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Family Planning

I didn't learn about sex until I was in the fifth grade; then I saw the word "period" scrawled on a handrail at school. One of the other kids asked me if I knew what it meant. Sure, I said, it's what comes at the end of a sentence. *Buzzz* Wrong answer. My friend suggested that I go home and ask my parents what it meant.

I did, and wow! Was I surprised! My parents got out a chart and explained to me about sex. I was a bit embarassed. I remember thinking that this probably didn't really happen. . . perhaps it was some kind of thing that kind of happened like in a dream. After all, how could two people do *that*!? In a later discussion, my mom assured me that it was a real, physical occurence.

I think I started my period when I was about 13 years old. My parents bought me the book, "Hi, God. It's me, Margaret" to help me understand what was going on. It makes me laugh to think of that. But I appreciated the book very much. Judy Blume is a cool author.

By my parents, in school, in church, and at some youth group functions I was taught that I should wait until marriage to have sex, but I didn't learn a whole lot about sex besides that. I decided that since that is what God wants, then that is what I should do. . . but even though people probably think of me as a "goody-two-shoes" (where in the world did I pick up that phrase??), I still found it a bit hard to not have sex.

I was blessed in that I had a pretty "nice" guy for a boyfriend when I was in high-school, and though we did some things I regret, he never pressured me to "go all the way." And my husband has always been an absolute gentlemen from the very first time I met him, and I love him very much.

I am happy to say that we married as virgins and enjoyed our honeymoon thoroughly. We had decided to wait to have any children, so a short time prior to getting married, I started taking the birth control pill, so it would work in time for our honeymoon. I felt comfortable with my decision to take the pill because a Christian book I had read called The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love by Tim and Beverly LaHaye praised the pill, and they convinced me of it's virtues. My view on this has changed.

I used the pill for about three and a half years. My husband didn't feel ready to have children yet. . . he felt too immature, I think. I really wanted to have a baby much sooner than he did, so we ended up getting three cats who became my "children."

Finally I went off the pill and got pregnant about three months later with our first child, a girl. After her birth, when she was six months old, I got a Depo Provera shot. After I got the shot, when I was reading the literature about the shot on the way home (my husband was driving), I noticed that it said that one way it "prevented" conception from occurring was by making the uterine lining incompatible with life. . . if an egg got fertilized, then it wouldn't be able to live.

I didn't know what to think. I am pro-life, and to me that sounded like an abortion, but why had I not heard of this before? When I got home I looked up some info on the Internet and came across the Couple to Couple League's website. Sure enough, Depo Provera somtimes acts as an aborticifent (as does the pill), and it is unhealthy and has other problems, too.

But not only that, I found out that since I was breastfeeding my baby and had not had my period return yet, then chances were good that I was not fertile yet anyway. I never got another Depo shot again, and it turned out that I did not get my period back until my daughter was 23 months old. I got pregnant four months later.

I have not used any birth control since I had that shot and am currently nursing my one year old little boy (and my four year old daughter) and haven't had my period return yet.

I've come to believe that Natural Family Planning is a wonderful option -- it's not at all just for Catholics like I had once thought. It is very empowering for a woman to know her fertility signs, and it is completely safe. And it works.

I also believe that breastfeeding is designed by God to be a means of natural child-spacing. The type of breastfeeding needed to provide this benefit is called "ecological breastfeeding." (See my article Breastfeeding and Fertility for more information.)


More links coming soon!

A Woman's Guide to Contraception and Responsible Sex Also on this site: Birth Control and the Christian

Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? by Randy Alcorn, director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM)

Many "Contraceptives" Are Also Abortive: Important Facts About Birth Control Chemicals

We Appreciate Your Interest by Darrell D. Neet--answers to questions and comments concerning having a large family.

The QUIVER-FULL! Home Page The theme for the Quiver-Full Discussion Group is taken from Psalm 127:4-5: "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in their gate." (Many of the parents on this list are not attachment parenters--so be forewarned--but they offer great encouragement for those with big families and those who are against any type of birth control.)

Breastfeeding: Does it Really Space Babies? on The Couple To Couple League International, Inc. website

The Billings Ovulation Method of Natural Family Planning

World Organisation Ovulation Method Billings

Natural Family Planning This page on the Natural Family Site contains an explanation of natural family planning, helpful links, and suggested books on the topic.

The NFP Files

The Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) on the Breastfeeding Topics website

World Alliance for Breast-Feeding Action's LAM Site (Lactational Amenorrhea Method)

The American Academy of Natural Family Planning (AANFP)

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