As some of you may know, Justin and I finally made some birth control decisions rather than continuing our completely ineffective approach of just winging it (see examples A and B). While our previous approach has resulted in some pretty fantastic offspring, we had already decided while Lucia was still cooking that two is enough for us. [Funny to read a post before we even knew she was a she.]
I looked into Mirena at my 6 month post-birth checkup, but that was pre-Obama Care so it was going to cost a whopping $1000. I passed, and we invested in the dreaded giant box o' condoms. Then the transition from a 3 family unit to a 4 family unit proved to be especially challenging for us (HA - understatement of the year), so I was more worried about the state of my marriage than the state of my uterus.
Once things settled down and we entered into marriage v. 2.0 (now with improved stability!), we decided we were ready to transition to birth control that we didn't have to think about. After the year we had, it should have been a no brainer, but I did make myself think through a number of scenarios before I was completely comfortable with the decision.
If we got divorced, would I want more kids?
What if we won the lottery?
What if one of the girls got really sick / was in a terrible accident / was abducted by aliens and we suddenly became a one kid family?
I know it's really awful/morbid to think about losing a child and that a new baby would never fill that hole, but that's just how my mind works. I needed to think through every possibility and to be comfortable that NO MATTER WHAT, we were done having kids. It wasn't that hard. I'm 34 and I'm fucking TIRED. I have two beautiful, healthy girls. You have to actually PLAY the lottery to win. I'd probably just get some cats if we got divorced. I'm done.
I originally talked to my doctor about Essure, but she quickly pointed out that Mirena should be free now and sort of gently pushed me in that direction. I had heard some horror stories but I have never had any issues with the pill (other than, you know, REMEMBERING TO TAKE IT and HAVING A BACKUP PLAN WHEN ON ANTIBIOTICS, which are kind of key to its effectiveness). Plus the possibility of not getting a period was appealing, so I decided to go for it. Worse comes to worse I could take it out and go for Essure later.
But that was only half of the equation. Justin and I are both fairly convinced that we would totally be those people who still managed to get pregnant even with appropriate protections in place, so we were in complete agreement that he should get a vasectomy too...like double tapping a zombie. Enough of his work friends had it done right there in the doctor's office for no charge, with no issues healing up. He was fully prepared that it wouldn't be FUN, but that it wouldn't be the end of the world either. And he was beyond certain that he is done having kids. He was ready.
We actually both had our various procedures done the same week. Skip the next 2 paragraphs unless you are in the process of doing your own birth control research and are gathering info, they are TMI heavy.
Mirena Issues: I had fairly awful cramps for the first 4 days or so (sort of like the post birth contractions that make your uterus shrink / help milk production), and have had a RIDIC amount of spotting. It started on day 5, lasted for like 2 weeks after that, and I have had 10+ days of spotting for the two periods I have had since. I personally would rather have my crazy heavy 4-5 day period than nearly 2 weeks of spotting, so that's annoying (but my doctor says it should even out). And about 2 weeks after insertion Justin became convinced that he can now feel the strings if I'm on top when we are having "married people time" (TM Erica). The doctor checked the strings and said he SHOULDN'T feel them but yet he says he can. So that is beyond annoying. If that continues, I'm likely going to have it removed at my next annual appointment, assuming both of Justin's samples are clear. As promised, I have not been charged for insertion.
Vasectomy Issues: The procedure itself was pretty simple - J had to take some happy pills before we went in that made him delightfully loopy, he disappeared for a half hour or so, then I was good to take him home. It took him at least a week to recover, and he took vicodin that whole time. It was KILLING ME to watch him milk it, because I had 2 kids without pain medicine, both of which involved WAY MORE STITCHES than what he had, and I still had to be a fully functioning parent within seconds after popping them out. But whatever. He's fine now. He had to submit one sample last week and has another in a couple of months to make sure there are no rogue babymakers in his man goo. [Oddly, he literally called me as I was typing this - sample #1 came back negative]. The only real problem was the bill - he was under the impression that since the procedure was done in the doctor's office it wouldn't be that costly, but since the room he recovered in was owned by the hospital, he was charged $1700 freaking dollars. Not a happy surprise.
I also mentioned here that I am a bitch on Mirena and Justin is way nicer post vasectomy. So that's weird. I don't like to be yelling mom / mean wife. Ugh.
So, would we do it again? Probably. We are the laziest, and these options are good for lazy people. Since I like to grade the things I talk about (power trip!!) I'll give vasectomies a solid A and Mirena a C-. If Mirena doesn't get her act together in the next grading quarter, she drops to an F and will have to find a new home in the trash bin.
Please share your birth control stories below, good or bad. If you have Mirena, do you love it or hate it? Does it suck to get it removed? Did your husband have a vasectomy and now you have a chubby little newborn? How did you know you were done having kids / How do you know you're not??? Tell me everything, I want to know!