Then the OBGYN came in, confirmed that my physical recovery was progressing the way they wanted to see, and asked what our plans were now. He agreed with my hesitance to become pregnant again right away, explaining that there was an increased risk of miscarriage if I became pregnant within the first three months after miscarrying. Then came the question: "So what kind of birth control will you be using?"
"We're Catholic," I explained. "We aren't open to using contraceptives." (Thank you to Jen Fulwiler and Something Other Than God! As soon as I read her response to her doctor this past weekend, I tucked it away in my head: a polite, accurate, succinct response to the question I'm going to be asked on Tuesday!)
He didn't roll his eyes, and here I'm entering willful-believing-he-wasn't-making-fun-of-me mode: "So you, what, use the rhythm method?" he asked. "Or just get pregnant whenever you get pregnant?"
Which I expected, of course, but the question still rankled. And I could have, and maybe should have, just said something polite and vague. "It's a little more complicated than that," or maybe "We use a modern form of NFP." But he had an impressionable young med student with him, certainly younger than me, and I had to wonder if the kid had ever even heard about non-rhythm-method NFP. "Actually," I said, "every day we chart..." and went into a detailed explanation.
They both blinked at me a moment, but then the OB actually picked up where I'd finished with basal temperature. "So you know that your temperature drops right before it spikes with ovulation? But that's too late of a 'tell;' you could become pregnant from as early as five days before ovulation. I don't know what Catholics believe about condoms...?"
I briefly explained how particular signs indicate the beginning of a period of abstinence, and he said, "Well, it sounds like you have things under control. Very good. We will see you again once you become pregnant again, or in a year for your annual!" And we left on a positive note.
I am, I freely admit, heavily prejudiced against OBGYNs after several very negative past experiences. I automatically expect to be looked down on for not using artificial birth control, and so I feel very defensive whenever I have to see an OB. But I am trying, trying so hard, to choose to believe that he did believe that I understood what I was talking about, and that he didn't think I was a crazy lady trusting her fertility to the whims of lunar cycles and wild guesswork. And so far it's working.
I know that if I was choosing to believe ill of him, it would be very easy to take his comment about seeing me when next I'm pregnant as commentary on NFP not working, but on the flip side, he's an OB: yes, the next time he sees me, it'll more than likely be because I'm pregnant. And I definitely got the impression from his office that he loves babies and sees them as a good thing, and given why I've been seeing him lately, it does make sense to choose to take that comment as being hopeful encouragement that before too long we will be able to have another.
So I'm feeling an odd mix of a little bit smug for daring to explain NFP to a doctor, a little bit ashamed of feeling smug since he didn't treat me like I was ignorant for using NFP, a little bit confused because it's always been a "fact" in my head that I don't like OBs, a little bit confused and amazed that this doctor who doesn't seem to have any other NFP-using patients was willing to talk about temperatures on a technical level which indicated that he believed that I understood... I've never said "I'd like to work with that OB again" after any of the other OBs I've seen before, but I think I would like working with him the next time I'm pregnant.
Don't worry about us getting stranded on the roadside in the middle of nowhere; my dad, my brother, and a good friend of the family checked the jeep out for me--I'd diagnosed the problem myself correctly!--and were able to get it fixed yesterday afternoon before Matt finished work. My dad showed us how they'd fixed it, since it's the same problem that's sent us in to the shop at least three other times in the past three years, and now we can fix it ourselves next time!