I’ve been inspired the past couple of weeks to write about our family planning. Or lack thereof. There have been several articles I’ve read on the subject, about opinions on child spacing, and in the light of #mommitment I wanted to share my story (lest y’all think I’m crazy for having my three under three and a half).
You see, when Hubby and I decided we were ready to start having children, we did what any couple’s first step is: I stopped taking the pill. This was January of 2011. We’d been married for a little over a year and a half, and we knew we wouldn’t immediately get pregnant, but we thought we’d see what happened.
What happened was a few months of “not not trying”, where we didn’t really plan out days or anything, but we knew we’d “pulled the goalie”. Then, after the few months of that, we started actually trying, planning days to try to conceive, and keeping track of every single thing – did you know there were APPS FOR THAT?! After a few months of that process and no baby, I’d spent way too much on pregnancy tests and not enough on newborn-sized onesies, so I tried a new approach. I started taking my basal resting temperature. That meant that right as I woke up, I would take my temperature before getting out of bed, record it, and wait for it to one day spike – ever so slightly- which meant I’d be ovulating. Well, that day came, and so obviously we tried to conceive. Then the next morning, and the nine or ten after that, my temperature never went back down. I basically thought the system was busted. I can’t be ovulating every day. Well, I wasn’t. Because I was pregnant.
When EK was born 10 months later, I was nursing, and while I know that nursing isn’t birth control, I didn’t go back on any sort of birth control when she was born. Hubby and I figured the Lord had a plan, and we were good with whatever it was. My cycle didn’t come back until four months post-partum, and I breastfed until six months. We weren’t trying to get pregnant, but we obviously weren’t preventing it, either.
In March of the next year, when EK was 11 months old, I found out I was pregnant again. We were thrilled, and couldn’t wait to start telling our families, but before we even got to that point, I was cramping and bleeding, and ended up miscarrying at 7 weeks. I was told that I would start my cycle back in 4-12 weeks (Really? What sort of help is that?!) and not to try to get pregnant again until then. I guess they were basically telling me not to rush back into it, and let my body get back to normal. Well, I was obviously emotionally wrecked and not really in a hurry, at least until my body did what it needed to do. A couple of months later, I was out with some girlfriends, who asked me about it. I started counting the weeks, and realized I was at 13. They hadn’t said it would be any longer than 12 weeks (although, how accurate is it, truly?) so just for good measure, I went home and took a test. Positive! Boom.
This time, I had no inkling how far along I was… I’d had to period to reference my ovulation and conception. It wasn’t until my ultrasound at TEN AND A HALF WEEKS that I’d have the baby before the year was out. How’s that for a crazy few months, and an enormous blessing at the end of them?!
After J was born at the end of that year (2013), I nursed him for eight wonderful months, and when he weaned himself, my cycle started back. I had exactly two periods, and found out I was pregnant again. And here I am! 27 weeks with my third little miracle.
Now, did I plan it out this way? No. Did I try to plan differently? No. Am I aware how blessed I am to be fertile and healthy and blessed with three children in four years? Absolutely. I know everyone is not this way – and especially on timing, wouldn’t necessarily want to be this way. Are we often a bit of a madhouse around here? Yes. Do I expect it to get much better? Not for a while. But do I love my little tinies, how close they are together, and how happy they make me? 100%.
I do get some comments and looks at the grocery store when people see me with my littles, and obviously another on the way. “You sure had them close together!” and “You know what causes that, right?” are things I hear a lot. Yes, they are obviously close together, thankyouverymuch. Yes, I CLEARLY know what causes that. I’m a grown woman, amIright? So while I didn’t try to ensure my kids would be mistaken for Irish twins, or likely straight up triplets when they hit high school or so, I wasn’t against having them all in diapers at the same time, or all in college at the same time. I’ll survive. And they will thrive.