January 25, 2007

ARE PLANS REALLY SO STRANGE?

I went to the doctor on Wednesday to ask some questions about prenatal care. I figure if we're going to do this, we need all the info before we dive in. The doctor was incredibly sweet and very encouraging, but she seemed almost surprised that I would bother asking her these questions. She said something like, "So, that's neat that you're planning everything in advance."

I realize that I'm overly anal, but is it really that shocking in 2007 that someone would plan for a baby?

I've been reading What to Expect When You're Expecting. (Remember when I bought it and had to sheepishly explain to the pregnant salesgirl that I wasn't pregnant or even thinking of being pregnant yet?) I was shocked to open the book and find the first chapter was "Are You Pregnant?" Huh? Chapter 21 is called "Preparing for the Next Baby" and starts out with:

In the best of all possible worlds, we would be able to plan life to our precise specifications. In the real world, where most of us live, the best-laid plans often give way to the unexpected twists and turns of fate over which we have precious little control, leaving us to accept, and to make the best of, what comes our way.
To assure the best of all possible pregnancies, we would know in advance when we will be conceiving -- and before we did we'd make all the changes and adjustments in our lifestyle necessary to help ensure the best possible outcome. But such advance planning is a luxury many women -- because of menstrual irregularity and/or the fallibility of contraception (or that of a couple winging it) -- may never be able to indulge in.

If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it right and "assure the best of all possible pregnancies." I accept the fact that I might not get pregnant the instant I start trying, but I do not accept the fact that I would get pregnant earlier than expected. My husband and I have gone above and beyond to be sure there have never been any oopsies; is that really that strange?

This is the single most important thing I will ever do with my life. Doesn't it make sense to plan for it?

I guess I've just been surprised that a very modern and updated book -- one that even makes sure to include a section about the effects of doing cocaine before you know you've conceived -- assumes that people still don't know where babies come from or how to prevent them. The book that repeatedly makes assurances that you can still get pregnant despite multiple abortions for some reason also assumes that women don't know anything about their own bodies. You have the right to choose, obviously, because it's your body, but heaven forbid you learn enough about your body to prevent all those danged abortions in the first place. Planning for a pregnancy? That's absurd. We'll shove it into chapter 21. But let's make sure to address previous abortions on page 21.

How out of whack are our priorities...

Posted by: Sarah at 04:48 AM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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1 I feel the same way! My husband and I have been married almost 3 years. We aren't planning to even start thinking about getting pregnant until 2009 due to finishing graduate school and promotions and such. It just makes sense to us to wait. But I've already started reading about the whole process and how to prepare your body properly for the best results. My friends with children look at me funny when I ask what their doctor's opinion is on certain topics and ask me if we're trying. Why is it so hard to believe that we can actually plan when we want to be open to having a child and stick to that plan?! And that we care enough to prepare ourselves to give the child the best advantages from the onset, long before you actually want to conceive?

Posted by: InTheAirForceAgain at January 25, 2007 06:50 AM (6CMb0)

2 I was never a fan of the entire What to Expect series. There are a lot of other books out there you could look at for better information. Taking Charge of your fertility is a great resource to learn all about your body, cycles, getting pregnant, etc. I had my first child after I completed graduate school and the nurse at the military clinic asked me if it was really my first one. I assured her it was and she asked me if I was sure I didn't have any miscarriages or abortions. I told her I had common sense and waited for the right time. She told me that it was sure slow by military standards, and I was in my 20's! All of our children were very planned and very wanted and surprise my husband is the father of all of them! (Yes, people ask me if he is really the father of all of them because they are spaced out--like it is a new concept to get married and stay married!) GOod luck!

Posted by: Infantry Wife at January 25, 2007 08:41 AM (kQWmi)

3 I am glad to hear that you are all doing very good things in planning way ahead of time for your pregnancies. But, I'd venture to say that the overwhelming majority of women in the world do not go through such planning years in advance. Whether it be because of poverty, religion and the belief that birth control should not be used, or other reasons valid or not valid. It is certainly not strange or unrealistic to plan a few years before you conceive, it is an important part of family planning and is very commendable. But, at the same time if a woman does not even know enough to not ever use cocaine, then why should we, including the author of a book, assume that she has it together enough to start her planning years in advance. I wish more women were like you, and had the opportunity to be like you if only for the sake of their children. But I think, in reality, there are many more women out there who have not done all the planning for at least one of their children that you intend to do for all of yours. Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: Terri at January 25, 2007 10:12 AM (cgjLF)

4 If that is making your head explode wait until the moment you pull up to a car where a baby unrestrained , is in the car all windows rolled up and Mom is smoking... it will drive you nuts. SERIOUSLY... there should be permit handed out to have children.

Posted by: armywifetoddlermom at January 25, 2007 10:19 AM (nKVbZ)

5 Sarah, Isn't it amazing?!? For over 7 years of marraige, we never once had an "uh ohhh.." moment because we planned it that way. People spend all kinds of time planning so many other insignificant things in life. You'd think they'd give at least as much thought to when they want to have a baby as to what they are going to wear to work, but then you'd probably be wrong. When we decided to start trying, I asked my doctor about getting a pre-pregnancy physical. He said, "Well, if you are already trying, there's no point in having a pre-pregnancy physical. If you have any issues, we'll find them during your pregnancy and deal with them." Fortunately we didn't have any problems. I had planned on having that physical long before we started trying, but I never made it happen. SO, I say you are very smart to do it now. Now....GET BUSY!

Posted by: Petal at January 25, 2007 12:59 PM (B3mz/)

6 I've never been pregnant so maybe my opinion is worthless but I can say that you would be unpleasantly surprised at how many people neglect prenatal care altogether...no pre-planning, no interim planning...nothing. It's sad but true. So no, I don't think you're crazy for being prepared. You're just doing what's best for your future child.

Posted by: Nicole at January 26, 2007 04:00 AM (8QLUb)

7 This is only one of the many problems with the What to Expect books. I read every book I could get my hands on during my first pregnancy, and the ones that I remember the most and had the best information were Dr. Sears' The Baby Book, Pam England's Birthing from Within, and Naomi Wolfe's Misconceptions. You and I are completely different types as far as mothers go! Misconceptions describes a few different categories of mothering (not that anyone fits in just one). You would definitely be "the planner". I would fall in the "Earth Mother" category. Nothing wrong with either, just different approaches. Anyway, it's still my advice to burn "What to Expect". But that's probably just me.

Posted by: Sis B at January 26, 2007 10:55 AM (omG97)

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