Tag Archives: Health

What’s Your Birth Control?

August 27, 2013

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Birth control is complicated. Not only is it a hot topic in regards to who gets it, but even when you have the choice–it can be difficult to decide what kind you’re putting where.

Today’s post isn’t a political one, although if you want my two cents–if we focus more on empowering, educating, and making birth control available to young women–we wouldn’t have to spend so much time killing each other over abortion. It’s a no brainer to me, but this is not that blog. If you want to fight about it, check facebook. I think there are probably some people waiting over there.

Anyways. Talking about birth control options can be awkward outside a group of girlfriends, but I’m getting over it because I need to know. Austin and I aren’t ready to make any permanent alterations (vasectomy high five!) for a few more years, but we’re also not ready for more babies right away after number two arrives. It almost seems silly to go on birth control after needing help to get pregnant in the first place, but for us–it’s not worth the risk. I know my limits. I know residency will look a lot like only seeing Austin every other weekend. I know two will be enough for the next few years.

Austin is on his OB/GYN rotation right now, which means he often comes home to poke and prod my abdomen, tell me horrifying birth stories, and give speeches on the various birth control options he’s learning about. Right now he’s really jazzed about the IUD, which I swore I’d never use–but he’s made a pretty convincing case.

Upside: No hassle! No hormones! I can leave it in for a few years!

Downside: They have to install that contraption while I’m awake. I have a sensitive cervix (nausea, fainting), she doesn’t like to be touched. Also: WHAT IF IT GETS LOST INSIDE OF ME.

He’s also mentioned this crazy device you have stuck inside your arm. I feel better about someone poking me there, but again–what if it gets lost inside my body and travels up into my brain and changes my personality to Amanda Bynes? I’ve been reassured this is impossible, but I have my doubts.

I do know I don’t want to take the pill ever again. I started taking it in 9th grade to manage polycystic ovaries and I’m just over it. Condoms are also out (Gross! Expensive! Sex with a plastic bag!) and I’m not a fan of the Nuva Ring. Too many horror stories. Too much hassle.

I have a few months to decide, which is why I’m talking about it now. I need input. I need advice. I need to make a plan. Plans make me feel safe. Plans reassure me that I’ll get there on time or have what I’ll need or not get pregnant and have three kids under three during the most stressful year of my life.

Hopefully you know something I don’t. Hopefully you have a great birth control story that includes no hassle, no pain, and no terrible side effects! Again, I have my doubts–but I’m all ears.

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Feel free to comment anonymously. 

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When Your Eggs Won’t Drop And It Gets Weird

March 2, 2013

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There are a lot of unspoken rules in blogging. Like don’t share about money or don’t talk about politics or my own personal mantra: never, ever talk about your mother-in-law. There are just some things you simply don’t talk about, either by choice or because of some nagging feeling in the back of your brain that maybe talking about bum ovaries isn’t something you’re supposed to do.

A few Octobers ago, my friend Katie talked about her struggles with infertility. Her advice to other women struggling: Don’t keep it a secret. Share and be cared for. Let your truth out so that others can share their own truths. Don’t. Be. Afraid.

Here’s my story.

A few years ago on a snowy winter day, a young doctor with kind eyes told me that my chances of conceiving a child naturally were slim to none. Exact words: less than a 1% chance. He also confirmed what I already knew: my ovaries were broken. More specifically, they were polycystic, forming cysts instead of releasing eggs. If you paid attention in health class, you’ll see the problem. If there’s no egg–there’s no chance of an embryo.

It was sad.

Over a year later, I peed on a stick in my work bathroom and almost passed out. You can read more about that in Surprise! There’s An Alien In My Uterus. It was pretty exciting, especially after years of being poked and scraped, trying to understand and fix my bum ovaries. I didn’t cry, but I did laugh. I laughed because even when I was 14 years old and my body wasn’t working the same way my friends’ bodies were working, I said: I will have a baby someday, darn it. Don’t try to stop me.

My story is not unique. In fact, it’s not even all that bad. I know women who have waited for years. Some for decades. You want to talk to real fertility warriors? They are out there. Quietly struggling, quietly stowing away money for IVF treatments and adoption, quietly waiting to be mothers.

We were lucky, dare I say blessed, to have Waylon. He is here! He is healthy! He says full sentences like “Mama Poopy Butts!” Hallelujah! The pregnancy seemed to fix my periods, too. If you are a man and reading this blog (hello!), you may want to skip over this part because apparently menses make you nauseous. Whatever. After Waylon was born, my period came back with some regularity. It was weird and I hoped it meant getting pregnant again someday wouldn’t be impossible.

So far, no luck. It hasn’t been long since I’ve had baby fever, but it’s been long enough that I’m already stomping around and letting out heavy sighs every time I have a negative pregnancy test. Full disclosure, we haven’t been using any birth control since Waylon was a few months old. I didn’t want to be pregnant then, but I know my body well enough to know it doesn’t just make babies.

This month we are on our second round of Clomid, a drug that stimulates ovulation and gives you night sweats. Awesome! It also makes me incredibly crampy, bloated, and irritable. Austin has been patient, but there’s a limit. A few weeks ago he made a joke about the house being messy and I just about burnt the house down. My advice to anyone shacking up with a Clomid user: check yourself before you wreck yourself.

If this round doesn’t work, they’ll double my dosage and then likely move onto shots. We haven’t talked about how much further we’ll go beyond drugs. Austin has always wanted to adopt, and I feel similarly, but that’s not in the cards right now financially. Clomid costs less than 20 bucks for 5 pills, a steal compared to a few years ago when it was over 200.

I’m taking it day by day. At this point I’m not obsessively worried. Waylon isn’t even two and I’m not even thirty. We’ve got time. The point is that when you’re trying and it isn’t working, what do you do? Why is it so weird to talk about? Who came up with this rule that reproduction is a big secret until you’re 12 weeks pregnant? I don’t get it. I don’t care if you know I’m taking Clomid and having scheduled sex (boring!). In fact, I prefer it. I prefer you knowing that’s why I’m randomly sweating bullets in the middle of our lunch date. Nope, not going through menopause, just pumping my body full of hormones, thanks! Excuse me while I remove my shirt.

Austin and I always wanted to have our babies close together; churn out a whole batch of kids and raise them up in a little wolf pack. My prayer is that my bum ovaries don’t put a damper on that dream. My other prayer is that I stop googling “secondary infertility” and “ectopic pregnancy.”  (Seriously, Google is the worst).

Cheers to baby making.

Cheers to sharing.

Cheers for the ability to say, “My ovaries are malfunctioning and now I can’t button my pants.”

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