Baby's less than six months old, and I've already taken a pregnancy test.
I won't string you all along: it was negative. I sat staring at the lone line in the test window, almost shaking with relief. Oh, thank God, I murmured. Thank God.
But MrsDarwin! you say. If you don't want to get pregnant, why don't you just abstain? Aren't you using NFP -- shouldn't you know when you're fertile? Anyway, aren't you breastfeeding?
Let me say it here, once and for all: NFP may be a science, but practicing it in daily life is an art. And figuring out returning fertility is enough of a crapshoot that I sometimes think I'd get more clarity if I stopped taking my temperature and just shook the Magic 8 ball every morning.
Can we all be honest here? There are better and there are worse times to be pregnant; this would have been a worse time. Financially, we could have afforded another child. Physically, it would have been difficult, but I could have managed. Mentally -- I'm pretty resilient; I would have adjusted quickly to the idea of another baby. We don't have a "life or death" reason not to conceive, whatever that means. But I have a newborn and I'm still adjusting to life with four, and I simply don't want to be pregnant now.
I didn't worry about this stuff back in the days when I innocently assumed that if you were doing ecological breastfeeding your fertility would just take a happy vacation (maybe because people who encourage ecological breastfeeding push this line). My shimmering bubble of ignorance was popped real quick by two pink lines. Now I find that the first six months postpartum are a rather anxious time. It would be almost easier to just abstain for six months than to worry for several days about whether I made the right call -- except that it wouldn't really be easier. I never thought I was all that good at math, but the extensive calculus I go through to assess the daily status is worthy of a doctoral dissertation.
Keyboard alert: Betty is much funnier about early fertility than I could ever be.
Fortnightly Book, May 1
6 hours ago