Before sharing, please know that we all struggle in some ways and I am acutely aware that many of my family, friends, and readers have struggled with family planning and pregnancy. I want you to know that I see you and I feel your pain and sorrow with you. I am here/hear for you, in anyway that you may need.
That being said, while I have had my own share of adversaries, for whatever reason, pregnancy (and getting my kids to eat well) have not been part of my own personal struggles.
The following awkward yet honest conversation took place over breakfast:
J: Kennedy, you know you were a fluke.
K: I am not a whale’s tail!
J: No. I mean an accident. Mommy and Daddy didn’t mean for you to be born.
Me: Whoa, J. Hold it right there. I think you need some clarification. First of all, Mommy and Daddy may not have planned to get pregnant with Kennedy, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t want her when we found out that I was pregnant with her. In fact, we didn’t really plan for any of you. You all just happened, and we were very happy when we found out about each of you. We were very lucky that it was so easy to get pregnant with each of you. For many women, it’s not that easy and it can be very sad for them.
J: But weren’t you on birth control when you got pregnant with Kennedy?
Me: Yes. But didn’t you ask for a little sister?
J: Fair point.
Max: What’s birth control?
Me: It’s a way that can prevent a woman from getting pregnant. It can also prevent people from getting sick from each other. Some kinds even keep people healthy. There are many different kinds of birth control but most aren’t a guarantee. There’s still a chance a woman can get pregnant, hence, Kennedy.
J: What kinds are there?
Me: Well, I walked into that one…So let’s start with the basics. First, there’s a condom.
Kennedy: What’s a condom?
Me: A condom is something that goes over a man’s penis and catches his sperm so it can’t go into the woman’s vagina.
Max: Cool. But I don’t have sperm yet.
Me: That’s true. But you will when you’re older.
Max: Well I’m not sure that I want my penis in someone’s vagina. Even when I do have sperm.
Me: Well that’s excellent. But should you change your mind, please talk to Daddy and me about it first.
Max: Ok! But not today.
Me: You got it.
J: Is that what you and Daddy used? That conga thing?
Me: No. A conga is a type of dance. A condom is the word you’re looking for.
Max: Con-dom… that’s like condominium! Do you hear it? Condom-indium. Do you think that’s the root word?
Me: No idea. We’ll have to look it up.
J: So what were you and Daddy using?
Me: I was taking birth control pills. It’s a medicine that a woman can take everyday. It tells her ovaries not to release an egg.
J: So your ovaries didn’t listen?
Me: Well, there are different kinds of pills with different medicines, depending on what your own body needs. I was switching from a pill that was safe for women who breast feed to one that was for those who don’t, since I had stopped nursing Max. It takes time for your body to adjust to new medication and that’s when Kennedy came to be.
Max: I really miss breast feeding.
K: I do not. But I do wish Mommy would by chocolate milk. That’s the best! Even the almond kind.
Max: That is an excellent point, Kennedy!
K: Well fank you, Maxwell.
J: So are there more kinds of birth control? Like how do you know you and Daddy won’t have any more babies?
Me: There are lots more kinds. We know because after talking about it for a long time and deciding it was the best decision for our family, Daddy had an operation that prevents the sperm from getting into my body. It’s called a vasectomy.
J: How does that work?
Me: A doctor cuts the tube that connects the testicles to the urethra so the sperm can’t come out.
J: So you can still get pregnant but Daddy can’t make babies?
Me: Yep. Pretty much.
Max: That’s ok. You can still adopt me a 17 year old brother. I’m ready. And I can show him how I can fart with my armpits like this!
Laughter ensues and life goes on…