There is perhaps no greater disappointment than that of a couple planning and hoping for children who are never born. Month after month, they navigate the frustration, the hope and the exhausting letdown of not achieving a longed-for pregnancy.
Jennifer and Ryan
For more than a full year after getting married, Jennifer and her husband, Ryan, tried to get pregnant, with no success. The stress weighed on them. “There is so much sadness that goes along with trying, and failing, to get pregnant,” says Jennifer.
A physical therapist, Jennifer knew that she and her husband were at a crossroads. They could have sought medical intervention leading to in vitro fertilization, but they wanted to stay true to their strong Catholic beliefs. Was there a way to find help and not sacrifice their core values?
“Through our Pre-Cana marital preparations, we were introduced to the Creighton Model of natural family planning,” recalls Jennifer, “so we started looking for a doctor who would adhere to Catholic teachings.”
The Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System uses NaProTECHNOLOGY™ (NaPro), relying upon the observation and charting of a woman’s biological markers to either become pregnant or avoid pregnancies by showing when she is fertile in her cycle. It is approved by the Church as the acceptable method of family planning.
“We found Dr. Carpentier, and he was able to identify some red flags for me, some possible causes of why I wasn’t getting pregnant. That’s the thing with NaPro and the Creighton Model—they try to fix the underlying problem so you can get pregnant in a more natural way,” says Jennifer.
Dr. Carpentier suspected Jennifer had polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis, two common gynecologic disorders that can affect pregnancy success. With careful charting of her cycle every month, they were able to pinpoint her most fertile days. With simple treatment and after just three months, Jennifer conceived. Nine months after that, the couple’s first child, Caitlyn, was born.
“It was awesome,” Jennifer says. “When Caitlyn was nine months old, we tried to do it on our own and did get pregnant, but miscarried. So we went back to Dr. Carpentier...and we soon had Zachary. Then we had Leah and then Michael. We have four beautiful children.”
Kristine and André
Twenty-three years ago, Kristine and her then fiancé, André, had little idea that the family planning method they learned about in marriage preparation classes would have such an impact on their lives. Today, the couple has six children as a result of careful application of the Creighton Model and NaProTECHNOLOGY (or natural procreative technology).
“Two of our earliest pregnancies were lost to miscarriage,” says Kristine, “probably through a progesterone deficiency. We chose to see Dr. Carpentier because he supported our Catholic values, and his practice used the family planning methods we learned in our Pre-Cana classes. It was very important for us to be in accordance with Church teaching.”
NaPro uses the Creighton Model of charting, combined with modern medical, nutritional and sometimes surgical interventions to help a woman reach her optimal state of reproductive health. The Creighton Model is a natural fertility tracking program that generates standardized information about women's reproductive health and enables couples to achieve or avoid pregnancy effectively. It is the only system that can be used with NaPro and is used to help diagnose and treat reproductive health problems.
“Our pregnancy losses were a painful reminder that children are a gift, not something owed to us,” Kristine remembers. “Our FertilityCare practitioner was a source of strength, support and comfort during our grieving process.”
Kristine was so impressed by the care she received by the FertilityCare practitioners that she decided to devote her career to helping others going through the same issues.
“I went through the practitioner education program of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction as a desire to give back and enlighten others with this wonderful information that had so blessed our marriage and family life,” she says.
“NaPro is applicable to all women, whether they’re single and living a chaste life or married,” says Kristine. “The Creighton method is applicable through changes in our twenties, thirties and now mid-to-late forties.”
“Our six precious boys are the biggest blessing in our life and our marriage.”