By: Jenna Green
September 17, 2021
Setting my Goals
One and a half kids and a fur baby. That is my reproductive life goal.
It is definitely normal to begin dreaming of the family you envision your family having one day, but making a plan to get there should become part of that normal. Hear me out because I know that life happens and you cannot predict what may be happening in your life when “the time comes” to start that family (if you want one); however, the beauty of a reproductive life plan is that you can take steps now to make sure that if you need to delay your plan, you’re better equipped to make sure your goals still happen!
Developing a plan
Developing a reproductive life plan is much less daunting than it sounds, but it sets you up for success. You can begin by asking yourself the one key question, “Do I want a child in the next year?” This simple question can help you begin to build your reproductive life plan. When evaluating my plan, I know that I still have a few years left of education and career work I want to do before I start a family, so I know that I am not interested for at least another 6 years, and my desired child bearing window is closer to 7-9 years away. Because my goal is to have children in 7-9 years, my plan is to utilize contraception until then. I know that I want something highly effective, immediately reversible, no to low hormones, and low maintenance. I did some research and I learned that the copper IUD is effective for up to 10 years, hormone free, and over 99% effective. I asked my gynecologist, and I decided the copper IUD was my preferred contraceptive method. I received my copper IUD, and while I was ecstatic to finally have my contraception of choice, things do not always go as planned.
Changing my plan
After a few weeks of consistent abdominal pain, I went to see my gynecologist, and I learned that my body needed a smaller IUD. My gynecologist suggested a hormonal IUD that is often recommended for cases like mine. While I initially wanted a hormone free IUD, I recalled my goal(1.5 kids) and my plan (wait and begin building my family 7-9 years from now). Having this goal helped me make up my mind, and I was able to pivot plans and even get my new IUD placed the same day! I have now had my hormonal IUD for about two years now, and I can confidently say that this method fits my lifestyle perfectly. While there may be unexpected barriers, making a plan can help you pivot and still achieve your goals!
Seeing my plan
One of the easiest ways to (1) begin thinking about, (2) write out, and (3) see your goals and plan come to life is to bookmark the Reproductive Life Imagined (RepLI) web app! This web application asks you questions to guide you step by step through the process of building your very own reproductive life plan.