Friday, October 23, 2015

What does "trying to whatever" actually mean?

Last week I had a great discussion with a friend about what "trying to whatever", TTW, means in the context of NFP. It's pretty easy to understand what "trying to avoid", TTA, means - what ever method you're using, you don't use any days identified as fertile. It's also self explanatory what "trying to conceive" means if you're using NFP - you should be aiming to use those fertile days!

I've had "trying to whatever" explained to me as a couple doing what they feel like and letting nature take its course. This seems like a slightly awkward definition to me - perhaps because in more secular circles, "trying to conceive" is used to encompass couples who are not contracepting, happy to have a baby if it happens, and having sex whenever they feel like it. On the other hand, it seems sensible to distinguish between couples who are partaking in the marital act when they feel like it and open to whatever happens from couples who are eager to get pregnant and timing intercourse to up their chances. For many couples, the results of "trying to whatever" and "trying to conceive" are the same - they get pregnant within a few cycles. But for other couples, it takes much more focused effort to achieve pregnancy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Baby Naysayers

I'm generally fine being asked when we plan to start our family, provided we're all very much on the same page about how unpredictable these things can be. It drives me up the wall though when people instruct me in what those plans ought to be. The most common ones I hear are "don't have kids! It will ruin your life!" or "wait at least 5 years to have babies," often spoken by absolute strangers.

Is having small kids very very difficult? I'm sure it is! Are they worth it? Most parents seem to think so. I've done other difficult things, and for most of them I've been offered encouragement and support. People mention that these things are difficult, but worth it in the long term. Why not tell would-be parents these things too? After all, while couples have some ability to increase or decrease their chances of becoming pregnant, almost all couples, even those using contraceptives, "risk" becoming parents. Surely it can't be good to start out with years of baggage saying that your child has ruined your life?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Reluctant to take the mandatory NFP class?

Are you dreading your first natural family planning class? When you realized you had to take it as part of marriage preparation, did you and your fiance roll your eyes? You are not alone - many couples, including NaturalGuy and I, are initially skeptical about NFP. When we got engaged, I just assumed that we would do the "responsible" thing and use birth control. It never crossed my mind that there were other options. NaturalGuy had heard about NFP in high school, but hadn't given it much thought since.