Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Going out on a Limb here....


(NOTE: Since posing this question, several of you have offered so many great perspectives.  I admire and respect them all.  The more I read, the more I feel there may in fact be a middle ground, or rather, the possibility of what we are called to do individually.  I'm loving that the resounding theme points towards God's Will being evident regardless.  Let's keep it up ya'll!  Thanks for the conversation!!)

I scared you with that picture didn't I!?!  HA!  Let me start by saying, I'm not pregnant.

So today I'm not doing a post.
Not a well thought out and constructed post that is.
Because instead, I have a question.
And I want all of your feedback on it.

Before I ask it, know that I'm not trying to spark debate.  I honestly don't know where I stand on the topic.  That's why I'm asking for some dialogue.

Here it goes...

On the topic of birth control...what do you feel is the right way to go about family planning?

I know plenty of people that would allow God to plan their families (like the Duggars). 
And then there are those that are currently on birth control in order to prevent pregnancy.
Is there an in between?

I'm genuinely interested in your responses and I look forward to the conversation.
(but keep it nice, please)

Blessings,


29 comments:

Leah said...

Yes, there is an in between. If by between you mean, not using birth control, yet not trying to get pregnant. I hate birth control for me, it makes me feel awful and it's not worth putting the extra chemicals in my body (pay for it!) just to feel like crap. And I'm going to be frank here...we hate barrier methods too.

However, being a young family, me still being in college and didn't have a house until recently...we weren't ready for another one just yet. So I researched natural methods, and they have worked for us for the past 3 years. the two times I have gotten pregnant (last year's miscarriage and this current pregnancy) is only because we COMPLETELY were careless and didn't avoid it like we normally do. Just call me Fertile Myrtle.

"Taking Charge of Your Fertility" book is a great resource to learn about how your body works and how to achieve or avoid pregnancy just by knowing your body's signals (I have it if you want to borrow it?). In my view, if you are watching your body to avoid pregnancy, but end up pregnant it's because God had other plans. So God can still do his work if He wants too, just like people still get pregnant taking birth control pills or with condoms, but you aren't going to be the next Duggar Family either.

momof3prophets said...

I personally will not use birth control pills or anything. # 1 the hormones in it make me mean but # 2 I do not agree with how they work. I know that it is not a high % rate that birth control allows the egg to be fertilized and fall but if it does then it stop the egg from implanting. In my opinion once that egg has been fertilized it is now a baby. With my first child I knew I was pregnant and had some bleeding and was told it was implantation bleeding. So in my opinion at that point the birth control would stop my egg from implanting therefore killing my baby.
I personally just try to watch my cycle and use condoms but that doesnt always work ( hence the 3 boys) But I also know that they were in Gods perfect plan fro my life.

amariaf2000 said...

Debating whether or not to comment - this is a touchy I'm sure. It works both ways, I think. It's nice to "enjoy" our spouses without the thought in the back of our minds every time - am going to get pregnant - possibly when the timing is bad for various reasons - financially, emotionally, etc. I'm for the BC. I believe the Lord gave us a choice - to be responsible adults in determining the timing and size of our own family. Understanding, I think it's a personal belief without clear 'right' and 'wrong' - it'd be a commandment if it were that importante...just my opinion....
Love ya
~angela

amariaf2000 said...

ps - what that nice or no? oooppssss

John said...

I believe God is all powerful and controls everything. Whether you use BC or not, God's divine plan for you cannot be avoided. So in my humble opinion, the debate is moot.

Melissa melissam704@yahoo.com said...

I'm pro BC, although not necessarily BC pills, etc. I think we all need to be wise in our family planning....some people definately should not have children/more children. Personally, I do not use any BC because of side effects and interactions with other medications that I take. My mother was on BC when she got pregnant with me...so I agree with John! God's will will definately prevail!

