First, our story is that only two of our seven babies were “planned.” I say we either really suck at ONE thing…or are really good at another!
It usually gets a good laugh, but in truth, we have actively (maybe not well) tried to prevent pregnancy throughout the years. It’s only been recently that we’ve considered the possibility of not planning as a method (though that might seem like it’s what we are doing anyway ).
We started off with one child that came only 8 months after our wedding (we were trying to be good little Christians, but what can I say). I was at school and so was he, so we used some sort of birth control method after she was born, pretty sure it was a diaphragm as that is my method of choice, but I can’t promise anything.
When it got to the two-year mark we decided to have another baby and quickly got pregnant and then quickly miscarried only to find ourselves pregnant again the next month. After that, I don’t remember talking about having another baby much, but I think we did get rid of all our baby stuff signifying that we were “done” – but I got pregnant around the 13-month mark. That pregnancy was hard for me, so I remember definitely swearing off babies after that.
But then, voila! Around 11 months, we were pregnant again.
That pregnancy was probably the sweetest pregnancy because I had been reading a lot of books about how pregnancy is a blessing and it really fit in with my jive at the moment. Once she was born, I really wanted another baby but my DH wasn’t into it. He was overwhelmed with the four we had!
Once I finally got over it in my head, I buckled down, got to my lowest weight post-pregnancy and bought my first bathing suit in 10 years (I was wearing some really old shoddy ones at this point). Only to find out a week later that I was pregnant again! This news was bittersweet because I had honestly gotten over getting pregnant again in my head and really was starting to embrace a non-newborn life only to find myself nauseous and tired all over again! But it was our first boy, so we didn’t get too upset! And we do love babies.
After baby #5, we knew we were definitely D-O-N-E but apparently God just laughed at us and around 10 months I was pregnant again despite all attempts at preventing.
The sixth pregnancy was, for me, the hardest emotionally. It was obvious that my husband was not thrilled and I really felt sad. We’ve had to do some major mending when it comes to this period in our marriage because his reaction really affected how I viewed the entire pregnancy. But I can tell you that that little #6 girl is spoiled by him, in part maybe because he was so angry (yes, angry) at God for allowing us to get pregnant again. His anger is mostly based on the financial aspect of raising a family, less on the other stuff. He was very confused on why God let us get pregnant again even though we don’t have an increase in salary. Either way, she’s his little shadow.
This last baby was planned. I was the initiator of the decision to have another baby, but not so much (okay, maybe a little) in the way you’d think. I did ask him multiple times to have one, but when it becomes VERY apparent he wasn’t ready, I shut up…cold.
The sixth pregnancy taught me that I never wanted to get pregnant again unless my husband was 100% on board. I sought counsel from a sweet blogger friend who is in the “let God take control of all fertility” crowd and just started praying. Slowly, I started talking again to my husband and he started to listen. I didn’t badger, but I wasn’t quiet. Finally, he decided that it was okay to start trying again. It took three months to get pregnant.
Because we didn’t get pregnant right despite doing all the right things, it seemed to drive home the fact that God is really in control of our fertility. I love this idea because so many times I’ve tried to figure out if we are “done” or not without success. One day I’m finished, the next I am not. My husband can’t seem to decide either. We’ve not done anything permanent because of this indecision.
I wish my story was less messy, but this is my story. Flaws and all.
I guess the best way to describe our family planning method is “wait and see.” This fence-riding place isn’t super comfortable, but it seems to be where we’ve landed.