I lean slightly toward being a Type B personality in reality, but at heart I’m a Type A. In some areas of my life, I act more like a Type A. For example, I get anxious and controlling about finances and feel extremely overwhelmed when financially stressed. I’m similar with regard to time stresses – I don’t like being late (Type A), though I often am (Type B), and I respond with anger to being pressed for time (back to Type A). It’s an interesting balance to maintain and it’s a struggle sometimes to handle the swings that come with living between extremes.
My Type A tendencies are definitely in charge when it comes to planning parenthood, and my Type B side stands ready to remind me to take it easy.
Ryne and I decided at the beginning of our relationship that an unplanned pregnancy would be a joy for us, but that we’d try to avoid the ‘unplanned’ part as best we could because having a plan is very important to both of us. As we approached our wedding date last August, we started our physical parenthood planning (we’ve had regular discussions about parenthood and parenting styles and approaches since our first weeks of dating). We decided that our first step was picking a due date, so we worked through the benefits and drawbacks to being born in different seasons.
I was born in late January, and the reality of having a winter birthday is unpleasant for me. I don’t like being cold. I don’t like snow. I don’t sled or ski or snowboard. I don’t like the dreary darkness of winter.
We discussed the possibility of our child enjoying winter and finding joy at having birthday parties in the winter. I grew up in Ohio, and I liked playing in the snow when I was a kid. I’m sure our child will like playing in it too. But you can’t count on snow on a birthday, and it doesn’t snow often where we are in Illinois anyway.
I don’t want to be pregnant in the winter. I deal with seasonal depression pretty much every year, and this winter has been particularly bad. I would rather not add to that the hormonal stress of a pregnancy or the potential for post-partum depression.
And then there’s the weather. While it doesn’t snow here often, it does get really cold. We have freezing temperatures with negative wind chills for weeks every winter. I wear multiple layers – cami, shirt, sweater, coat, scarf, gloves, earmuffs, hat, and leggings under my jeans – when I leave the house. I’d have to get a whole new multi-layer wardrobe, and I think that’s an incredible waste of money. Worse, slipping and falling are both scary, especially at every stage of pregnancy. I don’t want a higher risk of miscarriage, and I certainly don’t want to miscarry in winter when the chances of being depressed are already higher.
And also I just don’t like winter.
So we quickly made the decision that winter due dates are o-u-t. Late December through early March are off-limits, so no conceiving in March, April, or May.
Much of our anti-winter logic also rules out spring since a spring due date means a winter pregnancy. Even a summer due date is pushing it since we’d need to conceive in winter, but early pregnancy at the end of winter would be manageable.
Which works for us, since we both prefer a fall due date and future fall birthday parties, and I prefer a mid-year pregnancy. A summer pregnancy brings less need for new closet contents since I already have some very comfortable (and flowy – with room to grow) warm-weather clothing. It also brings less dangerous weather conditions – sure, we get tornadoes occasionally, but that’s a risk I can’t mitigate until it happens, and it gets hot here in the summer, but finding air conditioning is easy. So fall it is!
Mid-October, to be specific. We’ve been looking forward to my January cycle for months! I stopped my birth control in November and started prenatal vitamins in December. And then in early December, I got sick. And then I got sick again. And then I got sick again. And then I had severe chest pain. After four doctor visits, laryngitis, a sinus infection, double eye infections, double ear infections, tonsillitis, costochondritis, two rounds of antibiotics, a week of steroids, and three weeks without my prenatals (because they didn’t mix well inside me with the antibiotics), we decided we should probably wait another month before trying to get pregnant. A healthy pre-pregnancy body is a really important part of a healthy pregnancy, and I did not have a healthy body.
It’s almost like plans are made to be changed.
Despite our absolute best efforts, our decisions, and our desires, we’re [unenthusiastically] [sadly] [disappointingly] skipping this cycle and waiting until next month to try to conceive, shifting our due date to mid-November.
Thank goodness for my Type B dominance.
Looking at the bright side of this microtrajedy, this gives me/us more time to build up the nutrients my body will need, to get healthier in other areas of my life, to make some updates to our kitchen, and to replace our allergen-filled carpets, all of which should result in a healthier, happier pregnancy.
It’s important to be able to flex when plans need to change. Change is constant. Adapting isn’t necessary, but it certainly makes navigating change easier. I’m not a fan of drama or stress, so I adapt as best I can when change happens, even though it’s hard because I had such a good plan.
Do you have some insight on planning parenthood or navigating change? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
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