Reproductive outcomes may be less a result of consciously pursued “reproductive strategies” than of other choices, and are subject to the influence not only of other individuals, but also of caprice and circumstance. Drawing on ethnographic research in southwestern Nigeria, the author argues that to understand the outcomes of reproduction in terms of reproductive strategies and reproductive choices is to profoundly misunderstand the contingencies with which women and men contend as they seek to manage the circumstances in which they find themselves.