Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thoughts on Unplanned Pregnancy

I am saying that I am six weeks pregnant: in actuality, however, this is a guess because I didn't record the first day of my last period. The same thing happened this time that happened with my pregnancy with R: I assumed it would take a while to get pregnant so didn't bother to record my first period after going off birth control, but then I got pregnant immediately.

This is really a testament to the effectiveness of birth control, because despite getting pregnant immediately both times I tried (the second at the relatively advanced age of nearly 37) I have never otherwise been pregnant or close to it, even though I've been sexually active since 19. A little luck is of course involved (since birth control is "only" 99% effective), but for the most part this is just because I am not an idiot and know how to read and follow directions.

I have read that more than half of US pregnancies are "unplanned" which has always struck me as craziness. If you are fertile, then having sex without properly using birth control means you are accepting the possibility of getting pregnant. That is planned (although maybe also in denial). It is bewildering to me that anyone would make such a serious decision without thinking about it carefully, considering how cheap and safe birth control is (especially when compared to the alternative of pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing). Either the US is largely populated by people unable to think logically or incapable of long-range planning, or something else is going on, like people who secretly want to get pregnant, are not supposed to for some reason, and use the "unplanned" category as an excuse, either to others or more interestingly to themselves (this is the case with my sister in law, who despite having a PhD in science has had two "unplanned" pregnancies). I can think of all other sorts of reasons for "unplanned" pregnancies (sexual guilt, embarrassment, even sexual violence), none of which actually have to do with a lack of planning. "Unplanned" seems like a misnomer.

I am certainly very glad to live in times which make the concept of an unplanned pregnancy obsolete (because even in the very rare and unlikely event that birth control fails, there is always abortion). While people throughout history have always wanted to control their pregnancies (judging by their constant use of various birth control methods ranging from the highly effective to the dubious) it hasn't been until recently that this dream was a reality. The amount of suffering caused by not being able to control one's fertility has been (and still is, in some parts of the world) immense, and I am so grateful for modern technology in this respect.

As far as the pregnancy goes, I am feeling quite tired, though not as much as I did the first time around (for the first few months, literally all I did was go to work and sleep), perhaps because I am not working. The nausea is somewhat better as well, though I still suffer from it (threw up three times today). It makes eating somewhat challenging, as I tend to throw up all real food and only can reliably keep down sugar-based junk (like gummies: this was also the case with R).

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