#50 – Family Planning Adventures

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Ep. 50 - Podcast Thumbnail

In this episode, the High Noon Crew talks about family planning and contraception, which leaves most people with a lot of confusion and misconception. Even more, unmarried couples rarely consider this issue before they profess their love and say their “I Do’s”.

Here’s how to figure out the balance between planning and willingness to dance with God.

We should always bear in mind that in a committed relationship, planning is part of growing and working together on what you love. Family planning is not just about avoiding pregnancy but about planning for your future together with your family.

  • Sex comes with a huge responsibility and possibility of life and procreation 
  • The reasons why sex is taboo in a religious environment:
    •  Hookup Culture: Sex is not just limited to just committed relationships 
    • The responsibility that comes with sex 
  • Natural family planning: Symptothermal Method 
  • Pills versus condoms 
  • A culture with no planning for the future 
  • Considering age 
    • You are leaving out potential joy when you do too much micromanaging 
  • Balance of putting everything in God’s hands and planning
  • Be informed and have communication 


Episode Transcript:

Sammy Uyama: Hello, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. We have a very special episode for you today. We have a full house. The, basically the whole High Noon core staff is here today with us. We’ve got Andrew Love and his lovely wife, Uyanga. Hello to you. They gave, they gave a peace sign to everybody. 

Andrew Love: Hi, hi.

Uyanga Love: Hello, everybody.

Sammy Uyama: Great to have you. We’ve got Benji Uyama calling in from North Carolina. 

Benji Uyama: Hi, folks. 

Sammy Uyama: And we’ve got Carina and Robert Cunningham live from Uruguay.

Carina Cunningham: Hello, everyone.

Sammy Uyama: I’m great to be with you. And the reason, the reason we’re all here today, besides we just enjoy each other’s company, is we wanted to have a very interesting conversation about contraception. And we assembled this team together because we come from very varied backgrounds around this topic and our experiences and our thoughts on it. And so, we wanted just to have a round table discussion with one another. Our, our thoughts and contraceptives. What we’ve done in our marriages, and let you guys sit on that. So especially you know, for the, for those of you who are single, preparing for the blessing, it can be one of those things that is on your mind, as you’re preparing to be in a relationship. You know, this is a very relevant area, and an important topic to discuss with the spouse. And maybe for those who are in couples who would still like to, or who you know, who like to get informed about, you know, and make sure that and feel comfortable about the decision that they’re making, we can provide some support for that.

Andrew Love: So well, yeah. And shout out to anonymous, anonymous fans who asked us to record this episode, because we didn’t come up with this topic. It was requested of us. And we love that. So if you ever have any topics that you’d love more clarity on, please let us know. Because this all happened. All these people shut up, you know who you are, who you requested this. It’s all happened because of you and we’re honored to be able to serve in that respect. So yeah, we’re gonna get into this, because I think either people have a lot of concepts, or they have not thought about it whatsoever, prior to getting married. And it definitely factors into the enjoyment level to the comfort level during sex. There’s the emotional and spiritual and mental comfort of having some sort of protection if you don’t want to kid. But then there’s also like, what things you use and like how that affects the body and it all. That’s why sex is not necessarily straightforward all the time. So it requires conversations. And so we want to get into what everybody here kind of experienced prior to, and then what they experienced hence for. I don’t know what Georgia we should go in. Is anybody chomping at the bit to tell some horrifying Tales of the past? How about Benji, Benji leading up to the blessing, did you think about it at all? Did you have any concepts about what you might do in your potential future?

Benji Uyama: Yeah, thanks, Andrew. Sammy, thanks for having me. I definitely have a lot of, a lot to say about this topic personally, mainly because of my experience working with couples who are preparing for marriage and blessed marriage and also starting their, their sex life in their family life. So, but I guess I’ll get into it personally a bit. You know, it’s, it’s kind of one of those things where I was not really thinking a lot about it at all. Prior to the blessing, I kind of thought, “Oh, it’s something that will come up someday, and, and I’ll work it out with my spouse.” And, and so by the time I was blessed with blessing marriage, we actually, you know, what was clear in my mind, in my upbringing, and also in my wife. My wife is Japanese if you don’t know, and, and culturally speaking, we’re very different. But belief system-wise and our values were the same and that we both believe strongly that sex is something that is reserved for committed relationships, first and foremost. And it comes with a huge responsibility and the responsibility being the possibility of life and creation. So that was kind of always at the back of my mind. I didn’t like actively thinking about that. But I just like, it just was given to me honestly, like after I’m blessed. You know, what we did,  you know, to be honest, and it’s something that I, I probably wouldn’t recommend to somebody right now. But it made sense to us as we, we, we actually didn’t start our family life until we were ready to have children. You know, which took, took a while. Took a number of years. And, you know, in hindsight, it was kind of difficult, you know, to be honest. But I’m really glad. I’m really proud that we decided to do that. Because, you know, when we started our family, it was based on a commitment that you know, whatever we do, whatever happens, you know. If we have a child, we’re ready for that. And we’re just going to let God work in that sense. And so that’s what we decided to do. And you know, pretty quickly, you know, we learned about natural family planning, which is kind of right up our alley. Maybe somebody can talk a little bit about that, I don’t. We, you know, so we do, we do a kind of a hybrid version. We’ve always done a very hybrid version of contraception. Of, you know, waiting, wait, waiting during, during my wife’s cycle, menstrual cycle to, for when she’s, you know, very fertile to use, use condoms, or to or a lot of the time to actually abstain from having sex, having sex completely. So it’s kind of always been, been the way that we do it. And it just was a natural decision that we made, you know, based on the fact that we waited for years to actually come, consummate our marriage. And then we’re just kind of like, “Okay, if we have a child, that’s great. We’ll just let things happen.” And we’re happy we did. You know, we have two children right now. Five, and three years old. Cogen, and Irem. And they are just, you know, they’re amazing and lucky. They’re lucky children.

