It's posts like this that make Sean nervous when I announce I'm blogging more frequently. : / Ha.
So eight years and four babies ago, he and I were here:
Awww. Positively AWASH in blind naivete.
Love the bump-as-toddler-seat. Another one here:
and then there was another one here:
and good grief now we are here:
Spots are still available in our workshop how to look THIS GOOD in family pictures. Call today.
I wish someone would have told me (and hey, maybe they did) that the woman in each of those pictures would feel dramatically different about NFP in every snapshot.
I've felt elated by being able to use NFP correctly and space out the births of my kids.
I've felt terrified at the idea that another baby was coming, sooner than I would have planned.
I've felt like a biological bad ass, knowing my cycles and correctly identifying both the conception date and due date of a kid.
I've felt like a unschooled idiot, unable to say whether I ovulated on day 14 or day 24. (Those fluctuating hormones when you're trying to wean.. man, they're nuts.)
I've felt deeply grateful for NFP, knowing my body is free from synthetic hormones and implants (yikes).
I've felt like shaking a tired fist at NFP for not being as simple as... as synthetic hormones or implants.
Now, I've resolved to make NFP charting not an afterthought, or something I try and remember to do if I have time. Now, it needs to be the priority. Writing about NFP resolutions is always tricky, though. Nothing gets you pregnant faster than saying "we're back on the charting wagon!" But since taking my fourth trip 'round the maternity ward last summer, I have substantial motivation to keep the womb room vacant for a while.
I'm tired. Sean's not feeling great. The kids, they all seem so little sometimes. Joe and Amby learned how to pour their own milk this year, so, yeah, that helps. But still. What's it like with four kids? You know the line.
I've learned (finally! slow! learner! alert!) that NFP can't be a passive feature of my marriage, if I want to delay having another cherub. NFP isn't a cute creed that we hold in unison with all the other NFP-using families out there, making us members of the larger-than-average-families club.
It's work. It is a daily, hourly commitment to observing fertility signs--and that was a doozy during Lent when I decided I'd take up drinking a gallon of water every day. #tmi
It's a struggle. It can be embarrassing, for all parties. It's a guarantee of awkward marital conversations. It's a guarantee you'll watch a lot of Netflix.
But. To me, NFP is synonymous with bodily honesty. To me, it's the total fulfillment of "allllllll of me loves alllllll of you." I cherish the simplicity it brings to our bedroom, to our marriage. You don't need much to practice NFP. I think that's worth a lot.
Using NFP right now to delay/avoid conceiving looks so dramatically different than it did for that girl in the white dress up there, kissing her groom, beginning her marriage. She had her paper chart all ready to go, with multicolored stickers to spare and a Creighton FertilityCare handbook at the ready.
She also had a flip phone and thought Facebook was stupid. Ha.
Fast forward to today, when my iphone buzzes at 10pm each night to remind me to chart. I use this simple app (which I absolutely love). I use these ovulation test strips after I think I've charted peak as a double check (you can buy them on Amazon for about $40/ 7 tests). We talk about how the cycle is looking. And then... the baby usually cries. Heh.
Eight years in and four babies later, and NFP and I are still getting to know each other. Here's to a long and happy relationship.