Inception, Conception, and Contraception
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Use these words in a sentence: Since the inception of the idea of conception, my perception about contraception has been... wonky.
As I sit here reflecting on my progress in the past week and a half, and the fact that after 7 months of working out and eating wrong with no perceivable result with the exception of the opposite of my desired outcome, and the knowledge that I lost 4 lbs this week simply by eating right, even though I was not working out at all, I'm forced to rethink my methods and my goals.
It appears that my chiropractor was right when he told me, while resetting the rib I dislocated this past week, that the key to my weight loss and health success was more related to eating right with light exercise than some food moderation and strenuous daily exercise. Well, it was common sense, but I just needed to hear it. Anyhow, it was the motivation I needed.
This time, I have more positive factors helping me. I have a doctor who is forthcoming with nutritional information and advice, my husband is trying to make changes along with me for improved health, and my extended family is supportive. However, the issues are still there in the background, but I am aware of them, so this helps.
The big issue that is always in the back of my mind since its inception, is procreation. My husband wants children yesterday, and I see his point. We are not aging in reverse. I share his goal, but I have reservations:
All of my reservations are tangled together. I'm a teacher, so obviously, there are windows when I think conception would be more ideal. I'm overweight, so I feel that I should be in optimum health (135-160 lbs, eating right, exercising safely, minimal stress), and I feel like I should be in a better financial state.
Right now, I do not have a job secured for the Fall. I quit my job, and while that took away quite a bit of stress, I don't want to conceive with so much uncertainty overhead. Yesterday, I was told that if I don't get a school teaching job by Fall, my current employer, a local technical college, would be happy to keep me on as an adjunct, but that would not be a sufficient income to meet doctor bills and other monthly expenses.
Speaking of money & jobs, I am under my husband's insurance right now, which is not as good as the insurance benefits offered by TRS, another reason why I prefer to establish more stable employment. Also, I want to take care of some health concerns in addition to weight. I want to visit the dentist (which requires money) and take care of cleanings, cavities, and my gums before conceiving. I read that there is a strong link between dental health and heart disease and also miscarriage - two issues that are relevant to me. I come from a family with an overwhelming history of health problems, it's been forever since I've talked to an oral health professional, I know my mouth & gums need attention, and I have had a miscarriage in the past. I don't want to increase the risk of future pregnancy problems, and they say you need to get all that medical care before you attempt pregnancy.
However, my husband wants a child any way he can get one, and I feel like I am letting him down each time I say what my goals are. I feel like the bad guy, but I want him to understand that rather than be pregnant and risk miscarriage, I want a healthy child, and I don't think I can have a healthy pregnancy if I am stressing because the situation isn't the best. I'd rather not get pregnant in the middle of trying to reach my weight loss goals either, because I'm afraid that the level of my workouts could be harmful to a pregnancy, especially if I don't know I am pregnant yet. People tell me I shouldn't worry about that, but I do.
This feeling of being torn is my biggest stressor right now. I am torn between using some form of birth control or leaving it up to chance. I feel like using birth control would be wise, but I'm afraid I might miss a chance to conceive, and there is this fear in the back of my mind that it might be hard for me to conceive again, and I would feel guilty if I took birth control and missed a chance to conceive. I also feel like the longer I would be using contraception, the more my husband might secretly resent me for putting off his dream. I feel like he's done so much for me and given up so much. He moved to my hometown, he is working the graveyard shift and paying more bills than I am and barely gets to see me, and I feel like I am responsible for giving him the things he wants most, but the thing he wants most is the thing I'm most afraid of botching... parenthood.
Then again, if I am perfectly fertile, and got pregnant before consulting with doctors, I would constantly stress about the things I did not do right and whether they might cause me to miscarry, and I would stress because I was stressing and because stress raises risk of miscarriage. Odds are I would stress no matter what, but it's an endless cycle.
The fact that my first and only pregnancy was a miscarriage doesn't help matters.
So the point of this blog is to express my fears and concerns, to get some encouragement and suggestions from anyone who might have something to share with me, and to say that my fitness goals are going well, but that also makes me afraid or the possibilities. Who would have thunk it? Losing weight actually makes me a little nervous because the chances of my getting pregnant increase with the more weight that I lose.
I want children, yes I do. But I want to be healthy first. Health, then baby. Not baby, then scrambling and stressing over not stressing and stressing over being unhealthy. If I lost another baby, I'm not sure how I would be able to deal with it. But one thing is for certain, I know I would blame myself for not being properly prepared, because that's who I am. I always take the blame, and I think I would be right.
So, birth control or no birth control?