Andrew Love: So leading up to you, coming together, as you had already forged this idea in your head that when I get married, I’m not gonna have sex unless I want a baby. Like you are like a teenager having these thoughts? I mean, that sounds pretty mature, or very somebody who’s like, sounds pretty religious-minded, maybe. Something like that.

Benji Uyama: Well, you know, this comes back to you know, I can’t really answer that question without a bit of context, actually, I think. So, we have, you know, like I mentioned, I’ve been privileged to work with a lot of young couples, and meet a lot of young couples like Carina and Robert here. You know, who are blessed in marriage recently, in the last year. And we do a lot of workshops during, during the course of preparing couples to receive the blessing and get married. And one of the workshops we do as couples engaged couples, match couples together live. And we have discussions where we talk about pornography, and we talk about contraception. The two most common questions that come up in these gender discussions. And what I’ve realized over time is that there’s a, there’s, there’s a reason that contraception is very taboo in our society, in our culture, and especially in a religious environment and a church environment. And the reason is taboo is one, because, because, you know, by default in our culture in our cult, from a cultural perspective, and a societal perspective, currently, sex is something that is not, that is not limited to just committed relationships. It’s something that, that people can have with anybody they want. And, and they bring contraception into that conversation as protection. You know, to protect your, yourself from catching a disease or from pregnancy or falling “ill”, you know quotations, to pregnancy. And in that context of, you know, hookup culture and just protecting ourselves, then that’s very different. That’s where the taboo comes. That is completely entirely different from a man and woman who are in a committed relationship or blessing marriage. Not only in a committed relationship, but they’re committed to raising a family together from the get-go. They’re committed to raising a lineage together. To having children. That is very different. So the conversation of contraception in that context is entirely completely foreign to the idea of contraception, as you know, just, just a taboo hookup culture kind of thing, right? So that’s one reason that it’s very taboo. The other reason is that it’s something that, you know, if we’re thinking about the, the ramifications or the responsibility that comes with sex, then it’s, for me, it made a lot more sense. That makes sense. Because I know, you know, there’s absolutely no contraception that is 100%, right, full proof. So the reason that people do you know, different things, and natural family planning, condoms, the pill, whatever is given, they’re trying to find something that works best for them. And the issue becomes unless those people are in a completely committed relationship, where regardless of what happens, they’re going to be committed to each other. And the reason that I bring up these workshops that we do that we do, is because I’ve seen over time that there are, there are some couples, who are, you know, who do contraception from the very beginning for many, for many years even. And then, at their own time, at their own pace, intentionally to decide when to have children. It’s a beautiful experience. It’s all in the realm of being blessed in marriage and committed relationships. And in that environment, it’s beautiful. It’s fine. And on the other side of the spectrum, there are also families, there are also couples. Not just you know, in our church, but all over the world all the time. This happens, where people don’t use any contraception that is not unrelated in a committed relationship. And as soon as somebody you know, as soon as the wife becomes further, the woman becomes pregnant, that guy takes off, or they have an abortion, right? So those things are completely eliminated when you are in a committed relationship, and you’re committed to the responsibility that comes with raising a child, potentially, potentially, right? So, so what I’m saying here is that there’s no right or wrong, in my opinion, when it comes to contraception. I think that the wrong question is, is it right or is wrong? Which is the religious answer, is it right? Is it wrong to block, essentially to try to manufacture God’s plan on life? That’s the wrong question. The right question is, is it immoral or wrong to be committed in a relationship that is not based on any commitment, that is not based on any forward-thinking at all? I think it is wrong, you know, and that’s kind of the approach that we came from, right?

Andrew Love: Yeah. Great, great stuff. No, no, this is, I touched a nerve. You obviously care.

Benji Uyama: Yeah. You asked me first. So.

Andrew Love: Yeah. It’s really juicy stuff. And it’s important because, again, these two worlds seldom collide, which is the religious world and the open, transparent, talking about the sex world, right? And so yeah, that’s, that’s, I think, very helpful for a lot of young people to understand that, when the commitment comes first, then everything else is kind of you can figure it out, right? Because that’s like the safety net for everything else to come. Like, if something were to happen like you were to get pregnant, you’ll figure it out based on that commitment. Rather than based on your most immediate desire to want to feel comfortable, right? Which is typically what dating is. Like, I’m not comfortable in this relationship. I got to get out of here. But yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It makes a whole lot of.

Benji Uyama: Yeah. Yeah, if I may just touch on the natural family planning aspect of it. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s really attractive to me, and I, and I am talking with a lot of, you know, kind of similar-minded, conscientious young, young men and women, young couples. It’s really an attractive option for people because it’s healthy. And in, the main reason is that it involves the man and the woman. The man and the woman both have to take the responsibility of, you know, tracking their cycle and or the woman’s cycle, and tracking their temperature and things like that. And, personally, I feel like, it’s, it’s recommended, because anybody who’s doing natural family planning, family planning, by definition, is in a committed relationship. So with that comes an immense amount of trust and responsibility and respect for each other, that you can’t get around, or you can’t access, you know, sometimes through other options. So it’s kind of like a, like a default. Like, I trust you, I love you for showing your spouse, you know, that you, yeah, you’re committed, right? And like I mentioned before, we have, you know, not many, but we have people, you know. I mean, this is what I’m aware of, you know, just in my own experience and knowledge working with VFM is we do have people who, you know, get pregnant and take off or, or end it, right? And it’s, it’s so sad because they didn’t understand the fundamental point that when you are blessed in marriage, and you’re in a committed relationship, you are, you’re taking responsibility for your future in your life. You’re not just an individual in your own life anymore. You’re somebody else, you have somebody else in your life, right?

Andrew Love: Yeah. And even if they do understand that it might not kind of real lock-in, you know. Like, it’s, it’s hard for people. Some people are right to really live up to that. It’s a lofty commitment. So some people make that commitment with their mouth, but it’s hard to fulfill. So next we’re gonna go to your brother because I remember hearing one thing that I was excited to hear is like, you guys are both very opposite approaches to this. And I’d love to hear them, the yin and the yang. I don’t know which one is which. 

