We have a couple lovely ladies who volunteered to document their NFP learning journey for you all to read. We know that starting the process of charting and interpreting charts can be scary but we hope these parts will take away some of the fear, doubt, and overall mystery. Here Emily shares her experience.
My fiancé and I went to our first NFP class a few weeks ago. We chose to try the Sympto-Thermal method, because it seems to be the best for us at the time (plus I like the idea of being able to cross-check the symptoms.) Our first class consisted of two other couples learning alongside us with the teaching couple (who have been practicing NFP for over 20 years!)
It seemed simple enough, take a temperature every single morning, check mucus patterns, and check cervix location. It seems pretty easy in retrospect… until you actually start having to learn it! Every morning, taking my temperature is pretty routine. The only problem with the standard STM charts is that my temperatures are always way too low for the chart! I learned through reading the companion book that women with PCOS (polycycstic ovarian syndrome) tend to have lower temperatures. I learned a lot about reading the book that came along with the learning materials for the class ( Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition by Marilyn M. Shannon). Reading the course book as well as that one have been immensely helpful in this learning process! There is a huge learning curve when it comes to learning NFP (and I now am starting to understand how it works) and I’m trying to not get frustrated as I’m learning. NFP is a blessing and is meant to be difficult! And I don’t know about you, but I like challenges.
The second thing that we are required to chart for STM is mucus patterns. Having PCOS sometimes makes this a bit more difficult because they are so intermittent and random that it’s pretty difficult to be close to a “normal” cycle. I’ve found this one pretty easy to get used to for the most part. You know you’re learning NFP when you text your fiancé “it’s tacky today!” (I’m trying my best to keep him as involved as possible, whether he likes it or not! )
In my opinion, tracking the cervix is the most difficult part. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to look like or feel like! I’m hoping as I keep learning that it’ll become more evident for me. I was planning on discussing it with our teaching couple during our next class. Any suggestions?
I hope to have a few more entries as I keep learning and share them with you. I’m still only about 2 weeks into it, but I already can tell the difference! NFP has this way of making you feel more confident about your body and I can really appreciate the beauty of a woman’s cycle. Also, having the ability to contact our teaching couple whenever we need to has been a blessing. They are extremely helpful and I am looking forward to our next 2 classes!