Don’t worry. It’s not what you think.
I hesitated on and off for a while on whether or not I wanted to post this. There have been some posts from Waywardson23 and Bonnie Engstrom that have given real, honest, not-so-rosy accounts of NFP. There was also a recent post from Katie at NFPandme that also gave me some insight.
So I figured, I’m going to share. (Warning – I do get a little detailed.)
I’ve been charting for shy of 2 years now. And I had the strangest thing happen this last cycle. (false)P+3, 2 dry days, real peak. I looked at my chart and said, “That’s the 1%.” In all my almost-2-years of charting, I have never seen anything quite like that.
I am open to life, as my faith calls me to be. And technically speaking, if I was applying the most conservative of rules I would be in, well, the 99%. But it’s a reminder how unforgiving NFP can be. And it certainly got my wheels turning. I always promote FAM from a secular standpoint.
The point in me sharing this is that I realized what a privilege it is to chart for such a long time with no pressure. What a luxury to look at a false peak and say “Woops. Glad I caught that!” and move on about my day. I think learning NFP charting under fire would make things very difficult. Getting to know our bodies is quite a journey and I surely wouldn’t want to rush it.
I had someone from the church tell me recently “NFP is really something you’re not supposed to know about until pre-cana. We don’t want unmarried girls knowing when they are and aren’t fertile.”
Can you imagine my fury??
Fertility Charting is not and should not be a secret to anyone. It is basic biology. It’s health. It’s empowerment. You’re telling me that we’re supposed to grow up listening to the ubiquitous media of MTV and Jezebel while witnessing the heroic efforts of Sandra Fluke and Cecile Richards to push hormonal birth control for not just every American woman, but now women all over the world and then in a few sentences in pre-cana, say “Ohh I get it now. Sure thing, father, I’ve stayed entirely away from the sexual secular world, so I don’t know ANYthing about birth control.”
I’m not saying every 20-something should chart their fertility because I think it’s the best thing ever. (I mean I can be a bit biased.) But I would encourage any female, if you have any interest in charting – do it. Don’t wait until you think you’re going to be engaged. Don’t hesitate because it’s “awkward”. And definitely don’t wait until you’re in the middle of planning a wedding, because I’m there now, and let me tell you, I’m damn glad I’m not juggling the concept of NFP along with it.
I think learning fertility charting as a couple can be extremely gratifying but a woman can also learn to chart on her own and be just as empowered. Fertility charting can be used to plan a family, but it can also be used as a window to your health and well-being. And I think that’s pretty freaking cool.
So today, I am grateful for charting because I recognize how special the opportunity to chart “for fun” is. I get to be a little selfish and spend some quality time making sure my health is in optimal shape. And that’s why I encourage charting to any female that has the desire to do it.
James, Bonnie, and Katie are in my prayers as I know they are all going through some tough stuff.
*Since I last wrote this I had an instructor look over my chart and we uncovered the cause for the false peak….allergy pills! Completely forgot I took one that day which caused a “false post peak”. (p+3)