Next month will be the anniversary of the birth of my older son, Keith (which I will mark by writing his birth story for my blog, so be on the lookout for that). It was an unplanned pregnancy, which according to abortion advocates is a horrible occurrence. Unplanned doesn’t always mean unwanted nor unloved. I myself was an unplanned pregnancy, as was my sister. In fact, I’m not sure that my mom “planned” any of her pregnancies… although after giving birth four times in six years, she did plan on having no more pregnancies and got her tubes tied. She frequently regretted that in later years, especially as life put her into more contact with many families with more than four children.
My husband and I have used a few different methods of avoiding pregnancy, but birth control pills were not among them. Although I know there are some classes you can take or books you can read about naturally avoiding pregnancy, we’ve successfully done that for our entire five-year marriage just by reading and following information freely available on-line, with this one blessed exception.
If you want more information, you can search “natural family planning” which will give a bunch of nitty-gritty details. It might even make you blush. 🙂 It’s more than just “the calendar method” or “the rhythm method” which rely on predictable cycles that operate like clock-work. Most women are not so blessed, and my personal cycle is usually 29 days, give or take a day. Knowing your body’s signs of fertility is key to natural pregnancy avoidance, because sometimes you may have a very short cycle, and other times your cycle may be longer. Stress, medications, and even vitamins may affect the length of your cycle, so if you go on just “okay, I must have ovulated on day 14 because that’s average, and today is day 16 so I must be no longer fertile,” you’re more likely to get pregnant.
I miscounted, or misfigured my days, when I got pregnant the first time. I realized about, oh, 30 minutes too late, that it was actually day 15 (which is when I usually ovulated) instead of day 16 (which is when the egg likely would have been dead — they have about a 24-hour lifespan). Quickly consulting my calendar confirmed my fears. At the time, we used VCF (Vaginal Contraceptive Film) on the days I thought we were sort-of-fertile but not peak fertility. That time, it didn’t work.
At the time, I didn’t say anything to my husband, because he didn’t want to have children yet. We had just celebrated our 1-year anniversary, and he was wanting to wait for a few more years before we had our first child. I added nine months to February and realized that if I was in the process of getting pregnant, that I would be due at the time my husband would be doing his student-teaching for his Master’s degree. Yikes.
That whole next week, I kept vacillating between thinking I was pregnant and knowing I was pregnant. Some early-pregnancy symptoms I had were that I “just felt different” in a nebulous sort of way; my breasts were tender; and I couldn’t bear anything tight on my stomach. And, believe it or not, but I actually felt implantation in a way I cannot describe accurately, but will try: at some point, I felt as if a light had come into my uterus, and was shining out of it, drawing all my attention to that spot. It’s not like I saw anything literally, but it was a sensation I could not deny. I even said, “Wow, that was weird,” and mentioned it to my husband. But after that, I thought I was just going to have a heavy period. Of course, that feeling was undoubtedly due to the lining of my uterus being thicker than ever because of the pregnancy. Although I didn’t tell my husband my fears, he must have picked up on it, because about that time he took me in his arms and told me he loved me, and he knew I wanted to have children, and if I wanted to have a baby, then he was selfish for holding off, and we could start trying. I told him I thought we had succeeded without even trying, and he confessed he had thought so as well. But I didn’t get a good, strong positive line on the pregnancy test for almost a week after I was “late.”
And my husband who had previously wanted to delay having children? He wonders why we waited so long, and is thoroughly enjoying fatherhood.