So thrilled to have my cousin Jacque on the blog this month! She was always a big older cousin I looked up to when I was little. I'll never EVER forget when she got my sister and I our first Barbie Doll that came with 20 different earrings you could put on her. Anyways....I've always admired her and am so honored she was willing to share her story.
Michael and Jacque are both 34. Michael grew up in Franklin, TN and Jacque grew up in Northern Kentucky, they currently live in Charlotte, NC. with their 3 children here on earth: Lucy (5), Emilia (3), and Christian (18 months) and also have 2 babies in heaven. They have been married for 6 years.
Michael and I met a year after college and I was doing some soul searching. I was hungry to know more about my faith. I grew up in a strong Catholic home, but like many college students there was a time that I wasn’t living my faith properly. I started reading everything I could get my hands on—and loved it. I was definitely discovering a new level of my faith and Michael was very supportive. That’s when I knew there was something different about this man. It was during that time I read things about NFP and the beauty of living it in your marriage. When I realized things were getting serious with Michael, I figured it was time to broach the subject. I was pretty nervous as there were only two outcomes…he would consider it or RUN. I’m so glad he didn’t run. What I had learned seemed so beautiful to me and made perfect sense, but this was all new to him. Before bringing it up to Michael, I had to educate myself on all that it entailed so I could explain it…well, rather delicately. That was a TOUGH day for us (there were tears on both sides!). Thank goodness we can laugh about it now, but I’ll never forget the conversation. He automatically started having images of babies running everywhere and me driving a 15 passenger van (which, by the way, I think are very cool!). We worked through some of our fears and worries and were engaged a few months later. We also signed up for a class during our engagement which was helpful. My constant prayer is asking God to guide us and protect us in our marriage. If he wanted us to live marital love to its fullest then he was going to have to pave the way.
I love that I’m married to a man who loves every bit of me, including my fertility. His love has no boundaries. When we made our wedding vows to love, honor, and cherish each other- we meant it. Not that we want to have a baby on our mind at all times, but we can’t just shove my fertility in a drawer because it’s a big part of who I am.
If we were contracepting I would feel some sort of unspoken words like, "I love you with all of my heart. Well, except that little thing called your fertility...the part of you that God so graciously gave to us. I don't really love that part. So let's get rid of it, suppress it, and put a mask on it...whatever it takes because I'm not in love with that part of you....unless of course when I AM ready."
I’d add that hooking up with a good NFP instructor is key, too. I have to drive an hour each way (with all three kids) to see mine, but it is worth it. She’s wonderful and spends however much time I need answering questions and helping me feel confident in charting.
From a health standpoint, it’s unbelievably awesome! NFP IS for everyone. I can only speak from experience using the Creighton method, but they specialize in women with irregular cycles (long, short, menopausal, low progesterone, and infertility!) I think it’s amazing that by charting you can diagnose and treat many gynecological disorders. Many times the pill is prescribed to “solve”a woman’s issue, but sadly it’s a mask that will only create other problems.
On the flip side, I am so blessed with an amazing support group. I have wonderful friends and sisters that use NFP. Nothing is TMI because sometimes it really helps knowing that they are going through the same difficulties. I can even see God working in those relationships, too. Last weekend some of my girlfriends and I went to dinner and the 3 hour conversation was….you guessed it- about NFP. J I don’t know what I would do without them. Truly, God put them in my life for a very special reason. I think it is also comforting to Michael knowing we are not alone in our journey.
Could you share a happy moment or memory that you have of your children?