Thursday, May 20, 2010

On being in Chicago, pregnancy, and birth control

I write from a Caribou Coffee next to the Wheaton Metra stop, where we will soon meet up with Isaac's best friend Josh and his wife Kathryn for dinner. This post contains talk of birth control, family planning, etc, and if that's not your thing... well... you may want to skip it. :)

We're here for my sister-in-law's wedding, and we've got almost five days, here, which is wonderful wonderful. It's always crazy coming here though, as soon as people realize we're coming, we find out we just can't manage to meet with everyone we want to see! Even with the rest of the family isn't around for wedding, there's always my sister and Isaac's sister, our priorities. Isaac's best friend and one of mine, Isaac's former high school students, my old office and co-workers, our old church, my mentor/ old high school teacher/friend Alysa and her family, and the list goes on. It makes coming here wonderful AND complicated!

I seem to have made the strategic mistake of packing clothes for the predicted HIGH temps, forgetting that Chi-town is still cold in the evenings this time of year! D'oh, I only brought one pair of pants... but that was also because pants are very uncomfortable these days with my expanding waist-line, so I've been living in dresses, mostly.

The news of my pregnancy has been fully released, which is a relief! I actually didn't much like the telling people process once it reached the general public level. It's just like when I got engaged - I was thrilled but dreaded returning to campus and having people scream and draw attention to me - I'm SUCH an introvert, I didn't want to tell and retell my story 25 times with crowds of fawning girls eagerly holding onto my every word! Same this time around - I wanted people to know without me being the center of attention.... so I sent other people around my office to tell people after I'd told my boss and my close friends.

Lots of people have questions. What does this do to our plans? Well, I'm never quite sure which plans people mean, but essentially nothing. Isaac still plans to finish school in a year and a half. I'll still be working for that amount of time, so yes, that means we'll be juggling things for a year after the baby is born. We still plan to either head overseas or to my grad school after Isaac's done, and we're still not sure in what order we'll do those things.

Everyone wants to know if we'll be still living with roomates.... and yes, we may all be crazy, but we're giving it a shot! They are brave people. I mentioned we were moving into a new apartment, though, and this apartment has a little side room which will hold the baby stuff and a rocking chair. It's small, but it's at least a private corner so that I can rock the baby at night. I'm really glad not to lose the community and friendship that our unique housing arrangement provides, so I'm glad to do this for another year. If it's way stressful to be living together with an infant, well, we'll only be doing it for five months after baby.

Was this baby planned? Uhhhhhh.... haha. I guess the short answer is no, but it's also not a surprise! Some of you may remember me writing about my wrestling with the moral implications of different kinds of birth control. In the end I still haven't come down to the point where I believe I know when the beginning of life is. Still, by not being sure, it means Isaac and I are leaving it open that it COULD be true that the pill, patch, and ring can cause abortions in the first trimester in some rare cases. Even though we're not sure what we think, that's a significant moral risk to be living with, and it made us uncomfortable. In addition, my mom and others around me are worried about old rumors about long-term use of hormonal birth control causing infertility, though no research backs up this claim that I could find. So ... we looked at other birth control options, since I was on hormonal birth control for four and a half years. The method I was going to use was the Lady-Comp, combined with barrier methods during fertile times. That's just a step easier than NFP. Thing is, you can't start Lady-Comp OR charting until your system is free of hormones, which is a few months after you come off of the pill/patch/ring.

SO. Baby Mann happened in those three months. We took some risks, thinking it was unlikely, but thinking we'd also be okay if we DID get pregnant, because the truth is Isaac has been ready for a baby for a year and a half, finances be damned. I have been longing to start a family recently too, but was thinking that it'd probably be better financially to wait until Isaac's done or closer to being done with Seminary. The truth is, I'm relieved the decision was taken out of my hands when I found out I was pregnant! I think we are ready, there is no ideal time in our crazy lives, and we're excited. Finances ARE scary, but you know what, they're always scary. I've never known life any other way! I don't want to be someone that relies on stability too much, though I do want to be wise.

And.... we're about to take off for dinner, so I'm about to post without editing... but what else is new? I'm always going back and editing my spelling and grammar the next day, internally lecturing myself for not proof-reading (again!). :)

I'll leave you with a photo I love of my two siblings left at home, Michelle and Matt. I'd told my family the day before about my prenancy, amidst screams and excitement. It was wonderful, and so this picture is filled with both the love of a family, but also an excitement for the future.


justaweeblether said...

Great picture!

That is awesome that you will continue to be roommates. The life of your baby will begin in a community. Fabulous!

I want to hear about everywhere you eat and everywhere you go in Chicago!

Jaimie said...

Again: so happy for you guys!

The Bald Guy said...

The finances scare me. Big time. Thanks for the link to Lady Comp. We started off with the pill, but got sick of it pretty soon and then she just left it. Whew, that was a relief. Not that any bad reactions happened, but I was sort of concerned anyways. Now we just keep our fingers crossed and keep a general idea of the safe times. (I have certain allergies)

So good luck to you! And God bless baby Mann!

Hehe, I don't proof read either.

Jase and Rach said...

I'm glad that you are welcoming this somewhat unexpected blessing with open arms! It took me quite a while to adjust to the idea of being pregnant, but having a baby is just so rewarding and crazy. See you TODAY!

Alice said...

Hope you continue to have a great time in Wheaton and Chicago--my two home towns!

Rae said...

I love your openness (to life in general, to this baby in particular, and to writing about things).

Have fun in Chicago!

Erin said...

Hey kacie-I tried commenting a couple of days ago on the original announcent post-but alas terrible internet connection prevented it from being sent-so we will try again! CONGRATS!!!! I am so excited for you-this journey of motherhood is soo amazing and crazy-there are lots of things people tell you and they share all their terrible labour stories etc... but there is also lots of things people don`t say-like it is never quite what you expected in good and bad ways...anyway just wanted to tell you congrats, been thinking of you and praying for your little family. I wished we lived closer and I could share all my baby things with you-however I am sure the cost of shipping it all to you would be at least as expensive as just buying it all down there haha!! So could you please send my your mailing address again as I didn`t get it the last time-email it to me at hopeandfaith27 (at button is not working on my computer) and you will soon find surprises in your mail!!
Lots of love

Togenberg said...


emily said...

I am literally in that Caribou EVERY day! Sad I missed you, I would have come up to say hello!

CONGRATS on the peanut!!!!!