A lot of people ask whether or not this next baby was planned, since our two kids will be born “so close together” (they’ll be about 21 months apart- which was normal for me since most of my siblings are around that distance apart). Others assume this was a surprise or an oops baby since we are sooo young and I haven’t even gotten a chance to start my career! So, I’m going to share with you how absolutely and perfectly planned this pregnancy was. WARNING: We are an NFP (Natural Family Planning) couple and I’m not afraid to share details about NFP. In this post you may read things like: cycle, ovulate, menstruate, conceive, fertile, mucus… and other jargon it requires to describe the baby making process. For those of you unfamiliar with NFP, enjoy this time of education and …you’ve been warned.
So, I guess I’ll answer the question. Was baby #2 planned? YES! To be completely honest, we had been hoping to get pregnant even sooner, but since I was still breastfeeding Flannery (we fully weaned at 15 months) I was still experiencing an irregular cycle and hadn’t ovulated since Flannery was conceived. For those of you who need a refresher on female biology: no ovulation = no egg to fertilize = no baby. Once Flannery was about 13 months old she was down to nursing once every 24 hours before bed time. That was the ticket! Once she was nursing less frequently my cycle started regulating again. Around this time Flannery and I took a trip to Arizona to visit my grandma and my mother for a week. Flannery was so distracted while we were on vacation she even skipped a few days nursing at night. Well, lo and behold while I was across the country and Zach was back home- I started seeing fertile signs in my cycle and I knew I was going to ovulate within the next few days. I was very excited, but also in a bit of a panic. Really!? The one time I actually leave Kentucky for a week without my husband and this is when the stars align? But, God is so good. I ended up ovulating the day I returned to Kentucky… I sent Zach a text that every husband likes to receive, something along the lines of: “Yoo hoo! I’m fertile! Bow chicka wowow!” Okay, I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I got the point across and he knew what I meant. Oh and did I mention that God was so good? I was home for I think one day before we had company (my little sis) staying for a week. Little sisters don’t like being in little duplexes while big sisters are trying to get pregnant. I’m guessing. Anyway, she seemed relieved when she found out she missed the window. Two weeks later I assumed I might be pregnant. Soo… Boom, I took a pregnancy test. And, bam- I was! Slickest thing ever.
Now, like I said before we use Natural Family Planning. We have never used any kind of contraception, or barrier method during our marriage. Both of our children were conceived exactly when we hoped for them to be. I will say, not all women are as lucky as me and have a super normal menstrual cycle that could be used a calendar, but I am very blessed in that way. So, maybe NFP isn’t as simple for some couples because there can be other things to take into consideration, but it is still possible because its not the Rhythm Method where you count to fifteen and hope for the best. It’s pretty scientific stuff, there’s different signs that signal whether or not you are fertile.
Another question that might be coming up is “how do you know you’re ovulating?” “I can feel it happen. No, just kidding I can’t. I keep seeing these kits in the grocery store next to the pregnancy tests that are ovulation tests. I don’t need to use those. I don’t even know how you use those things (seems like a waste of $20, when I know a free method). If you really want to know the DETAILS about the signs of ovulation, get in touch, I would be happy to spill the beans. But, that is something I know the general public is not ready for in this post (it has something to do with cervical mucus and might seem a little too “involved” for non NFP-ers at this point). Perhaps in the future. But, short version is: every day I chart and keep track of different signs of fertility and there are drastic changes in the signs when I hit my ovulation day so it is easy to distinguish a fertile day from a non-fertile day.
So, there you have it. Baby Krueger #2 was planned. It’s like the one thing in my life that I was able to plan and not have God “laugh at”, he actually helped me out this time. I’m so thankful for this next little baby. I am grateful every day for how easy it is for Zach and I to grow our family when we have so many friends and fellow missionaries that struggle with infertility. I know there is definitely another side to the coin, and for every time I deal with getting asked if our babies are planned, someone else is being asked an even more heart-wrenching question “Are you ever going to have kids?”. I’m happy to disclose our story and answer questions, but just remember never to assume about the family size of other’s because it could be a much more loaded and sensitive topic than you know. This is not a post to flaunt my fertility, but to answer questions and show that it is a gift that should never be taken for granted.