’ve had not major issues with the use of NFP - although I do constantly re-educate myself… I pick up NFP-related books and read them through… and refresh myself on the information fairly regularly.
For people who use NFP, how many children do you have and how do you feel about the spacing of them?
Currently 3… our first two are 2y3m apart, our second two are 3y4m apart. We enjoy those gaps… any future children will have a wider gap, though… our youngest is currently over 2 1/2 years…

Are there any health issues such that a pregnancy can’t be attempted?
No physical health issues, currently. We’d love more children eventually, but for many reasons now is not the appropriate time. If we were to “accidentally” get pregnant it wouldn’t be the end of the world, by any means - we’d love more children.

What about the effect on the marriage?
I don’t know if I can use the word “effect” because our marriage doesn’t know any better… it’s always been a non-issue and we were never motivated not to follow church teachings regarding contraception. We aren’t saintly, we certainly have normal marital disputes, but sex simply isn’t one of them. We find plenty of opportunity to embrace (probably more than most who use contraception, to be honest), and just approach the entire issue out of respect for God’s design…


#7

I am newly married and haven't gotten pregnant yet, but hopefully will soon! My husband and I learned and discussed NFP, and came to the conclusion that we want God to decide when is the best time for our children to arrive. So everything--timing and spacing--will be left to God's will. We feel very happy and at peace with this plan, as God has never let us down when we trust His will for us. Already, I am learning to trust Him even more, because if it were up to me, I would have gotten pregnant the first month of our marriage! God knows better than I do what is best for me and my husband.:)


#8

** For people who use NFP, how many children do you have and how do you feel about the spacing of them?**
We have 6 children (3 with us on earth and 3 waiting for us:(). The living kids are all about 3 years apart and for us that is a good amount of time in between.

** Are there any health issues such that a pregnancy can't be attempted? **
Like a previous poster, I too have a blood clotting disorder (2 in fact). However I didn't find out about it until after the 3 miscarriages and while I was already pregnant with my 3rd living child. I was on blood thinners this past pregnancy and they were quite expensive. I dont' have the best insurance but I did qualify for Medicaid which covered it. (however I feel guilty about using medicaid) I also developed Gestational Diabetes this past pregnancy. So that was an additional expense. I have OCD and anxiety and it got relaly bad this past pregnancy...to the point where I became obsessed with analyzing my ultrasound pictures and conviced that there was something wrong with the baby. I'm not certain if we are done or not be we definitely have some serious reasons to avoid for the time being (financial, mental and emotional exhaustion and older children with special needs )

What about the effect on the marriage?
I beleive that NFP is definitely helping our marriage. That being said, although we've used NFP since we got married we just recently (last few years) really started using it with the right mindset (read...without a contraceptive mindset).


#9

** For people who use NFP, how many children do you have and how do you feel about the spacing of them?**
I don't know if we count as using NFP since we really have not used it to avoid or achieve pregnancy. So I have 2 children and while I might not have by myself chosen to have them this close, my dh convinced me otherwise. :D I did use NFP to date pregnancies, and know my cycles. We did use it for 4 months to avoid after I got my cycle back postpartum. The cycle I got pregnant my dh had convinced me that in 9 months time we would be ready for another baby if God so blessed us. Dh and God, it seems were right, because I had ds#2 right at the start of my Christmas break.

** Are there any health issues such that a pregnancy can't be attempted? **
no

What about the effect on the marriage?
Well since we don't really use it, it really hasn't had much effect on our marriage. I will say though, that it really helped me talk to my husband about what was going on with my body with respect to other issues, because we both had the background of the NFP classes. It also helped me really embrace my vocation as a wife and mother. I was fertile on our honeymoon and we decided that we didn't want to wait anymore so my reluctant acceptance of being a mother, became a whole hearted one, when faced with that choice. And I am so happy I did.


#10

NUmber of children: 4, ages 7, 6, 4, and 1. #1 and #3 are adopted. Married ten years. We have used NFP the entire time. We were postponing for a while, then had some difficulty conceiving, but since #1 arrived, we have used to both achieve and postpone. With #2, now 6, we knew we could possibly be fertile, and voila'! #1 and #2 are 9 and a half months apart, but again, that was OK with us.

3 was a true NFP baby, intense discernment, evaluation of reasons to postpone, ability to afford/handle another, etc., even though she was adopted!

Used NFP to achieve with #4, I think it only took two cycles.

No health issues.

The effect on the marriage has been great. We have experienced all the benefits, direct and indirect, of NFP. I cannot stress enough what a blessing it has been for our marriage, and TOB as well.


#11

We have five children. We didn't start using NFP until after #2- #2 through #5 are 2 to 2 1/2 years apart. Honestly the 3 youngest weren't "planned", but I wouldn't call them NFP failures because we pushed the envelope with the rules. I am happy with the spacing.

As far as the effect on our marriage, there are alot of aspects of NFP that have been difficult. But, I have the peace of knowing that our use of NFP is moral as opposed to using artificial birth control. Even though I wish that we didn't have to use NFP, I am very happy with our new method- Marquette. It seems very objective and scientific to me. Some of the other methods are too subjective for my liking. I do have health reasons to avoid (kidney disease).


