Recently, Dave and I had dinner with some old friends. As we caught up on life the inevitable question popped: “So, when are you planning on having kids?”
The reality is, we’ve been asking ourselves the same thing for some time now. I hesitantly shared that we’ve decided to start trying in the fall of next year. With quick math and a gentle smile, one [who also happens to be a nurse] declared,” You must be off birth control then?!”
I knew this was coming and I cringed the second she said it.
The hard facts are that I’ve been on birth control for nearly 14 years. yes, you read right 14….
And from one short break from it, I experienced more negetive side effects than I care to remember. I’ve been dreading the day I come off it again, ever since.
The idealist in me [I’ll admit naiive at times] had it all perfectly planned though: I’d get off the birth control right when we were ready to start trying. That would give me 3 months A) to concieve and B) to allow for the first signs off “birth control detox drama” to kick in. If I have to be ugly and miserable, I’ll kill two birds with one stone and deal with it when I’m already miserable and pregnant. [Side note: If you’re one of those women who happen to love pregnancy, looked beautiful and felt “the glow” while at it, don’t talk to me! My entire family genes have had nothing but the aweful acne, terribly moody, none stop nausea, “take me out of my misery” pregnancy experiences. I’m syking myself up for the same. And if not, I’ll be pleasantly surprised, ok?]
But quicker than I could get my head to the clouds and share my plan [aka: short cut through the hard work] my girlfriend brought me down…
She shared sweetly and in love that simply put, my plan wont work. Given the length of time I’ve been on birth control, what she knows about our contraceptive methods and a few other imperative details I’m choosing to omit, it will take me a year, likely longer, to detox and re-regulate my body to the point of even beginning to look at the possibility of conceiving.
“It’s probably time you get off now; for more reasons than just getting pregnant.”
My heart sank. The truth is, I’ve wanted to get off birth control for years now, [even felt at times like God was urging me to] for many reasons far surpassing our desire to start trying down the road. But vanity has stopped me time and time again. I’m terrified of the acne, the weight gain, the mood swings and the lack of energy to keep up my active, healthy lifestyle. I’m fearful of the anger [rage, anyone?!] , resentment, bitterness and insecurity I’m bound to feel… or will I?
He tells me I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. I know my true identity rests in him alone and He promises to give me everything I need to do his will. He’ll even hold my hand as He walk me step by step to victory in every area He calls me to.
So I prayed. And talked. And researched. And asked.
And the answer came. The time is now…..
From a few credible and reliable sources in this area, I’ve been warned this will be a very long and challenging road. But armed with the best holistic approach [which I plan to later share] I could find, a team of prayer warriors behind me, a fully supportive husband who’s prepared to laugh with me through this and the big man by my side, I commence my journey of coming off birth control, in faith and preparation for our “one day family.”
I’m still scared to write or even admit all this. So much of our life seems uncertain right now, and the picture I painted in my head long ago doesn’t seem to match our reality. And while with a grateful heart I can say we have all we need right now, questions still linger of when we’ll buy a house, what the results of some big uncertain business decisions in the works will be and if our finances can handle our current “lifestyle” plus a baby. If I ponder it too long, I become increasingly anxious and can stir myself into a panicked tizzy, trying to micromanage a life I’ve surrended [more like indian-given many times over] to God.
For as much as I know in my heart that my unknown future is truthworthy in the hands of a known God, I grapple with my own expectations of my one life, fervently fighting the urge to have it wrapped up pretty and perfectly planned, rather than open, vulnerable and dependent.
While this is something a lot of people don’t talk about and wouldn’t dare share with those other than their closest friends and family, God made me crazy honest for a reason. Time and time again, I rejoice hearing others have felt/heard/accepted God from my pain. I pray that through journalling my experiences in this journey, I can comfort and console those perhaps going through the same thing and share the guidance thats been gifted to me.
And so it begins…