Our struggles began when we were first married. For over 5 years we were unsuccessful in starting a family with no diagnosis other than "unexplained infertility". We experienced so many ups and downs, not fully understanding why this was happening to us. It seemed that every time we met with a new doctor, we found a little hope in some new medicine or test or procedure, but it was very short lived because nothing worked and no problems were ever found. We were at the end of the road and every doctor we met told us to just stop thinking about it or told us that IVF was our only option. We knew the church's stance on IVF and we were also against it. So we decided to give up and look towards adoption. If that was God's plan for us, we would embrace it.
A few months went by and we came across a list of resources including NFP Creighton Model Practitioners that we received from Father Dennis about a year prior. To be honest, when we first spoke with Father, we did not look into his suggestions because we thought after all we had already gone through, there was no way it would work or make any difference. But when we found the information again we realized, if we were being honest with ourselves, we had not fully trusted God to guide us through our infertility. We tried to trust doctors but they clearly didn't share the perspective of the God-given gift of fertility, so we decided to look into it. What did we have to lose?
The hardest part about choosing NFP is putting your life in God's hands. It takes a lot of trust to surrender to the knowledge that he has a better plan for your life than you could imagine for yourself. We were a little skeptical at first and it's definitely uncomfortable talking about such personal things with an NFP practitioner but we stuck with it and learned the Creighton Model Fertility Care method of charting. Our practitioner saw red flags in our charts right away. Soon after, we met with a doctor who specializes in infertility by using NFP and Natural Procreative Technology (NaProTechnology). His approach and methods were like nothing we had ever experienced from other doctors. He was able to use our Creighton Model charts to diagnose our problem. It was so incredible to learn that we still had a chance. He performed 2 surgeries and 8 months later we were shocked to learn that we were pregnant. We were speechless. All of our heartaches our prayers had been answered.
We know that no matter what we would have tried, had we not learned and used NFP methods, we would never have gotten pregnant. It wasn't until we stopped trying to control our outcome, stopped trying to force the body to do something it couldn't do, it wasn't until we surrendered fully to whatever His plan was for our lives, that we felt God’s hand on our backs guiding us. In our darkest moments, we thought "why would God give us such a strong desire to be parents if it isn't possible?" Though we despaired and even felt that our faith was shaken at times, we understand now that God sometimes allows us to struggle in order to help us see what should really be important in our lives. We had been going about it all wrong, putting God on the back burner in the process. We see clearly now how the struggle brought us closer together and closer to God. And the blessing of having our son allowed us to see firsthand what an incredible miracle it is to create life and that has brought us closer still to God.
Practicing NFP has strengthened our marriage in many ways - it gives both of us the knowledge and freedom to plan for pregnancy or not, it has helped us communicate with each other better, and it allows us to continue to trust God and be open to the gift of life.
We're excited to share that we're now expecting our second child in September, another son. We also want to thank all those who prayed for us through the years. Your prayers have meant more to us than you'll ever know.
Sincerely, Ryan and Katie Pung