I was minutes away from escaping the camp with my secret still intact.
And then she said it.
“Before you leave, I’ve been wanting to ask you something.”
“Sure.” (Oh, great. Here we go.)
“You said you don’t chart or anything, so what method of family planning do you use?”
I smiled and took a deep breath. “Here’s where I reveal my deep, dark secret.”
“You had your tubes tied?” Not a hint of condemnation in her voice.
“No, but my husband had a vasectomy six years ago. He traded a website for it.”
They were completely loving and accepting and understanding. I’m not “like” them, but I’m one of them, because they’ve graciously welcomed me into their tribe.
And they’re waiting with open arms for YOU. In a completely non-freaky sort of way.
CFPN. Christian Family Planning Network. I want to share these gals with you, because I think they’re right smack up some of y’all’s alley.
How did I get hooked up with them? Well, it’s one of those long internet-trail stories, but long to short, they invited me to speak at their 5-year reunion in Wisconsin this past weekend. 12 CFPN’ers and me. It was awesome.
I got to talk about non-denominational motherhood and give a pep talk on sex and share my right-now story and talk about pursuing your passions no matter what stage of life you’re in. We were joined by 5 nursing babies (all of whom suckled happily during my talks, to the soothing sound of my voice) and 2 adorable toddlers.
The members of CFPN promote the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) of birth control. They all have their reasons–some religious, some health-related, some personal–but they’ve chosen to plan/space their kiddos without hormonal birth control (pills, etc) or surgical procedures. They take their temperature, do some other stuff, chart it all, and work the lovemaking around it.
It’s easier than it sounds.
FAM is all about becoming aware of your body and its natural cycle, not putting anything in it or on it, avoiding pregnancy when you’re not ready for children, making love at the right time when you are, doing what’s best for you and your husband, your family and your life.
(The women who actually use FAM could–and do–describe it way better than I can.)
These women come from all walks of life, all kinds of situations, sharing a common value: celebrating life and family and supporting each other in accepting, encouraging, knowledgeable community. I got to meet 12 women from
8 9 states (IL, WA, CO, FL, MI, WI, IA, OH, NY), and CFPN has close to 200 members from almost every state and several foreign countries.
Some of them met years ago online and have been together through infertility and pregnancy and loss and childbirth and so much more. Several of them were meeting in real life for the very first time this weekend, and I got to be a part of it. Right up my alley.
I got to spend time talking with almost all of them one on one (or one on two), and it was really, really cool. They’re a great group of women who sincerely care about others. And they have a huge heart for reaching out to women like YOU, who may or may not have ever considered alternative methods of birth control.
They’re helpful and smart, but not pushy. Confident, but not dogmatic. Accepting, empathetic, just really, really great.
And they’re liberal and conservative, mostly Protestant, some Catholic, a few that would probably consider themselves none of the above, not even sure what they believe about God. Some are engaged, most married, some neither, many pregnant, lots hoping to be soon, some infertile, lots trying to avoid pregnancy for the time being, some adopting.
And one of my favorite stories out of the group is the couple who struggled with infertility and then went through the big, long, so-worth-it procedure of embryo adoption. Their sweet baby girl (who I got to hold and cuddle) was saved from inevitable destruction and given a chance at life. Unbelievable. And so beautiful.
These gals have some great discussions about breastfeeding and homeschooling and sex and ovulation and potty-training and cloth diapers and circumcision and postpartum depression and adoption and everything in between.
Need an answer? You’ll find it.
In the mood for a friendly debate? Sure thing.
Want some friends who are going through the same things you are? Check.
It’s super-easy (and FREE) to register with CFPN, and then you can explore the forum and go from there. You’ll have the option of joining different buddy groups, and the admins will help direct you wherever you want to go. I joined the TTA (trying to avoid pregnancy) group.
They’re also offering an online course on the Fertility Awareness Method for 25% off TODAY ONLY (it’s $30 today, $39.99 regularly).
Even if you’re not sure FAM is for you, you can still join the network. These women are a GREAT resource for any kind of woman/mom concerns/questions you might have about pretty much anything.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below. I’m sure I can round up some of the CFPN gals to get you some answers right quick. And if your question’s more personal, e-mail me.
So, tell me:
1. What appeals to you about a group like this?
2. What questions do you have about CFPN (and there’s no such thing as a dumb question)?