I do not claim to know anything about planning a pregnancy, and that is the honest truth. Some women, though, have a degree in this art. These moms can plan that they want to have only December babies, so they get busy in March, and if all goes well, then you will be telling them “Congratulations on your new baby” in December.
All efforts of Mister between January and February will simply be an exercise in futility (or maybe not), only he would not know…at least until he is told.
It was the same with an older mom, Mrs J, who had all her babies in April. It was her birth month, and she decided without her husband’s knowledge that she was only going to have April babies.
She had gotten married in April sometime in the 1980s, and the praying folks had prayed that in 9-months’ time, they would come back to celebrate the birth of twins and triplets and more afterwards. She had said ‘Amen’ but obviously she had her own plans. That nine month was going to be their headache. She wanted a baby born in April, preferably on her birthday, April 4th.
You are right on track if you think this mom went on the pill, until she was ready to start TTC at the end of July of that year. With God on her side, Mrs J’s first pregnancy was confirmed in September, and she had her first baby is April.
All of Mr J’s efforts on the honeymoon and afterwards were solely for her enjoyment, and as they had never really talked about when they would be starting a family, Mrs J was not exactly the bad guy.
When they had their second baby in April again, Mr J got in on the game, and without any bitterness, they planned their next two pregnancies to fall in April. None of the children were born on Mrs J’s birthday though. In their household till date, April is a busy month for celebration, and an expensive one too, thanks to Mrs J’s planning.
“You can say whatever you like, but the truth is, there are some instances you just can’t be getting pregnant anyhow,” said Caroline, as she advised the young lady sitting in her office.
“Your situation clearly shows you should get on a family planning method until things calm down at home, unless you don’t mind raising the children on your own”, she added.
Caroline herself is a divorced mom of two, who is in her early 60s, and who has since turned into a social activist with a special outreach for vulnerable women. The young lady she was chatting with had come to her via the outreach.
Caroline had gotten married in her late 20s to a man chosen for her by her parents. She was the oldest child, but the last to get married. Before she got married, she had been under tremendous pressure from her family. It wasn’t that Caroline didn’t want to get married, she just hadn’t met the man for her. Her parents declared that she was picky, and they made a pact with her.
They would find a man, and if they succeeded, she was going to marry him. She agreed and sealed her own fate. But she had an ace. Caroline decided on her own that even if she got married to the man chosen for her, she wasn’t going to start trying for babies until she got to know her man.
And she kept to her words after marrying the selected man.
What Caroline found out about her husband was way worse than she had been avoiding. Yes, she was well taken care off and she had so many resources at her disposal…but that was it. She didn’t have her husband’s attention. When she did, it was strictly sex. When it wasn’t sex, he was boasting about his many good deeds. He was talking about his many businesses, complaining about people fleecing him and other issues that revolved around him. As far as Caroline’s ex was concerned, no one would ever be as good as he was.
It was a major turn off for Caroline and it was quite hard for her to work through it.
As the months went along, Caroline’s mom started to breath down her back, asking her if she was pregnant, reminding her that she had to secure her place in her husband’s house and the way to do that was to give her husband a son.
One year later, and her husband was asking why his seed wasn’t catching. Knowing what she was doing, Caroline pleaded ignorance.
At that time, Caroline knew she didn’t want to have any children for the man but divorce looked very difficult for her then.
At the end of the day, she yielded to pressure. She stopped her family planning, had two babies came in quick succession. Perhaps for their grandparents’ sake, the children were both boys.
If Caroline’s husband was a proud man before, he was a lot more so. He was a father of boys. He didn’t treat her any better, but his In-laws were worth more than gold to him and he showered them with lots of goodies. It was as though they had a transaction that had been fulfilled. Caroline felt used.
Without much ado, Caroline went back on her family planning method, and was on it till she divorced her husband ten years later. She didn’t even pause to debate whether it was wrong or right. She just did what was right for her.
If you ask around, there are quite a number of women who are on a family planning method that their husbands know nothing about. I found out about that that several years back, when I got on a family planning method myself. On the day I got my IUD in, I would say more than half of the women there hadn’t informed their husbands about their decision (myself included, I did after the fact), and exactly half won’t, for fear of being asked to stop.
At the end of the day, whether it is going to be wilful sabotage or self-protection, each woman has to feel safe enough to make the best decisions for them, where their reproductive health is concerned.
Lady, it’s your call but please carry your dear husband along. ☺
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