Mary Alice's Story

My husband Julien passed away in 2012 and I am now widowed. Throughout the 36 years of our marriage, we used the Sympto-Thermal Method of NFP. I would have to say the greatest benefit of using NFP was awareness. We were so easily able to talk about all aspects of fertility and intimacy, which for sure strengthened our marriage and made our communication top quality. Additionally, we were always able to make very informed decisions about whether to avoid or achieve pregnancy. I don’t know how people live life without knowing what is going on with their natural fertility; it was so easy and empowering for us.

We had trouble conceiving our second child, which was frustrating because our first pregnancy was achieved so easily! NFP was helpful at this time because I was aware of my cycles. We also had the support and encouragement of our teacher-couple, which made us more confident. Without NFP, we would have been frustrated, trying, but going nowhere and leaving conception to chance. Thanks to charting, we could chart the return to fertility after the birth of each of our four children. We knew what was going on when we had two early miscarriages. After I had my last baby at the age of 40, Julien and I thought perhaps our family was complete. Here again NFP came to our aid.

As I was approaching menopause at the age of 56, charting continued to make everything so clear. At one point, my doctor wanted to prescribe me the Pill to help “regulate my cycle” because of heavy bleeding. I declined his offer. I had never used the Pill during my fertile years and because I was already familiar with my cycles, I did not feel the need to "regulate" them. For my extreme symptoms during this season of life, I sought the help of a naturopath instead.

Funnily enough, about five years into menopause I began a weight loss program that had me consuming great quantities of seeds - sesame, flax, sunflower, you name it - and I was bewildered to begin observing what seemed to be signs of fertility again. It was as if this change in my diet was kick-starting my cycles. Thankfully, I was in contact with Dr. Suzanne, Serena’s Medical Advisor, and her explanation of the situation reassured me that my fertility was not returning.

Over the decades I have used the Sympto-Thermal Method, I am amazed at how NFP has changed, improved, and grown. Serena’s research and constant refinement of the method has made it increasingly easier to use over time. I remember when we first started our family, there was little to no information or methodology postpartum that Serena could offer us. But their after childbirth module developed rapidly so by the time we had our second child, thankfully, we were much better informed.

NFP, particularly the Sympto-Thermal Method and Serena, offered a real foundation of stability for me, Julien, and our family. For this, I am thankful and if Julien were here, I’m confident that he would say that same. 

Mary Alice & Julien. Married 36 years. 4 children and 2 miscarriages.