Jake said...

such an interesting question! we have a lot of big families in our church stream (one just had their 14th child and our pastor has 9 children). so far, we're just trusting God, but seeing the huge families of those who've done that frightens me, so we've been reading books like Taking Charge of Your Fertility that we might use. i breast feed my kids over a year, so that helps with spacing, since it keeps my cycles and periods at bay. i agree with the previous comment, that God can intervene no matter what you do: people who've had vasectomies or who use BC pills have been known to get pregnant. I don't like artificial BC, because of the hormones, but mostly because of their potential to abort a life. we want a larger family (maybe 5-6, but not a 19 kid dugger family). i pray A LOT for God, who you can see in the Bible opening and closing wombs, to close mine when I need a break and open it when He's ready for us to have more.

thesavedquarter said...

I'm pro-Birth Control. I use an IUD and love it - I don't have to think about it for 5 years, and I have a hormone-free version since hormones didn't work for me. I honestly don't see the difference between using time as a barrier (like Taking Charge of Your Fertility, avoiding sex during fertile periods) or using a condom or IUD as a barrier; both are making a choice about controlling your family size rather than leaving it up to God or nature, what have you.

I used Taking Charge of Your Fertility to intentionally get pregnant with my daughter, and thought I was using it to prevent when I got pregnant with my son. I do like it for understanding your body, but if you absolutely can't be pregnant (for medical reasons or otherwise) I'd go with another method.

Brooke McGlothlin said...

Great discussion! May I take a slightly different approach?

God desires our hearts above all else. And He desires us to walk in His truth above all else. With those 2 things settled I think we can walk into this discussion.

I think we first have to align our hearts with Gods on the issue of children. God intends children to be a blessing for us...a reward, if you will. Happy is the man whose quiver is full, He says. I don't think God was delusional when He said these things...He knows that children are hard...look at what He has to put up with from His children for goodness sakes! But always, in scripture, we see children framed from a perspective of good.

But something happened to us. I'm going to quote Frederica Mathews-Green.

"But for some reason, in the late twentieth century pregnancy came to be seen as an unbearable burden. It became so unbearable that one-fourth of the times it occurred, women sought abortion to escape it.

Was this because pregnancy had become too dangerous to women's health? Was the nation wracked by war or famine? No, America during this period was the wealthiest, healthiest, most secure and comfortable nation in history. Pregnancy became unbearable due to two bad ideas. One was the idea that women should be promiscuous. The other was that women should place career above childrearing."

I know this is only a piece of the heart of the issue. And I'm not trying to start a discussion on abortion. But I do think this statement communicates a truth that we have to deal with. Our society sees children as a burden. Whether financially, emotionally or physically, children are not seen from the perspective God intended. And I think this makes God sad. About birth control, Frederica says this,

"[Women have the right to be free from] chemical tampering to fit her for sexual use without commitment."

Again...I know this does not address the entire gamet of reasons a woman might not want another child. But I bring these things up to give you pause and hopefully to challenge you to ask deeper questions of yourself.

Birth control was championed in the United States by Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood (world's largest abortion provider), and a woman who abandoned her own children to flee from being jailed because of her illegal actions to promote birth control. While hiding in another country (and pursuing multiple lovers) her daughter became deathly ill and died. She missed her last few years with her own child in order to promote the means with which to prevent children from coming. She also believed in eugenics and wanted to create a "race of thoroughbreds" by eliminating the unfit. Guess where she started? The slums, the immigrants who were having lots of children. Her heart was to keep women from being able to have more children so that the unfit wouldn't be perpetuated.

If that's how birth control was birthed...if that's how it came into being...if taking some types of bc can cause early abortions...if the emergence of bc has made women more fit for "sexual use without commitment..." if it allows us to easily dismiss the heart of God for our families...

then is it really good?

Please understand...I write this as a woman who works outside of her home 20 hours a week, has a husband who works shift-work and 2 little boys who suck the life out of me. My husband and I have grappled deeply with this question and I don't know that I have the answer. But hopefully my thoughts and questions will help us think more deeply about the issue.

amariaf2000 said...

I'm digging this discussion. As a woman who's miscarried (maybe because of taking a BC pill?)and having various bc option discussions with my husband and thinking of family planning or trying (again, I suppose), I like reading what others are doing/have done. Good question, Kelli!

