Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oops Babies

It seems like there are a lot of "oops babies" out there.

I know a bunch of other people who said they only wanted one or two kids or no kids, but then "oops." It seems like everyone I know either had an oops baby or knows someone who did.

I question the concept of oops babies. I wasn't trying to get pregnant either time I did, but I know I wasn't trying very hard not to. (Mistimed natural family planning.) One of my friends in residency got pregnant "by accident" twice, although one time it sounded like she wasn't using any protection. A friend of mine who got pregnant in high school wasn't the result of a broken condom but no condom at all. I do know a woman who got pregnant on birth control pills, and I have to wonder if she was taking them correctly. I wonder how many genuine oops babies there are, or if they're really "should've known better" babies.

Right now, I feel like 99% sure that I don't want any more children and I certainly feel like the stress of another child would be unbearable right now, so I got a Mirena IUD. It's supposed to be greater than 99% effective and as effective as sterilization procedures. But the more stories I hear, the more I worry about an oops baby.

21 comments:

  1. through the Emergency Department, I have taken care of 5 women (4 tubals and 1 vasectomy) who I diagnosed as pregnant. (the vasectomy father never went back for his re-check.) and a couple IUD failures that were ectopics on presentation. even so called "sterility" procedures have a failure rate.

    but i agree with you, most oopsies are "i changed my mind" or "we should've known better" or some variation that makes they embarrassed or otherwise unwilling to admit they were trying/stupid/forgetful. (and as women with career, it may be hard to tell our coworkers that "yes, on purpose...again...".)

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    1. Just goes to show, nothing is failsafe.

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  2. I don't know, but suspect that most of the oops babies couples I know weren't trying to prevent pregnancy very hard. They were probably some combination of denial ("I haven't had a period in 18 months, there's NO WAY I'll get pregnant") and being ambivalent about a second/third/fourth ("I don't know if I want another child, so let's leave it up to fate") and not using any form of protection as a result.

    The other thing I wonder is whether women get so freaked out about their milk supply that they opt not to use OCPs at all, even once their child starts eating solids, for fear that the medication will cause a drop in supply. I could go on about the reasons I'm not interested in taking the mini-pill, but I don't really have the energy right now.

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    1. Ah the other thing I was going to say was that maybe it's possible that since "oops" babies are a married person phenomenon, that that's why we hear about them. I.e. this demographic is more likely to be having regular sex, and less likely to have an abortion in the case of an accident. Just a thought....

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  3. My daughter was an ooops baby. We were using condoms 100% of the time - no episodes of breakage, no "forgetting the condom", no delay in its use . I had read in medical school that condoms were only 80% effective with "normal usage patterns", but thought that statistic didn't apply to us because, like I said, we didn't have "accidents" or whatever people called not using them correctly. I thought condoms were suppose to be 97% effective against pregnancy for people like us, which is why it took my over two months to figure out I was pregnant.

    I am not sure how I am going to explain this to my daughter as she was very much a WANTED child, but not a PLANNED child.

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    1. Yeah, I don't want my kids to think that just because I wasn't charting my ovulation, that means I didn't want them. I did, of course. Both times when I had threatened miscarriages, I was in tears. I wasn't planning to get pregnant, but I was OK with it happening.

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  4. I have placed epidurals for two women who were about to deliver - with their IUD still in place. Those stories make me the most nervous!

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  5. I call them Ninja Babies.

    http://www.momicillin.com/2010/08/30/oops-we-did-it-again/

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    1. I was wondering about the timing of your third :) What were you using for birth control at the time?

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  6. My husband's cousin very much did not want another kid, she had horrible awful morning sickness. She got an IUD and ended up getting pregnant a third time. That time she had a tubal done and that has seemed to work for her. I had a tubal and am still a little freaked out about the 1% failure rate after a year. I am pondering if I can convince my husband to get the snip snip too.

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    1. I don't understand why a woman would have a tubal, which is a fairly invasive procedure, compared with the man having a vasectomy in the first place?

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    2. I don't know why my husband's cousin went for it since she had a vaginal birth but in my case I had it done while I was already open for my csection. It seemed more efficient to just have it done right then and there.

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  7. My first child was conceived when I was using the Nuvaring (used per package directions) and the second one was conceived with the minipill and a condom (and I was still breastfeeding the first one, not that I count that as a form of birth control). I have PCOS so I know that hormonally I'm non-normative, but it is frustrating to be doing the things that you are supposed to do and still have a surprise baby. Just once I would like to find out that I'm pregnant and be more excited/happy than panicked.

    I have had a Mirena IUD for two and a half years now. I am a fan, personally, and I say that as someone who was conceived while my mother had a copper IUD in place (ha, and my older sister was only 6 weeks old).

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    1. Wow, major birth control fail.

      I'm hoping the Mirena is effective. I ovulated last month and we were both so scared. I could deal with a pregnancy in 2-3 years, but not now!

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    2. I have PCOS as well, and have heard from several other women with it who have run into issues with hormonal birth control. I got pregnant on depo. You can't screw that one up except by forgetting the shot every 12 weeks (which I didn't.) The first time, I figured was a fluke. When I discovered my second pregnancy on it, I concluded that it just does not work for me at all. I can't help but wonder if the studies of its effectiveness excluded women with conditions like PCOS.

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  8. I don't even want to type this for fear of having an "oops" anything but I am soo fearful of this as well. I am still nursing and on the minipill but the number of these stories just freaks me out!!! No more babies for me until residency is over. I cannot deal with being on call/ overnight and pregnant. Uggghhhh.

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  9. I'm pregnant right now with an oops baby. We werent using any BC BUT my cycle is very regular and we just avoided sex during times I would be fertile. It worked for over 3 years! I guess I must have ovulated later time and was totally shocked to get that positive result. I had literally bought a jumbo pack of tampons the day before expecting to get my period.

    But like you said, I'm married and youngish (28) so there is no reason to NOT have a baby (except for the fact I'm applying to med school as we speak).

    Still we are excited about this baby and that our almost 5 year old son will have a sibling.

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  10. I had a tubal because I knew I didn't want to be pregnant, my boyfriend and I weren't married, he didn't want a vasectomy, and for a number of reasons an IUD wasn't a good option for me. The tubal failed two months post-op and no, I didn't get pregnant before surgery. Further investigation revealed one tube still open (major surgery fail), and that tube remains open to this day. I had an abortion, and my now-husband has since had a vasectomy because I am done.

    The whole situation sucked but I have no regrets, other than not pushing my partner harder for a vasectomy in the first place.

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  11. I also think that given our field and the fact that despite the growing number of women, medicine is still old school and its a lot easier to say you had an oops baby as opposed to admitting to having one on purpose while a intern/resident/new attending/whatever the case may be. But the truth of the matter is that residency coincides with family building years, so oops, it just may happen. (The individuals in this suggestion are truly fictional and do not depict any actual person or event)

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