A 96.8 Degree Leap of Faith

At 5:00am every morning, 96.8 is my Basal Temperature.

And I'm thinking the plus or minus half-hour isn't really going to work for me either - because at 5:30 this morning, it was 97.1.  And if I dare to wait until 6:30 or 7?  It's been 97.5 and 97.6, respectively.

And why do I know this?  Because The Man and I took a (huge) leap of Faith and started using Natural Family Planning (NFP).  It's only been a week, so maybe I need not panic just yet.  Somehow I just know I'm not going to get to have wiggle room.  And before you ask, our goal is to prevent pregnancy for the foreseeable future.  And to me, that is the leap of Faith.

Until recently, we have relied on birth control to prevent pregnancy and so far it has worked.  I frequently live by the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' motto.  And based on the fact that we have no children, I would say it's been working.  But, in other ways, it wasn't working.  I was starting to feel the side effects of years of taking birth control pills (I, like many teens, was put on birth control to help with side effects) in the form of weight gain and reduced libido.

In recent months, as I've made new friends (Sarah and Michelle) and read with an open mind their experiences with NFP and learned more about birth control pills (and realized those side effects I was experiencing were related) I came to realize this was at least worth bringing up the The Man.

In the beginning, I did a horrible job of explaining what NFP is, how it works, and why I wanted us to consider it.  So bad, in fact, The Man said "Well, we'll just never have sex again then."  Not exactly the reaction I was hoping for.  At.  All.  After I backtracked a little lot, and explained that maybe I didn't really understand it all, we both set out to do some research.  A few weeks later, The Man said he thought this 'NFP-thing' was worth looking into and I googled 'NFP and West Virginia'.  Don't bother doing it, it's a colossal waste of time as there is nothing. at. all.  Even in our Marriage Prep classes, NFP wasn't taught.

Just after Christmas, without knowing how we would learn this NFP-thing, we decided to throw away the birth control pills.  The one thing we did know was that we wanted to give my body a chance to regulate itself and have hormone-free cycles before we started charting.  We didn't want leftover hormones to interfere because preventing pregnancy is our goal.

And in order to shorten an already long story (I'll write about it another day), Allison and her husband agreed to teach us via Skype (they live in Houston, TX) and we had our first class last Saturday.

 And thus begins our 96.8 degree leap of Faith.


  1. Oh, bless your heart. I love how real and open you are! B and I stopped birth control 6 months into our marriage, because of the side effects it was having on my body and all my health issues. I say that to cheer you on... that NFP works! It was 5 years before our Ash was born. :)

    Praying for you as you try to figure it all out. I know it feels like a lot and feels overwhelming, but y'all are on the same page, working together and getting the help you need. Great way to start.

    Good for you!

  2. Yay for you! Hopefully once you've been charting for a few months you'll find it is not that hard, but in any case I commend you for being willing to try NFP!

  3. How wonderful Rebecca! I know you'll get the hang of it within a month or so, and I pray that you'll feel better living artificial hormone free! :)

  4. I knew a woman who tried NFP. She got pregnant soon after she started. I hope it works better for you.

  5. Good for you. It is highly successful when practiced correctly.

  6. I hope everything goes well! And I hope you don't mind sharing how it goes as you try it. I'm curious to see what you think.

  7. Good for you! I hope things work out the way you want them too! I'm proud of you for taking that giant leap of faith, and for blogging about it too!

  8. I was on birth control years ago, and I stopped it not for religious, moral or ethical reasons, but because of what the hormones did to my body. It took awhile, but my body thanked me later- I felt 160% better!

    I started learning more and more about NFP and it made more sense. We taught ourselves throught Couple to Couple league, and it was difficult at first. But by golly it has worked! There are so many resources out there that can help you.

    I think it's awesome that you are taking that leap of faith and having the courage to write about it! There will be people who will judge and ridicule (my own father-in-law has questioned us in not-so-nice way), but NFP, if you want it to, can help your body, your marriage, and your spiritual life- IF you want it to!

    If you have any questions, you can email me and I will try and help as much as I can!

  9. I would love to do that, but I am morbidly obese right now, so if it didn't work for me and I got pregnant, it would be a very risky undertaking. I'd be fine with it, just worried that there would be lots of complications for both myself and the child. Hopefully after I shed this weight, I can get off these wretched pills and start NFP.

  10. Congratulations! My husband and I threw away the pills 7-8 months into our marriage. The first few months are tough, as the hormones leave your system and you have to be extra conservative (ie more abstinance), but it's definitely worth it.

    It does look like slim NFP pickings in WV (http://onemoresoul.com/nfpbyst), but I'm sure Alison and Mike will do a great job teaching you! They taught me, too, and I love being able to ask Alison any question at any time, both during it and afterwards!

  11. =) oh happy day! just wanted you to know that you've inspired us to start up again... it's been surprisingly easy to "get back in the saddle" so, thanks for giving us the push! we're here to cheer you guys on!

    p.s. if you ever EVER need a baby fix, I personally know 2 chillens who'd LOVE to be your birth control! ;)

  12. That Married Couple - thanks for that website, the ONLY NFP doctor in WV actually happens to be only 40 minutes from us - I'm not sure how up-to-date the information is, but it will be worth a try.

    Katie - I love your kids, they are so NOT good birth control, but we'll hang out with them anytime!

  13. And I assume, you know the other signs right? The temperature is more a back up type thing...to ensure you know you DID ovulate. Its a look back type of thing. Know what I mean?

    And also, you might try taking it vaginally if you get up at different times. Waking times didnt affect my temps enough to make a difference so I was able to temp orally. But if it does you, then try that. Can't hurt right? Little awkward?

  14. Good luck. We also had trouble finding NFP support in WV. We ended up ordering the book and emailing with a teaching couple a few times until we got the hang of it. It worked fine for us in terms of BC, but I always felt a little too much like a science experiment to keep it up for very long. In fact, we only did it for a few months because we were ready to start our family anyway. We got pregnant pretty much right away.

  15. It'll be so interesting to watch you go through this from the beginning! It's been educational to learn about Michelle's story after the fact, so watching it from the embryonic stage will be fun. :) Enjoy the baby pun.

    I hope you've been well - WV basketball is doing well! I know you are a football gal, but I do recall you saying you were bored enough to watch some bball one day. Happy Sunday!