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.

Apr 9, 2012

NFP Women: Meet Jacque

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. 

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?

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.

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?

Once I knew the Church’s teachings on NFP I knew there was no turning back. If I truly believe that my life’s goal is to help get my husband, children, and myself to heaven, then how could I do something that would cause us both to sin repeatedly in our marriage?

Pope John Paul II said that contraception “is to be judged so profoundly unlawful as never to be, for any reason, justified. To think or to say the contrary is equal to maintaining that in human life, situations may arise in which it is lawful not to recognize God as God” (address Oct. 10, 1983).

There’s also the health standpoint as well. Once I read all of the harmful effects that the pill can do your body, I knew it wasn’t for me. I get paranoid taking aspirin! So a pill that is linked to depression, mood swings, blood clots and breast cancer definitely wasn’t for me.

Did you have any fears about using NFP? If so, what were they?
Not at the beginning of our marriage. As silly as it sounds, you don’t know what you don’t know. So, when we took the classes it seemed pretty effective and easy (effective: yes , but easy: I was just a tad naive). Anyone that practices NFP knows that there are challenges and it’s no easy trail.

How has using NFP positively influenced your marriage?
In so many ways! It’s amazing the conversations that arise from, "Where are you with your charting?” There are looooong conversations that follow and then there are the brief, aggravated ones, too. So often I can see God’s hand at work in our marriage. Teaching us patience, sacrifice, and true marital love in more many ways than if I was contracepting.

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."

What has been the greatest challenge?
Wow, how honest should I be here? The abstinence part is tough (like, real tough at times) and being spontaneous is rare. Also, like a lot of women, it is often times difficult to chart. This is just another area where God is asking me to surrender my fears and trust Him. Trust in His plan for our family and His plan for our future. He never disappoints. His plan is perfect. He doesn’t promise the road will be easy, but it will be worth it.

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.  

What would you say to a couple who is considering using NFP rather than artificial forms of birth control?
I would say give your marriage a chance to love each other WHOLY and completely. Take it one day at a time. Will it be easy? No. Trust God will meet you where you are…He will give you the graces to make it work. He’s waiting for your“yes.”

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.
And then there’s the abortifacient aspect in regards to the pill. Scientist and doctors are starting to change the definition of pregnancy. Isn’t that crazy? They seek to define pregnancy as beginning with implantation and not fertilization, but implantation occurs 7-8 days AFTER a new person has come into existence…after all of the DNA and genetic make-up of that person is formed. The levels of hormones in some pills make it impossible for implantation to occur meaning there was a baby (but to them they are just a mass of cells, so you can see the slippery slope).

 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?
It’s tough when you know that close friends or family are contracepting, especially Catholic ones. I care so much about them and their marriage. I know the beauty it can bring to a family. However, I don’t criticize their decision. My only hope is that our children will see our example and follow suit.

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?

We keep things lively in our home. Smiles are abundant and silliness required. My children keep me laughing throughout the day. Here’s a funny nfp moment. I keep my chart on our bathroom counter. My kids always want to play with the stamps and write on it. I tell them it’s off limits and it’s a chart to help mommy stay healthy. As they get older I’m going to have to put it up- I doubt they want to see all the deets on their mom’s fertility. Anyway, I’m not sure about the other methods, but when you‘re fertile in the Creighton method you put a baby stamp on that day. My little one, Lucy, saw my chart and said,“Mommy, what are all these baby stamps? You have one in every square!” hahah. Like I said, it’s sometimes tough for me to figure out! J


  1. fantastically written. I loved reading every detail. Thanks for being so open and honest jacque! and thanks for posting maria!!

  2. Read every word and am amazed by how God has worked in your life. You have a beautiful story to share and I hope you never stop sharing it. I am so inspired:)
    Thanks Jacque!

  3. Loved your honest insights, Jacque, and reading your story! You're right that transitioning from the theoretical stuff you learn in class to the reality of your married life can be an adjustment, but it definitely brings so much fruit. I'd love for you to visit Captive the Heart, my blog for Catholic brides! http://captivetheheart.blogspot.com


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