I’ve written past posts about fertility awareness and natural family planning. I believe strongly in its importance to marriages and family life. Tonight, I want to offer a different kind of reflection.
Anyone squeamish about reading general reflections on our sex life should stop reading here. For those who choose to continue, I promise, no details.
John Ross was born on November 28th, 2009. I nursed until he was a little more than 3 months when I couldn’t continue to balance it with my work schedule. My menstrual cycle returned shortly after I stopped nursing.
A predictable 28 days later another cycle began.
As a couple we were back on track and again enjoying married life, albeit with the new parental limitations of exhaustion and early morning wake up calls.
Then came the first missed cycle…
Two pregnancy tests later we were pretty certain we were not pregnant.
I must have missed cycle due to stress and hormones that we still trying to regulate.
Today is day 60 since my last cycle began…
Count, that is two regular menstrual cycles and as far as I know, I am still not pregnant.
However, for those of you familiar with fertility awareness, even with sympto-thermal evidence, the lack of a period makes knowing your “safe zones” a bit trickier.
During the fertile times of our intimate life, we believe that in complete love for one another we cannot withhold any part of ourselves, especially our life giving fertility. We either offer ourselves completely, open to the possibility of new life, or not at all.
Our plan (insert God’s laugh here) is to wait until John Ross is at least year before we start trying again so as to allow my body to heal.
So, not knowing our “safe zones”, we abstain. As a couple we have spent a lot of time talking about what we are meant to learn. Perhaps God is taking this opportunity to remind us that we are a part of His plan, not our own. Perhaps it is an opportunity for us to remember that our faith says sex has two purposes; procreative and unitive. It is not just about “yes baby” or “no baby”. Sex can be about joy, comfort or celebration. Our abstinence has given us a wonderful chance to identify the motives behind our intimacy and to meet those needs in other ways like service and quality time.
It’s not easy. We both have cravings for intimacy. It is challenging to feel close without the physical aspect of our relationship. But as difficult as abstinence is, we know that we are treasuring and protecting the life-giving love that we have been given.
This post is dedicated to all the wonderful couples in our life and around the world who choose life-giving love. We may not be able to roll in hay anytime we like, but when we do, watch out, we’re going to burn the barn down!!!