I was a little bummed when the father of my children said, “No more children!” with Father’s Day right around the corner. Gym Hottie and I enthusiastically agreed with one another on the fact that this two-kids-at-once gig is plenty . . . for “right now.” My heart melted from the endearing thought that opens up the possibility for more mini-Laotian Commotions in the future. Another overwhelmed father in my life is my own. I called him tonight to wish him a “Happy Father’s Day” and I laugh at his 29th request for some odd task to research another fancy idea he saw on the computer (i.e., the internet). My father is an eccentric and odd Laotian man, who wasn’t ready for his daughter to even have one kid, let alone another one within two years. So, this Father’s Day I will give them the best gift both my father and my husband would appreciate: I’m starting birth control.
The last time birth control talk was initiated was during my final postpartum visit done when Lanoy turned six weeks with my midwife, who attended my home birth. She presented the options and the corresponding information along with risks, benefits, and what may work best for me. I listened to each option and tried real hard to find the best method to prevent my uterus from getting ransacked again.
The ‘pill’ What seems to be the most known form of female birth control, I have taken the combination kind in my pre-kid life and even took the progestin-only kind during Humnoy’s infancy. The mini-pill is a progestin-only (the synthetic form of progesterone) birth control pill. I hated the mini-pill. It messed me up. Well, really though I messed it up because you had to take it every day at the same damn time. Shit you can’t do when you’re a new mom learning about your new baby and other mom life happenings. Also, the hormones in them messed me up. I didn’t feel right. After all, it is a pill with some trace amounts being passed into breast milk. Combined with exclusive breastfeeding, the mini-pill’s effectiveness against pregnancy is 100%. I can barely remember to run a full dishwasher so this option is asking too much from me.
IUD (intrauterine device) There are two options: ParaGard or Mirena. ParaGard is wrapped in copper and lasts for 10 years; Mirena contains progestin (like the mini-pill) lasts for five. I always hear horror and success stories with this. I’m more worried about its rumored effects than how it’s inserted: in my uterus. The nice thing is that I don’t have to remember to pop a pill and it can be as effective as surgical sterilization. Uh, wut and whoa. Also it can be removed at any time. . . from your uterus . . . from a medical professional, not yourself nor by your inventive ways to spice up parent date night.
NFP (Natural family planning) This wasn’t really discussed at my appointment because I don’t think the midwife didn’t want to suggest something that can leave room for error. I always thought of this as the good ol’ Pull n’ Pray (“withdrawal” method) but this thinking led to this. There’s also the book, “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” that helps you plan or avoid pregnancy without any contraceptives. You chart your fertile myrtle moments and either pounce on it or avoid it like folding clean laundry.
Exclusive breastfeeding Yeah, did you know that exclusively breastfeeding your baby can be an effective form of birth control? Yeah, me neither. It works only if you meet the following criteria though:
- Your baby is less than six months old
- Your menstrual periods have not yet returned
- Baby is breastfeeding on cue (both day & night), and gets nothing but breastmilk or only token amounts of other foods.
My cycle returned at 10 months with Humnoy, which is a couple months after I returned to part-time work. This may not work for me because *jinxy, no jinxy* both of my babies began sleeping through the night before or at six months. NO JINXY.
Condoms No pills, no invasive procedure, no hormones, sometimes surprise baby. Oh, shit. You know how many times I’ve heard “the condom broke” and it wasn’t even me? To their credit, I’ve also heard of pregnancy happening with the other methods above as well. See? Human error and I have made plenty.
I am bummed there won’t be another new -noy in the immediate near future but pretty sure Gym Hottie is even more bummed with my most preferable birth control in the form of condoms. No hormones, no remembering/forgetting, and usually free. The actual frequency of Parent Sex greatly reduces his actual encounter with condoms so beggars can’t be choosers. I am interested in learning to chart using NPF in addition to using condoms. With all the options laid (heh) before me, this method seems easiest and fool-proof so he will just have to deal with the
monthly bi-weekly weekly glove love.