This is a continuation of a conversation that was going on in the Queen’s journal. The gist so far, for those just tuning in: I was using FAM for contraception when I got pregnant. I was less than studious in my adherence to the rules, and now I’m having a baby. This is in response to someone else who was in a similar situation (taking risks because she wanted to get pregnant when she knew she wasn’t “supposed to”) but is not pregnant.) if you want the rest of the conversation, you’ll have to make friends with , which is well worth doing in any case.


As I said, I never thought, “I’m being less careful than I should be,” I thought, “Well, that wasn’t REALLY cervical mucus,” or “I usually ovulate on Day 14, and it seems like I’m gonna ovulate early this month, but I bet I won’t…” I wasn’t any less honest with anyone else than I was with myself.

I do think this is pretty similar and common behavior. Toni mentions in her book that some pretty high % of people who got pregnant while they were on FAM, when interviewed about the “failure” of their contraceptive method, admitted that one or both partners was conciously trying to concieve.

I know of a lot of pregnancies where the woman was “on the pill” and y’know, those things have a failure rate of less than 1% if you take them.

I was very clear with my partner and myself and everyone around me that I wanted to get pregnant, and that I didn’t see any compelling reason not to – I had a nice place to live, a loving partner, a good job etc. It’s kind of a new relationship, and I’m in my mid-twenties, which is freakishly young by the standards of my social cohort to be having a baby, so the stock assumption of everyone, including me, was that the only reasonable option for a woman in my position was to be sexually active but using contraception. Don’t know why we’re all supposed to be on that trip, but there you have it.

I did talk with my partner a lot about my issues with birth control compliance; that because I wanted to get pregnant, I was not a great person to place in charge of the not getting pregnant project, because while I wouldn’t deliberately sabotage said project, I wasn’t really invested in seeing it work.

He was also choosing risks, for slightly different reasons. He wanted to have sex without the hassle of a barrier method, and he didn’t want me to be putting any potentially damaging chemicals in my body, so he had as strong an incentive as I did to use FAM and then to sabotage our project – he didn’t learn the method when I asked him to, so he couldn’t do the charting, so he could hear me say, “I don’t know, I haven’t taken my temp in three days,” and decide that was a green light because he didn’t want to stop what he was doing and get a condom, and I’d green light it because I wanted to increase the chance that I’d “accidentally” concieve (plus, I didn’t want to stop what we were doing and get a condom).

Basically, I think my position was that not getting pregnant was somewhat negative, and sex was definitely good, and his position was that getting pregnant right now was somewhat negative, and sex was definitely good, so neither of us had a very strong investment in successful birth control, and we were both very invested in successful sex, including the kind that gets people pregnant.

I am totally sure that this is the right time for us to be having this baby – the circumstances of hir conception were very magical, and I think all this confusion/slipperiness about birth control was part of the threads that had to come together so we could bring hir through.

At the time we conceived, I don’t think it can even really be said that we were using FAM. We’d been out camping in the woods for ten days with no chart and no thermometer in the middle of my cycle with no other birth control. We both had all of that information and chose to have vaginal intercourse every day of the trip, which isn’t even normal behavior for us.

Naomi Woolf, in Misconceptions, talks about how she got pregnant with her first child – she was newly married, both partners were working, they’d agreed they wanted children but had decided to wait, and almost immediately, her birth control failed. She asks the question, “was this pregnancy planned? technology planned against it, but my heart and mind and whole being longed for it, and as soon as it was safe, I became pregnant at the first possible moment.” or something like that – I’m paraphrasing.

I was just like that – I’d been using FAM sloppily but successfully for almost a year, and got pregnant the week after my partner and I moved in together, before we’d even spent a night in our now shared bed, while we were on our “honeymoon” of sorts, at a retreat we both love, where we had met a year earlier and where we, on or around the day of conception, pledged our intention to marry the following year and agreed we wanted to have children together. It was also the first month in our knowing each other that he was the only man I had intercourse with during that cycle, leaving no question about paternity.

Ten years of sexual activity and no pregnancy, and I swear within 24 hours of life changes that made it “safe” to have a baby, I conceived. And I think that’s pretty common too. At this point, I already feel like Rio is the best ever, and I think the only people who might be even more excited about hir are the Queen and hir dad – he’s been amazing from the first moment.

About the health care thing, i dunno…it would be hard, but my health insurance hasn’t paid for most of the medical care I want/need anyway.

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