Update on PennitentMan: My wife is


Hi guys.

I have some news for you all.

Most of you know my situation and the lack of intimacy my wife and I experience…

Well a little while ago I posted that things were looking up and that we had a good chat…didn’t really stick that one…we had relations once since then (yes once)…and now my wife is pregnant.
This was definite phase III, I mean like more than a week in…So it’s really a gift from God.

This is great news, we welcome the little life into the world and I’m very excited to meet the new little one.

But I can’t help but feel cheated…
Above all the health concerns that now arises (hence the NFP to start with), I have to ask why did I suffer all that time? Why did we remain chaste? What was it all for? It was such a tough time, fighting all the temptations, and now, we are still pregnant.
And my confidence in NFP is shattered…

And one would think that now since she is pregnant anyway all’s good in the intimacy department, but with all the nausea and stuff…

That’s the latest news.



Congrats on the little one…can you maybe post the chart or email me the chart values and obs? I’m just curious…I think part of the problem with our relationship is that deep down, my wife does not trust NFP. She is not emotionally capable of having another kid (her opinion, not mine!).


PM, with all that you two have went through with NFP, you can know that this is a real gift. Now that your wife is pregnant, there is two souls in one body. The graces you two will receive will be great. Take advantage of them and grow with your wife as much as you can. Congrats, Tim


First off… congratulations! Your wife will be in my prayers for a happy and healthy 9 months!.. and you’ll be in my prayers that her nausea subsides QUICKLY!.. :wink: :smiley:

I’m sorry about your frustrations with NFP. Maybe this was God’s way of calling you to parenthood again… you were being drawn back to her and she was receptive… maybe something to THANK NFP for! (even if it didn’t work out the way YOU planned)…

Congratulations again… :thumbsup:


I still don’t understand how it is possible that if you were that far into PIII how this may have happend. I’m just intrigued…thats all. Any chance it was a mistaken reading? If not, you ought to contact CCL to have them add this data to their records for study.

But definately, congrats! I would be excited if it happend to us…the wife on the other hand…


Yeah, that’s my dilemma too. I’m very excited, but also disappointed in NFP.

I don’t think the reading was wrong, I’m help my wife chart and nothing changed, he cycles were almost the same as the month before, and all seemed fine…and good to go, so to speak.

You know, I was speaking to a doctor once, debating actually on NFP, assuring him that NFP works. I was quite adamant about it. His reply was (very calmly) that he understands what I’m saying and he hears that from a lot of NFP practicing people…and he also delivers their babies that comes from the NFP errors.
I dismissed it at the time, but now…I’m the one with egg on my face.

It really feels to me like NFP doesn’t work. I know that there are many Catholics how also think that way, especially after they have had kids whilst trying to space them…

It’s never NFP’s fault, always some error in it’s usage. Dunno…


Thank you, yeah I’m very excited, but also very scared. The reasons for NFP was valid.

maybe something to THANK NFP for! (even if it didn’t work out the way YOU planned)…

I have problems accepting that statement. But those are my issues I have to deal with.


What method of NFP are you using if you don’t mind me asking? I have used NFP now for 10 years with no pregnancy because of very serious health reasons. I use the Sympto-Thermal method.If that is what you use do you cross check the physical symptoms with the temperature, does your wife take her temp about the same time every morning, does she go to bed around the same time every evening (this doesn’t efffect me too much but it does some people), was she recently ill or having trouble sleeping? There are many variables.

For me because getting pregnant would most likely kill me if I’m not feeling completely comfortable with the readings it’s a no-go. We still have plenty of intimacy though -it’s not like we’re having sex once a month. I don’t know what age your wife is but I’ve heard as you approach 40 temps can start getting wacky so it’s even more important to cross check with physical symptoms.

Oh and congrats!:slight_smile:


We use the method where you check the mucus each day. The temperature method won’t work, she goes to sleep very irregularly. We are young, 30 years old. And we are having sex once a month. (Probably less now that she is pregnant due to nausea, exhaustion, etc)
She was not ill, very good health for a long time, actually, nothing changed over the last little while at all… :confused:


Gosh, my heart goes out to you - first to congratulate you on the new life that in one year you will not know how you lived without:D and secondly that it is understandable how you must be feeling about NFP.

What came to my mind though is that perhaps there was TOO much trust put into NFP while forgetting that the entire reason behind it is not the “method” and a means to an end (just to avoid a pregnancy) - but ultimately to be “open to life.”

You were “open to life” and life is what God has blessed you with!

The bottom line is this: Whenever a couple engages in the marital act - there is ALWAYS the possibility that a new life will be created! ( Abraham and Sarah were well past child-bearing years reminding us that all things are possible with God and the even more difficult to understand: “His ways are not our ways.”

You inspire me PennitentMan with your honesty and your love and humbleness.
You may never know the lives you have touched by just posting on here.
You may never know - in this life - the full purpose of you and your wife conceiving when you thought you were “not fertile.”

I just sense that God is really working through you and your family in ways you cannot see right now.

What a blessing.


You are truly blessed in this new life. Now HOW you are blessed? I have no idea.

I agree. Don’t put your trust in NFP. Put your trust in God. NFP is a tool by his design. It is not however, HIM.

I too have wacky temps. But I learned why. Now my temps are my most helpful sign. My mucous can get wacky too. The good news is that they are seldom wacky at the same time.

