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.