{larkandbranch} Stephanie said...

Well, I was going to write a mini-novel until I read Brooke's post. I cannot AGREE MORE and am thankful for her input..and saved me from writing a mini-novel. LOL
I do not have children yet, but my husband and I started very early in our discussions and beliefs on this subject.
We have felt strongly for a long time and have alot of facts to back up why we feel BC is not a God ordained option...but I choose not to rgue nor judge another woman who feels she should go that route.

Carrien said...

I have always been of the opinion that "trusting God for our family size" is a somewhat misguided approach.

Would you recklessly spend every dollar you make without thought for the future and tell people that you are "trusting God for your finances". Wouldn't you think such a person terribly irresponsible?

So why do we apply the logic to family size that we would consider faulty when it comes to any other area of planning our lives responsibly?

That said, I do think children are blessings. I refuse to take the pill because of the things it does to my body, and for the abortive potential.

I think God gave us brains and reason for a reason, and that we are the ones who are responsible make the wisest choices we can given our situations. He gave women cycles that we can understand and largely monitor to avoid pregnancy at times when we deem it un-wise to become pregnant.

That said, I am in the middle of an unplanned pregnancy. We are thrilled to welcome another child, we wanted to have another. This will be our 4th. Our barrier method failed us.

Still as excited as we are the reasons for not getting pregnant this year are still present and causing great stress. We will need to buy a new car because ours only carries 5 passengers. We need to pay for extra maternity insurance in a year when we have very little extra to speak of. We were already maxed out paying the orthodontist for our oldest child. And we need to move because our rental agreement has a maximum occupant limit, and we will exceed it when the baby comes. I'm the administrator of a non-profit that we started and if I can't keep working the children who rely on us for food and shelter go hungry. With so many lives depending on me already, it seemed poor planning to jeopardize theirs in order to bring one more into the world. Etc., etc. It would not have been wise to get pregnant on purpose this year. As it is, it is difficult.

God may have brought this baby in spite of our planning, and we have always been happy to accept whatever children he blesses us with. But I would not have chosen this, and I don't think it would have been wisdom to do so.

I think trusting God for family size is a luxury few can afford, and damaging to those who can't afford to and do anyway. I think it's a misguided approach and not necessarily faith. As much as I firmly believe in the blessings of children.

Anonymous said...

My comment is this: "The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it." Proverbs 10:22

In my humble opinion, Children should be blessings. I believe most people see them as blessings, but it can get to the point where there is "sorrow" added to the blessing when people cannot support their families or do not have time for their families, but continue to conceive. God also gave us the gift of knowledge. He gave us complex brains so that we could understand ourselves and use that knowledge to know what is best for ourselves and our families. Ultimately, God is control, but I believe he commands us to make sound decisions for ourselves. It is His way of testing us and making sure we are striving to follow in His Word.

As a person who had to use chemicals to become and stay pregnant, I believe I did have something to do with the decision to have a child and to begin trying to have a second child. I believe my doctors had a hand in this process as well. However, I firmly believe that my son was part of God's plan for me. We can support him, we have time for him, and he is a blessing to which their is no sorrow added.

Good Discussion.

-Abby

raintower said...

I wrote out a whole long response, but it got wiped out! Ugh! Briefly, I'll try to respond again.

I agree with Brooke - and would take it a step further that when the Christian Church shares the same view towards children that the pro-abortion camp does - mainly that they are an inconvenience and money, time, and energy drain, then we completely lack authority in our prayers against abortion.

I disagree with Carrien and find her resaoning faulty. She equates trusting God with your family size is about the same as going out and spending money willy-nilly and then expecting God to still bless you financially. This is not at all what the Bible teaches. The Bible is full of teaching on using your finances wisely AND it teaches from cover to cover that children are a blessing from God. It tells us how to make wise financial decisions, and never does it suggest that limiting your family size is a wise financial choice. (In fact, in the long term, it's a very poor financial choice as it means fewer grown children to support you and help you in your old age).

