Friday, 11 March 2011
I love my son. I would never call him a "mistake," but he damn sure wasn't planned.
I was diagnosed with PCOS after a very traumatizing miscarriage at 18 years old. They told me I was NEVER going to get pregnant, and after trying with my ex-fiance for over a year with no results, I was convinced that I really wasn't.
Years later, here I am, a mom of a 4 month old. As unplanned as he was, and as slim a chance as I have of getting pregnant again, I told my boyfriend that I really do not even want to try and tempt fate when it comes to unprotected sex again.
Of course, condoms are the first, most immediate, and obvious form of contraception that we started using again. Then, in my compulsive, worrisome mind, I said, "You can never be TOO protected." I have heard of numerous stories of friends who used condoms and they failed to work.
Yes, I know the MOST effective way to prevent pregnancy is to just NOT have sex, but even my mother said, "You know, it's hard to stop having sex with someone you love once you start. I mean, that's what God made us for, so you can't just quit." My boyfriend and I didn't even stop having sex while I was pregnant, so abstinence wasn't really an option we wanted to consider.
Then, I was late. Normally, I am exactly on time every month. Even the past two months after having my son, I was exactly on time. This time, I was a week late. We are using condoms, so I wasn't going to freak out completely, BUT like I said, I have heard about them not working before.
SO I took a pregnancy test at about three days late. Negative. A friend of mine said, "You know after you have a baby, your cycles are going to be funny, right? Comes with the territory." Um... No, I didn't... So exactly a week later, I start. And I swear it was like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders.
Hence, my journey into the world of birth control. Of course I KNOW about birth control, but I don't know details. It's a headache, quite frankly, to go through all of my options. I have done semi-research, but at 23, as sad as this is to say, I have never taken any kind of birth control before. So I decided to talk to an expert. I decided to visit a Planned Parenthood and talk to a nurse about it. (My insurance termed in December, so I couldn't afford to talk to my OB.) I told her that I had a few concerns:
-- The idea of having to remember to take a pill every single day at the same time is daunting, considering the fact that I can't even remember what the hell I walked upstairs to get nowadays. Not to mention, missing it by two hours or even taking anti-biotics will render it ineffective. So let's put those as a "maybe."
-- I don't want to bleed and have spotting in between my cycles. The idea of always having to worry every day about whether there is a leak on my favorite pair of jeans is more stress than I need, so the IUD's are sort of a last resort. Not to mention, the IUD's are ridiculously expensive.
-- The idea of gaining weight on a shot isn't appealing, either, considering I am still involved in my modeling. Yes, you can call me lazy, but why do all that EXTRA work when I don't necessarily have to. Call me superficial. I'm just being honest.
-- I want something effective. Obviously, birth control has a reason, and I don't want to waste my money on a method of birth control that fails more than it succeeds, so things like a diaphragm are definitely not a consideration.
After listening to my concerns, she gave me two options: The patch, and the ring. I asked her, "I'm sorry if I sound skeptical, but SERIOUSLY, how effective is a PATCH for birth control?" She said, "The same way a nicotene patch is effective for helping people quit smoking." Touché, nurse lady. Touché.
"So," I asked, "I heard that the ring can fall out, like, if you have sex..." Her response was, "If you know how to put in a tampon, you can put in the ring. If you put it in the right way, it won't be falling out." Hm. Good answer.
She also told me that no matter what method I use, chances are if it has any kind of hormone in it, which they all do, I will probably spot for the first few months, and then it stops. It just takes a month or two for a woman's body to get used to it.
Okay... So which one do I pick? They were both about the same price. They both have the same effectiveness. They both are used for three weeks and then you have one week of a regular cycle. The only difference is one is external and one is internal. Not that it matters - I am comfortable with my body, so I COULD do the ring. Then she said, "If you don't like one after about three months, we can always change it. So don't worry."
SOLD! I picked the patch. I think once I can afford it, I will probably go with an IUD. I heard there was one that completely eliminates your cycle. WHAT? That's freaking awesome.
I don't know how this will work out. Hopefully, things will be smooth sailing. All I know is that this world of birth control, no matter how much a headache, is definitely better than the world of having another child.
Which methods have you used? Which would you recommend from your experience?