Works for me: the C-T-M-L Method

A year after our fruitful (haha) blog discussion on “Natural Family Planning” and Method Effectiveness, I can report 14 months of successful pregnancy-spacing, while nursing, with the ultimate Catholic fertility tracking method: the C-T-M-L method.

C is for “Creighton”. I have come to realize that the Creighton model is synonymous with living a white marriage, but it’s actually really effective to pay a Creighton instructor $40/hour to be sure that you are… still… abstaining.

T is for “temperature”, or “thermal” if you’re using the lingo. A comforting throw-back to our sympto-thermal days, and really, who doesn’t love the thrill of a waking up to a full thermal shift?

M is for “monitoring”, with a hat-tip to Marquette. The cousin of the pregnancy test, the ovulation test stick will feel like a familiar old friend for those who buy pregnancy tests in bulk.

L is for “libido”. Everyone knows this is a more effective indicator of fertility than the C, T and M methods combined. Thank goodness for Kathleen’s list of libido-crusher movies (have you considered publishing that with the USCCB, Kathleen?)… for long runs… for Jim Gaffigan comedy clips on YouTube… and for kids who won’t go to sleep.

And mostly, thank the Lord for the gift, or should I say superpower?, of fertility, and for the grace to embrace large family living.

  • Mary Alice

    Haha! I’ve been thinking of buying a monitor, but always balk at the price.

    • mothering spirit

      One discovery that helped us a lot in switching to Marquette was that all the supplies (monitor, test sticks, and OPKs) are all covered under Health Savings Account expenses. Was I ever glad when I read the small print on that brochure that came with our insurance! And the great thing is, our insurance doesn’t care if I stock up on supplies at the end of the year, so I always buy a bunch of test sticks & OPKs on Amazon with whatever HSA/FSA funds my husband or I have left in our accounts. For what it’s worth if it helps any other couples save some $$!

  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com/ Kellie

    I bought a monitor, and it works!!!!!! Josie will be 2 in January ;-)

    Love this, but your post fails to address PPIII syndrome in men, LOL! That’s pre-phase 3 syndrome, symptoms include irritability, rise in libido, sleeplessness, and finding their wife attractive even when she hasn’t showered or dressed herself properly in days.

    • Juris Mater

      So are you going to post the Libi-dull link or not? : )

    • Mary Alice

      I am working on a chart for the number of texts my husband sends me PP3, because they seem to follow the peak, and soon I am just going to use that as my method.

  • knitlet

    The “L” completely cracked me up, as I’m on month 11 of LAM but not sure when it will end. It may have been implied to me that my lack of any L-signs means I shouldn’t assume pregnancy is imminent. :)

    • Juris Mater

      Well, as trained counselors in the L method, I think MaryAlice and I would agree that you’re safe, but be really attentive and watch your other symptoms too : )

  • Bethany

    I have been steering more toward Creighton lately and think it is the ultimate secret to NFP!! Lol on all fronts. Way to be, ladies!

    • Juris Mater

      Yes, Creighton has approximately the same success rate as abstinence as a method of family planning. Uncanny.

  • Kathleen

    JM, the USSCB has rejected my offer, but maybe some day. I would add that besides movies, we’ve found that having the entire family get infected with a stomach virus is the NFP secret weapon. The wailing and reeling children, the vomit filled laundry and the endless playing of cartoons is like one big chastity belt around the whole situation. IF you know Phase Two is coming around, go have the toddlers lick the indoor play gym at a McDonalds. I think I read that it’s got a 110% effective rate.

    On a serious note, it is amazing how some people are overwhelmed with kids and would give anything to have another baby. Having fallen on both sides of the spectrum, I don’t think either cross is easy. But I am grateful that NFP helps both sides in different ways! Thanks for keeping it real.

  • Mama A

    We used OvuView…it’s an app where you plug in all of the data and it aggregates your fertility based on FOURTEEN kinds of nfp (including ST, Billings, and Creighton, as well as a European version that I’d never heard of!). It even shows when they conflict (and sometimes they do, lol – one might give you the green light, and another’s rules might say wait another day).

    I can’t speak personally to its effectiveness (I’m starting to think nfp might not work for us and we should just wrap our minds around having a big family), but in theory, I think it might work out well for many couples, particularly ones who’ve tried a method that didn’t work well for them (either avoiding or achieving pregnancy!).


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