The next two posts show what kind of train wrecks occur when science and health education are neglected.
What do frogs and autism have to do with preparing to be a help meet? You might think I am jumping around in my book. Couldn't I have had my editor make the material a little more uniform?! I want you to understand that LIFE will jerk you around.
I might believe that if the other chapters were organized. None of Debi's books, though, have any sort of organizational schema.
Get prepared! You spent so much time waiting to be the beautiful bride in a long, flowing, white dress, and then in a space of a few weeks you feel like you accidentally boarded a high-speed train. When you're tired, when you have a headache, when you feel icky, when you don't want to get up and cook, well, you have to anyway, because now you're married.
I learned how to push through mild sickness to get school work, finish a shift at work, participate in an extracurricular activity etc. by the time I was a teenager.
Why on Earth would Debi expect that her readers would be that inexperienced before marriage?
Within a few weeks of becoming a glorious, married princess you will find yourself kneeling in front of the potty barfing your guts out because you have a little one on the way. Doesn't sound very princess-like, does it? I know these things because I am the older lady. Been there, done that, seen it ten thousand times. Your time's coming.
Since royal families have been obsessed with reproduction throughout time, I think morning sickness is fairly princess-like.
Debi probably doesn't know this, but pregnancy rates per month for women in their early to mid-twenties is 20% per month AND only 80% of pregnancies involve morning sickness. So, a new bride has about a 16% chance of morning sickness within a month of marriage.
Preparing to Be a Mama
Most every young girl thinks it will be months and months...maybe years before a baby comes. Surprise! Pregnancy is not as easy to control as most girls think. Now is the time to learn how to have healthy babies and what to do if your child has health issues.
In the absence of any form of birth control AND average fertility in both partners, pregnancy rates within 1 year are close to 90%. I think it's fair to warn CP/QF girls that they are very likely to be pregnant within the first year of marriage.
In a garden, strong healthy plants get that way by being planted in strong, healthy, balanced soil.
Well, kind of.
You need to pick good varieties for your area, pick a suitable site with proper sunlight, water them regularly, prevent / treat insect/mold/viral infestations, weed diligently and amend the soil during the season as needed.
(As a botanist-in-training, poor plant metaphors really irk me.)
Your body is the soil for your coming children.
That's why you should check your body against the soil chart. I'm a silty loam. My husband is a sandy clay. Our babies will be AMAZING!
Good health starts before conception.
That sentence doesn't really make sense. I think what she means is that it's best if the mom is in good health before getting pregnant.
Then again, this is Debi Pearl, so....who knows?
The more you know now, the more you will be prepared to handle what life might send. It is time to start reading on health issues for your future pregnancies. There is list of good reading in the back of this book.
Yeah, I'm not copying that list of books. If you need to know, start at something reputable like Mayo Clinic or your local doctor.
I wish I could avoid this subject, but it will be the single most discussed subject once you are married.
Um. No. It won't.
My husband and I have had more discussions on whether or not tepary beans can grow in our short Michigan season than we've had on birth control. (He likes the idea of blue speckled beans. I hate the idea of a bean that will most likely mold long before it ripens. Clearly, we've talked about that more than birth control.)
This is a smidgen of how your future conversation will go:
He says, "We need to use something."
She replies, "We decided before we married that we wouldn't do anything."
He demands, "Well, we've got to do something! Three babies in two years - and you're completely bedridden for the first five months of pregnancy!"
She moans, "What? What do you want to use?"
He throws up his hands. "I don't know, but something! You're the woman; what do you suggest?"
She looks baffled, "I don't know...how should I know what to do?"
He responds, "Well, go figure it out!"
Our conversations on tepary beans were more adult that that conversation.
I sincerely hope that before marriage ALL adults can name at least two birth control methods....
If you are like most girls, the issue of birth control has never crossed your mind. Some girls, and guys, come to marriage with a principled conviction against doing anything to limit or control the frequency of conception. Others are adamant against using any mechanical or chemical means of birth control, but are willing to practice abstinence or rhythm (timing) method to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Certainly no Christian will want to use any method that causes the destruction of the fetus after conception.
Debi then directs readers to a modified natural family planning / lactation-based spacing website that is out-dated and hard to navigate.
I recommend Bedsider.org. It's a non-profit organization dedicated to decreasing the number of unplanned pregnancies. It covers everything from abstinence to NFP to condoms to hormonal options. I find it really helpful whenever I need to change methods.
Obviously, after consulting a website, make an appointment with an OB/GYN or another health care provider. You deserve to have an actual medical professional sit down with you and decide as a team what options are best for you. If you are planning NFP or a QF lifestyle, you need to be sure you are off any medications/herbs that could cause problems during a pregnancy and check that chronic conditions are under control.
(As a teacher, crappy information angers me. From one "older" woman to another, Debi should be ashamed of herself right now.)
My object here is for you to learn about your body, come to understand the entire process, and learn what God says on the matter. If you don't give it any thought now, then chances are you will be pregnant and puking within three weeks of marriage. Your first child will be a girl. Now, how can I know that? Because, if you are like most girls, you will plan your wedding for the week after your period ends. That is when most women are fertile. During the first three days of fertility the woman's slight discharge is beneficial to female sperm. The fourth day, the woman's slight discharge is advantageous to male sperm. Did you even know that there are male and female sperm?
THERE IS NOTHING IN THE PREVIOUS PARAGRAPH THAT IS FACTUALLY TRUE.
1. "Thinking" in the absence of action will not prevent pregnancy.
2. Eggs are viable for 24 hours or so after ovulation. Sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract for up to 72 hours. Combining those two facts means that sexual intercourse can lead to pregnancy on (up to) three days: the two days prior to ovulation and the day of ovulation. [There is a less than 5% chance that sperm can survive from 4-6 days before ovulation. As such the Whelan method described below has a large flaw.]
3. There are no scientific studies that support the Whelan method (sex 2-3 days before ovulation = girl while 5-6 days prior = boy) OR Shettles method (same timing for a girl; as close to ovulation as possible for a boy).
4. The biological definition of female is the sex that has the larger gamete. In humans, sperm are much smaller than eggs so males produce sperm. There are sperm that have an X chromosome and sperm with a Y chromosome, but never a female sperm. EVER.
How do I know all this stuff? I study. Knowing things helps.
Only if the information you know is true.
AntiPearl:Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.