Sammy Uyama: This Sammy here. I love everything Benji said. And I love that the, changing the context, right? Not just a black and white conversation about contraception, but then stepping back and like what is our context about sex and where that is appropriate happen. I agree with that a hundred percent not treating sex in a Cavalier way and it being something it’s part of a committed relationship. And that’s a very different conversation than the way most people have conversations about sex. Sex as a couple versus sex as an individual with another individual. And, and yeah, and my wife and I, also, I more have them, I guess we have those same values about sex and but then also approached it in a more pragmatic way. Not so ideologically, right? So we did practice various methods of birth control. Yeah, we, we were, we’ve been blessed almost next quickly, 11 years. And we didn’t have children until nine years into, you know, eight and a half, nine years into a relationship. And that first eight half years was fantastic childfree sex and all the other experiences that we could, and that, that a couple can enjoy. That when you don’t have children and to experience it as a couple. We look back really fondly on those times. And I guess similarly, with Benji, we always came from a place of commitment and responsibility. So we did do these methods, but it was also with the understanding that for whatever reason, if we did get pregnant, okay, that was just, we’ll just adapt, and I was, that would be a new life situation. And we weren’t going to do abortion or whatever, you know, I wasn’t gonna leave her or anything like that, right? We are willing to just go with the flow of it and we wanted to have more of a plan with how we, how we went about that. And, but that was always really clear that we did want to have children. And we, it wasn’t just like, eventually, one day. I know, some couples, they just keep pushing off, pushing it off. But we were really clear on what we wanted to do first, and then have children. But that, so that all being said, so we’ve done condoms. We’ve done birth control pills. That’s primarily what we did. So you know, all that being said, if I were to, if we were to go back, we would have wished we would have wanted to do natural family planning, specifically the, there’s something called a symptothermal method of natural family planning. It’s something we didn’t learn until after the fact. And we just are just now, we just had a second baby almost four months ago. And in the next couple of months, we’re going to be needing to be considering birth control options. And so this is what we’re going to do. And so you know, we took a class on it. And so basically, just really quick. What it is, is, uh, I found. So the natural scent was no, the was the National Institute of Health. It got the National Library of Medicine database online, which is why they just collect all these medical journals. And so on the simple, so I’ll just read a couple of sentences from here. So the sympTothermal method is a temperature method of fertility control and includes a self-observation of symptoms of the ovulatory period, particularly the increased cervical mucus discharge. This method of observation. So this just to give some context and give some medical authority. This, this method is practical for 90% of fertile women. In regards to avoid, avoiding conception, the simple thermal method offers effectiveness equal to oral contraceptives. And basically, this measures different points of a woman’s cycle. And you use that to gauge when a woman is fertile and when a woman is not fertile. And have sex or avoid sex at different times. So you use this method to try to get pregnant or to try to avoid getting pregnant. And so the reason why, right, the reason why he became such a big fan of this is, um, first and foremost, like not getting pregnant. That’s the important thing, right? So we’re like, okay, it’s just as effective as other methods. So give us that certain assurance. But since you know, my wife is doing birth control pills, learning the potential side effects of what that has. So thankfully, you know, my wife, she was fine. She didn’t have any, you know, weird side effects from using birth control pills. She did about for maybe two years. And, and, you know, we went in with this assumption that, oh, yeah, millions of women have done birth control for how many decades, if there are any problems, they probably would have, you know, figured them out by now. And, but if you and you guys can do your own research, if you like, look into it more, it’s not until the last five to 10 years that people actually started to look at or to do studies on the potential side effects of birth control might have. And so it’s really alarming to see the potential havoc that it wreaks on a woman’s hormones, and even the human biology hormones in the human in a person, there’s a lot we don’t know about how hormones work. How are they generated? Why, you know, what, how we, how we create them? Why do we create them? Why do we have different kinds? What do they do? And, and so anything that inner, you know, kind of tries to tinker with that balance. It’s, you’re we’re not at the stage where we can actually predict or look at what that’ll actually do. And so anyway, it’s something that made us pause and think more. And it was enough to convince us that okay, you know, it’s something to watch out for. For one for that. Yeah, I mean, I mean, if birth control pills had no potential effects like that, I mean, we, we don’t think there’s anything wrong with its really practical method for preventing pregnancy. It’s just I think it’s a very high-risk proposition.

Andrew Love: If it didn’t come with all sorts of horrible effects, you love it. 

Sammy Uyama: Yeah, yeah. And condoms. I mean, condoms. It’s, it’s really, it’s like, it’s just really not sexy. It’s, it’s, it’s like, in the middle of, you know, having a nice time with together as a couple and then you just have to stop and then like, you know, open the wrapper and, like, try to get you to know, roll this thing on? And yeah, it’s, it’s okay. Sure. And dongers things on camera. Yeah, says that condoms eating, having sex with the condom, it’s like trying to get ice cream with the sock on your tongue, right? So, um, I mean, yeah. I know. So they’re fine. Anyway, I guess the bottom line is, yes, sure. They’re fine. Um, but if there’s a way that can prevent pregnancy that doesn’t involve condoms, I think that’s even better. And also for what Benji described, or what you explained is that it’s something the couple does together. It can create a lot more communication. I think it’s, it’s rather than just like a means to an end, it can actually become a tool that allows a couple to develop even more intimacy. So it’s like this win-win-win kind of effect, where you’re getting the safety precautions of birth control, and then you’re also becoming closer as a couple. That’s really cool. 

Andrew Love: Awesome. Yeah, that’s an in-depth analysis that I mean, family planning keeps on coming up. Do you use technology for this? Like, how do you, it sounds like you have to take her temperature. You have to know what if she’s having, if she’s having, like, you know, certain thoughts during the day. When she’s been eating her alkaline? You know, like, how do you measure all this?

