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Dec 5 2013

Birth Control for the Over 40 Set?

By at 5:03 pm

bc

This is ridiculous. I am almost 42 years old and I am having a birth control dilemma. How did THAT happen?!

I got pregnant with my son almost four years ago by batting my eyelashes at my fiancé. Fertile myrtle, right? Not so much.

Secondary infertility set in, and after there were hormones injected into my rump, more dildo-cams than I care to recall, and a two-year stretch of nothing but miscarriages, I got knocked up again. With twins.

I will always wonder if the twins came naturally or from the fertility drug refill that I self-administered, not under a doctor’s care, at half the dose. Some twins do run in my family and AMA (advanced maternal age) also increases the occurrence of twins, so who the hell knows? Or maybe it happened because when I was 10 or so I said I wanted a boy and then twin girls. Cover and simmer for 30 some-odd-years and VOILA, made to order!

I asked my OB to tie my tubes if I had a C-section. She looked at me kindly and reminded me I would be delivering in a Catholic hospital and they don’t do that procedure there. This is not the first time the Catholic Church got in the way of my reproductive system.

However, after consulting with Dr. Google, I realized that getting your tubes tied is not a walk in the park. My husband’s insurance covers it at 100%, so cost isn’t directly an issue, but if I’m bedridden for any serious amount of time the childcare bills are definitely going to stack up.

I am six months post-partum and, well, I SHOULD be using birth control, because I don’t think I could handle another pregnancy–physically, emotionally, or any other way. The chances of my getting pregnant are pretty low. But it just takes one exception…one day where everything is aligned, my hormones at an optimum level, the perfect egg waiting to meet one of my husband’s Olympic gold medal swimmers, and BAM! The fourth child, another son, which my husband teased me about, will materialize into more than a passing joke. So, let’s review the options for preventing this tragicomedy:

1. Condoms would seem like the easiest way to go. My husband, my darling husband, doesn’t care for them. Seriously? And he wonders why I won’t go near him these days!

2. Vasectomy is another option. But my husband is younger than me and if I should drop dead tomorrow, I want him to find someone to love and grow old with, and ideally, to give his hot young wife some kids so she loses her looks like I did. So he should keep his options open. I will, however, reserve the right to go to my grave thinking that I am indeed the better half and no other children he could possibly have would be as awesome as the ones he made with me.

3. I could take the pill but they give me migraines and if I never put another hormone in me again it will be too soon. The hormones I took for the fertility treatments were brutal…on everyone around me. Never again will I make myself crazier than I naturally am. It’s a non-negotiable.

4. Charting my temperature and avoiding “fertile” days? Well, considering you need a good temperature read in the morning for this to be remotely viable, it won’t happen for me. I am awake at all hours, nursing and pumping. An accurate read would be impossible. Yes, I know about cervical mucus too. But I am six months post-partum! None of that would be very reliable.

5. Then there is the IUD. My husband thinks this is a great option. I think it is creepy. I cannot imagine placing a piece of hardware in my uterus to hang out for years. Weird. Just weird. Can’t do it.

So, the debate rages on. I feel so much pressure about this and am so very frustrated. But probably not feeling as much frustration as my husband. Nevertheless, even he recognizes that three’s the charm and doesn’t really want to put the “pro” in “procreate.”

So, before everyone starts chiming in with sappy analogy-filled advice for my husband (“Son, if you want to splash in the puddle, you have to put on your raincoat”) could you please provide me with some options I may not have considered?

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