Here's a list of other popular questions that we field on a regular basis:
- Were you trying to get pregnant?
- Aren't you on birth control?
- Do you know how to keep from getting pregnant? (No, I'm not kidding...)
- When are you gonna stop? (Uh, Hello...I'm not Michelle Duggar, although I do respect her and aspire to be like her in so many ways.)
A little background info might be somewhat helpful...
I have taken birth control before for contraceptive purposes. I did what most women do and started on the Pill about 5 months before we got married. We had no intentions of getting pregnant or starting a family as soon as we did. I did not respond well to the hormones within the Pill, and I wasn't a very pleasant newlywed. Also, I am TERRIBLE at routine, mundane things in life such as taking a pill once a day (yes, you can infer from that that I am the worst about taking prenatal vitamins). I am terrible about brushing my teeth every day, giving my kids any meds that they have to take for an extended period of time, and I was HORRIBLE about taking attendance in my classroom every day back when I was teaching. So, all of those reasons combined, we decided to look into other methods of family planning.
Also, Stephen and I believe that life begins at fertilization...not just at implantation. I wanted to learn about how other methods of hormonal birth control work (i.e. the ring, the patch, the shot, etc.), and so I began to do some not-so-scientific research on a not-always-accurate resource known as the Internet. However, one thing that seemed to have overlooked before I started taking the Pill was that there is a subtle, not-so-widely-discussed way that the effects of the Pill can end an existing pregnancy (because, like I said, our family believes that life begins at fertilization, not just at implantation). The most well-known way that the Pill can prevent pregnancy is be preventing ovulation (I have no problem with this). Another way that it prevents pregnancy is by thickening the mucous around the cervix so that the sperm cannot travel into the uterus (Again, no problem here.).
Disclaimer: I promise to never again write a blog post with the words mucous, sperm, cervix, or uterus.
The third and final way that hormonal birth control stops pregnancy is what led us to make a different choice. You can look it up for yourself if you have any questions. The lining of the cervix is affected by the hormones in such a way that if ovulation occurs and an egg is fertilized (which to us=pregnancy), it will not attach to the lining of the uterus and will just flush out of the woman's body. (To our family this translates...an existing pregnancy has been terminated.)
I know that this may seem that we made drastic decisions regarding our family planning due to a little-known, overlooked fact about birth control that some might call "the fine print." There's a reason for the fine print, though, and I'm sure we can all think of times in our life when we wish we'd read the fine print.
Like I said before, we have many friends and family members who use forms of hormonal birth control to prevent pregnancy, and this is not something that affects or determines our friendships with others. In fact, this may be the first time that I've ever shared our convictions with some of you. However, unless asked directly about it, we don't typically discuss this with others because of the reasons that I stated above.
So to address the question about whether we were planning on getting pregnant this time. No. But on that note, not one of our three pregnancies was planned ahead of time (by us). We have never looked at a calendar or considered several months into the future and thought, "Well, now would be a good time to get pregnant because we want to have a baby on _________ day."
So what do we do to prevent pregnancy? Well, we have babies which makes us really tired. :) Just kidding. We have no concerns about preventative forms of birth control, as long as they are preventative only. Methods such as condoms, the calendar method, vasectomies, tubal ligations, etc., don't concern us because they merely prevent pregnancy from occurring in the first place and do not interfere with an already existing pregnancy. We've obviously not had anything surgically done to prevent pregnancies, but I don't think it's necessary to post on the World Wide Web what we do choose to use.
So, to answer the other questions briefly...(Ha! Like Courtney Wilcox can be brief!)
Yes, we know how to prevent pregnancies...I just really love my husband, and I'm convinced that he loves me too.
I don't know the answer to "When are you gonna stop?" But I can tell you this: we have no intentions of having a family that warrants attention from any show produced by TLC. After your third unplanned pregnancy, you become very aware of some things that seemed out of your control but that really are. We just want to control our family planning in a way that allows us to sleep at night...if we want to. Ha! :)
Hope that answered some questions! Please don't ask me about this when you see me because I'm pretty sure that my face is red just typing some of these anatomical words, so I can only imagine what would happen if we discussed it face to face!