Focus on the procreative and unitive. Our late Holy Father explained that if one or both of those is broken in marriage, we do not find true joy. Now that she’s pregnant embrace the procreative! Help her to overcome her fear of being responsible for a new life. Your union is still procreative, meaning “for life.” With all the nausea and such focus on the unitive too! Believe me, (currently pregnant and sick 24/7 in my fifth month) the more you unite with her outside the bedroom the more she will want to unite inside the bedroom. Show her every day how special she is.

It doesn’t matter what phase you think you were in. What matters is that God wanted you together RIGHT THEN! A new life is never a failure. If we aren’t listening to the plan, then that is our problem, not God’s. May He continue to bless you in this new life. May you come to a deeper understanding of His gift of NFP. And may you come to a fuller appreciation of what it means to be procreative and unitive.


Penitent Man,

Congratulations to you and your wife. As far as being disappointed in NFP, please realize that even artificial contraception is not guaranteed perfect. I have 4 kids, each one of them conceived while using some form of artificial contraception (I’m a convert).

I am kind of wondering if the real intimacy problems between you and your wife are more related to not really being as open to life as you need to be. Children, whether or not they are planned, are truly a blessing. I hope that you and your wife will come to appreciate just how abundantly you have been blessed.


Congratulation on your new child! I am happy for you. You and your wife have done something that my wife and I have never been able to do.

I know emotionally this does not seem correct, but I suggest that the NFP worked perfectly. It’s primary purpose is to allow God to work in us, not for us to force our own plans on Him. The fact that God worked this little miracle is proof that NFP worked for you as God planned it. If it’s God’s plan, it is good.




When you look at your child–for the rest of his life–you will thank God that NFP failed you!!!

As for your suffering, well, that’s the road to sanctity. Trust in God.

(I’m not trying to diminish your suffering, but to encourage you!.) My husband and I have had our own difficulties with this challenging teaching.

God is Great!


I have to echo LovedForever. PM, you are a wonderful man and it is so encouraging to know there are great men like you out there. Y’know it occurs to me…
Blessed (is she a saint now) Gianna Molla probably had no idea why God would cause her to suffer so much, and then take her from her young family. I’m sure her husband and children struggled, too, after she died. But here we are, 50 years later, and women all over the world are looking to her as an example of true maternal love and sacrifice. She has effected Catholic mothers everywhere and thus brought more people to the Kingdom of God.
This may be God’s plan for you, too, PM. The great wonders you may be doing for the people on this board and in your own life, who you are influencing toward Christ and His Church with your trust and submission to His Will, cannot be measured.
I’ve thought of you often and I’ve prayed that things had improved for you. I’m glad you’re here, and hope you keep us updated on your wife, your baby, and of course, yourself.
May God be all you need.


Congratulations, PM. God will grant you the grace and healing necessary to get through this pregnancy despite the health considerations.

People focus on the Phase III coitus when dealing with a method failure, but I am more inclined to believe that most cases of Phase III pregnancies are actually longevitous (made up word, I think:p ) sperm surviving since Phase I. It just seems more plausible to me that a sperm would survive against all odds rather than a woman ovulate when it is physically impossible to do so. This is my own personal conjecture, of course. Obviously I have no idea how long it was before ovulation that you last had sex.

There are several mucus-only methods. As I understand, Billings is not quite as effective as Creighton. Here is the thing, though. While people do need to be educated on the effectiveness of NFP- because it IS effective, even with true method failures like PM’s, it is equally important to educate on the ineffectiveness of ABC.

The problem with “proving” to an OB who has delivered NFP babies is that ABC babies are more likely to become causualties of abortion by very nature of the people who practice those methods, respectively. In the end, efficacy is irrelevant anyway. NFP or complete abstinence are the only morally sound ways to avoid pregnancy, and THAT is what really matters. While it has a positive result, it is really not theologically sound to convince someone to use NFP solely on its success rate.

That said, I will throw out there that my parents have practiced NFP successfully for 13 consecutive years for serious health reasons, and throughout their almost 30 year marriage without any method failures.


Just a question out of ignorance…wouldn’t the recent stress between PM and his wife affect her cycle possibly? I know that my predictable cycles can get really screwy with stress. Couldn’t stress delay ovulation the same way it delays menstruation?


Yes, stress can delay ovulation.

Congrats PennitentMan and also to your wife!!! Only 1 of our 6 has been a “surprise” (except we understood that any act of intercourse could result in pregnancy–and it did, not too much surprise there, lol) but it was my lack of charting and not the method. I hope you both are able to enjoy this pregnancy and encounter true joy in this blessing of a new child.

God bless, Jennifer


So, PennitentMan NFP may not have “failed” it may have been that your wife’s stress levels delayed her normal cycle, making the mucus cycle last longer (has happened to me many times b/c of stress), which may have delayed her ovulation and thus, she ended up pregnant b/c her stress delayed her ovulation to the time you had relations?!


I should add that even under stress, your fertility signs should indicate that you are fertile (ie continuous mucous) or at least be unclear enough to warrant waiting if you are trying to space babies. I can’t remember how many days of no mucous you have to have to be “safe” (4?) but I know the trap I’ve fallen into is “knowing” what my typical cycle is and assuming this one is going to be the same and then “taking a chance” with the number of days. This may not have been what happened, but I know it’s happened here :slight_smile: You can’t assume that the current cycle is going to mirror other cycles.


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