Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What We've Been Up To

We were introduced to this great summary of Catholic thought on sex, marriage, and contraceptives - "What the Catholic Church Teaches on Contraception and Why."

We've been following the news on Zika (remember our three part series on Zika). There have been two interesting reports from Colombia ("New Doubts..." and "Five new confirmed cases", both interesting and neither conclusive.

I finally got diagnosed with hypothyroidism, after nearly 2 years of being certain it was effecting my cycles. We've been reading a ton on hypothyroidism, and hopefully NaturalGuy will be writing a post with some of the studies we've found most helpful.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

We're back!

We're finally finding a new normal to settle into. NaturalGuy started a new job recently and I just quit my job. We're still very sad about the loss of our Nicola, but also increasingly eager and anxious for another baby. We're driving ourselves crazy with charting and spotting "pregnancy" symptoms.

We've spent a lot of time in doctor's offices in the past few months and we've been very grateful for our charts. We've been working with a nutritionist who uses CCL charts and through this and a blood test our doctor ordered, managed to diagnose and correct vitamin D deficiency. More recently, we've been working with a NaPro (Creighton) trained doctor. She is happy to work with our CCL charts, although we've started learning Creighton in case it gives us some insight. It's been very easy to get the hang of Creighton - the "rules" are very similar to CCL's mucus only rules, and of course, we're not TTA so it's mostly just observation. Creighton's notation for mucus is quite nice. I think the biggest weakness in Creighton is that there is no way to distinguish an unsuccessful attempt at ovulation from a successful one, aside from the note that if a woman is under "unusual stress" she should be prepared for multiple attempts. This would be really tough for us during my longer cycles. Creighton is also very heavy on instructor/couple interaction - we had a bit of trouble finding a teacher who "clicked" with us and switched after the first class.

Otherwise, we've been taking things one day at a time. We'd appreciate prayers!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Miscarriage :(

Only six weeks after receiving the thrilling news that we were expecting a baby, we were very sad to find our baby had died in early April. We have taken great comfort in our Catholic faith and in naming, burying, and having a funeral for our precious Nicola. We are also very thankful for family and friends, and for the meals, card games, and good company they have brought us.

We are starting to settle back into the routines of work and home life, while praying for Nicola and hoping for another baby. We're also hoping to start blogging again soon - we are more grateful than ever for the Church's wisdom on fertility and for the practical skills of fertility awareness.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What we've been thinking about in March

We've had a busy, busy month! We're catching our breaths this Holy Week and looking forward to celebrating Easter with family. Then we're starting the next whirlwind of a month. We've had lots to think about this month, including

  •  Marriage - We've been thinking a lot about marriage because we just had our first anniversary. It is a joy to recall our wedding and the tremendous growth we've seen in the past year. What a whirlwind! And we suspect the next year will bring even more change and growth.
  • How to best share the ups and downs of learning and practicing NFP, especially when we teach couples who are struggling to move away from a contraceptive mindset and become more open to life.
  • Our families of origin and how they shape our lives, even now that we've married and live hundreds of miles away. It seems like parents and in-laws have a huge effect on how couples receive a new baby - they can either be a huge encouragement or discouragement. 
Hopefully there will be some blog posts on these topics and others in the next month! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

NaturalWomanhood has a new movie!

Here's the trailer for Natural Love Story! The full (free!) 40 minute movie is here - NaturalGuy and I just watched it and thought it was great. Highly recommend!

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Pro-Life Guide to Zika: So, what can married couples in Zika effected areas do?

Married couples who are effected by Zika should strive to generously and prudently grow their families - just like they did before. Decisions about marital intimacy and pregnancy are always very personal and discernment is required. A few scenarios illustrate the complexity of these decisions and the generous, prudent, and above all, Catholic responses to these difficult circumstances.
  • Maria and John have three kids and were just starting to feel ready to be open to a 4th when they got news of Zika in their area. Since their home doesn't have mosquito screens or air conditioning, they are worried they are at especially high risk, and they are especially worried after hearing of a pregnant friend whose child is suspected to have been effected. Maria and John decide to use natural family planning to postpone pregnancy until they have more information.

A Pro-Life Guide to Zika: No, Pope Francis did NOT give couples permission to use contraceptives!

Did Pope Francis say that couples could use contraceptives to avoid pregnancy because of Zika?

No. In an interview on February 18th (full text here), Pope Francis was asked the following question:
Holy Father, for several weeks there’s been a lot of concern in many Latin American countries but also in Europe regarding the Zika virus. The greatest risk would be for pregnant women. There is anguish. Some authorities have proposed abortion, or else to avoiding pregnancy. As regards avoiding pregnancy, on this issue, can the Church take into consideration the concept of “the lesser of two evils?”