Autoimmune Disease and Supporting Your Health with NFP – A Participant’s Story

Barbara* approached me for help after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. She now had a dire reason for avoiding pregnancy and wanted to do so without contraceptives, because of their potential negative side effects and her deepened appreciation of the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexuality. Over several months, I helped her to become confident monitoring her irregular cycles, and I affirmed her dignity and efforts at self-awareness and care. It is especially joyful to assist clients with challenging circumstances! Here is Barbara’s story as she shares it:

I am a 43 year old mother of 3 and have been married for 26 years. My life changed in an instant the morning of February 27, 2017 when I woke up to my body being numb from my waist down. I was rushed into the ER that morning. After many tests during the months of March and April my neurologist informed me I was now a multiple sclerosis (MS) patient. The first thing that came to mind was what would happen if I became pregnant? Being confronted with the need of steroid infusions and my other medications would be devastating to the proper development of a little one! My family is very supportive but I doubted I would even have the strength to take care of a new baby since this disease is very debilitating. But our sweet Lord gave me peace in the middle of all this torment when I was able to find vital support through the Catholic Charities Natural Family Planning Program. I did not have any knowledge on how NFP could help me. Mrs. Batrice Adcock, the program director, was a key instrument in helping my husband and me to accomplish positive results on what is now month 3 of this NFP journey. After many years of taking birth control pills and being informed of the negative effects I could suffer, I decided to pursue NFP education. Also, as a Catholic, I have peace, knowing I am following the Church’s teachings.