Sammy Uyama: Yeah, it’s really simple. It just takes creating a habit. And then like, I don’t get developing a knack for it. So the most important thing is measuring cervical mucus. And so there’s like a gauge for which, you know, really sexy stuff, right? So women excrete liquid, right, and various kinds. Anyway, so this is one so you can have the consistency of thickness. And then so, you just like measure, you know, like, you put it between your fingers, and then you kind of separate your fingers and it kind of stays intact, and then eventually breaks. And then so there’s like, there’s a certain level of thickness that it’s meant to have. And then that has, that indicates certain things. So that’s, that’s the most important one. And the one is body temperature. And then one is tracking cycles, a woman’s cycle. And these three points that you look at, and then they give you a lot of data.

Andrew Love: That sounds like a science fiction movie, and glad you’re up for it.

Sammy Uyama: I guess. So that’s just the practicalities of our process for the decisions we made and what we did regarding birth control. And I guess, just measuring the, what, what we got from it, and the benefit. I, if a couple gets married young, I think it’s great to have a certain time period where they can just be in a relationship together. You know it, you develop a great life, however, it happens. You know, it’s, it’s fine. But it’s just, you know, that was the only experience that we have to speak to, and we really enjoyed it. Having yours, to go on walks together, to travel together, develop a lot. So through a lot of experiences, the main thing is developing really close relationships. And if you have the opportunity for that, it’s something that we really wholeheartedly encourage, and some kind of birth control is essential for that. Otherwise, you’re just always afraid of like you know, you know, hear stories from like people, couples, young couples that begin having sex, and it freaks the woman out so much, right? Just like that she’s so afraid of the possibility of being pregnant. It’s impossible to actually enjoy having sex, right? And so, you know, to have a time period where you can rely on not having children. It’s you need to have some method in place.

Andrew Love: Yeah, thank you. I agree. We have another couple here that we would love to hear from. They’re a young couple. They’re in the throes of, they’re still in the honeymoon phase. We’d love to hear how you guys are doing because we’re a bunch of old crusty people with kids. You guys don’t have kids yet. So it’s very real to you, right? Like, if you have one kid you like yeah, if you get pregnant, it’s just the same as the first time, right? But the first time to get pregnant is like it’s a, it’s an all-encompassing experience. Like it’s real for both people. It’s like all this is happening. You can really track everything. You take pictures every day, you know this. But, um, you haven’t gotten there yet, right? So there’s still like, fear of that, of that thing happening that factors into your sexual relationship. So how are you guys contending with that? And how are you guys managing everything?

Carina Cunningham: Ah, so I may be, I remember like, after getting blessed, really going deep to family planning and feeling so frustrated because there was nothing good. Like, nothing. Okay, there was family planning, but just.

Robert Cunningham: Everything had a side effect and everything had some like con.

Carina Cunningham: Exactly. Everything has a side effect, everything has a con. Um, even like family planning is a good idea, but it still is risky, isn’t it? And to start with that it feels like jumping to a big risk. Even though he says that he’s very, very good, and everything,  it felt like we didn’t want to have a worry, you know, we mind starting on. So yeah, knowing that it wasn’t something that we wanted for the too long term, we went to pills at the beginning. So we kind of started like, without worries, we’ll say. And it worked the first month, we’ll say but then we’re very aware of the side effects. And we then wanted to keep it too long. And something was happening, that I didn’t have sex drive too much. And like I didn’t want to like we wanted but it was really hard to give me on the move. And I knew beforehand because we have a conversation with other couples who feel that that will that could be a side effect for the field. So, I, after five months, we decided to stop the bills and go to condoms.

Robert Cunningham: Can I just say I think one other kind of side effect with the pills is like, even if it was kind of like psychological sometimes like even if a small if something was bothering her or like something happened. Like we’d always wonder like, is this a side effect of the pill? Like we just didn’t know, we couldn’t know for sure. So it kind of always became like our like, what if, what if. And so eventually be like, well, why don’t we cut this out? And then know for sure. You know, it’s like, you’re worried of like, is this really my sex drive or is this like, like, I think I’m different. You know, it’s like, okay, well, let’s, let’s get right, you know, the real you. And we’ll see. That’s as part of her motivation to

Carina Cunningham: Was nice, it was nice to always have your period at the right time. There were some good things about it. But there was always like, what is happening in my body. Because of this is, because of that. So yeah, that was, that was good. And so we.

Andrew Love: Can I ask did those side effects, or did those changes go away when you did get off the pill?

Carina Cunningham: I’m sorry. Yeah, for example, sex drive.

Sammy Uyama: I think what Andrew is asking is like you are a wild animal now.

Carina Cunningham: Yeah. So yeah, some of them are really cold. Another thing that we’re all they’re called things but not too bad. And then we went to condoms. And it’s been a quite interesting experience for us, because they’re, for my side, like we’re concerned to say from myself. One is like, it made me really aware that because of this piece of Latics, we are not having a child. So it’s like, every moment you have sex, you make a conscious decision about if it wasn’t for this, will we, you may get pregnant. Isn’t it this like, is like is that decision of, this can’t say can lead to pregnancy. And I’m taking this decision now because of these reasons, isn’t it? It’s like, it’s more cautious when you’re informed. Yeah, more mindful. When you’re taking the pills, you just take the pills and forget, like almost like why they’re, why you’re taking them or like, go for it. But that is more mindful. Like, okay, we’re making the decision of waiting to have children. And the other interesting thing is like we want to move forward to family planning, but to the point where we’re not so worried or too afraid to get pregnant. So we want to get to that point first before starting family planning. And condoms, what is like your period comes. I’m very regular, but it always comes a couple of days late, a couple of days afterward. And it’s always like such an interesting experience when the, those days before your period and you think like, “Oh my gosh, I’m pregnant. No, I’m not pregnant.” And so I’m like, “I’m two days late, Robert.” It was very interesting last time. I went to meditation, and I felt like I was dreaming about a kid. And I told Robert, “Robert, I think I’m pregnant.”

