A Conscious Choice - NFP in the Family Toolbox

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Today we're meeting Madeline and Joel!
They are an amazing couple who have used NFP to identify, and correct, hormone issues. 

1. Tell us a little about each of you.

I (Madelene) grew up in Salinas, CA, the oldest of six kids in a loving and literary family.  I went to Gonzaga University and graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in English.  I did youth ministry at home and abroad after college, then went on to get my CA teaching credential and taught in Catholic schools for seven years.  I’m currently a stay-at-home mom to our children, Luisa (27 months) and Angelo (14 months).  I love cooking, traveling, and outdoor recreation.

Joel is a native San Diegan, the second of three children.  He graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT with a B.S. in Civil Engineering (and as salutatorian, his doting wife might add).  After serving in Hawai’i, San Diego, and Iraq, he earned a J.D. from the U.C. Berkeley School of Law.  He is a Judge Advocate with the USCG in Alameda, CA.  Joel likes running, cycling, surfing, and perfecting his coffee skills (to his wife’s delight).  We live in Berkeley, CA.

2. How did you hear about NFP?

Joel and I both come from great families, having been baptized and brought up as Catholics from infancy.  We never left behind our faith when we left our homes for college.  Staying Catholic was absolutely a decision for us in young adulthood.  This meant that we were going to throw ourselves into living our faith completely (or, as completely as possible, this side of heaven!).  Fast forward a few years: we started dating and became serious about marriage, and this led to an early commitment to pursuing chastity and, eventually, natural family planning.

Joel had started to piece together what NFP was while in high school; his good buddy had six younger siblings and a very joyful family.  Joel learned about the Church’s teachings to a greater degree in college.  I learned about NFP from my parents when I was eleven.  My mom was pregnant at the time with my fifth sibling, and I wondered why my family had four more kids than just about everyone else’s at my school.  Everyone else’s, that is, except for my sister’s friend’s family, who also had six kids.  Turns out their mom, Sheila, was — and still is — the president of the California Association of Natural Family Planning (CANFP).

3. How did you pick a method?

Picking a method was easy:  having been friends with Sheila for many years, Joel and I asked her for instruction.  CANFP teaches the Creighton method, so that’s what we did.  Built into the Creighton method is the added benefit of NaPro Technology, which tracks my gynecological health history.  Since having our second child, we’ve also added in the use of the ClearBlue Fertility Monitor (used in the Marquette method) as a secondary check for ovulation.

4. What has been your greatest challenge?

Our greatest challenge — while also a tremendous blessing — as been our robust fertility!  Joel and I had a honeymoon pregnancy.  We ended up losing this baby to miscarriage.  Two years later, when our daughter, Luisa, was an infant, we again conceived, to our shock.  Our son was born thirteen months after Luisa.  What started as dismay quickly turned to delight.  We now would want nothing different, but, needless to say, it’s been a wild two years!

5. What has been your favorite benefit?

Our favorite benefit of NFP is the children entrusted to us by God, of course!  They are the light of our lives.  NaPro technology has helped identify the problem of low progesterone in my post-Peak period.  Knowing this has enabled me to receive immediate progesterone supplementation in the first half of my pregnancies, in all likelihood saving my children from miscarriage.  Another huge benefit of NFP is that it begs Joel and me to be communicative about the hopes, dreams, and fears we bring into our life together.  We have tremendous respect for the entire person that our spouse is; we’ve never used the other for selfish gratification.  We’ve learned to be creative in our loving expressions to each other when we desire to delay pregnancy.  Overall, NFP has taught us to trust in God’s sometimes confusing, but always fulfilling, plan for our lives.

Don't miss the other NFP stories posted so far! 

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