If you follow me, it is no surprise that I am not a fan of birth control. The hormones mess with me, even the low dosage ones. Call me crazy, but if the possible side effects pamphlet can cover you like a blanket when unfolded, it may not be the best thing for everyone to take.
I was on the pill for a while. My husband and I got married young, and we didn't feel we were ready for kids. Now that I have kids, I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner because, man, has my life changed for the better with each one of them.
Around my mid-20s, I began exhibiting signs of depression. Given that I didn't have any significant life changes at the time, I did not understand why this vast gray cloud was suddenly looming over me. After some research, it became clear that my birth control may have something to do with it. I couldn't take how I was feeling and how I was treating others, so I got off the pill, even though I did not feel ready to have kids.
Well, it worked! I was no longer exhibiting signs of depression buuuuut, I ended up getting pregnant three months later! However, knowing how birth control affected me, I vowed never to go back on it.
Then I got pregnant with my second when my first was only eight months old. While we didn't plan to have babies this close together, we weren't necessarily too surprised since we weren't doing anything foolproof to stop conception.
Long story short, I ended up having four kids in five years and finally said, "Okay, we need to figure out something because at this rate we are going to have more than we can count!"
Me with all my children one day after giving birth to my fourth.
So I began researching some noninvasive ways to prevent pregnancy. Of course, NFP (Natural Family Planning) was the first thing that came up, and my first thought was,
"What do you call a woman practicing NFP? -Pregnant!!"
NFP is used to help couples either conceive or prevent pregnancies by learning about the woman's cycle and either participating in or avoiding sexy time while ovulating.
My beef with NFP is it seems like so much is up to the woman, and she has to be the gatekeeper to their sex life. Not only that, but it requires accurate charting, temperature, and discharge checks. However, I have heard of scenarios where the husband does the charting, so it is more of a team effort and not all on the woman. Regardless, it sounds challenging and hard to track effectively with a newborn and minimal sleep.
BUT I have one more issue with it: I can't do it effectively when exclusively breastfeeding because I haven't gotten my period back yet. Now you may think, "If your period hasn't come back, then you probably aren't ovulating." WRONG! The woman's cycle is complex, and you can ovulate several times before your period comes back.
Here is where the Marquette Method comes in! What is the Marquette Method, you ask? Well, it is,
"A highly effective method of NFP that employs the Clearblue line of home-based fertility monitors to track women's hormone changes throughout each menstrual cycle. The Marquette Method is one of the most effective forms of NFP. It is 99% effective in avoiding pregnancy when used correctly and with the expert advice of a trained Marquette instructor. The method is objective and relatively easy to learn, and typically requires less abstinence than other forms of NFP.
When used correctly and under the advice of an instructor, the Marquette Method is 99% effective for women in regular cycles and 98% effective for breastfeeding mothers. It's as effective as The Pill. Marquette's effectiveness rates are backed by highly regarded, peer-reviewed research.
Tracking hormone levels directly is so precise that, for many couples, it leads to more available days of intimacy." (Vitae Fertility)
Wahoo! More sex, AND there is a way to track if you are breastfeeding! But the biggest selling point for me was how easy it is and how it is backed by peer-reviewed research.
Okay, so what's the catch?
I have texted my coach about any questions, day or night, and she always responds quickly! I learned more about the female reproductive system and all our hormones in that one-hour chat through her presentation than I have in my entire life!
So how do you track it all of this?
You pee in a cup every day.
I know it sounds gross, but honestly, it's not. Also, it's so easy, and you don't have to put anything in your body when doing this method. You pee in the cup first thing in the morning, dip your stick in there for 15 seconds, place the cap on it, put it in the monitor, and then you are done! The monitor will tell you if your hormones are low, high, or somewhere in between, leaving you with no guesswork!
If you are interested and want to learn more, here is the website. Sign up for an email consultation to see if this is the method for you! Let them know I sent you because I am going to reach out and see if they can offer you a discount.
I want to make it clear that I am not collaborating with this business in any way. They don't even know about this blog post! That's why I said I would reach out to them for a discount haha.
I hope this post helped those of you who were looking for a natural yet easy way to plan your family.
Be sure to connect with me on Instagram, where I host an AMA (Ask Me Anything) every Monday where you can submit questions, and chat about all things, motherhood, breastfeeding, pregnancy, newborn care, relationships, in-laws, and so much more! I am also on TikTok if that is more your jam!