Whew, this one was a lot to unpack for me. I had been exploring new birth control options for awhile, not because I didn’t like the pill I was on, but because I was certain that I wanted to avoid having a period ever again. I had been taking my pill on a continuous cycle for the past year, essentially halting my periods altogether. However, if I accidentally missed a pill for any reason, I would spot for days, and I actually had a month long “period” that was really annoying and frustrating. The other really weird thing was that when I traveled, it always made me spot for days. I don’t know if it was stress or disruption to my normal schedule, but it was pretty annoying to be on a work trip and have to find a store to get emergency supplies. With all of this in mind, I made an appointment for my annual checkup, and decided to see what else was available for me.
Here’s the thing though… My OB asked me a bunch of questions about my physical health and she stopped when we started talking about the migraines that I experience. She told me that taking estrogen based birth control was actually pretty dangerous when you experience migraines that are accompanied by aura effects. My migraines make my peripheral vision black and firework like, so this was of particular concern to me. Studies have shown that estrogen based pills can increase the risk of stroke and aneurysm for people who experience aura migraines. Because of what I needed for birth control and my migraines, that basically only left two options. The Mirena IUD or a progesterone only pill. The pill would mean that I would have regular periods again, and the reason I started doing continuous pills before was because after having LittleBug, my periods changed from light and manageable to insanely heavy and awful. So the progesterone only pill was out. To be honest, I had been considering the IUD for a while, and it seemed like the best option for me.
So I had to make a quick decision there in the office because the OB offered to do the insertion right then and there. Honestly, this was probably for the best because I otherwise would have been so nervous waiting for an appointment to happen and that would have stressed me out quite a bit. I thought about it for a second and agreed to just get it done then. But here’s where it got weird. I quickly texted Mr. Cereal to confirm that we were on the same page as far as not having more kids anytime soon. He didn’t answer and this set me off in my mind about how this decision I was making was sort of huge because even though taking the IUD out is easy, it was a long term birth control decision. Essentially I was making the decision to wait a fairly long time to have more kids, or deciding to be done completely. Typing this out now, I see how incredibly irrational I was being. But with my complicated history with pregnancy loss and my unending desire to have a third living child, this was more than just a decision for birth control. Or at least it felt like it.
I went through with it, had it inserted (which by the way was pretty uncomfortable), and had a small period of depression for the next couple of days. I explained how I was feeling with my closest friend and she completely understood my complicated feelings. On the one hand, I felt relieved that I had a semi permanent birth control, but on the other hand, I felt like I had just closed the door to the possibility of the third living child. I am 100 percent honest when I say that I was in no way prepared for this amount of conflict within myself. I was scared to talk to Mr. Cereal about this because he feels completely done with kids and this is not something that he would understand. But when I did finally bring it up, he was rational and reminded me that I could have it removed at anytime if we did decide to try for another child. His rationality kind of bumped me back into reality and I felt so much better.
It’s been a few weeks now and I am so glad that I made this decision. There is something to be said about being able to relax and live life without worrying about getting pregnant again or forgetting to take my pill. The crisis I am living with in regards to more kids is something that I can push aside for a bit. There are days when I wish so badly to have another, but there are a lot of other days when I think about the freedom we have right now and the ease at which our lives flow. Having another child would absolutely be a blessing, but it would also complicate our lives in huge ways.
Did anyone else experience this kind of internal crisis when deciding about birth control? What made your decision easier/harder?