I'll skip the rest of my argument and just ask you this: To what other blessing from God would you say, "No thanks, God, please don't give me anymore, I have enough"? Would you ask God to stop giving you money, anointing, good health, honor, etc.?

I don't exactly think of using birth control as a sin (unless it's abortive), but rather as unwise. And I would also ask followers of Christ who want to purposefully limit the number of children they have to check their hearts. Why are they limiting them? Do they not trust God to provide for them in every area for the kids He provides? Do they not believe that God can prevent them from getting pregnant when He deems it's not the right time for them to have more kids (while still allowing them to enjoy marital relations)? Do they not honestly believe children are a blessing from God? Examine your heart. Yes, God gave us brains and the ability to make choices. That doesn't mean that all choices are wise or what He'd prefer for our lives.

Wish I could've said more, but hopefully I've made my point anyway. God bless you all! (This is Lorraine, by the way. I would've used my name, but it wouldn't post that way).

Jessie said...

haha...that comment by "jake" was me! that must've sounded funny, a guy saying he breastfed his children!! anyways, i was using my husband's computer to respond, but great discussion, kelli!

Holly said...

That is a loaded one! I would never comment on anyone's birth control method (or lack of method) unless they were irresponsible. For example...I know someone (THIS IS NOT A FRIEND...long story...to be saved for another time) who has had multiple abortions, basically as a birth control method...I wholeheartedly think this is WRONG and IRRESPONSIBLE!!!!! At 60 she decided she wanted to have a baby...crazy...you had your chance a few times!

So, as far as with a responsible method of birth control...go for it. I am not a woman who can or should have a lot of kids...and I am apparently fertile because when the thought has come into my mind that it might be time to have a kid...poof I was pregnant. As for the Duggars...I have zero issue with them..they take care of their family and are not whining about their choices...as far as I am concerned they can have 30 kids if they live their life with dignity and respect.

Brooke McGlothlin said...

I think "Raintower" really hit the nail on the head. This question, and all others, can be boiled down to one much more simple question:

Do we trust God?

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I've heard a lot of views on birth control and one I rarely hear used in arguments is not having children b/c of a genetic terminal illness. Now, before I say anything else, I'll say that I am very against any method of birth control that can possibly abort a baby or keep implantation from happening...period.
I will explain why my husband and I chose to let him get a vasectomy a few weeks ago. My husband has lived long enough now to see four family members die of Huntington's disease. The fourth one died just a few weeks ago. My husband lost his mother when he was 18...she was 53. My husband lost his brother about 2 years ago...he was also 53. His mother's sister died in her early 50's and his cousin just died and she was 50...all from Huntington's disease. Since my husband's mother died from it, that means my husband has a 50% chance of having it. It doesn't skip generations and it is a long agonizing death. Since my husband has a 50% of having it, it also increases my son's chance of having it when he grows up. My husband has shown a few symptoms of having it and he won't get tested b/c it costs a lot and there are some other reasons as well.
I've always wanted 3 kids. Him wanting to get a vasectomy was a sore subject for he and I, but I prayed and he prayed. I felt like God wanted me to follow my husband in this decision and my husband felt like a vasectomy was the right decision. We waited 3 years to have it done and during that time my PCOS got worse (an infertility problem). I'm also pretty sure I had a miscarriage in the past 3 years as well. That was hard.
Another thing that is very hard is sharing this news with friends that do believe any form of bc is a sin or not trusting God. I've had those conversations and have been left feeling like my husband and I live in fear of the unknown. That's just not the case.

Anonymous said...

continued from above...

