Dilemma of the Ripped Chart

Diary of a Creighton Model Practitioner

Me: “So how has your chart been looking?”

Denise: “Well, something funny happened that wasn’t funny at the time.”

Me: “Really? What’s that?”

Denise: (holding up her chart) “Somebody ripped the chart, and it wasn’t me.”

I looked at her husband, Ben. He was smiling.

Ben: “At least I taped it back together!”

Denise and Ben wanted me to share this with you. They even wanted me to use to use their real names. Why? They thought there might be a lesson in this for one – or more – of you out there.

Let me tell you that I’ve never had one of my client husbands rip a chart in half until today. But it’s a good thing it happened because it was a form of communication that spoke to Denise and made her realize that something needed to change in their marriage.

This was the most fulfilling follow-up appointment I’ve ever had. And I absolutely love this couple because they are so real and so honest.

I’ve been meeting with Denise and Ben for over 6 months. They have been married for 16 years and have 4 beautiful children. Denise called me because she wanted to stop using the condom. She was looking for a natural way of avoiding pregnancy and knew deep down that barrier methods were interfering with the dynamic of their marriage. She often felt objectified, and sensed that something was missing – a dimension of intimacy that she and Ben could not reach while the condom was literally standing in the way of their truly connecting with each other.  Ben was completely resistant to the idea of having Denise chart her cycles. He didn’t think it would work. He was stubborn. But so was she.

Attending the Introductory Session alone, Denise was determined to prove to her husband that she could learn the Creighton Model. Within a couple of follow-up appointments, she was a pro. Ben eventually came around and realized that CrMS was awesome. He even shared the information he learned with his teenage sons, telling them that there’s a MUCH better way to plan their families when they get married.

So why the ripped chart?

After a while, Ben got frustrated. He understood that there were going to be some days in Denise’s cycle when they would abstain from intercourse since they were using CrMS to avoid pregnancy. The problems arose when he felt rejected by his wife on the days he would try to be intimate with her. Denise, on the other hand, wanted more SPICE to prepare for the time they would share together. Ben thought he was doing enough to show how much he loved her, and Denise felt short-changed.

What in the world is “SPICE”?

It’s a multidimensional, whole-person view of sexuality that challenges us to discover and appreciate the true meaning of sex in the context of total respect and love. SPICE is an acronym for Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Creative/Communicative, and Emotional. The Creighton Model User Manual includes an entire chapter devoted to SPICE in order to teach our clients the importance of valuing their spouses and developing new patterns of sexual interaction – especially when they are choosing to avoid intercourse during days of fertility. We also give our couples a SPICE Index for each of them to fill out and discuss so they can communicate to one another the areas of strength and improvement as they use CrMS together.

When a couple using the Creighton Model is able to integrate SPICE into their marriage, they can freely exercise the principle of “selective intercourse” without resentment, frustration, and anger. But this was incredibly difficult for Denise and Ben because they had been contracepting for so long. Having never used any form of natural family planning, they were not used to periodic abstinence. And they sure never had anyone work with them to evaluate these different areas of their marriage in order to improve their overall sexual relationship.

What business is this of mine as their Practitioner?

If I am going to teach a couple how to use the Creighton Model effectively, it is my responsibility to help them overcome any struggles they might be having. Denise did not have trouble learning how to observe and chart, despite the fact that she had continuous mucus. She was able to identify her days of fertility and infertility very clearly. Ben and Denise asked me specifically to give them direction with SPICE because it was a huge issue for them.

So we spent a couple of hours talking, listening, and asking questions. I let Denise vent her qualms about her husband; then I let Ben have his say about what he needed from his wife. It was very healing and empowering for both of them, since neither of them could discuss this topic without fighting at home. I broke down each area of SPICE and asked each of them to list 1-2 things that they would like the other to do for them. That would give them a total of 10 options to choose from. Ben was to keep Denise’s list and work on fulfilling at least one of her needs before the next follow-up appointment, and Denise was to do the same for Ben.

Here’s what they came up with.

SPICE lists

Obviously, much of Denise and Ben’s SPICE comes from their religion and family life. And that’s the beauty of it! It’s different for each couple, springing from their unique, personal, loving relationship. I had a lot of fun doing this with them. They both left optimistic and very relieved.

I went home incredibly excited for Denise and Ben because I knew this was only going to get better. I mean, like Ben said, at least he taped the chart back together. That was a pretty powerful statement.

To be continued… because I know you’re going to want to find out what happens to them…

(as originally posted on 1FLESH.ORG)

So What Do You Do Again?

Diary of a Creighton Model Practitioner

What is a Creighton Model FertilityCare Practitioner? People see me post about my work all the time, but they probably wonder what exactly it is that I do. They figure it has something to do with a woman’s menstrual cycle, that it may be connected to with helping couples dealing with infertility, but while these things are definitely part of it, this work entails so much more.

Women who are training to become Practitioners go through an intensive 13-month program in order to teach their clients how to make mucus observations, record their observations on a chart, and manage any issues that may come up during the learning process.

