Until six month ago, aside from the two months it took me to get pregnant with each of my sons and the nine months of gestation, I had been on the pill since I was sixteen. In the spirit of full disclosure, there was that one time after the birth of my second and last son that I tried an IUD which caused me to have painful cysts. Like I drove myself to my OBGYN’s office in tears and demanded they see me because I was sure my uterus was about to explode I was in so much pain. Experiment having failed, I ran right back to my good old friend the pill.
Over the years I heard from friends and medical professionals that I absolutely should and absolutely should not be on the pill. One doctor told me I was feeding potential cancer candy by taking the pill and yet others said it could possibly protecting me from certain types of cancers. But at the end of the day as a forty-two-year-old woman I was just sick of taking the pill. And even with all the docs who told me it was perfectly safe, my gut—which has absolutely no basis in scientific evidence—was telling me that taking hormones for twenty-six years probably wasn’t the best health decision I’ve made.
The math is different for me now then it was fifteen or twenty years ago. Back in my childless days the pill made sense. I could get off of it and start a family whenever I wanted to. And that plan worked (thank God because it certainly isn’t that easy for most). But now that forty is in my rear-view mirror and my youngest child is ten, I want something permanent because, ladies, I am done being pregnant! So naturally I assumed my husband would step up, do the right thing and get a vasectomy. After all I’ve been the responsible party when it came to birth control for the entire duration our entire relationship. I carried two babies and delivered both vaginally which means I can’t do jumping jacks without pissing my pants. Fair is fair it’s his turn, right? But that would be too easy. Turns out he has incredible anxiety about having the procedure done. Of course all the horror stories he found on the Google are not helping matters. I got to the point where I realized that he had so convinced himself that his penis might fall off that if in the very miniscule chance something did go wrong he’d never forgive me. Someone told me I should withhold sex but why punish me too?
So I continued to take my friend the pill. Until the day I didn’t. I had just left the office of the doctor who told me I was feeding cancer candy by taking the pill and I thought she might be wrong but what if she is right. So I decided that there would be no more negotiating with terrorists. When I got home I told my husband that I wasn’t taking the pill anymore and that if he knocked me up it was all on him. So we’ve been winging it like a couple of teenagers for the last six months. My husband blinked a few times and said he’d think about having a vasectomy. But I’m at the point now where I’ve realized that as much as I’d love for it to be all on him, in reality if I do become pregnant it will be all on me: nine months of being pregnant (which was never my favorite thing), the morning sickness, the weight gain, the birth, the breastfeeding, the grind to get back into shape which sucked ten years ago so I can only imagine the nightmare it would be now.
So I broke down and saw my OBGYN last week and asked her to sign me up for something permanent. Some girlfriends had told me about a process called ablation which typically stops periods altogether. But my doc told me I’d have to get my tubes tied first then I could go for the ablation. Now they use little wires to block your tube and it is an in office procedure. It was a fifteen minute consult and by the end of it all I wanted to know was where to sign up.
I thought I’d feel more sentimental about the end of my child bearing days. But I’m a woman on a mission and evidently there isn’t any room for the weepy, sappy version of me. I feel relieved and empowered. I have a beautiful family, I have a great life, and I’m really excited for the next chapter in my life. I’m ready.
For laughter and inspiration read my blog NicoleCorning.com and my book The Working Mommy’s Manual, available on Amazon: