This tree is the lovely view that I get to look at every day from my kitchen and dining room windows. I caught this picture before the storms came in November. The tree is a constant reminder to me that women, especially mothers, are trees of life to their families. Men are trees of life too, just in a different way.
I’ve known for a while that I should blog about birth control. The spirit’s been nudging me. I know it’s a touchy subject. Please let the Spirit be your guide after reading this.
The reason I told the story of how I started going to Veggie Gals in my last post is to lead up to NFP (natural family planning). It’s because of Veggie Gals that I started doing NFP. One of my Veggie Gals friends gave me a subscription to the Couple to Couple League (CCL) Newsletter years ago. (CCL is an organization that promotes NFP with a Catholic emphasis. It was founded by Sheila Kippley, a fellow La Leche League Leader, and her husband John. They have since left that organization and started another NFP organization, NFP International. See http://nfpandmore.org )
I liked what I read. I left the newsletter lying around the house and
pretty soon my husband started reading it. That convinced him that it
was the way to go and so we switched from using artificial birth
control to NFP after baby #4 and haven’t looked back. Since then, NFP has become a passion of mine. I have studied it thoroughly and even got to meet Sheila Kippley, the author of the Bible of NFP, The Art of Natural Family Planning, the Bible of how breastfeeding can regulate fertility, Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing, and Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood, which I consider applicable to Mormon motherhood.
NFP is one of the ways of getting off the conveyor belt culture of modern life so a woman can be totally in touch with her body and honor her fertility signals instead of covering them
up or ignoring them, which causes health and marriage problems. Artificial birth control has so
many side effects, both to a woman’s body and a marriage. In my
research for the book I have written on natural LDS mothering, I
found out that when the Pill was being studied to see if it was
“safe,” two women died. Yet the FDA still approved it. The study
happened in Puerto Rico and nobody hears about it. What an outrage!
Where were the feminists to decry this destruction to women when it
When the Pill first came out 50 years ago this year, many people thought it was a miracle. But LDS prophets counseled LDS women not to use it, along with other forms of artificial
birth control. Read here http:///institute.lds.org/content/languages/english/Institute
of Religion Materials/Student Manuals/Religion 234-235, Eternal
Marriage Student Manual~eng.pdf. Do the research yourself and you will see the statements. Why would they say that? What does it
mean today? Should LDS couples avoid birth control, or just artificial
birth control? These are questions every LDS couple has to answer.
Last spring one of my visiting teachers couldn’t come visit me one month because her partner said she was at the hospital seeing her granddaughter who had blood clots. I thought
to myself, “I wonder if it’s from taking the Pill.” Sure enough,
I asked Carol later and found out that it was. Her granddaughter
almost died from the severe blood clots she got from taking the Pill.
And she wasn’t even taking them for birth control, but for weight
loss! Her doctor had not told her that blood clots were a risk if you take the Pill. This angers me, that doctors don’t tell patients about side
effects. I know my doctor didn’t warn me when I first started taking
the PIll as a new bride. Some doctors, even LDS doctors, hand out the
prescriptions for the Pill like candy.
Since I have switched to NFP, I love it because I feel that it builds my marriage, unlike artificial birth control. That’s because it calls for enhanced communication. It allows my husband and me to honor ***, instead of
treating it casually. I like learning to relate to each other in
romantic, nonsexual ways. I like the self-reliance aspect of it,
knowing that I am not dependent on products that come from the store
or a doctor in this area of my life. I learned about NFP through CCL
publications and by reading books, such as Your Fertility Signals
and Taking Charge of Your Fertility.
I am convinced that Heavenly Father designed women’s bodies to be like trees and go through seasons. NFP, and its companion, ecological breastfeeding, are the only BC
method/infant feeding method
that allow a woman to naturally go through the God-given seasons of
life. A real fruit-bearing tree has to go
through seasons in order to bear fruit. That’s a lesson for women,
who are figurative fruit-bearing trees. (Men are like trees too, only
NFP is the only BC method that doesn’t treat a woman’s body as a *** object. That’s part of what my book on LDS natural mothering is about. (I’m waiting to hear back from a publisher
about my book. Expect it sometime next year! I know I’ve been telling
people it’s coming soon, but you know how life as a full-time mother is.
Projects like a book take a back seat!)
I believe that ideally, a woman’s fertility should flow like a tree’s does, if she is thoroughly and completely nourished with fertile soil, a proper environment that is conducive to mothering. That means letting breastfeeding
be the sole regulator, or season-changer. If her environment (mental,
physical, and social conditions) doesn’t allow her fertility to
freely flow, there’s a place for birth control, but it’s best for our bodies, our marriages, our emotions, and the environment, for it to be
natural birth control.
Last summer, I started using the Creighton method, which relies solely on the signal of cervical fluid. If you or someone you know, (think of your daughters, friends, or
sisters) is dissatisfied with artificial birth control, I encourage
you and them to look into NFP and especially the Creighton method. In my older days of using NFP I would take my basal body temperature, but that’s so hard to do first thing in the morning before doing anything else (anything else will make it rise) when you have a cosleeping nursing baby. With the Creighton method I can ditch the temp taking. The Creighton people have studied how only the cervical fluid gives signs of fertility.
If you are or someone you know is wanting to achieve pregnancy, The Creighton method is for them as well.
Dr. Joseph Stanford, an LDS doctor who refuses to prescribe artificial birth
control (hooray for him) is part of a study that teaches the
Creighton method and its effectiveness. Dr. Stanford wrote an article years ago that helped
convince me to go totally natural in regards to birth control. See http://www.nd.edu/~afreddos/courses/264/stanford.htm
You or someone you know could be part of Dr. Stanford’s study. (The study is only for those wanting to avoid pregnancy at this time.) You or they can learn the Creighton method, get paid a small amount for the study, and increase the health of your or
their marriage and increase respect for a woman’s body. I love it that the study uses a tree as the symbol for it. The tree of life motif is everywhere. Please go here for