Category: pregnancy

NFP is NOT the Rhythm Method (Part 1)

I have been wanting to write a post on Natural Family Planning (NFP) for some time now but always put it off. I think deep down a tiny part of me was terrified that Matt and I were unknowingly infertile and that writing a smarmy know-it-all post about why NFP rocks would come back to bite me when it turned out we weren’t actually successfully timing anything around my fertility, we just couldn’t make babies.

Happily (and miraculously! Goodness it’s amazing), we have conceived a child, and although that positive pregnancy test was very surreal, it was not a big surprise. That doesn’t mean I want to get smarmy and know-it-all, but it does help me feel at least capable of sharing what a blessing it has been to me personally and in my marriage to learn and use this approach to family planning for the last two and half years. The story gets a little long though, so I am dividing it into three parts. I hope you enjoy!

[Part I – the Pill]
When Matt and I got married in August 2009, I was on the Pill. However, things quickly went a little nuts. That is to say, I went nuts. From the point that we arrived home from our wonderful honeymoon to Christmas when we made the switch to NFP, I was more or less a basket case. I was trying so hard to be a Wife (which meant keep the house clean, cook meals, shop, do laundry, put out), but work and school were taking up a lot of my time and required really early mornings. This meant most afternoons found me overwhelmed by Everything I Need to Accomplish before Matt got home so we could have time to relax together in the evening before I went to bed at a decent hour. I coped by watching TV or multitasking with the TV on, both of which had the same result of nothing getting done for hours. Matt came home and I felt like a failure; I cried. Matt felt like a failure for having a wife who was always crying; he asked if there was anything he could do. I said no because I wanted to do everything so that I’d be a good wife. Matt hid in the living room of our open concept basement apartment while I crashed dishes around in the kitchen.

That Winter it occurred to me that I might be depressed, and I decided to talk to my doctor about it. I asked Matt if he’d agree that I was crying 2-3 times a week (I wanted something concrete to tell my doctor, not just “I feel sad and overwhelmed”). He suggested nervously that 4-5 times a week might be more accurate. I knew that the Pill could have emotional side effects, but I had been on it for so long before our wedding without noticing a change that I didn’t really think it was the reason I was falling apart. I wanted to cover all my bases though, so Matt and I decided I’d go off the Pill for a bit and see if it made any difference. In December I finished my last pack of Pills and waited to see what would happen.

To be continued….

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About Telling the News

Matt and I waited until my first trimester was almost over before we made the news of our pregnancy public. However, we didn’t keep it an absolute secret, and I wrote out my thoughts at the time with our reasons for telling some people on the very early side. Here they are!

I am writing this on June 5th, in my fifth week of my first pregnancy. While it is not yet public knowledge, there are many people who know what has happened, and I know that this is not the norm. So I want to write our reasons for sharing with so many people, unconventionally early, the exciting news that we’re expecting.

First off, I am well aware that there are no guarantees. If I didn’t chart my cycles I wouldn’t even be aware of the life inside me for at least a couple more days (or until morning sickness kicks in, whichever comes first). I recognize that the convention of waiting to announce pregnancy is often to protect the parents from spreading the news before the “riskiest” time of the pregnancy passes. I have witnessed the tragedy of pregnancies lost soon after making the news public, and I have been privileged to be trusted by a friend with the news of a pregnancy lost at just 5 weeks. At this point, Matt and I have not shared our news with anyone we would not also be comfortable to share the tragic news of a miscarriage, and that was our strategy, morbid though it may sound.

Truth be told though, while my head knows miscarriage is a possibility (not to mention everything that can go wrong from birth onward), my heart does not believe it, and we have been too excited to completely contain our happiness and the reason for it. Maybe we will regret this, and even now having told who we have, that desperate burden for someone to know has been relieved. I am excited to announce our pregnancy to the world, but I can wait and take quiet joy in eating well and taking rest and dreaming of the future. It has only been five days since I’ve known, and it still doesn’t feel completely real – I think nausea and fatigue will be a huge relief (for about 20 minutes and then I’ll take this back), because it will prove that I’m sharing my body with a tiny clump of cells that have me and Matt inside. It’s outrageous! And amazing!

I have dealt enough with anxiety enough to know it’s not worth it. It’s not always a choice, but at this point for me I am choosing not to fear the what-ifs, to embrace a miraculous gift in my life and trust that God is good. Whatever happens. This tiny little baby is real, as is our amazement and love, and keeping it completely secret while we go through whatever the next 3 or 5 or 7 weeks have in store just isn’t the right decision for us.

Update: Pictures!

The cord I needed has been found! I hope you enjoy this quick visual update on what’s been going on lately 🙂 There are the shoes I purged, before and after pictures of our prayer table which was refinished by the men’s ministry/carpentry workshop of my church, the pictures of my Shahi Paneer Korma, cookies I baked, AND last but not least my 15-week bump.

Settling Back In

Matt and I have been home from our vacation for a couple of days and I am slowly settling back in to working/sleeping/thinking about unpacking.

In very exciting news, I am also settling into the idea of becoming a mom in February! That’s right, little old me is almost through my first trimester 😀 All in all everything has gone smoothly, and I have begun to gain a little bit of weight. I wouldn’t say I’m showing yet, since no stranger would look at me twice, but I am definitely more comfortable in loose clothing and have been known to wander around with my pants undone (thank you Bella Band!). Matt and I are both so excited to become parents and have had a lot of fun finally sharing the news with many of our family and friends over the past few weeks!

The | on the right side means “this test worked.” The + on the left means “y’all are gonna have a baby!”

That is all the news I have to tell – I’m sure I’ll have stories and pictures to share along the way, and I still hope to find some kind of rhythm for blogging to share/process life as it happens, but I’m taking things day by day, so I’ll avoid making specific goals/promises for now 😉