Note from Dustin: This is a personal story from EM readers Mike and Mandy Young. When I got to know Mike from crossing paths online, I quickly discovered we were kindred spirits. As it turns, out their NFP story is very similar to the journey that Bethany and I have shared.  Enjoy!

We were no different from most college-aged couples.  We wanted to be “responsible”.

That’s what everyone had always taught us, right?  The smart thing to do was for Mandy to start taking the pill.

There really wasn’t that much thought or discussion put into it.  It is kind of scary to think about how cavalier we were about it.  Both of us had gone through over twelve years of Catholic school and had been told that birth control was “bad”.

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We were just completely unaware of the reasons why.  We never took the time to learn.

All of that changed about two years into our marriage.

Mandy and I were involved with youth ministry at our church.  There was a traveling missionary who came to our parish for a week and he came to our normally-scheduled Sunday night youth event.

He spoke about many things, but towards the end he turned his attention to birth control.  Once he said that some birth control could potentially be an abortifacient (could cause an abortion), it stopped us dead in our tracks!

That night began our journey of living without contraception.  When we got home, Mandy cried and cried about what she had been doing to her body.

It actually caused us to discuss why we were preventing the possibility of conception anyway.  We weren’t really sure.

We decided to start trying to have a baby.

As God’s plan would have it, we had a really hard time conceiving.  Each month would come and go and nothing.

It was really hard for Mandy.  She would cry and I would have no idea what to do.  She had read that a doctor would normally not discuss fertility issues with you unless you had been trying for at least a year.  Then, they would have you track your ovulation.

As a year approached, we started tracking her ovulation figuring we would get a jump start on the pregnancy process.

Lo and behold, as soon as we started tracking ovulation we got pregnant!  After we were blessed with our beautiful daughter Aly, we weren’t sure how to proceed.

We knew the pill was never going to be an option again.  Basically, we decided to do nothing.  It took so long to conceive with Aly, we just figured we would let it unfold in God’s time.  Three years later, we got pregnant again and had our second beautiful daughter Brooke.

This whole “whatever happens happens” approach was working out pretty good.  Three years between kids worked for us pretty well.  However, when Brooke was nine months old, we found ourselves pregnant with number 3!

That wasn’t exactly in our plan, but we were still excited once the shock wore off.

Enter Natural Family Planning

After our third beautiful daughter, Leah, was born, we knew we needed to be more proactive in our family planning.  Mandy and our checkbook couldn’t handle another baby soon.

We had always knew of Natural Family Planning, but never really knew much about it.  We started doing research and realized that it was the exact thing we needed for our marriage and our faith.

We signed up for classes here in our town through CCL (Couples to Couples League) .  It actually was kind of funny because the class was made up of all engaged couples (whose priest required them to attend before their wedding) and then us.

Needless to say, we were the only couple in the class that already had three children!  It was great though.  We learned all about NFP and how to do it correctly.

As we became more informed about NFP, we realized how awesome it was for our marriage.  We communicated more and it was something we did together.

We chose to use a fertility monitor in addition to taking Mandy’s temperature and tracking other fertility signs.  We felt more comfortable using the science of the monitor in addition to relying on our own ability to take and chart temperatures and fertility signs.

I participated by taking Mandy’s temperature every morning when I first woke up and then wrote it on the chart.  We had learned that the divorce rate among those that practice NFP was only 3 percent!  That is crazy low, but we were starting to see why considering how much it brought us together.

There are so many things we love about Natural Family Planning.

We love that it gives us a stronger marriage.  We love that after periods of abstinence, our intimacy is enhanced as we both look forward to times of being together again. We love that Mandy is not pumping her body with unnecessary hormones.

(Sidenote: it is very interesting to us that there are many women who are concerned about eating animals who are given antibiotics or growth hormones, but have no problem taking extra hormones into their own bodies.)

We love that we are using Mandy’s amazing  God-given cycle in order to plan our family.

NFP has been amazing for our marriage.  I encourage you to give it a try.  It may just be amazing for your marriage too!

