Last night Gigi asked me when I was going to have another baby. "Well sweetie, I'm probably not going to." "What? But we need another person!" She ran in to talk with Captain E about it. They both came running back. "What about adopting an orphan? Can we adopt someone? Maybe someone older who can play games already? We need another person in our family!". Wow kids I didn't know you felt so strongly about this. Turns out your dad and I sort of feel the exact opposite. Like maybe are 95% sure we are done. I don't want to say a 100 yet. Cheetah's birth and the following miscarriage definitely left me with an empty spot that I sometimes feel like only the birth of another child could fill but then on the other side of the coin I feel completely overwhelmed. I'm raising these crazy four kids quite often on my own. Dr J helps when he can but the man has a demanding job. This comes as no surprise to any other parent, but kids are also super demanding. We often feel overwhelmed. I have a friend whose husband is an oral maxillary surgeon. She's pregnant with kid number 9. I honestly don't know how she does it because I often find myself just totally at the end of my rope and I think the crazy shows! Today I was at church alone with the kids. I was feeling pretty good about myself. I'd kept my kids relatively contained during an hour teacher training before church. I did sacrament alone. I got to team teach my lesson. The bishopric may not have liked it but we only had four kids at church today. I was sitting in the home stretch of church thinking about how amazing it was I had a roast in the crock pot and homemade hoagie rolls on the counter waiting for dinner. Liz was making announcements. I looked up and saw her grimace right at me. "I have only one more announcement," she grimaces at me again, " this weeks church cleaning families are...well the only one in here is sister S. Better round up the other people on this list if you want help." Ok, great. Then later in the hall the young men's leader in charge of reminding people about the cleaning assignment saddles up next to me and gives me a sideways I swear to you exact same grimace. "So is Dr J going to be off this Saturday?" "No," I say. Return of the grimace. "Ok, well you guys have church cleaning on Saturday. Sorry." So even on my best day when I'm feeling like I'm doing amazing, everyone else recognizes the crazy. Also can we just say that if it makes eveyone so uncomfortable I wouldn't mind if you pulled my name off the list, I'm just saying :) But back to the original post, when you are there, when you are living in this overwhelmed crazy you really have to ask yourself is this the right time to have a baby, and the answer at this point...we just don't feel like it is. So if you don't want to have a baby but you still want to do the stuff that makes a baby what is a couple to do.
Our primary forms of birth control have been me nursing, condoms, and family planning or the rhythm method. I'm not going to say they haven't worked at all because suckers we have 2 1/2 years spacing between these kids. But I'm also not going to say they are full proof because we have these kids. We always intended to space closer to 3 years. Each pregnancy was a surprise. That means our chosen birth control is not reliable and when you are pretty sure you are done, not reliable is not a plan!
My mother in law and sister have been pushing us to get a vasectomy. Our church isn't really on board with that but we have four kids and I'm pretty sure I'm doing my part so I think they can just back off on this one. When we were prego with number five we were certain we were done and because I was going to have to have a c-section anyway I figured I'd just get my tubes tied. But then we lost number five and while I'm completely overwhelmed right now and mostly sure I'm done, I'm not completely ready to say that for sure in absolute terms. So I'm just not ready to schedule that vasectomy today, but I also don't want to get pregnant today because I might be ready next month or next year.
So what is a girl to do? I thought about the pill but I've done it a couple times before and it always makes me nuts and it always makes me fatter. I thought about noroplant but having something under my skin freaks me out and I worry it would make me fatter. I thought about an IUD but seriously having them open up my cervix freaks me out! So finally I settled on what appears to for now be my only reliable choice while we figure out if we are done done. The ring.
The ring is this little flexible ring of some type of plastic like material. You put it in your vagina for three weeks, you pull it out, and put another one in a week later or my ob said you can leave it in there and pull it out and replace it on the same day every month. Now this is what she told me. If you are going to use the ring this way talk to your physician because I don't want to be responsible for you getting pregnant. I'm using it off label at my own risk. If you choose to do this you are at your own risk as well. The things I like about it. I don't have to remember to take it everyday. I just put an alarm on my phone to change it once a month. For the most part I don't notice it. I'm losing weight while on the ring so it isn't causing weight gain. We don't have to hassle with finding a condom or putting one on. I felt a little moody/crazy the first few days it was in but my hormone levels have regulated out now and I feel fine. It has decreased the heaviness of my flow. I can actually use those light tampons that I never used to understand before why they were included in the variety pack. I don't have to worry about getting pregnant.
Things I don't like. You have to shove it up pretty high so it isn't in the way and reach in pretty far to fish it out. It isn't horrible and it is only once a month but it is slightly uncomfortable and if you are a little squeamish about bodily fluids this might not be for you. Dr J can feel it during sex which doesn't really affect me but is worth noting. It has made my periods longer. For example I started on the 14 and I'm still going today. The flow is less but they sure are long. The first month I started I actually bleed for two weeks. Seriously such a bummer. The ob said there is still a chance by stacking them I can get rid of my cycle completely but I'm not holding out hope. I haven't had this problem but people sometimes report break through bleeding. One time I had it pull out on my tampon. Seriously awkward. I've had a noticeable drop in sex drive. I used to instigate sex a lot more than I do now and along with that decreased vaginal secretions. It actually kind of reminds me of the feeling I used to get when I was nursing...the feeling I used to treat with menopausal skin creams. The idea that I might have a dry vagina for the rest of my life...sort if a bummer.
So that is the skinny on the ring. For now it is serving it's purpose. It isn't horrible, but could be better. I think comfortwise the vasectomy over the long term is the way to go but until we are ready to say that we are for certain-certain right now the ring will do.