Sammy Uyama: That’s how you know you’ve got a good man.

Carina Cunningham: I always tried to repair it. I was telling him that I’m brand new. But yeah, it was. So, so yeah, we’re waiting a couple of days late for my periods to come. And we were like, so scared. And yeah, when they’re doing like the pregnancy for the first time, the pregnancy test, and it was negative. And literally like 20 minutes, afterward, my prayer came. 

Robert Cunningham: That was funny. 

Carina Cunningham: Yeah, it was so hilarious. But an interesting thing. I know that those scary moments are like those moments of like, craziness. So now I feel like, make me prepare for the moment, like the real moment. It’s like, yeah, like, be cautious about like, oh, that kind of happened. So that’s something that we did, pills will not happen. When it feels like exactly the day so they, they, they feel I will have my period. But with condoms like those days, so like, wondering like, I’m pregnant, I’m not pregnant.

Robert Cunningham: And comment on that, it was pretty exciting to like, however, use a pregnancy test style, you know. Even though, I was sure. It’s gonna be negative, no problem. Part of me was just like, wow, like, like, we’re gonna do this one day, and it’s gonna be positive, you know. And it was like, like, I was really like, amazed, you know. 

Carina Cunningham: Sure, about the effects of the condoms.

Robert Cunningham: I would kind of actually have to disagree with Sam a little bit. I don’t think they’re too unsexy. I mean, Carina has a way of making it sexy. So. I mean, uh, I don’t know. I feel like at least for us, it feels like it incorporated pretty well. I was a little bit, of course, like, kind of hesitant, you know. Things are like, yeah, I’ve heard that before. Like, it’s like, eating ice cream with a sock. And I’m like, oh, boy, well, I’m okay. Like, I’ll get over it. You know, it’s like, you know, if that’s, if that’s the case, then like, so be it, you know. It, but like, a part of me is like, it can’t be that bad. And actually, from my experience, it’s not, you know, it doesn’t change the experience too much, you know. 

Sammy Uyama: No, actually, I can clarify a little more about our experiences. Even actually, for me, I, the feeling of it, like inserting with the condom, I don’t mind. It’s not much of a big deal for me. So I know, we’ve had the same experience. Actually, my wife doesn’t like to feel more. That’s like, more should the way it feels. Yeah, she really doesn’t like it. And though one pro of condoms is that makes cleaning up really easy. I think it’s like one of the things they don’t tell you about sex. It’s, there’s cleanup after. It’s pretty messy and you need tissues and going to the, to the bathroom and two condoms makes it really simple. People, people listening, never gonna have sex. That’s disgusting. They’re turning everyone off.

Carina Cunningham: Another good thing I work on is timing. Timing. Like, yeah, we were able to reach both of us, young women. Um, I hope we can one day get it without it. But it’s the beginning. So starting.

Sammy Uyama: Can I just say that I’m really, really moved by you guys. Like, I think that’s beautiful. Just the way that you are willing. Like, you understand that there is a responsibility that comes with sex and there’s a possibility, you know. I don’t like calling it a risk. It’s a possibility for children. There is. That’s, that’s like how it’s been forever. It’s sex or no sex or its children or no sex basically, right? That’s the only option. Of course, contraception helps us with family planning. Of course, that’s the purpose of it. But just the fact that you’re in that relationship and seeing Robert just laugh at the pot, you know. You know, Carina saying, you know, it might be pregnant. Or you know, that’s like, that’s so beautiful and I think God is just so happy to, to see that. You know in that, in our, in our Carnival because that’s totally opposite of the current conversation about sex, right? You know, yeah, pregnancy. Oh my god.

Andrew Love: I don’t know, dread. Yeah, pregnancy equals dread and fear and all negative emotions. That’s the starting point of life, right? That’s the first thing you’re giving to your little unborn baby is the feeling of getting out of me or like, you know. Yeah, so that’s wonderful you guys pass the test because it is shocking. I mean every time trust me. Every single time it’s like, “Oh my god. This is happening, right?” Just it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s so much beyond what you can do and what you can control and there’s this feeling of being little, which is shocking because normally we’re just, we don’t think about how big or small we are. We are just living life. But in the moments when, when you like, when somebody becomes pregnant, you realize how fragile everything is, and how little and big we are, right? And how, how many little things are going on. But how miraculous the whole process and like, it puts everything into a great deal of wonderful context. But it also is like, it’s like an out-of-body experience because like, oh my god this is it. Gonna feel like a human coming out of you. It’s crazy. So, um, yeah, to have fear or dread. To kind of be a cloud over that experience is so sad, right? So it’s cool that you guys even though it’s shocking you. Robert, you said you still had both feet in the door. You weren’t running. “I’m gonna go get some milk.” Right? So that’s awesome. Yeah, that’s when you man, okay. So yeah, yeah. 

Sammy Uyama: So what about you two, you, it’s a treat to have both of you here. You know, it’s, we can’t gloss over the fact that we have two Uyama dude’s speaking on behalf of women, their wives. Right about something that doesn’t fit, you know, a process that their wife has experienced. But, and you, by your wife, which is awesome. And we love to hear your guys’ take on this whole topic.

Andrew Love: Honey, we’re like, we’re pretty random. 

Uyanga Love: Yeah. Yeah, first the one thing is we start family late. I am 33, you are 31.

Andrew Love: Yes, a year and a half younger than you. So yes, I was just 31 and she’s 33 when we got married and blessed.

Uyanga Love: Yeah. And then at the same time, we are different cultures. For me, it is like Asia, especially Mongolia’s nomadic life. Nomadic life minimalistic way.

Andrew Love: Can I just say, planning isn’t their forte. Like where they’re going to live in the next three months. They don’t really think about it. They just pack up their stuff and move their house to wherever feels right. So if you talk about family planning, they don’t believe in calendars.

