... of mice and men, often go awry." (Rest in peace, Mr. Clancey.)
It seems to be common (and perfectly acceptable) to ask a pregnant woman whether or not her pregnancy was "planned". I've been asked this both by people who know we practice NFP, and those who don't, those who are advocates of the method, and those who give it no more credit than the "rythm method". From people within our circle who understand and appreciate NFP, I suppose it's to be expected, as so many couples we know who use it have had "surprise" first babies. I find it's even more common from those who don't know about or understand NFP with this pregnancy - as if people couldn't possibly believe that we'd actually be okay with having two kids under 16 months apart. But regardless of who does the asking, every time it comes up it seems as though people are expecting either "yes" or "no". But the way I see it, there's really a third option.
This is my third pregnancy. I had an early miscarriage the first time we conceived, then (by God's grace) Norah was conceived two weeks later. Both of these pregnancies were, in fact, "planned". When Francis and I got married, we knew that we would prefer to have a little bit of time alone together before we got pregnant. We had a few things we wanted to check off our to-do list first - I'm not talking about touring the south of France here. Our list consisted of things like "buy life insurance". About 8 months into our marriage, we decided it was "time" to try to get pregnant, and we were very blessed to conceive in the first month. After we lost that baby, we wanted to try again right away, and were blessed with Norah.
So we had our "plans", and things seemed to work out exactly according to those plans. But when we declared our marriage vows and promised to be open to life and welcome children from God, we meant it. Had we conceived earlier, it of course would have been different from our plans, but a welcome blessing nonetheless.
So isn't that the third option? This baby in my womb was neither specifically planned nor unplanned. Once Norah was about 5 months old I really felt ready to embrace the possibility of another pregnancy, but my cycle was still not quite regular. We decided we wanted to just let "nature take its course" - in other words, be open to God's plan for our family. Just a couple of months later, we were thrilled to find out Norah would be a big sister.
Earlier today I was watching a video with Norah on one of my favourite blogs, and it made me smile. I so look forward to the beautiful craziness of a house full of little ones and the extra heaps of love they bring with them.
My two babies!