Six weeks after Rex was born, I got a prescription from my OB for birth control pills. I asked for the prescription because I was not going to allow my husband to touch me unless I had that heddy concoction of hormones swirling around my bloodstream fearlessly defending my fort of womanhood. I was so damn paranoid that my body, which up until very recently had refused to play along with the whole pregnancy thing, had finally gotten the message and was ready to be a baby-making factory. And I was not.
Because for as many stories I heard before we had Rex about women getting pregnant after adopting or swimming in magical waters, I heard just as many after we had Rex of former infertiles who poo-pahd the warning to use birth control after having their babies because hellooooo, they were infertile, and then they got pregnant merely months after having their first baby. I was in over my head with one infant and so I was not going to play the male factor infertility card for birth control. I was going to get the 100% Grade A effective birth control*.
Fast forward one year. Rex is still a handful – why are children required to teethe at night? – but we’ve got the hang of the baby thing (just in time for the steep learning curve of the toddler thing) and we’re in a pretty good place.
And, I’ve been thinking about ditching the birth control pills. Part of it is because I’m cheap. Part of it is that I’m tired of being the responsible one and having to remember to take a pill every night and then pick up a new pack each month. Part of it is that I’m now 35, the age about which birth control pill commercials start writing warnings in tiny letters on the screen. Part of it is that this particular birth control pill seems to be wanting to stretch things out longer and longer each month which is a real d(rag).
But, what about birth control? Mr. X has told me on multiple occasions that he wouldn’t mind an oops. There is not an insignificant part of me that would be so thrilled to be able to spontaneously get pregnant. Just the two of us! No doctors! No drugs! But, what if the pregnancy worked and we actually had another child? The pregnancy lasts nine months, the parenting lasts a lifetime. I can do another pregnancy, but another baby? That’s a totally different matter.
I know that while Mr. X would like another child, I would not. So, I’m looking into other methods of birth control that don’t require much thought on either of our parts. I’m really intrigued with Essure. I actually saw posters for it at my OB’s office when I was visiting her pretty regularly while pregnant with Rex. At the time, I didn’t pay much attention – birth control was so far from my mind – but once I did find out what exactly it did, I thought it was pretty interesting … and ironic.
Basically, they insert little pieces of plastic in your fallopian tubes and get the body to envelope them in scar tissue to prevent egg and sperm from meeting. In other words, I would be getting back the blocked tubes I had before when I was diagnosed as infertile and for which I had surgery to correct. I wonder if my insurance company would be bright enough to figure out that I am asking them to pay to re-do what they paid to fix.
Essure seems like it would be ideal for me. I would have reliable, hormone-free birth control without having something stuck in my uterus and without making Mr. X get snipped (seriously, what happened if I died and he wanted to have more children with another woman? I couldn’t cheat him out of that). It would also allow me to still carry a child if I wanted to be a gestational surrogate (which I’ve thought about) or even through IVF again, if we decided that we had to have another one.
I haven’t made any decisions yet. But, I really want to get off the hamster wheel of daily birth control and I don’t want to rely on Mr. X maintaining a low sperm count to keep Rex an only child. And yet, this just seems so existentially wrong to be seeking out the very built-in birth control I worked really hard to get rid of. What to do?
*when taken properly, natch.
After being one of those “who needs birth control? I’m infertile!” women, I highly recommend birth control if you know you don’t want any more kids. Why deal with the pill when there are longer-term, more effective options out there?
(in case you hadn’t managed to wander over to my never-updated blog, we found out in December that when 3 different doctors told us that my one remaining tube was completely useless, they were totally kidding). This time around, when they do my c-section, I plan to ask them to remove said tube completely, since it seems to have bionic regenerative powers. As long as it’s in my body, I feel like I’ll always be afraid that baby #4 is looming.
In your case, have you considered an IUD? I have several friends who use Mirena, and who love it. Seems like a good compromise between the pill and Essure. Plus, see above re: no longer trusting anyone who says any given fallopian tube is non-functional.
For me personally, BC is NOT an option because of my PCOS. It just really makes things an even hotter mess than they otherwise might be…
However, you MUST do what is right for you. I know you can talk frankly with Mr X about your worries concerning another round of parenting…so do it.
If you still can’t come to a full agreement of throwing caution to the wind (or at least the birth control), come to an agreement on who’s taking responsibility for keeping caution around.
Littlest One was definitely NOT on our radar, but after all the issues of getting Captain, well…we’ll take whatever we get handed. 😀
Thinking of you and sending happy thoughts and prayers your way for this decision.
PS – I *though* I wanted to be done with Littlest One, but when I collapsed in tears on the exam table during a pre-natal check when discussing tying tubes, I knew it wasn’t time. I know people who’ve BOTH taken surgical precautions who were that fraction of a percent and ended up with 2 more kids…sooooo…who knows? Maybe, if you’re supposed to have more babies, it’ll just happen, no matter what precautions you take.
I had had so much pain with my pregnancies and have had so many health worries, that I truly considered tying my tubes during this last c-section. But we just couldn’t do it. fast forward to now when I am constantly thinking of another baby. We use condoms when (haha!) it appears I could be ovulating, but otherwise use nothing. We used nothing last go round and still needed a little medication boost to get Miss E (18 months of trying). We don’t want to pay for more than 2 kids in day care at a time, but I am glad we didn;t snip. I too think Mirena could be a good compromise. Parenting gets easier in a couple years, and maybe you could change your mind?
My first two children are 14 months apart. Oops. You better believe we, ahem, locked down the proverbial fort after that!