I am so interested to see what people come here looking to find. Quite a few people have been searching through SC to see if I've written anything on worm composting. I have not (yet), but it's on The List of Things To Do That I Thought I Never Would Try.
What really raised my eyebrows was my weekly report from Lijit which informed me that last week, there were fifty-five searches for "birth control." Fifty-five in one week.
So tell me, what would you like to know?
The painted belly in the picture might answer your first question - we don't use birth control. At least not in the conventional sense. To clarify, I am not on hormonal birth control pills, and we don't use any sort of barrier protection.
When I wrote about how much I adore Mon.thly.info, I shared that I just don't like the way The Pill (in its various forms) makes me feel. Perhaps I am just particularly sensitive to the hormones - I don't know. It makes me feel looney. I also don't like the effect it has on my (holdmyhandplease, I'm so uncomfortable), um, desire to pursue intimacy with my husband. (You have no idea how much I am squirming talking about that.)
Reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health absolutely changed my life. I will say again: I believe every woman should read it, preferably around the time she graduates from high school. You can bet both of my daughters will read it.
(Won't that be a fun way to send them off to college? "Have fun, sweetheart! Make sure to study lots, and don't forget to take note of your cervical mucus changes!")
It was through reading TCOYF that I began to read and understand natural family planning (which the author refers to as the Fertility Awareness Method), and I found my own freedom from hormonal birth control - a system I knew did not work for me.
I know there are many women, particularly within the Christian community of faith, who don't use The Pill out of personal conviction. (Read more from Randy Alcorn here or listen to Mark Driscoll for more here.)
I don't really have a conviction in this area at this point in my life. I haven't taken the time to sleuth it all out for myself. I just know that often medication is used to treat a broken system in the body. My reproductive system is not broken, so I don't feel the need to treat it with medication. (And I am praying that you all know me well enough to know that when I make that statement, there is a heavy emphasis on the "I." No judgment intended in any way for those who are in The Pill.)
I do need to clarify one thing. In the past, I've kind of said in a few places that we are open to whatever God has in store for our family. That is true, and perhaps not true.
There are some couples who choose to cover the growth of their family in prayer. They come together whenever they desire to do so, don't worry about charts and temps, or trying to conceive or avoiding conception. I think those are the couples who truly, truly have left their family growth open to God's plans (or, for those who don't necessarily believe in God or that God orchestrates such things, I suppose they are leaving it open to the plans of human biology).
That's not us. And that's where it gets tricky to talk about.
Kyle and I both feel that as believers who are seeking each day to walk in step with the Spirit of God who dwells within us, that we will know when the time is right to try to conceive again. We both knew when we tried for Dacey, and we both knew when we tried for Aliza Joy. At this moment in time, we both know that the timing is not right to try to conceive again, so we are actively trying to avoid that.
Do I chart and temp religiously? Not really. Not at all. I've been practicing NFP for five years. I understand my body's rhythms, signs, and clues. Oddly enough, one strange benefit of my two c-sections is that I know exactly when I am ovulating because I have a lot of tenderness and cramping in my incision area. That's really helpful! I like to think of that as my little consolation prize for my surgically birthed babies.
Mon.thly helps me keep track of dates, but knowing exactly when I am ovulating makes it really easy to avoid the biological circumstance which leads to conception.
So that's the answer to the birth control question. So far, it has worked wonderfully for us. I'm certainly not an expert, but I'm happy to address questions or comments or experiences you may want to share!
photo by treyevan
amazon link is an affiliate link