1. Refusal – you just heard about this whole fertility charting thing, but you know someone who knows someone who got pregnant using it and the ‘rhythm method’ is way too risky. Nice try, FAM, I’ll stick to my pills/patch/ring/IUD etc.
2. Curiosity – Ok, so maybe you were a little interested in the FAM thing. The idea of charting your fertility seems a little cool, they have apps for it. It can’t be that hard. It’d be nice to see what I feel like off of these hormones…
3. Realization – THERE’S SCIENCE ABOUT THIS. If you know what you’re doing and follow the rules, it can be just as effective as hormonal birth control! Why doesn’t everyone know about this? How come I never knew about this? Sex ed you failed me – I’ve been in this body for x (insert your age) years and I had no idea all of this was happening inside my ovaries.
4. Research – I want to know everything about this as humanly possible. Read all the books, follow all the blogs, listen to all the podcasts. You feel like some female body wisewoman. You had no idea you could even know this much!
5. Evangelization – You talk about charting the majority of the time. You tell your girlfriends about your cervical fluid and how cool it is to know your body. Most of your girlfriends do not care. Maybe one considers ditching her pills, but nah. Too much work. Temping? Every morning? You start a blog, you start a support group, you start a Twitter account. You do find the NFP/FAM community, but they are small. Maybe a few people reach out to you wanting to “make the switch” into charting. You guide them, give them Taking Charge of Your Fertility and proudly review their charts every month. You’re making a difference in the world! You even go so far as to make a documentary for your senior thesis movie in film school. (That is, if you’re in film school.)
6. Rejection – Except you face a lot of opposition. Some people have no interest whatsoever in charting their fertility. Either because their periods are too painful, or the thought of not using any form of protection is terrifying, or they just like their hormonal birth control. They won’t budge and think that your FAM obsession is super weird. Catholics criticize you for trying to relay information that should be exclusively “for married people only” and secular people criticize you for having an agenda to convert everyone to Catholicism.
7. Dejected – Does anyone care about this? Am I crazy? Hormonal birth control really isn’t that bad, after all. The amount of hormones are minor compared to the xenoestrogens from our environment. And some people need it. Ok, fine, I’ll stick with my charts but I suppose I’ll just be here in the corner – all by myself.
8. Acceptance – Ok so there’s still a criminal lack of education on fertility awareness. We’ve sent men to the moon, we have devices that fit in our pocket that connect us with virtually anyone in the world, yet the majority of people have no idea what a woman’s fertile window looks like. The fact that women see cervical fluid and think that it’s an infection is a huge problem espoused by education and society. So maybe FAM will never be the popular choice – but women and men should still know what a fertility chart is. When we get educated on how to brush our teeth, to wear deodorant and wash our face, we should learn that ovulation and periods happen – regardless of the family planning component. So I’m not crazy. I’m just the minority. And there are women who are eternally thankful for FAM. I’ll keep my blog, keep my books, keep making my movie. If women discover FAM and want to start the journey, I’ll be there in a heartbeat cheering them on. I’ll still fight to help the women who want it. Because FAM isn’t always easy and those women need all the support they can get.
So maybe your story is a little different. But that’s mine.
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