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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Dear John: Thanks for all that awesome sex!

John Billings died the other day. Not many know who he was, but I do. And I truly appreciate him.

Because of John Billings, eggs of mine that I did not care a whit about remained unfertilized. And one egg that I did care about – well it developed into my lovely daughter.

Billings promoted a natural method of birth control that some critics claimed was akin to the rhythm method and barely effective. But a version of Billing’s technique sure worked for me.

Using Billing’s method, a woman observes and charts the changes in her vaginal mucus. That mucus goes through rather noticeable shifts throughout a menstrual cycle.

I used a method called Sympto-Thermal, which along with tracking the changes in mucus also requires you to record your basal temperature every day. Yup – a woman’s temperature when at rest fluctuates throughout her cycle.

For about four years, I kept a daily chart of my observations – tracking the changes in my basal temperature, my mucus, and other physical changes. I became quite adept at analyzing the information and identifying when I was ovulating, when I was about to, and when the coast was clear – those times (brief and fleeting) during which I could make love without the use of birth control and have no fear of getting pregnant when I didn’t want to. And that gave me a certain amount of power. I could decide to abstain from sex, use birth control, or have sex without protection at no risk. I was not a big fan of the pill, IUDs, diaphrams, condoms, or contraceptive jellies and creams, etc. And I liked my sex au natural. But that comes with certain risks I wasn’t always willing to take.

Or, as I did with my daughter, I could also look at the chart and say to my husband, “If we make love today, we’ll probably make a baby. Wanna?”

We did. And my beautiful daughter was conceived.

Observing and charting the changes you go through during a cycle is time-consuming – and you have to be dedicated. But I gained a far more intimate knowledge of my body than I had before, a true understanding of how my cycles functioned – and the ability to decide when, and if, to use birth control.

So thank you John Billings. I’ve had a lot of really awesome sex because of you!

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7 Comments:

Blogger Infinitesimal said...

Billings and reefer are the reason I am here. My parents were just barely out of their teens... i think they got the mucus thing wrong...

so here I am!!

April 04, 2007 12:50 AM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

How could your sex be anything but awesome? You are awesome and that sets the tone.

Thanks, John Billings.

April 04, 2007 5:46 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

hahahaha infini! reefer has two dubious affects on the sympto-thermal method:

1) pot can actually cause subtle physiological changes (so might change the mucus or basal temp)

2) it can inhibit critical thinking - thus, your folks may have analyzed the data incorrectly and/or simply thrown caution to the wind as a result of the reefer.

Regardless- it all ended quite nicely - or rather - look how well things turned out - here you are!

jack,
well! thank you. i do believe you've made the bird blush.

flap/flap/blush and swoosh!

April 04, 2007 6:23 PM  
Blogger Infinitesimal said...

tanks, Boyed

April 05, 2007 12:19 AM  
Blogger Mrs. B said...

Because of your prose, I may begin using the "method." Thanks Bird.

April 06, 2007 11:58 PM  
Blogger kate said...

you were one of those women i was so envious of!! I was never regular and had to use fertility drugs for both pregnancies.

nice post!

April 07, 2007 6:05 PM  
Blogger onandon said...

Thank you for letting me know that Dr Billings has passed away.
I too used this method as I breast fed between pregnancies and still wanted to 'control' fertility. It was highly successful for us and hence the spacing (3 1/2 years, 2 1/2 years) and the choosing to have the three wonderful children we have got today.

Cheers Bird.
Thanks for this wonderful post!

April 10, 2007 4:50 AM  

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