Unplanned? More Like, Unplannable.

Unplanned?  More Like, Unplannable.

I’m sure you’ve seen it all over the news the past week:  “Half of all pregnancies that happen in the U.S. every year are unintended.

To which I have to say:  Just half?

I have been pregnant 5 times.  I have 4 children.  My only “planned” pregnancy was the one that ended in miscarriage.

I’m a smart woman, but I was surprised to find that conception (and its prevention) is inherently dicey stuff.

I think the pundits want you to know that pregnancy is often entered into unwished-for.  But what I want you to know is that entering into pregnancy at all is essentially unplannable. Your control over the situation is limited.

Women need to know that it is hard to execute a pregnancy on a precise timetable.  You can dream, you can plan, you can hope, you can pray–but ultimately, you can’t make anything happen, one way or the other.

I’m attending to the current news items with interest.  But my own experience is constantly informing the sensational news stories:  it’s really hard to precisely time a pregnancy. For me, it’s been impossible.

As a woman, this isn’t the truth I want to hear. But it’s the truth.

And I think women should know it.

What do you think?  What’s your percentage?

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  1. Jennifer says:

    Im batting 0!!! All 3 of ours were surprises. Our first, we had just decided to wait one more year and then start trying. 3 weeks later we found out I was pg. second one, we decided in the summer to start trying late fall/early winter. 3 weeks later found out I was pg!! Number three was the REAL kicker….hubs had a vasectomy after #2 was born….3 years later imagine our surprise when we find out I was pg!! He had a spontaneous self reversal 3 years after the procedure!! I agree totally: unplannable!!

  2. FishMama says:

    Interesting thought! Seeing as I had six babies and three miscarriages, and only 1 was conceived while we were “trying” and came to term, I guess that’s 1 out of 9! 11% – what a crazy number.

    Once we had our miscarriages, we stopped trying — in either direction. LOL

  3. Lacey says:

    I know this is a super old post — I read it the first time, and now I’m reading it again because of your link. My experience is a little unlike yours. I have had no trouble falling pregnant both times (on the first month we tried). We are really blessed that that’s the case. We both come from families with high fertility rates. Our problem is more likely to be preventing pregnancy, although that hasn’t been an issue so far. My gut feeling is that we might end up with one more child than we’d planned 🙂

  4. Margaret says:

    I tried twice, and have 2 children. No miscarriages. No extra blessings. I got pregnant within a few months each time.

  5. Malisa Price says:

    I loved that you shared this. Even though it’s an older article, I still appreciate that it is relevant to where I am right now. I am learning this lesson, the very hard way, “you can’t make anything happen, one way or the other.” Trusting that God, being sovereign and full of wisdom, knows exactly what he’s doing in my marriage and “family planning”. Somtime I’ll share the whole story.

  6. Sarah says:

    I kind of cringe at the terms “unplanned pregnancy” or an “oops baby”. Until we started trying to get pregnant, I thought that having a baby would work kind of like correctly following a formula… If you do a+b+c, you will end up with d (a baby). After 18 months of trying and perfectly following the “formula”, we still didn’t have a baby. It was a really, really hard time for me and it was especially hard for me to hear other people complaining about the bad timing of an “unplanned pregnancy”. I learned through this experience how much is truly out of our control and how each and every life is a complete miracle. After a couple of years of “planning” a pregnancy, we were totally surprised when I finally got pregnant! It wasn’t perfect timing in many people’s eyes (we ended up postponing a move to another country and then moved there with a 3 month old), but it was very welcome to us. Our second pregnancy was also long waited for and such an amazing blessing. The only “unplanned” part of it was when our little girl came a month early and very fast, while our country was in a state of national emergency and a landslide was blocking the quickest way to the hospital! But, again, it was perfect because of the amazing blessing of our baby. After two difficult pregnancies, I would so, so gladly accept a surprise pregnancy! For all the women on here who are longing for a baby, my heart goes out to you and I hope that you will be blessed with your heart’s desire soon!

  7. Lu says:

    Well said! I’ve had 8 pregnancies resulting in 7 children. Not a single one was planned. At least, not by me. I guess that makes me a complete failure, lol! My husband likes to say,” Plan all you want, but there is always a bigger plan.” One of the great great problems with constantly pushing God out of our lives is that it tricks us into believing that we have control of things that we ultimately do not.

  8. Rosemary says:

    My husband and I have two beautiful children: our son is 18 months and our daughter is 4 months…that’s right…just over a year apart. And no, we hadn’t planned to space our kids that way, but the Lord did, and everyday, we get to wake up and see two smiling faces.
    I can’t fathom going through what so many women do, struggling with infertiliy and loss. A close friend of mine suffered her 3rd miscarriage a week before we found out we were expecting our daughter (my friend had a two yr old son at this point, and desperate for a second, as she was already in her mid-30’s). I felt guilty, as if I was throwing it in her face. But God is good, and not only was she supportive of my pregnancy, she will be having a baby next month. Life happens on His timeline, and we can pray for peace for each other 🙂

  9. The only one of ours that was “planned” was Meres. My goal was to run our half marathon and then try to get pregnant. I literally got pregnant right after. It was actually unplanned because I never expected it to happen so fast. We tried for LC for about 6 months. The boys just happened. You are absolutely right. We aren’t in control. Ever.

  10. Emily says:

    We “planned” our pregnancies, 2 of them. Both due dates were early October, as I wanted. But the first was born 6 weeks early, and the second 3 weeks early. So much for planning! 🙂

  11. Kelty says:

    Ha! I’m so relieved to know I’m not the only one. We’ve been pregnant 4 times, Have 2 running around with us in this life. None of which were “planned.” I keep saying to my husband, “Maybe someday we’ll do this on purpose?” But, God’s blessings abound to us and we are thankful for all of our “surprises.”

  12. Laurie says:

    I’m pretty late to the game (just found your blog and LOVING it!) but lately i’ve been impressed with how impossible it is to plan deliveries! My friends and I are all in the child bearing business at this point in our lives and I don’t know if ONE of us planned whether we were going natural or epidural or what ever and had it happen that way! Most of the time the decision was made for us as time allowed or didn’t allow…

  13. Beth says:

    After reading all of the responses I feel like I must be the only one who is 2/2 or 100%. I took BCP until my husband and I decided to start trying. I let myself go through 1 cycle without trying while not on the pill. I then counted 14 days out from the first day of my period and tried both times on that day. Worked both times. I realize that I am incredibly fortunate and for many people this will never work. I wish everyone that wants to have a child gets to have that child. But, at the same time, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with planning and having it work out for you. I used the knowledge I had to try and plan the best I could. I don’t think that is something to be upset about or ashamed of. It’s just the truth.

  14. Krista says:

    I find it intriguing that so many have unplanned pregnancies! We’ve planned all of our pregnancies, a total of four so far. At the same time, I understand what you mean about not being able to plan life. Two out of those four pregnancies ended in miscarriage. I’m currently 16 weeks along with pregnancy #4 and hope and pray that we get to keep this one.

  15. Karen Allen says:

    I was pregnant 3 times and have 2 children.
    The way I usually tell it is: we planned for our kids to be 3 years apart, that’s why thye’re 23 months apart. God knew that if I ever got 1 out of diapers, I’d never have another! Also, being closer together means my kids are still good friends. They are 36 & 34 now.

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