Sunday, December 4, 2011


I warned you in the title, so don't get halfway through this post and be all "Omg, I can't believe she wrote about that!". First, TMI is a somewhat foreign concept to me. When we were in Coldstone last night, celebrating 2 years since we met there, and I heard a young college student talking about what some guy she didn't know did to her the other night, yes, my mind screamed "TMI!!!!". But as far as body functions go, they are normal, we all experience them, and to me there is nothing to be ashamed of. I won't (usually) bring it up at the dinner table, but I don't think sharing it with someone, for a good reason like support, advice, etc., is weird.

Having said that, I thought I'd write about my intro session to NFP, Creighton Method, for anyone who might be considering it. I went in with some expectations, and came out with some new information, amazement at the human body and, admittedly, frustration. First, my instructor is awesome. She didn't really tell us a lot about herself, but I know she has a great personality, made it easy for me to talk about personal things, and she is a homeschooling mom who is 7 months pregnant, with which # child I'm not sure. I really liked her! The only thing I wish is that her husband had been there for part of it. I know that the woman is the one who gets certified to teach, and I know that practically speaking someone has to watch the kids while she does it, but I think Steven (and any man who goes) would benefit from hearing a bit from the instructor's husband, like about what they get out of it, how they are involved, etc. Luckily I have an awesome fiance who doesn't get antsy when there's a lot of estrogen, but I could see how some guys might really appreciate a little testosterone in the room, at least in the beginning.

When she first said she was giving us an overview of the anatomy, and showed us pictures of the male and female reproductive system, sperm, etc., I did a in-head eye roll. You know what I'm talking about. But then she went into a lot of information about exactly when in the cycle and  how our hormones affect those areas and I was really fascinated. This wasn't your 9th grade sex ed instruction. For example, I had heard of the luteal phase before, but never knew where that came from until I learned all about the corpus luteum yesterday and its function.

Anyway, we got the standard Creighton powerpoint, which was very informative, and then she talked to us a little bit. What I didn't realize is how much learning we were responsible for doing at home. For example, she gave us a fairly quick overview of the chart, but we came home and read some of the book and learned all the specifics (and boy, are there a lot of specifics!). I was glad we read it yesterday, because you are supposed to chart beginning that day and we could have possibly charted wrong. There are many, many terms to get used to, so we are trying to just talk in Creighton terms so that they become normal (using their descriptors instead of our own).

Now here's what shocked me. I had to learn how to wipe all over again! I told Steven I feel like I'm a 3 year old learning to use the bathroom for the first time. I know that, technically, you are supposed to wipe front to back to prevent UTI. But I've just never done it and it's never given me a problem. When I babysat, I always wiped the baby front to back, because it makes sense with your arm motion when you're doing it on someone else. But on yourself, at least for me, it made more sense to reach in from the front and wipe back to front. Well, since the entire judgement of your cervical mucus depends on a front to back wipe, that obviously wasn't going to work anymore. It's ridiculous, but it has been really hard for me to put into practice... it just doesn't feel like I get as clean. I'm doing it every time, but I will have to get used to it. Also, it's important that the tissue is in square shape and not bunched up (I'm a notorious buncher) so that's something I have to work on- but I notice when I switched to front to back, the tissue sort of gets bunched in the process, which immediately stressed me out. (News flash: it doesn't take much to stress me out.) And you better believe I was giving Steven every detail of all this information after we got home yesterday. You know what he did? He listened, didn't once get frustrated with me, and tried to come up with suggestions to help. Love that boy.

Then when it came to charting last night, I realized we still needed to read more. There is somewhat of a number system that we didn't know about so we had to figure that out. I've got to say- the "sensation" versus visual check part has me pretty confused, but I'm sure the longer I use it, the easier it will get. And I'm still left wondering quite a few things, but that's what our 2 week followup is for, right? I'm going to keep a running list of questions of anything I can't find in the book and take those back to her.

Overall, I can see how it will become second nature. I'm guessing after a month or two, I won't even have to think about it much. It will be a part of my bathroom routine and nightly routine, just like washing my hands. But in the beginning, like most things in life, there is a learning curve and I'm really thankful for the support of my instructor and Steven. I told him last night that I'm sure there are couples who use Creighton where the man still puts the woman in charge and doesn't want much to do with it; that is not a responsibility I would want. It took the two of us working together for quite a while yesterday to get things (mostly) figured out, and to fit my observations into the charting options. I wouldn't have wanted to do that alone. I will be making the observations through the day, and he will be charting at night, which makes me a super happy girl. I love that it's team work. I also completely get why Creighton is so secretive and information isn't easily found online. If we had tried to do it without all the materials and the intro course, we would be doing it wrong for sure!

Our instructor told us she'd give us an excel spreadsheet towards the end of our 8 followups (done in the span of a year), so we'll be excited to graduate from paper charting to electronic charting. But for the beginning, I'm really glad we are going old school. I work better if I have something to hold, read, and mark on. But in the future, the spreadsheet will be awesome for when we're on trips.

By the way, before you go thinking that this post shows my level of TMI, I actually didn't get into nearly the level of TMI detail I had planned on (including how long it took me to get the difference between the different types of cervical mucus- believe me, there is still a ways to go on that... I mean, I never knew there could be so many categories for it to fit into!). So if you were bracing for the worst and were relieved, you might want to brace again the next time I give a TMI warning ;).


  1. Disappointed, not relieved, lol. I was like, "wait, that was it??" :P

  2. Lol that's because we come from the same boundary-less family <3.