I had heard the term multiple times as we sat in the marriage prep weekend at the University of St. Thomas on a nice spring day in 2005. I thought it sounded good but convinced myself that it was not for us at the time — maybe in the future, but not now as we were already so busy planning for our upcoming wedding.
Who had time to learn this thing called NFP, and would it even work? As I slipped away (guiltily) to the bathroom to take my newly prescribed birth control pills, I thought, “Not now, it’s probably too hard.”
The saying goes that “hindsight is 20/20.” If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve run, not walked, to the nearest NFP class. Natural family planning is so much more than just a way to achieve or delay pregnancy in your marriage. It opens up a whole new way for women to understand their bodies, their cycles, and can even signal that something is wrong long before it is “diagnosed” by a doctor.
Based on simple charting and observations you record each day, your NFP instructor, and a physician if they are trained in it, can diagnose and help couples who are struggling with infertility, miscarriage or other hormonal challenges.
I wish that I had never taken birth control and know that it took a toll on my body, not to mention the Christian aspect of interfering in my fertile cycles and potential children that could have been conceived. But that is not what this article is about; rather it is about celebrating the wonderful gift that God has given to us to reproduce life and the gift natural family planning has been in our lives.
If I only knew seven years ago, on that beautiful spring day sitting at St. Thomas, what I know now, I never would have waited so long. What are you waiting for?
Poeschl lives in St. Paul with 1-year-old daughter Grace and husband Brad. She practices the Creighton method of NFP through Twin Cities Fertility Care Center.