When we told people that we were pregnant with our second baby, almost every conversation included the question: "Were your trying?" As a NFP practicing catholic, I find the question slightly offensive and difficult to answer--although I do shamefully admit to having asked the questions myself--and although I don't fit into either option, answer as best I can: "Well, yes and no. Yes, my husband and I decided that we were open to having another child and so would not be charting to avoid pregnancy. No, we were not charting to achieve pregnancy" (we weren't concerned about having another one immediately).
Our culture has completely indoctrinated in us this idea that babies are the result, not of God's providence, but of either conscious effort or poor planning on the part of the parents. The idea that a couple would simply make a deliberate decision to be open to receiving a child doesn't even appear on the radar screen. That is what the contraceptive mentality has done to our culture.
A couple decides that they want to have a child, so they stop using birth control and start looking at fertilty doctors (if they do not acheive pregnancy immediately). Six weeks after having a baby, they immediately go right back on birth control until they decide they are ready to have another one. Repeat process. They are forever either trying to have a baby, or trying to not have a baby.
While the church teaches that there are indeed times--to be prayerfully determined by the couple--to try to achieve or avoid pregnancy, she also teaches that there is a third state, one largely forgotten among "educated people:" to simply be open to life and allow God to be, well, God.
Eco-Breastfeeding and Infertility after childbirth.
I know what you are thinking. I just had a baby 2 months ago. I do not want to have another one right now! You, my friend have a just reason for postponing pregnancy. But you do not need to go back on Birth Control. Aside from using NFP, God has given us a natural way to supress pregnancy--breastfeeding! By using Eco-Breastfeeding techniques (part of the NFP process), I remained naturally infertile for about 12 months after the birth of my first daughter, at which point, my husband and I decided not to resume charting and "see what happens." About 4 months later, we found out we were 3 months pregnant!
My husband and I were surprised but ecstatic. I had noticed many of the signs, but dismissed them as signs that my fertility was returning. Since we were not trying to avoid pregnancy, I was taking all of the proper prenatal precautions, so I was not concerned with finding out immediately, telling myself and others; "I'll figure it out eventually." What a blessing! We discovered I was pregnant and had the 20 week ultrasound about a month later. In four more short months, we will be holding our new blessing in our arms.
I want to encourage you, to think about your reaction when someone tells you they are pregnant. Is it in line with Catholic teaching, that all babies are gifts from God, that they do not need to be "planned" per say, or have you, like so many of us been indoctrinated with the teachings of our contraceptive culture.
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Have you experienced negative reactions from family or friends when you announced your pregnancy? Share your story below!