Sure, it's scary to think about, but in the end it's about this. Just because something is a gift from the Father does not mean that it is wrong to be a steward of when or whether we will come into possession of it. The Word says, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth (Genesis 1:28). He doesn't specifically say how much land we should cultivate, we just cultivate as much as we can handle. We don't just decide not to get haircuts so that God can decide how long our hair should be and a farmer doesn't just depend on the wind to plant his crops in fear of interferring the provision of God by regulating what's grown on their land. God says to man it is a blessing to have a wife, but yet it is ok if one chooses to be single (as long as he is not promiscuous).I do not necessarily think that what happens "naturally" reflects "God's best" for our lives, but that what happens through human means does not.
I believe God calls us to be good stewards of what we have and I also believe that He gives us wisdom...especially for the hard decisions. I do not know for sure that my husband has Huntington's or my son. God forbid it, but yes, an accident could occur any day and take my loved ones from me. But, my husband and I have some important foreknowledge about what could happen and to not exercise any decisiveness at this point in our lives would be irresponsible and I truly believe not using wisdom in this situation would be against God's will. If we had anymore children, there is a very real chance my husband wouldn't get to be in their lives for very long. Also, imagining the conversation that we will have with our son and the conversation he'll have with whomever he decides to marry...these are things that we could not handle doing several times. God knew that and gave us a peace. I think God has a different plan for everyone's lives and children are HUGE blessings, but I also think it's important to acknowledge things that can be a curse on one's life and ask God for wisdom on how to handle it. If that "how to handle it" means using a condom, natural family planning, or a vasectomy....then I believe that is b/t The Father and his children.

raintower said...

Anonymous -

I am so sorry for you and for family (your husband's family) for the hardships and losses they have had to endure. I do not judge you for your decisions (and I don't believe that the Lord does either). Rather, I wish to encourage you that Jesus died for your (and your family's) physical salvation, as well as your spiritual salvation. I believe that the Bible - both Old and New Testaments - teach clearly that healing is in the Atonement. The word "Sozo", which means "salvation" - means complete salvation - body, soul, mind, and spirit. I do not believe for one second that it is God's will, desire, etc. that your husband and/or your son have Huntington's disease, or any other disease. I also don't believe that it's His will that any of your family members die "early."

I would encourage you to read what the Bible says about this and build up your faith in this area. Two excellent books on this subject are: "Christ the Healer", by F.F. Bosworth, and "Fighting the Good Fight of Faith", by Alan Vincent. Both go a long way in teaching you what the Bible says about physical healing, as well as giving you practical ways to build up your faith (and giving personal examples). Sometimes the fight is very long (Alan Vincent had a fight for his physical health for 12 years before being completely healed), but it's always good, if you fight in and for your faith. Anyone who has gone on that journey can tell you how much they grew spiritually in the process.

I do not judge Christians when they are sick. If I did, I'd have to frequently judge myself! We live in a fallen world. But I believe with all my heart that Christ came to redeem fully this world and all that He created; and that sickness, disease, early death, etc. absolutely are not His will for us.

I'm not trying to spark another debate here, just really wanting to encourage you in the faith. I will pray for you and your family. God bless you.

raintower said...

Correction: The name of the book by Alan Vincent is, "The Good Fight of Faith: Following the Example of Jesus."

Lomagirl said...

Sometimes God trusts us to use the smarts he's given us.
I think it is wise to limit how many children you have if you can't adequately care for them. Educating women around the world and giving them a way to control their own fertility does wonders for their, and their children's quality of life. In many countries women have babies starting at a young age, with little rest. Mortality rates are high among these women, as are complications from pregnancy including things like fistulas. While this may not be the case in the US, we need to be careful about how we present the issue, because women certainly don't deserve to be bred with no say in the matter.
For a start on some of the issues facing women worldwide, read "Half the Sky."

Anonymous said...

