Postpartum is Unpredictable - Even for NFP Teachers

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

We've made it to the middle of NFP week y'all! 
Have you been reading these stories thinking "they just needed to work more closely with an instructor" or "if your charts are confusing, you just need to get you some NaPro!" 
NFP postpartum is difficult - even for the NFP trained.

Meet Sara and Chad! Certified NFP teaching couple through the Couple to Couple League. Married 8 years and have a 6 year old son, 5 year old daughter, 3 year old daughter, and 4 month old son.

1. Tell us a little bit about each of you.
Chad: I’m Chad and I like to party.
Sara: Oh my goodness, I’ll introduce him. Chad’s a Catholic convert and I totally love him for it. He just got his PhD in math because he’s a hardcore nerd. But it’s okay because I’m a nerd, too. We met in college studying math together. Now I’m living my dream of being a SAHM while Chad is living his dream of teaching college math. On the side, I have my blog: and I’m the Tech Assistant for I’m a cradle Catholic, but I have so much to learn from converts (some of my favorite peeps).
2. How did you learn about NFP?
Chad: My wife and I learned NFP together when we were engaged.
Sara: Being a cradle Catholic with faithful parents, NFP was introduced to me as the way of life for Catholic married couples. Chad and I learned NFP together when we were engaged. I do wish I had known more about fertility awareness as a teen, but I’m working on changing that for today’s girls. Chad and I are certified NFP teachers through Couple to Couple League, so we have the opportunity to help others learn about NFP.

3. How did you pick your NFP method?
Chad: I was just coming into the Church before we got married. So I didn’t know much about NFP at the time. But my wife knew what she wanted us to do, and I trusted and supported her decision.
Sara: My mom used the Sympto-Thermal Method, so that’s what I went with. My cycles, though not completely regular and predictable, are fairly straightforward to navigate with STM. I love the clarity of postpartum charting with this method. I feel confident in our ability to space our children and know for sure when my fertility has made a comeback.

4. What has been the greatest struggle of NFP in the postpartum period?
Chad: It’s hard being unsure of what’s going on. That makes it difficult to plan when to have sex. It can be pretty confusing.
Sara: Like Chad said, the uncertainty can be difficult. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily confusing, myself, but definitely unpredictable. Until that first ovulation postpartum, there is no way to know what’s coming next. So we have to go day-by-day… and hope the baby cooperates with our charts. Right now, our baby seems to love to stay up late on nights when we finally would have been able to have sex. In the postpartum transition, there can be extended periods of abstinence that can get frustrating.

5. What has been the greatest benefit?
Chad: We don’t want to have babies back-to-back. Knowing NFP allows us to have sex confidently, knowing we can still postpone pregnancy. Otherwise we would have to abstain the entire postpartum time until we got back to normal cycles. It’s great that NFP allows for us to navigate the transition time.

Sara: I agree that it’s good to be confident in spacing our children. As long as we’re diligent, we know exactly when we should or shouldn’t have sex in order to avoid “preparing for Irish twins” – (insert eye roll at rude doctors). The postpartum period always forces us to revamp our communication, which is a great thing for our marriage. And, if I’m being entirely honest, I’m thankful for the intermittent stretches of abstinence required in the postpartum time. My libido tanks hard after having a baby, so those stretches give me the break I need to foster and rejuvenate that desire. I’m not sure Chad would consider that a benefit lol.
But it turns out to be a good reminder to show our love for each other in different (non-physical) ways. After our second baby, while juggling discrepancy in our desires, different needs that I was experiencing, and unpredictable stretches of abstinence, we were able to open up communication in a way that led us to praying together before sex.

Check out the other posts this week.


How has this NFP week challenged you? 
Has this changed the way you think about postpartum NFP?

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