What is it about having a blog that makes me think I've got to catch you up on everything??
I know you're not dying for it but I feel obligated so just let me rattle on a bit and we can all be done with it, ok?
I'm going to assume anyone reading this interacts with me on Instagram or IRL and if that assumption is of the true variety then you all already know what I'm going to tell you.
(looking good, per usual)
Didn't we juuuuuuust do this?
Weren't you posting mirror-like images of yourself this time last year??
Yes to all the ?'s.
Except to the "Were you trying??" one. No. NO NAH NAH NO NO NO.
(I think I made some dumb joke about being bad at NFP a few months back. Harr harr harr, universe.)
But you've missed a whole bunch bc if you remember correctly, my typical first trimester m.o. is to crawl into a hole and die a little bit. But now I'm passed that and I'm not about to leave you hanging.
So, here is the then part of this post.
For our entire 10.5 years of married life, my version of NFP has gone something like this... UHHHH, I think I'm ovulating. (abstain for a few days). K, I think it's probably fine now. (stop abstaining.)
I know, I know, super profesh. BUT, in defense of my haphazard methodology, we've never once gotten pregnant while "practicing" this style! So, after Joe was born (like 5 minutes ago, I think) I went ahead and pulled out the big guns by buying ovulation strips. I'm pretty sure I already bored you with that. I knew there was a risk in just using ovulation strips because it doesn't count for all the babies you might priming for conception before you ovulate (because science says sperm can live for up to 5 days in the right conditions or something). But again, since I had never, ever gotten pregnant by using the worst method of NFP ever, I figured I would be juuuuuust fine by using ovulation strips. And then some day soon I would pony up and buy a monitor and etc, etc, etc.
So, the first time I got a positive ovulation test was in early November and I was like BOOM, look at my body go! I pulled out the red "thou shall not touch me" card and we set off on our first round of NFPing post-baby Joe. The day after my positive test, I took the kids to the Natural History Museum and I cramped on my right side the entire drive downtown. I was so excited that the test was, like, accurate. I was totally ovulating, and little did I know, totally conceiving!! (Again, if you don't know how this is possible, look it up or ask your mother).
We faithfully abstained for the 72 hour window after I stopped getting positive tests but I was already pregnant. I conceived our baby that day in the Natural History Museum while my husband was 30 miles away at his desk. I cannot wait to awkwardly tell this baby that story some day. Maybe during an alcohol-fueled conversation at Thanksgiving dinner.
9 days after I was supposed to get my next period I was texting Queen G (who's BACK btw) and I casually mentioned that I was, you know, 9 days late. And she casually mentioned that mayyyyybbe I might be pregnant and I was like LOL NO, GRACE, WE ARE HARDCORE PRACTICING NFP WITH OVULATION STRIPS AND EVERYTHING. And she was like okkkkeeeeeey.
But it did get me thinking... a little. And then a lot.
So, I decided to check just in case. Even though I totally wasn't pregnant.
The only test the local drugstore had were digitals which I've never, ever used. If you haven't ever, ever used them then you should know that the test blinks for a minute or so but you aren't supposed to "read" it until the blinking has stopped. So, I immediately get a PREGNANT PREGNANT PREGNANT blink, blink, blinking at my face but I have no idea if I'm meant to trust that blinking PREGNANT OR NOT.
That minute was a long minute.
But the blinking stopped and the PREGNANT stayed.
And I was so upset. I burst into pitiful tears.
Those words are hard to write. Any baby is a gift, of course. I am grateful for a body that is able to conceive and carry children, of course. I do trust God, of course. But, man, I really thought that what I **needed** was a big, fat, looooonnnng break. And I really wanted God to give me that.
I think it's important to be ok with all of those crappy feelings. In a way, I think it's a really important part of being pro-life. Because it is not an easy life. I feel like I need to say that again with maybe some shouting... IT IS NOT AN EASY LIFE. It's filled with sacrifice and heartache and denying yourself and it is hard to accept all of those things. But the important part is the yes. Even if it's a weak, wounded yes, through an ocean of tears while you're locked inside your tiny half-bathroom.
I am ok with admitting I really, really did not think it was the right decision in that moment.
I am also ok with trusting that it had to be the right decision, even if I didn't want it to be.
The frustrations came crashing down. There goes my post-partum body-in-progress, there goes my sleep, my energy, there goes feeling like a normal human being. And maybe the hardest, hardest part... there goes my milk supply. I had never had supply issues while pregnant but instantly my milk disappeared. I found myself buying my first cans of formula and looking down at 5 month old Joe and wondering how in the world this was what was "best" for our family.
And while I hid away in my first trimester hole of death, I waited. I waited for God to smooth things out for me in my heart and in my mind. And guess what?
Duh. He is so good at that.
I realized how much I had to be grateful for. Grateful that we decided to send the girls to school before I got pregnant, so the decision didn't have to feel desperate and forced. Grateful that Kirby's instinct was to laugh when mine was to cry. Grateful that so much about the way I've always done things has changed in this past year. I feel like God has graciously be priming me to be flexible and to roll with the tides of life. I am grateful for the humility that came with admitting to people I was pregnant... again. Grateful for the humility that came with formula-feeding my baby in a culture full of aggressive opinions on the matter. Grateful for learning how to be gracious with myself for not being able to breastfeed my baby. Grateful for the opportunity to practice what I preach and say yes to God's call for our family. Grateful that there really was so much to laugh about. Conceived while wandering through the Natural History Museum. Conceived during our first month ever of really, really trying not to get pregnant. We have to buy a new car... again. We have to figure out where in our small home to fit another baby... again.
And we will. And it'll be fine.
And the now? Now, I am excited. I find out this week if the baby is a boy or girl and I can't wait. This little stink is here on purpose and I can't wait to discover why.