Raintower, I appreciate the encouragement...I truly do. I do agree with you that God never meant for us to endure sickness, disease, and early death, however it happens everyday even to the most faithful of God's followers. Since the fall in the garden, sickness, disease, and early death have been a reality for a long time. I truly believe that when people pray for healing that many times it is God's will for them to be healed, but also there are times when it is not his will. God answers prayer according to how it will benefit his children AND His kingdom...you won't see one without the other. He does not promise our lives here on earth will be easy or painless, but in the hereafter all disease, pain, and sadness will be washed away. I cling onto that.
Alan Vincent said, "But if I had died, I would have died in faith knowing that I had my healing although it was never manifested in this life."--and I believe this is so true.
Huntington's disease is a gene that repeats itself...sometimes more than once which creates even more risk of having it. It is determined in the womb. My husband's mother was a great woman of faith as many of the women in his family are. This disease can be traced back well over 100 yrs in his family when they thought that these people were demon possessed and crazy. They'd spend the rest of their lives in an asylum (one of his ancestors did).
My faith in The Father rises above any disease and death. I know no matter what The Father puts on our plate that we'll be ok...even if it isn't exactly what we'd hoped for. Everything is for His Glory and His Kingdom. The suffering I've went through only makes me stronger...I know that is His will. I thank Him for it along with all the overflowing blessings he's bestowed me.
I appreciate you not judging me even if your opinion is that certain bc's might not be a sin, but rather unwise. God bless you and thank you for your kind words and concern. :)

'Becca said...

This is a great question! Of course the best way to find the answer is to pray for guidance so that you'll come to feel more certain of the path God wants you to take.

I believe that responsible stewardship of our fertility can include preventing pregnancy by any means. For me personally, hormonal contraceptives always seemed wrong; when a doctor persuaded me to take them "to regulate your cycles" at age 25, I found that they made me physically ill and altered my brain function so much that I felt like a different person! So I quit after a few months. We used barrier methods until we were ready to become parents.

While trying to conceive, I learned about Fertility Awareness, and when my cycles resumed after pregnancy I quickly became so confident about what was going on that we decided we didn't need contraceptives anymore. It's now been almost 3 years with no contraception and no pregnancy. If we do conceive, we'll welcome another baby, but our son is wonderful and we don't feel any need to strive for more children. When we get so old that we don't feel prepared for another baby, one of us will be surgically sterilized.

Two things that make Fertility Awareness work for us (which are not acceptable to some people on religious grounds) are enjoying each other in ways other than intercourse during fertile times and withdrawal if we can't resist intercourse. Recent research shows that withdrawal is more effective at preventing pregnancy than had been thought.

Brooke: A big part of the reason children have come to be seen as more of a burden is child labor laws. Instead of helping with a family business or earning money from an early age, children now have to be fully supported for at least 14 years. This is a good thing in many ways, but it's a big change from the economics of Biblical times.

Kelli, I wish you peaceful discernment on this complicated issue.

shan said...

Hi Kelli
Great discussion with great comments. I have been full circle with this subject in my life and would like to give my opinion, but also with some science behind certain birth controls.
First I feel the need to make a distinction between "Birth Control" And "Controlling Birth"!
Birth Control being the term I use for pharmaceutical chemicals that we would use to change or influence our hormones:
This Type of birth control can be harmful to the woman's body! The rise in Breast Cancer and Cervical cancer is way to significant to ignore in this area, But that to me is the least of the PROBLEM with this approach! There is also overwhelming evidence that altering hormones does not prevent fertilization of the egg therefore the creation of a baby!
We as believers can not ignore this evidence! So you say:" well what happens to the pregnancy if one occurs"?
what hormone influence does is alter the lining of the uterus therefore making it impossible for the newly formed baby to attach!
The baby is then aborted with the next menstrual flow! We can not be ok with this and be right with GOD! You may not like what I am saying here but it is the truth and if you are on a chemical birth control as I have been in the past then we must repent of our sin and change our way of doing things!If you get angry you are probably feeling conviction. Gods grace is sufficient to cover all sins and we must simply ask that he forgive us and seek other methods if a child is not desired at the time.

Ok as far as sterilizations go my personal opinion varies here. It does not cause abortions this is a plus, but it can cause significant complications for men and women. Too many to list, so I believe there are safer options!

