J1ST 008: Saying YES During the Fertility Years

  1. Gabriela Meli says:

    I know this is an old episode but it really hit home. After having six children in 9 years I was really praying and hoping to slow things down. As you, I have been blessed with the gift of fertility and my husband and I conceive very quickly. I finally took an NFP class and it seemed that everything was going good. In August of 2018, when my youngest was 15 months old I found out I was expecting number 7. I never thought discovering a new pregnancy would hit me so hard! I was an emotional mess, this was not the plan, I was disappointed and kept telling God “I just wanted a little break”. He was so good to me, gently and with so much love He began to speak to my heart and show me that His plan has always been so good for us, better than I imagined. And so after a few days I was given the grace to say my yes, not that I ever thought of not having the baby, that thought would never cross my mind, but I was able to give my yes and be happy and grateful for the new life and enter and trust the plan of God instead of just being terrified. After a few weeks I was asked to give another YES, the yes to saying good bye to my baby before getting the chance to meet her. And there again, in the middle of the excruciating pain He told me to not be afraid, to trust Him. By the grace of God I was able to enter into it not asking God why for one second. Destroyed inside but with full confidence that His plan is always good. I had some horrible days when I was very depressed but He always came to console me, and our Blessed Mother was also so close. I have never before felt such consolation from heaven. And most importantly my baby girl Andrea taught me that life is always to be welcomed joyfully as the tremendous gift that it is, even if it’s outside of our plans, even when we feel we just can’t do it and have nothing else to give. He will always give us every grace we need at the time we need it. Now we can once more give our full yes to God in regards to our fertility, I dont know if I will be granted the gift of another child but I sure hope so! And if I do I will only cry tears of joy and gratitude thanks to the gift my baby Andrea gave me. Our number seven went to heaven and by the grace of God we have experienced joy and peace there too. I don’t deserve to be the mother of a saint!

  2. Chantelle Briseno says:

    This was such a wonderful post! I just stared NFP, after a fairly intense marriage prep weekend and we are both so worried about getting pregnant so early. We both really want children, but we also have our own goals we’d like to meet just the two of us. Thank you for sharing your struggles, I thought there was something wrong with me because I was seeing so many “red/ no-go days”. It was really helpful hearing that as Catholics, waiting is okay. ?

  3. Linda says:

    Thank you for speaking on this topic. We also have four kids ages five and under. I especially loved the part about incomplete education on what NFP is. It’s so true and it made us feel like we were incompetent lol and it makes our families and friends think we are crazy. I’ve had to search and dig to find other Catholic women who have had similar experiences to us. It’s hard and lonely sometimes. My mother- who is a holy and faithful woman but matured in her faith later in life and frankly had a totally different young marriage and amount of fertility than I do- loves to tell me about the element of self control involved in NFP, which makes me laugh because I think in her mind we are crazy sex fiends. The reality, though, is that we are meticulous and careful but God is growing or family because of our decision to adhere to the Church’s teaching and practice natural family planning. My children have humbled me and stretched me into a whole new person, physically and spiritually. So, while it’s been as much trial as triumph for us, I wouldn’t dare give up this area of our lives. I know that our sexuality and choosing to practice NFP, is the one area where I and my husband are doing God’s will beyond a shadow of a doubt. I also know that this is the area where God is able to transform and sanctify us because we are letting him work in us freely and completely.

    • Do you have a blog? Because this would make an absolutely lovely blog post, all by itself! So honored that you shared this here. And I love what you said about knowing that at least in this area you KNOW that you are doing the will of God. Yes! And that alone is such a gift, isn’t it! Thank goodness for the authority of the Church that allows us to know exactly how to let God work in this important way.
      Solidarity, sister!

  4. Gaby Makinster says:

    Another thing to remember about contraception that I didn’t hear in the blog is the fact that when you take a pill, you could be having an abortion not just menstruation. I just couldn’t do it. That’s hard to live with.

  5. Katey says:

    Hi Nancy! This was so great to hear. I always like to think I have everything under control (what a lie!) so surprise pregnancies are my biggest fear. However, I have to remember that Mary had THE BIGGEST surprise pregnancy of all! She wansn’t married, she was a virgin, and then she was suddenly pregnant with the Savior of the world!! And yet she said yes with such grace. So for those of us with a surprise pregnancy, look to Mary for comfort. Thank you Nancy!

    • This is the ULTIMATE point. Thank you for writing this. Of course. Mary has so much to show us, often because she walked the same walk. We are so lucky to have her.

  6. Sarah says:

    Loved this episode and it hits so close to home lately as we are navigating the wonderful time in NFP that is ‘postpartum return to fertility” 😉 ! I often feel guilty for not wanting to have another child right away and is comforting to know I am not the only one who has these feelings (right now 3 little ones feels like a lot most days!). I also struggle to balance the wife and mom roles but what helps me is that truly it is in giving that I receive. When I give of myself more to my husband (whether it be packing his lunch without grumbling, doing housework or caring for the kids with more joy and less misery, giving of myself in really any small way) then he reciprocates this and we each feel more connected. This also leads to more open discussions about sex and intimacy. It’s not easy at all on some days, truly. God did not say it would be easy and I know this small cross could be much worse. I try to remember this and strive to use our marriage and lives as a witness of God’s love.

    • Now this is so lovely. And yes–it is in giving that we receive. I wish that was a lesson I could just learn once and be done with it, but no, I have to learn it over and over and over again. But it is so true! I get so much more when I pour myself out, just as our Lord did for us.

  7. Emily Kelly says:

    I’ve been married 5 1/2 short years, so I don’t have much marital wisdom. But, after spending some time in frustration and thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that life is a valley of struggles and each vocation has stuggles. I may be wrong, but inside the married vocation, there seem to be about three different types of fertility struggles, those who struggle with infertility & wanting children, those who are struggling to limit their family size, and those who love their big family, but often have other struggles, such as being labled, or fullfilling the needs of the multitudes. Life is messy and sometimes those types overlap. I don’t think life is easy for anyone. Just remember, where there is struggle there is grace!

    • Yes yes. This is perfectly stated and so true. We all have struggles and the struggles are important! Very often God uses those struggles to break our stony hearts. Thanks for sharing this!

  8. Kelly says:

    Thank you for sharing this. This is so what I needed to hear right now. Life is messy and can be such a struggle sometimes. I often feel alone in the struggle of these fertility years, so it’s nice to hear someone else say it.

  9. Becky Thieman says:

    I liked your comment about NFP is a team effort. My husband would set an alarm and wake me up and take my temperature and write it down. Then I would put all the information in an app we used. We’ve been successful with this. Right now I’m struggling with not wanting to have sex. I’m tired with 2 kids, but even more, I’m told my husband I feel like 100% mom and 0% wife. I know I need to connect with him but I just want to be alone when the kids are asleep. Or I feel resentful that he gets to leave for work and I stay home with the kids all day long. Thank you for posting this topic.

    • Wow–your husband is such a gem! We try to make NFP a team effort, but it sort of turns into me doing all the work and tracking and him just looking things over. ;). And I get the 0% wife thing. It is rough! I don’t have a ton of wisdom here, but I have found that I often need to force myself to be interested in sex. Like even give myself a pep talk and really SHOW UP. If I can just SHOW UP then I really enjoy it…and the more I do that the easier it is, and the easier it is to feel connected to my husband and love.
      Okay, getting a little carried away, but this has been really helpful for me.
      Blessings! And thanks for being so willing to share on the tough topics.

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