Mike Young, and his wife Mandy, are hosts of the Beyond Your Wedding Day Podcast.  They are also the creators and coaches of the Beyond Your Wedding Day Marriage Preparation Course.  They have three beautiful daughters, with another baby on the way.  Having a financial coaching background as a Dave Ramsey Certified financial coach, Mike is passionate about helping young couples start off their marriages on the right foot.


About the author 


Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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  1. I am going to check this out!! I’m totally anxious now. I am delayed for 4 days already. My sister said I need to wait a couple more days before I do a pregnancy test. If it turns out to be negative, I’d surely be more proactive in family planning!! And if it is positive, praise God for a new blessing! =)

  2. Great article! You seem like a warm and wonderful couple.

    I know BCP’s can work you over. I just gave them them the boot this past weekend. My dr changed the Rx due to a backorder and I can tell the replacement made things change for me though the dosage of estrogen was similar. I listened to my body, and I feel much better. We don’t need BCP’s for contraception, but for other medical reasons. Fo I guess I have some things to figure out.

    I enjoyed reading about your journey.

    1. Beautiful story!
      Kristy, being married to a pharmacist and having had several talks with pro life drs i can confidently tell you that there is NO medical need for using birth control. While it gets prescribed for all kinds of things it doesnt really treat them but rather covers up the symptoms. There are a very few exceptions to this rule of course but by and large the pill wont actually fix the root of the problem. I would highly recomend that you look into napro technology which actually gets to the heart of the problem and treats it. Its work for my wife and i!
      Wish you well and God bless!!

    2. Thanks Kristy! I greatly appreciate your kind words. I would agree with Curt. I would encourage you to check out the Pope Paul VI Institute for the study of human reproduction:

      They specialize in finding alternative ways to “fix” medical problems that many doctors prescribe BC for.

  3. I am honestly angry about some of things you said, in both the original post and in response to some of the comments. I’m glad that you found something you like, but don’t judge other people for having different beliefs or medical needs – especially when the beliefs that differ from yours aren’t wrong, and when the medical needs are legitimate and serious. You’re rather ignorant about certain things, while being “wise in your own eyes.”

    I wrote a lengthy comment in response to this, detailing what upset me, and going in-depth on logical arguments against some of the judgmental and ignorant mindsets that are prevalent regarding this topic. However, I suffer from an anxiety disorder that has been giving me problems recently, and I don’t want to get involved in a discussion that might induce a panic attack. Whether or not it should holds no bearing on whether or not it would – and the way I’m feeling, it would. Actually one is already starting, so excuse me.

    1. Jenny, I am really sorry you feel that way. And I definitely pray for your medical conditions. I am, for the life of me, not sure what “judging” you are talking about. We shared our story as to how and why we use NFP. I never made a comment about people who do use BC (with the exception of the hypocrisy of being concerned about eating hormones in animals, which is rather ironic). I most surely am aware of medical conditions but I am also aware that there are alternatives to helping those conditions (see link in the comments above). I really do hope you are open to checking out all of the options that are available to you. You are obviously passionate about his topic, which is great! And, the even better thing, is that you ultimately have the choice of what you do with your body and your fertility. We just share our story, one that is not heard very often. May God bless you.

  4. We use NFP as well! Birth control pills did a number on my wife’s emotions, it took us 8 years to find the cause! We wasted so much time because we had no idea. I tell every newly wed husband I know now, that if your wife changes drastically, suddenly, and you have no idea what happened or why your walking on eggshells all day every day, get off the pill!

  5. Since we have been sharing our story, we have heard many like yours Jay Dee. Btw, I just checked out your site, I like it a lot! Congrats on 11 years of marriage!

  6. We learned about NFP while breastfeeding our first child from Sheila Kippley’s book: “Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing”. We had heard of NFP but could not find anyone to even tell us what old calendar rhythm was. Her new book defines cultural nursing, exclusive nursing, plus ecological breastfeeding and how fertility is affected by each style. This online book: NFP, the Complete Approach, also teaches their 40 years of NFP work: charting temperatures, mucus and cervix signs. Chapter one discusses the moral questions about NFP in an easy question and answer style,too, for those wishing to explore this. We used NFP for 20 years and it sure is great to see new couples embracing it. Thanks, Dustin.

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