Uyanga Love: Yeah, basically, like no planning, and just now. You know, fast enough to just now live in that. That’s what I really am seeking than realizes. Then, for example, I’m born in my mother’s 20, when my mom is 20. And when she was 25, four children. And that’s what Mongolians are like. That’s why for me it is like no idea what planning is. But luckily I like all my 20s, I did the mission work so busy. And then we got the winch to replace us.

Andrew Love: So right out of the gates, she tried the pill. Yeah. But yeah, again, it was like, do you, you didn’t feel good, right? Because we stopped for some reason. After a couple of months, two or three months. This is all very fuzzy. This is like 10 years ago, or something like that. So it was eight years ago. Yeah. And so we stopped but then there’s like, also as a desire to get pregnant because we were also older and we wanted to have a few kids right? So yeah, she’s already 33 and we felt good. And I remember the time she got pregnant so it was extremely intentional. There’s a lot of stuff happening in the world. I was right when the true father every moon just was like passing away and like all this stuff was happening. And it’s really like, cosmic. Like our lovemaking, that time, in particular, was like I remember. I don’t know if there was lightning outside but there’s lightning inside that time. The first time in history, there was ever lightning in it, in an apartment in New Jersey. So that was, that was that. But then, since then, honestly, it’s just been our so-called family planning is just the mastery of breathwork for me and to not let the crescendo be within the cavern. Put it poetically, that’s how we’ve been doing it. And to be honest, number two, number three kids were like, completely random. We would, I would have done anything not to have kids at that time just because of our financial situation and all that. But I really felt like, I have no idea how she got pregnant. Like, it didn’t even make sense. Because what I remember specifically was that she was like, “Oh, yeah. No, this is fine. You can, it’s, you know, this is a good time if you want to.” It’s like, all right. And then it turns out, she doesn’t remember saying. So if I had some psycho, psychotic episode, where God was talking to me or something, but our second two kids were an accident. And our third one in particular, because we had such a rough experience with our second, second birth and raising your health. I was like, I was not ready at all, but it happened. And now we’re so happy it happened. It was like beyond what we, what our comfort zone, but it was like God like our third son is the funniest, the most amazing kid and we did not plan for him at all. God planned for him. But henceforth, like I, you know, there’s the trend of dudes my age-ish in Denver when I was out there who are all getting vasectomies. And I’m like, we’re done. We’re done. Like, for her body, for her mind, for everything like we’re done. We’re happy. We have three boys. This is like social currency in Asia. Like all, you have three boys. Like, yeah, who’s the man now. And so, we got that. We just want to enjoy our time. We never had that honeymoon, right? I’d love for you to talk about that because she was a romantic. You know, we never had that honeymoon. She got pregnant, like, three or four months into our blessing, right? We were, we were off running. So we want to kind of raise our kids and then also have more time on the back end to have some honeymoon time in our 40s and 50s. 

Uyanga Love: Yeah, yeah. I was like everywhere we go, like, you know, friends are like young adults. Yeah, just second gen. And then their arms kind of nice, jealous. Like, they have like, you know, received their blessing. And then, they have planned and have plans and just so much romance. And then, I was like, 19 years old, joined the church. And then just like a mission, mission, mission, mission, all 20s. And then just as soon as they come to Mongolia is like 30. Our 30 you didn’t marry and then everybody, every single like relatives have, “Which one would you like? Are you not married?” Like, “I can find your husband for you.” Like, all those people would say like then. Then I just like what’s wrong with me? Like, I’m so worried, like, so sad or something like that? And then yeah. Through my feed, God eventually blesses me. And I’m so happy about that. And then I’m just, you know, like, in Mongolia, I was like, I want to have children. I want to have a family. And then I get out of that Mongolian situation and come into America. It’s like everything is different. And yeah.

Andrew Love: So now we just want to enjoy ourselves. 

Uyanga Love: Yeah, I really want to. 

Andrew Love: So in terms of sex to just to have no, it’s been working for us just you know, the breathwork and that kind of stuff. But it’s still, I don’t know how to express it without being too graphic. So I’m just gonna censor myself. Cut short. But it’s like a creates a dynamic where you don’t get to complete the act as intended, as, as designed. So um, yeah. I’m looking forward to finding a because I’m out here in Indonesia and I hear they have procedures where you can get a sec but I’m not sure about it. Because like in America, they have lasers that can do it. I don’t know, I don’t they get a monkey out here to do it. And they just bite your vas deferens or what but I’m kind of looking forward to that. So that just take, take, take your mind off that and then sex does it. We take that element out of sex and it just becomes a way of connecting without any, any potential reality of pregnancy because, at this point, I think a subsequent pregnancy would be too much for us. I think it would just be because we don’t have family around and all this. So it’s like, it’s, it’s, it’s a heavy load to carry by ourselves. So, that’s our plan.

Sammy Uyama: Wow. Wow. Um, yeah, even just the last point, like, timed with Carina and Robert just said about yeah, that sounds seem so stressful like every time that Robert and Carina, you have sex. And then if you’re ever late with your pregnancy by a couple of days just like, yeah, just. And then for you guys to have to experience that, it could really be built, a build-up to be really overwhelming, and yeah.

Andrew Love: Like four or five months ago, she was in the kitchen and she’s like, “Honey, I need to talk to you.” And I was like, “Oh snap. No. I’m not ready.” You know, and I had all these panicking feelings, and then she just had to tell me some difficult family information. I was like, you know, it’s like not good information about her family. I was like, “Oh, yeah.” I mean, I mean, I mean, “Oh, no for them. But oh, wow. That’s really..” 

Sammy Uyama: Your guys’ story. It is great. It’s perfect. It perfectly contrasts a lot of what we’ve been talking about and brings up some really important points of time, you know. The conversation of contraception, right behind it, is this conversation like, “Oh, when should I have kids? Right?” And that’s the important thing to look at is like, you know, it’s not a black, yes or no, black or white question. But it’s like, you know, what’s your situation? How old are you, you know, like. You were 31 and 33. Starting a relationship is very different, for I was 19. And he was 20 when we got blessed.

