Monday, March 28, 2011


Don't worry; I'm not going to regale you with tales of CM....but NFP has been on my mind after reading Simcha's post and the subsequent comments. The original writing speaks for itself; I certainly couldn't have said it better....but Mr. 'Last Catholic in Boston' in the combox inspired this post.

Remember when, as a teenager, you said "Everybody's doing it" as a response to Mom and Dad being so mean as to not let you stay out until midnight on a school night? Mom and Dad knew that everybody was not doing it; in fact, all the teenagers were using the same argument in the hopes that their parents would fall for it.

What does this have to do with NFP and passionate commenters? Well- everybody (some statistics state that 90% of baptized, married Catholic couples use artificial birth control- I can't believe that it is that bad) is doing it, using artificial means to avoid a pregnancy. We remnant of remnant-type people who follow the Church's teaching on life are not immune to criticism from the super-duper trads, however. From what I could surmise, 'Last Man' believes that if a couple isn't actively seeking pregnancy, the couple needs to abstain for months and years on end instead of using the signs of fertility that God has given us. Then WHY- 'Last Man' did God give women monthly cycles?

One use for NFP (ignored by 'Last Man')- or simply being aware of a body's cycles- is to actually try to conceive or stay pregnant. Here's where the TMI comes in: After Baby #2 was born, I got sick (black mold in clergy housing....long story) and had lupus symptoms. We lost our next pregnancy at 20 weeks.  Then, I experienced what may have been very, very early (less than a week) miscarriages. So....I got a pro-life doctor to give me a standing prescription for progesterone to take when I could be less than a week pregnant to sustain the pregnancy. He also gave me blood thinners to counteract any autoimmune problems that would attack the placenta as it had with the 20-week old. Not very romantic, but it is not against Church teaching to sustain the pregnancy this way after natural conception. So- using NFP made it possible to know when I was pregnant so I could take the drugs to stay pregnant. And we have two extra-special, much-loved kids because of that. So take that, 'Last Man'!

In any case, Simcha has it right- the percentage of couples that don't use artificial means to prevent pregnancy is sadly minuscule- can't we NFPers and really-big-family-types all get along?

totally off-topic- but if you don't follow "Like Mother..." read this post anyway- it's the best ever!


  1. Thank God for pro-life doctors!

    I can't quite bring myself to re-read "Last Catholics" ramblings, but the way I read it, I really don't think he was saying that if you don't want a baby, then you should abstain. I think he was saying that real men don't put up with any of that newfangled abstaining -- real men get their wives pregnant, and that's that. Either way, feh.

  2. Simcha- I didn't really understand him either- but I bet you have just as many kiddos as he does :)

  3. I thought he was a crazy troll. But really, I don't get why it's a big deal to abstain. Like no one EVER does it? (Even if you don't chart.)

    Life happens and sometimes other things don't.

  4. My husband and I used NFP exactly the way you describe... to get and stay pregnant. I think maybe some people talk about not abstaining for any reason other than fasting and praying. Could that have been the point of Last Catholic's rant? I dunno... but I am glad to have found your lovely blog through your comment over at my favorite Auntie Leila's :).

  5. Miriam- Isn't Leila's blog the best!? Luckily, I only found it 9 months ago- so much of the archives is new for me- she doesn't post enough :)

  6. Are there really people out there who never abstain, who never feel sick or miserable or have been fighting and don't feel like it or have only gotten an hour of sleep a night for a week and have no, NO desire to be all marital? Really?

    I don't believe it.

  7. lissia- yah- the man in question's comments on Simcha's blog...he confused me, he might have said his wife can say no (?!) but to not mention such awful things such as temperatures- I probably should go back and clarify, but my mommy brain is clouded with especially awful sleep for the past 3 weeks (4 coughing kids!)

  8. Maybe I'm taking this too literally (keeping in mind that he COULD be a troll), but does he expect/demand s*x every day? And if he doesn't have it, is that considered abstaining? I'm trying to wrap my head around this, but perhaps I shouldn't waste my thoughts on someone who's could be making up his arguments to stir the pot. I'm assuming that MOST people don't have s*x every day (especially those w/ small children!)--fertile or not, charting or not--and while technically, yes, that's considered abstinence, it's not always something that's thought out, planned, whatever.

    Should this be something I schedule in my planner, as to be a "good wife?" lol Or is it OK if both DH & I forget? (these 2 sentences should be taken tongue in cheek)

  9. While the possibility of a troll is often great when you encounter off-the-charts-crazy online, I've unfortunately run into this same attitude among Catholics. They come in two varieties saying NFP itself is evil as it seeks to control nature AND/OR that there is no one who lives in a 1st World country who could legitimately claim to have a "valid" reason for using it.

    I was told that my defense of those choosing to use NFP could only mean that I'm part of the pro-death conspiracy invading society and the Church. Another woman said I must be post-abortive and justifying my guilt.

    I wish I could chalk this rather significantly sized group of women up to being internet trolls. :(

  10. Catherine Alexander- wow! How awful that someone said that you must be post-abortive for using NFP- how cruel- because let's say you had had an abortion and were changing your life...this is a time to tread softly and with compassion- 1 out of 3 pregnancies end in abortion in the US, so I guess that means I know a lot of women who have had one. Officially, I don't know anyone who has had one, but when I am talking 'pro-life' I always emphasize God's mercy- I might be talking to a woman who suffered through one (and yes- the baby died- but women suffer, too)

  11. I'm not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet; still less am I OB-GYN.

    But I'm willing to make a gentleman's bet that women who practice NFP will be found to catch abnormalities of their reproductive system BEFORE they become malignant--rather like breast self-examination.

    After all, it's only smart to know what is normal for one's body and how it works.

  12. Jack- and women who use NFP don't use hormone pills to avoid pregnancy- there must be health benefits


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