#12

I'll go ahead and answer, even though my marriage is only 5 years old.

For people who use NFP, how many children do you have and how do you feel about the spacing of them?
My husband and I actually didn't start using NFP until after our two children were born. We were using ABC at the time, and both were surprises. So we've been using NFP for about two years now, without any surprises.

What about the effect on the marriage?
I can definitely say that it's helped our marriage quite a bit. I feel so much more loved and appreciated. I don't feel like I have to be bound to my body's urges, or my husband's anymore. We both appreciate the gift of sex much more than we did before, so it's a much more intimate and special thing that we share. Learning NFP has been empowering to me, as a woman, because I understand my body much more than I did before. My husband understands it much better as well, and he enjoys being a part of the charting.


#13

Thanks to everyone for the information. There are so many new threads about the difficulty of NFP and etc. that it's interesting to hear perspectives of people who use it or have thought about using it. That's great that a lot of people have had positive experiences or if there are mixed feelings, positive aspects to using it.

Would it make sense to have a separate sub-section on NFP under family life, like there is for parenting, b/c there are a lot of questions about it? Just wondering.


#14

I've been married for 10 years and have 3 kids. NFP was probably the worst thing we brought into our marriage! We used ABC (we were given misinformation about it being abortifaction but that is another story) and discontinued use after our third was born. We tried to practice NFP but due to my cycle we had 3 days a month we could be together and you throw in all the rules about having sex on NFP and our sex life died. I personally believe sex is an important part of a marriage and when you remove it your marriage you will have problems!

It works for some and not for others - if it isn't for you I strongly believe your not going to he'll for it and it isn't the end of the world. Marriage is hard enough you don't need to add undo stress.


#15

[quote="convert38, post:14, topic:230085"]

It works for some and not for others - if it isn't for you I strongly believe your not going to he'll for it and it isn't the end of the world. Marriage is hard enough you don't need to add undo stress.

[/quote]

There is a good part in "Evan Almighty" where Evan and his family are waiting for the flood that God promised Evan would hit his town. It doesn't look like the flood will come and everybody starts to laugh at Evan as a failed prophet. Evan's wife starts to comfort him by telling him, "you know maybe God didn't mean a literal flood. Maybe he meant a flood of emotion or awareness" Evan tells her, "if that is true, I am going to be so pi*d." That is how I feel. If contraception isn't something that is damned serious, then I will be so pi*d. I certainly pray that this isn't one big cosmic practical joke.


#16

[quote="silentstar, post:13, topic:230085"]

Would it make sense to have a separate sub-section on NFP under family life, like there is for parenting, b/c there are a lot of questions about it? Just wondering.

[/quote]

I think that is a great idea!


#17

[quote="convert38, post:14, topic:230085"]
I've been married for 10 years and have 3 kids. NFP was probably the worst thing we brought into our marriage! We used ABC (we were given misinformation about it being abortifaction but that is another story) and discontinued use after our third was born. We tried to practice NFP but due to my cycle we had 3 days a month we could be together and you throw in all the rules about having sex on NFP and our sex life died. I personally believe sex is an important part of a marriage and when you remove it your marriage you will have problems!

It works for some and not for others - if it isn't for you I strongly believe your not going to he'll for it and it isn't the end of the world. Marriage is hard enough you don't need to add undo stress.

[/quote]

Statistically, ABC is for about 50% of couples. One half gets divorced, eventually.

3 Days? You were misinformed about NFP.

Good thing there is more to married life than sex for those that use NFP.

NFP does not remove sex from your marriage. NFP gives it true meaning.

I'm thinking about creating a thread "How ABC ruins marriages." something along the same lines as suggested by the OP.


#18

[quote="newbetx, post:17, topic:230085"]
Statistically, ABC is for about 50% of couples. One half gets divorced, eventually.

3 Days? You were misinformed about NFP.

Good thing there is more to married life than sex for those that use NFP.

NFP does not remove sex from your marriage. NFP gives it true meaning.

I'm thinking about creating a thread "How ABC ruins marriages." something along the same lines as suggested by the OP.

[/quote]

:thumbsup::thumbsup:


#19

[quote="KostyaJMJ, post:15, topic:230085"]
There is a good part in "Evan Almighty" where Evan and his family are waiting for the flood that God promised Evan would hit his town. It doesn't look like the flood will come and everybody starts to laugh at Evan as a failed prophet. Evan's wife starts to comfort him by telling him, "you know maybe God didn't mean a literal flood. Maybe he meant a flood of emotion or awareness" Evan tells her, "if that is true, I am going to be so pi*d." That is how I feel. If contraception isn't something that is damned serious, then I will be so pi*d. I certainly pray that this isn't one big cosmic practical joke.

[/quote]

That is my favorite part of the movie! And that is exactly how I feel too. I'm afraid I'll die, and God will be like "GOT YOU SUCKER!"


#20

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