Andrew Love: And that’s, so I just really have to say because there’s a lot of misinformation that’s coming out that they’re trying to say that it doesn’t matter when a woman has a baby because women are having babies older and older. But I know the reality, and it’s like the woman’s body ages quite a bit in the 30s. So like all of us, all of our bodies do but do what giving birth does to your bones, to your bone marrow, to every part of you. Like you’re in order to, to create life. It comes from you, from your bone marrow, right? Like there, and these things are all slowly winding down starting in your 30s and 40s and all that. And then like we saw throughout her 30s, our last baby we had when she was 39, right? From 33 to 39. Those three babies got progressively much more taxing on her physically, mentally, spiritually, every time. And she did them raw, like organic, no, no medicine, no, no, nothing on time. Yeah, it was, it was amazing and there are truly blessings. But to kind of wait too long is like it, it also takes some of the enjoyment out because when you’re young, your body’s like, ready to pump out some kids. When you’re, when you’re, when you’re younger. It’s like, it’s so malleable and it bounces back so much more easily. But just like skateboarding, when you fall down, you’re a teenager, you break a bone. Whatever you get back up, you’re like, I want to try that trick again. When you’re my age, when you like sniffing 40, when you fall, gravity’s like, “Ah, I don’t want to try that again.” Like, I’d rather not, thanks. But the same is true of a pregnancy. So that, that factors into how much,  how much do you want to really plan. And like that’s, that’s our belief, too, is that God creates 95% of the scenarios, and then our participation is like 5%, right? And then, but some people want to, they want to micromanage the details of like I want a baby at this age after I have this much money. And it’s like you leaving out so much potential joy when you do too much micromanaging because regardless of how much you plan, it’s not going to be like how you plan. It’s creating life, it’s so much outside of that. So that randomness actually was really good for us. Because we again, we didn’t necessarily feel like we were ready, but we ended up being far more ready than we gave ourselves credit for. And I think a lot of people are getting really psyched out about babies because it seems like this crazy event that’s so hard and you gotta have a million dollars in the bank before you have a baby and all this stuff. And it’s all, it’s all a lot, you know. People are typical if you have the commitment like Benji was saying then pretty much you’ve got everything it takes to be able to raise a kid. It’s just some of your external foundation that helps with stress but at the end of the day, yeah, it’s you’re far more ready than you think you are if you think you have that commitment.

Sammy Uyama: Yes. I think you guys what you guys share illustrates that and there are different really good lessons to take away. Just that willingness to be, be adaptable and God has a plan.  And you even though, you just look at your circumstance, you’re like “Oh, what the heck. Second, kid number two, kid number three, you know how that you’re going to manage that but you made it work and, and the rewards are amazing. They’ve got really great kids. And, but also the kind of the, it is a bit of a warning, right? To some people, they like the unreliability, right? Just like feeling, right? Or just like kind of guesstimating. Like, you know, you said younger, she might feel oh, yeah, like I, you know, this is my time period but actually turned out not to be the case, right? And the pulling out seems not to be the most effective method, right? So, yeah, but it’s a beautiful balance, right? I think about that. So people want to take it as a warning, right? That, okay, you should talk and create some kind of plan if you want to not be pregnant. But that’s secondary. The most important thing is just like, be willing to dance with God, right? And whenever it happens, you can take it as a blessing, and you’ll be responsible for it.

Robert Cunningham: Yeah. What can I just jump in? I just wanted to clean and I heard this really great advice recently. You know, how much actually you should be praying to God that, you know, like, why, when should we have a child, you know. And even when they were sharing with us this couple that like, yeah, you don’t know, like, what God has in store for your family and how God is going to use this child in that period. And that kind of touches, it sounds like a little bit with Andrew, and the younger you were saying, right? It’s like, and we were like, Wow, that’s so like, it’s such a humbling experience. 

Carina Cunningham: How do you know if your child, God needs your child to be born this year? So from here to 20 years, he can do such amazing things to the world, you know. It’s like, whoa, that blew my mind because we don’t know what is God’s plan for that kid and how are we to take that? You know that I don’t care about your plan. I’m gonna decide what we’re gonna do. 

Robert Cunningham: Yeah. Well, I think it’s been said many times as it’s both, right? But I think like, somehow, like, we’re like, oh, yeah, like if it happens, and that’s fine. But like, I feel like we weren’t before them. Intentionally praying about them, like, like, God, was there. Like a different idea here, like, and actually, like, even it started, it scared me a little bit. The idea, but I’ve actually tried to start praying about that a little bit, because I’m like, wow, you know, it’s like if there’s some plan that I gotta at least be open to hearing it, you know. I gotta be asking about it. As one, something we heard, and we’re like, wow, that’s some really like, we hadn’t heard that advice before. You know, it’s kind of like something always like, either like, yeah, really just putting everything in God’s hands, or just planning 100%. But this sounds a little bit more like a middle ground, sort of.

