Who We Are:

We are women, we are wives, we are mothers, and we are open to life. This is our way of standing by one another, learning from each other, and leaning on Christ our Savior.

Mar 2, 2012

NFP Women: Meet Grace

                    Grace grew up in New Mexico and Simon in Kansas; we live in St. Louis now. Simon and Grace are 28, and were married in Auguest 2009. Their two children are: Julia, 16 months, and Sebastian, 3 months.
When did you first hear about the Church’s teachings on NFP and contraception? Did you always know about it or was there a time that you heard about it for the first time?

Simon and I are both fortunate to have parents that practiced NFP so we were always aware of the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception. I became more aware of NFP in college at Franciscan.

Likewise, was there a moment when you decided that you would use NFP in your marriage or was it just understood that that is what you would do?
    Simon and I dated long distance for several months and talked about NFP almost immediately. We both understood and agreed that we would practice NFP.
Did you have any fears about using NFP? If so, what were they?
    Initially, I was pretty confused by the whole charting process when we started taking the classes. Now, I am one of the few that actually really enjoys charting. I like seeing the patterns that occur each month and being able to anticipate potential mood swings and prepare myself and poor Simon for the impending hormone storm. We have been lucky enough to not be scared or overwhelmed at the thought of a pregnancy at any point in our marriage (that is not to say the day won’t come!).
How has using NFP positively influenced your marriage?
    NFP forces us to be in a constant state of communication about a myriad of issues. From important and meaningful conversations about openness to the possibility of another child to little exchanges about cycle patterns, It has helped us to view our marriage and fertility as a partnership.
What has been the greatest challenge?
    When we were first married it took us a few months to get pregnant. It seemed like the entire world got pregnant on their honeymoon and I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to get pregnant as easily. It was difficult to trust God’s will for our lives. Simon did a phenomenal job of reminding me that as much as NFP is about openness to children, it is also about openness to God’s will, even if that meant not giving us a child immediately.  When I was (“finally” – ha) pregnant with Julia after five months of marriage, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer shortly thereafter. The timing of her conception turned out to be such a blessing as my doctor found the cancer at my initial OB visit and I was able to have surgery in my second trimester.  If I had gotten pregnant right away, the cancer nodule may have been too small to have been detected and we may have discovered the cancer after it has spread quite a bit more.
What would you say to a couple who is considering using NFP rather than artificial forms of birth control?
    I wish our society viewed fertility as a gift and not a burden. I know that taking birth control, getting an IUD etc is so much easier and more convenient than charting, but our reproductive systems are so complex and unique to each individual and charting is a ‘one size fits all’ approach while not all types of contraception will work for every woman. By understanding and working with our cycles naturally we don’t put ourselves at risk for any harmful or unpleasant side effects.  While many couples will conceive easily and quickly, there are many that won’t and infertility causes can be much more easily diagnosed when charting. Understandably, there are so many misconceptions about NFP and it can be daunting thinking about having to constantly discern adding another child to a family but the fruits of communication in marriage and understanding the wife’s cycle (read: hormones!) are abundant.
How do you handle the topic with family and friends? Is it ever an issue? How do you handle criticism about the Church’s teachings?

I’m guilty of not broaching the subject with many people unfamiliar with NFP or who are unaware that we practice NFP. A lot of people ask if we’re done having kids or if pregnancies were planned and I know I should take that opportunity to let them know we practice NFP if the situation lends itself to any sort of conversation.  With the recent HHS mandate at the forefront of many people’s thoughts, hopefully we’ll be able to clearly explain why we believe what we do about contraception and break down any myths or stereotypes about NFP.

Could you share a happy moment/memory that you have of your children? As well as funny story or incident that was difficult? 

Ever since Sebastian was born, Julia has all but ignored him completely. She occasionally lifts her blind eyes moratorium to hit or pinch him but this morning she miraculously smiled at him and he smiled right back which she seemed to think was hilarious. It gave me a little exciting glimpse into the future of their hopeful friendship.

Thank you Grace!! Grace was a friend of mine in college and she was always fun to hang out with...she has a witty and humorous view on life and blogs about it here.


  1. Thanks for sharing, Grace! I'm from NM too!

  2. I love that Julia's conception coincided perfectly with your doctor being able to detect your thyroid cancer. What a blessing!

  3. Love this! Thanks for sharing your story! :)

  4. Very interesting. I like that there are more options than just the traditional medical route. Definitely something to think about.

  5. Love this Grace :) I feel you on being asked all the time if our kids were planned/if we're done/why would we ever have another when we have two, one of each gender? etc. and so on especially because we AREN'T Catholic. Non-Catholics who practice NFP are almost unheard of, but we've had two sets of friends "convert" so to speak this year which is pretty exciting.

  6. You go, Girl! Love to hear that there are "normal" people out there who use NFP. Not just the Duggars and me.

  7. I've been a reader for a while but just now commenting - just wanted to say that I love your blog and the NFP Women feature. It's so beautiful hearing from other women who have the same views on fertility and femininity. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for a few years. But I'm so thankful that my charting through NFP has been helping us find answers and help and God willing, we'll be able to start a family soon! Keep up the good work with your blog - I pray that God will bless everyone involved and all the lovely readers :)

    God bless+


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