Introductory Sessions are presented to inquiring single women and engaged and married couples, giving them a brief overview of the Creighton Model FertilityCare System (CrMS). If they are interested in using the Creighton Model, they sign up for individual follow-up appointments with a Practitioner.

At the follow-up sessions, the Practitioner helps the couple identify days of fertility and days of infertility so they can use the Creighton Model according to their intentions to either achieve or avoid pregnancy. Most of the time is spent on teaching and assessing how well the client is using the system. Some women pick it up quickly, while others need a little bit more troubleshooting support. It’s important that the women never feel alone while they are learning CrMS, so the one-to-one teaching ratio is a great benefit. What’s great is that the husbands are encouraged to chart for their wives each night, so it’s helpful to double the brainpower when it comes to figuring out her cycle.

If certain biomarkers show up in the charts that indicate a risk for particular medical conditions – like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, low progesterone, subfertility, and miscarriage – our clients need to be referred to a Creighton Model Medical Consultant for diagnostic testing and treatment. It’s crucial that their charts are as accurate as possible so that our doctors can effectively apply the practice of NaProTECHNOLOGY, a revolutionary reproductive science that works cooperatively with a woman’s fertility. In order for women to obtain the full range of care they need, we Practitioners have to make sure they’re making all their observations, charting them correctly, and following all the instructions they’ve been given.

I always make myself available via text, phone, or email if my clients ever have questions between follow-up appointments. Sometimes they feel bad because they know I’m busy with 3 kids of my own, but it usually only takes just a few minutes to respond. I really want them to get it. Their health depends on it.

My favorite part of being a CrMS practitioner is the conversations with my clients about their marriages and their families. They let me in to very private aspects of their lives because oftentimes their erratic cycles are a reflection of the stress that they’re going through. As a Practitioner, I’m pretty much an unofficial counselor – as you’ll see in my future posts. Little did I know before signing up for training how much resilience, compassion, and patience was required for this job. I’ve laughed and cried with my clients, coached them through communication issues, and done some pretty deep soul-searching with them as they open up about the different life challenges they’re facing.

When I started out, I could only imagine the incredible rewards I would get out of being a Practitioner. Now every time I walk into the office, I expect nothing short of AWESOME experiences. Meeting a baby born to a couple who were previously told they were infertile…watching the light bulb go off when a client has finally mastered the system…seeing the husbands jump in and support their wives…knowing that our women are getting answers through authentic health care from CrMS Medical Consultants working to restore their fertility. It’s not always easy, but I leave each appointment changed. My convictions only get stronger through all the confirmations that I’m part of something so valuable to women’s health. And hands down – my clients teach me how to be a better wife, mother, and Practitioner.

Now for my shameless plug: We’re on the lookout for more generous people who want to hop on the CrMS Practitioner bandwagon and join our Creighton family. Could this be your mission, too? Answer the call…women everywhere need you!

To learn more about the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and NaProTECHNOLOGY, check out our websites:




(as originally posted on 1FLESH.ORG)

Introducing Diary of a Creighton Model Practitioner

Diary of a Creighton Practitioner

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”  – George Orwell

A movement is rising, a new sexual revolution: Women are discovering the intricacy and beauty of their bodies. Through being lured into the “quick-fix” mentality that dominates pharmaceuticals promoting contraception, through being led on by well-meaning doctors who never really knew there was anything better than contraception, women are standing up and taking stewardship of their bodies. It’s happening all over the world, especially wherever FertilityCare Centers are spreading the truth about authentic reproductive health.

This is why I am here.

I work as a Creighton Model FertilityCare Practitioner because I firmly believe that all women should receive the kind of medical care that doesn’t reject their fertility, to understand that their bodies don’t need to be flooded with chemicals that raise their risk for heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke.  If they are looking to avoid pregnancy, we have a responsibility to tell them that they can simply observe signs of fertility and practice a NATURAL and ORGANIC method that has absolutely NO SIDE EFFECTS.  And if they are having trouble conceiving, we have a responsibility to introduce women to a much LESS EXPENSIVE and MORE EFFECTIVE means to have the children they desire with all their heart.

Through the Creighton Model System (CrMS), I have met women from all walks of life who come with many different experiences.  Some are single, others engaged, and many are already married.  They want to take the mystery out of their cycles and understand the biological orchestra within their bodies.  Filled with excitement…sometimes with hesitation…and always with hope, they begin a journey with me to discover what no one ever told them before.

The benefits are PRICELESS.

I’m going to be taking you into the lives of my clients and the situations they have faced using the Creighton Model System.  Although their names will be changed and identifying details kept confidential, you will see how fulfilling this method has been for them and their relationships.  I will also give you a peek into our follow-up sessions and highlight some of the most dynamic interactions and “aha” moments we have had.

And who knows?  You might be called to join me and hundreds of other Creighton Model Practitioners in this work of revolutionizing women’s health care all over the world.

Because the bottom line is…WOMEN DESERVE IT.

(as originally posted on 1FLESH.ORG)