So here is where Controlling Birth comes in: It does not cause harm to any child! It does not cause harm to either men or women! These are both pluses for any believer who knows our bodies where created to be a Holy Temple for the almighty to dwell.
There are many ways to Control Pregnancies or keep them from occurring, NFP(natural family planning), Protection of various sorts are widely available if you feel more comfortable with that.
Many disagree with Controlling Birth at all! I personally feel like God has given methods of controlling birth for a reason. I especially agree with it if moms health will be harmed by another pregnancy, extreme times of stress or many other reasons.
We personally pray over this often and have had times Were God said do nothing. Also we have had times were it was very clear to be wise we should prevent if possible! There has been times when GOD has moved beyond all our preventions and gave us a child! We are good with that and see it as a blessing!
So I hope this helps to clarify things for some folks. I pray every believer will ultimately turn from any sin in our lives and seek Gods face for the design of our families!

Christy said...

Very thoughtful comments. I don't believe ABC or sterilization is ever part of God's plan. However, He does allow abstinance and knowledge of the woman's cycle to prevent a pregnancy in cases of serious need. I suggest both NFP and the Creighton Model method. Both of which are 99% affective.
May God Bless you and your decision.

Anonymous said...

The whole watching your cycle method is good if you have regular cycles, but it's not so reliable when you have PCOS and have irregular cycles...our ovulation days are never the same and sometimes we don't ovulate. Then, the length of cycles are never the same too. I just don't think some methods work for everyone. I think it's easy to say what we "think" is God's plan, but since God has a different plan for everyone and gives people different convictions (outside of His commandments we know to obey of course), I think it's pretty far stretched to say what's good for one is good for all.

'Becca said...

Anonymous with irregular cycles: I have irregular cycles too, and that is one reason Fertility Awareness has been so valuable to me! I went through years of doctors telling me what was wrong and being mistaken (it's not PCOS, but I had that diagnosis at one point) and being prescribed various hormones. Finally I accepted that God made my body different from the norm and I would never find peace through trying to force myself to be normal.

Fertility Awareness is much more than counting days! By tuning in to your body's signals (cramps, changes in female fluids, the way your breasts feel, etc.) you can learn to sense the approach of ovulation several days before there's any risk of pregnancy. My last cycle was 60 days, but I knew I was about to ovulate for a full week before it happened, and then I knew exactly when it happened, so I knew what day to expect my period. It's so convenient!

I totally agree with what you said about God's plan.

Anonymous said...

I've used this method before suggested by a doctor (a doctor who also professionally teaches this type of method). I also talked w/ friends I knew that used this method. I probably should have specified that I wasn't just counting my days...I was trying to avoid the gory details. I had CM up to 3 times a month and sometimes 2 of those CM's would be streaked w/ blood. So, I never could tell if it really was CM from ovulation or implantation. One of those times I took a pregnancy test when I was 11 days late. I waited so long since it took many days for a positive one to show up w/ my son (another lovely side effect of PCOS due to lack of hormones). After several negative pregnancy tests, one came back positive and the same day I started my period. I ended up back at my Gyn to get blood tests to see if I had miscarried. The test came back negative and was told it was probably a corpus luteum cyst (can cause false positives). Finally my doc put me on natural progesterone for ten days out of the month. I asked her which round of CM I should pick to begin the progesterone. We decided the second round of CM during the month would be the best bet (at this point it really was a bet since my cycles were so off). There was light cramping and sometimes really bad cramping. The bad cramping landed me in the hospital having a CAT scan only to find out it was a cyst rupturing. I took Vitex for a while afterward and it helped with my energy, but didn't really help my cycles even though I was taking 6 pills a day.
There was a lot of money spent during the time I was observing (and my doc was observing) my cycles, emotional rollercoasters and there were lots of recommendations from well meaning friends. Three rounds of CM per month plus seven day periods lead to a lot of days when hubby and I couldn't just have "normal" relations and let's be honest...could anyone condemn us for not wanting to use condoms almost 3 weeks out of the month?? I'm very familiar w/ all of it and it still leads me to uncomfortable conversations with friends who have quickly changed subjects when I talked about my husband possibly becoming sterilized or when we started using spermicide (which was the only option left before sterilization since I don't believe in hormonal BC and it's not full proof whatsoever). I just don't believe there is a "one size fits all". I think natural family planning is a great method and should be used more often especially for women who do have some consistancy in their cycles, but there are just times when it doesn't fit every person's situation.