Know Thyself - Kate's Story

Thursday, July 27, 2017

It's NFP Awareness Week! This year I am sharing stories from women who learned NFP methods while single. Single women often get left out of discussions of Natural Family Planning, but there are great benefits to be reaped for them too. It's time to hear some of their stories!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Kate, 41 years old, never married, cradle Catholic.  I have been a school librarian for about nine years since changing careers from the legal field.  I live just outside of Philadelphia in the suburbs, not far from where I grew up.  My parents have been married for over 46 years and I have an older brother and a younger sister, both of whom are married—so I am a happy auntie to five wonderful nephews (oldest is 19/youngest is 4 months) and one fantastic niece (almost 13!).

How did you hear about NFP?

I feel like I kind of had the basics as a high schooler. . . My 9th grade religion teacher alluded to it (“Some days the toilet paper goes whoop!”) and my mom (oldest of seven children) shared one of the straightforward pieces of wisdom her mother was famous for: “Sex equals babies.” (Meaning don’t do it if you’re not ready to be a parent.)

My college dorm mates talked about how their parents were involved with the Couple-to-Couple League (CCL) and that was very interesting to me, to see how others taught and supported each other with marriage and families.  In my 20s, I helped a struggling couple connect with CCL as a result of my college friends’ information.

Then, a few years ago, I joined up with the Not Alone Singles group, full of such lovely women with incredible devotion to their faith.  I looked around at a few blogs and saw that Jen at Jumping in Puddles wrote a post about why she charts and that got me curious.

How did you pick a method?

 In 2015, I was in a relationship that really seemed to be headed toward marriage.  We both shared in that longing to have children, and I didn’t want to be blindsided with having to take a crash course right before getting married.  (Turns out I didn’t have to be that worried, as that relationship ended unexpectedly late last year, but I am still grateful for what else has come into my life as a result.)  I connected with the Friends of Fertility Care of Philadelphia and was referred to an information session.  Turns out I was the only single person attending, but the session was fascinating and full of things that went beyond what I really understood about human biology.  The session also talked about NaPro Technology and what I now know is the Creighton Model of charting fertility.  I signed up for individual instruction and it really didn’t take long to get the hang of observing and charting thanks to my very caring educator.

What has been your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge is probably to hold my tongue and control my annoyance when people talk so casually about IVF and chemical and artificial means of birth control as if it does nothing to their bodies and souls.  I don’t mean that in a judgmental way, just more like, well, I don’t really know how to “evangelize” NFP (and honestly I wish it had a better name! God laughs at our “plans,” doesn’t He?) as a single person—do I really have the authority?--even though sometimes I want to shout from the rooftops how great it is and how many people have had this great information completely hidden from them or just brushed aside.

What has been your greatest benefit?

I think I would have to say that there are actually two really great benefits that I have gotten from doing all this.  The first is that I really got to understand myself and how much a role my cycle plays in my life, how it affects me.  The second is that my educator noticed something unusual in my charts and referred me to a smart, caring, pro-life, Catholic gynecologist.  (No more raised eyebrow/cynical remarks about my “activity” or lack thereof.)  I’m being treated for a hormone deficiency and it has given me hope that I don’t always have to feel miserable with PMS, and maybe, just maybe, I still have hope of becoming a mom in the near future.  (Still praying and working to meet the man God has picked out for me.)

Come back tomorrow for Wonderfully Made - Alejandra's Story.

Check out the previous posts in this series:


  1. Woo-hoo! Hey there, NAS girl!

    I agree that NFP probably needs a rebranded name, since, as you've shared, there are many applications for single women. I'm very encouraged that the organization whose information session you attended was welcoming to a single woman. All young people should learn about fertility cycles. It's science, and knowledge is power.

  2. Knowledge is power, you are exactly right, Lindsay. I later learned that this organization also holds a special mother-daughter tea for younger girls. . . I kind of wish I had started out not being so mystified by my cycle, you know?


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