Benji Uyama: Well, you just said it made me realize that my wife and I really have a lottery mindset. We’re just, we’ll just throw seven out there and hope that one of them can amount to something. My, my children, my son has already changed the world because he’s changed me and he’s helped me grow as a human tremendously. Over the last six years, you know, I was 22 years old, when our son was born. It completely, you know, as I said it, it was surprising, but I was so happy about it. I was so happy. And if my wife was here, and she’s not because she’s with her children right now, I’m going to try to speak for her. And I know I shouldn’t, but I’m going to because we are one and I talked with her briefly before we got in here. And she would say that you have to be number one, I guess to answer these two questions that Sammy brought up, that we’re kind of answering is, you know, what, what kind of contraception but also timing, right? And she would say that my wife and I would share that, you know, doing research is important, like knowing your stuff, and being informed and then communicating about and talking about. It is, is key, having communication. And number two is that it’s actually really important. This is something a lot of people won’t say is that it’s really important to get a checkup, a physical checkup before you start your family. And especially before you decide to consider children, for the men and for the woman, because sometimes, many times, a man is you know, not very fertile. You know, it doesn’t have a lot of semen swimming around. And women, in my wife’s case, I’m bringing this up because my wife had a massive, I’m talking like a baseball-sized ovarian cyst in her, in her opening. Covering, a cyst covering her ovaries. And we had no idea what it was. We didn’t know his comments, but even it’s even almost 10% of women actually have a very large ovarian cyst. So, so the complication came when we were pregnant, and we were doing ultrasounds and you know, we’re excited. And then they found this ginormous cyst in her ovaries and, and the doctors were all completely, you know, worried that it was cancerous. It was you know ovarian cancer because my wife’s mother has ovarian cancer. So they, we went to multiple doctors, all of them recommended that she had an abortion because it was would cause harm to my wife’s life, right? And God bless her. God bless my wife, she was like that. Like, she’s like, we walked home from that. So, we walk home from the hospital after hearing we should have an abortion. And she said, if I, if I seek to live, I will die. And if I seek to die, I will live. I’m having this baby no matter what, even if it kills me. God bless her. I mean, I’m so sorry. I’m so moved by that, that kind of heart that my wife has. But that kind of heart that parents have towards their children. And that’s really the heart of God. Like God is willing to die, so that you may live. So that we may live and really not just live but, but change the world. I’m saying that because, you know, that’s the reason I was 22 years old, right? That’s young. That’s pretty young. And, and it’s totally changed my life. You know, I’ve grown so much in the last 10 years, since our blessing. And there’s no end in sight. I’m 28 years, 28 years old right now. Not even 30. And, you know, my wife kicks my ass every single day. Every single day, she kicks my ass to grow. And my children do too. They’ve stretched me and forced me to grow. And that’s the point. That is the point. And that’s, that’s, you know, that’s the main reason that having children or not having children was never an option. Because that’s the point if we’re not growing, and our marriage, if you’re not growing in your blessing, if you’re not growing as a human being every single day, as a single person even then that, what’s the point, right? Isn’t that the whole point is that every single day, we can say that we love somebody. We love our family, we love our neighbor, more. We love God more than we did yesterday. We’re stretching our hearts no matter how hard or difficult it is. At the end of the day, we love each other more. And that’s the point. So having children, being a father is so tough. And I totally get why people don’t want to have kids because it’s hard work. I just want to live my life. But you know, not me, I’m happy with the life I have. I’m happy with the decision, decisions that I made and I’m proud of them. So I want to share that. I’m proud of it.

Andrew Love: Yeah, that’s amazing, Benji. Thank you. And that, that attitude that she took was something else you cannot experience without getting pregnant. So like, what it’s like to be able to just so immediately say no, I don’t care. I don’t care if I die, because my kid is so important before the kids, before he even met him, right? It’s like, I just know that there’s something beautiful inside of me, and it’s worth everything that I am. That’s special. So that’s what everybody should experience, but in the, in the kind of right time, right? Because I also know that there’s this tradition that tribes used to have that before a couple would have a kid, the man would go off with a bunch of men and the woman would go off with a bunch of a woman and they would prepare spiritually for this. So that they’re spiritually in a good state for the baby to be conceived in a really high spiritual state. Because there’s that element to like if you think about the lifeforce that’s coming out of a man and like what that, what that infuses, it’s like from the get-go. Like who you are as a person is, is like seated. It’s inside the next generation, right? Doesn’t necessarily define them and that’s not their fate but it’s like that’s the foundation for that kids. So even kind of looking at where you’re at as a couple and how are you doing factors into a, to write that you’re working on loving and all that as a part of family planning because family planning is like not the avoidance of pregnancy. Family planning is like creating a family when you’re in the best state at the best possible time, not your time like Carina was saying or Robert was saying but God’s time, right? Best state, the best time and you can’t find that out from your head. You can’t plan that out. It’s like, intuitive with reasons like working together, right? It’s like this combination of different things. And so um, we are going along because this is really good. So if anybody has any, any final stuff that you, you feel like you want to get out of this, please and you raise his hands. He got it all out. He left it on the table, for you all. Carina and Robert, do you have any parting wisdom that you like to share?

Carina Cunningham: I’m okay that was good enough. 

Robert Cunningham: Well, so awesome to watch a podcast live was my experience here. But just such an amazing while I really appreciated your, your heart Benji and all of you sharing your experiences were really, really incredible. It just made me just realize how incredible this topic is you know and like how there’s maybe a conversation about this but it’s on just this level. But like this, it’s this level that the conversation about this can be on like a whole another level where we’re really reflecting on, on the beauty of life. reflecting on God. Like it’s really, I’m really touched by that.

Andrew Love: Yeah, it’s a little higher level than say a movie like knocked up which basically denigrates the entire experience, right, of people coming together. What happens next, it’s, yeah. So thank you, anonymous. Again, an anonymous person for requesting this. This is really a Godly occurrence. Like we haven’t recorded a podcast like this. We all did it because of us. So God worked for you, random anonymous person. God bless you. Sam, you got anything before we go?

Sammy Uyama: It was all said. Yeah. I mean, I got a lot from this conversation too, right. So thank you all for everything. You shared it all for listening. I hope it was useful.

Andrew Love: Thank you all for listening as Sammy said. To quote a great man Sammy from five seconds ago. Thank you all for listening. God bless you. Take care


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#49 – ‌High Noon 2021 Launch

This makes for a lovely episode: listen to an inspiring and enchanting love story of High Noon Families’ the School of Love project directors, Jario and Leena Vincenz-Gavin. 

Married for 13 years, these two have grown a lot and discovered many things about themselves, their work, and each other. Apart from being the fuel for families to mend their relationships, they also became a role model for couples working in the same environment, believing that learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses will help create that perfect balance in marriage and relationships.