I love fall. The air is so fresh and cool. I love it when so many leaves are falling all at once that it looks like it's snowing. I love the "crunch" sound as I walk through the yard. I love wearing fleece jackets and pulling out my jeans again after the sticky summer which made jeans-wearing impossible. I love it when sun on my skin feels good again. I love going outside with the boys. I love pumpkins, and pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin bread, and mums, and apple picking, and straw, and Oktoberfest beer.
Unfortunately, the one thing that often seems to be true of fall is that there are significant obstacles between me and the full enjoyment of beer and pumpkins. My parents are too busy to babysit so we can grab a drink or two, I'm too tired to have a second, I'm too tired and it's too late to go out, I don't get to finish the first because I have to get up from the dinner table to change a diaper.
But do you know what most often keeps me from enjoying beer and pumpkins in October? Pregnancy. Because I don't like to drink in the first trimester, to avoid unnecessary risk to the baby, and because morning sickness makes pumpkin detestable to me.
Can you guess where this is going?
This is the third time I have been early-pregnant during October. This means that four of our six family members will likely have birthdays within one month of each other (EDD June 23). It also means we really actually need a minivan now, because we can't all fit in our current vehicle (let us know if you have one to sell). It also means the the familiar yuck-factor I've experienced at the site of pumpkin soup, along with a prohibition on beer, are back. It probably seems trivial, but these were some of the first things on my mind...
I actually found out I was pregnant before I had even missed my period. Because we had, with full knowledge, "taken a risk" in September, I was especially alert for the signs and symptoms. One day in early October, I noticed a little twinge, but not really a cramp, in my lower abdomen. I thought it might be related to implantation. Around the same time, I noticed several days in a row that my blood sugar was spiking after dinner/before bed, as it had done early in my last pregnancy. Not more than a few days after that, I noticed that I had been unusually tired, and had taken a few bites of breakfast that I thought might come back up again. Negative PT on October 6, positive PT on October 9.
I'm certain that the date of ovulation was between September 29 and October 1. I'll be interested to see how close I am to delivering on my due date, and whether the ultrasound estimate matches the ovulation estimate.
So how did this happen, especially given the "plans" I mentioned back in July? Natural family planning is flexible. So flexible, in fact, that your plans can change pretty dramatically, pretty quickly. Like when you say one month that you think you'll wait a while, and then it turns out that what you meant by a little while was actually rather short. The term in the scientific literature for it is "pregnancy ambivalence," or, more popularly among NFP users, "TTW." I haven't publicly updated the blog with my feelings on pregnancy in a little while because, well, it's complicated. But isn't it always? That's part of the reason we don't always go with our feelings and we just do what we know to be good anyway.
So here's a little preview of my soul resulting from this pregnancy: anxiety, enthusiasm, fear, gratitude, determination, hope, desperation. I've learned not to talk about these things too much, for fear of putting my foot in my mouth, offending a woman who has had many miscarriages or been unable to conceive, or saying something that might make my child cry when he reads it 15 years from now.
I'll just say this to my little one: I love you dearly, and we will do whatever it takes to make this work!