I am often times asked what I am doing in regards to preventing pregnancy, and over the years the answer has changed many times. Erin recently wrote about her own choices, and in doing so, motivated me to write about what I am doing.
I was on "the pill" for a long time, but when we wanted to get pregnant, I went off it. We were pregnant in the second month. Nice, eh?
After The Boy came, I went to the doctor for my six week check and before I could say anything else, he wanted to talk about pregnancy prevention. I was a bit taken aback, but his answer was "What? You want your babies back to back?" I told him "No thank you." Sometimes the straight forward nature of the Germans works in ones favor. I started taking the "mini-pill" because it was compatible with breastfeeding for most women. (For some women, it can decrease supply.)
When Kevin left in 2007 to go play, I decided to stop taking any hormonal methods. I figured for three months during the summer, I could either start up again or we could use condoms. Well, I tried going back on the mini-pill, but it impacted my supply this time, so I stopped. Condoms it was, only the decision was not that simple.
Honestly, religion did not weigh in directly. The reasons are long, and I won't write about them here, but my primary reasons are related to my health and the long-term issues related to messing with ones hormonal balance.
Right around the time I was trying to decide what to do, I had several friends in adulthood have fairly significant health issues as a result of taking "the pill" and a wide variety of pills. It was not just one variety causing the problem.
While I was weighing the benefits and risks of birth control methods, I was also working hard to reduce the chemical load in our family-- primarily by increasing our consumption of organic foods while decreasing artificial chemicals and pollutants.
I am sure you can see where this is going.
Our family was working to be more natural in all aspects of life, which for us (me) included eliminating unnecessary medications. For us, that included chemical birth control methods. I did have the added benefit of nursing delaying the return of ovulation, but once that was gone, we turned to condoms.
I am not particularly fond of condoms though, because you must send them to the landfill. This brings me to where we are today... well, will be once Kevin returns.
This past month, I began charting my fertility using my basal (resting) temperature and other fertility signs. My purpose was not entirely for family planning. I first wanted to start because I was tired of trying to figure out my post-partum cycles! I have not been really regular since my period returned, and I wanted to understand better what was going on with my body. My secondary purpose was (is) to figure out when I am fertile to aid in preventing pregnancy.
I realize that it will take a bit to use this method as birth control-- at least until my cycles are more regular in my opinion-- but I am happy to gain the increased understanding in what is happening with my body in the mean time.
And when I am fertile... we'll still use condoms. :)