You havent heard enough about my innards, have you? When I showed you a picture of my IUD moments after it was removed, that wasn’t enough. When I took a picture of the view from my colposcopy I know I really left you wanting more. And I know that when I gave you the play by play of Lucy’s birth I left out a lot of details.
So, that is why I feel compelled to give you some more deets about Lady Town.
Five Fun Facts About My Choice to Have My Paragard Replaced With a Mirena
1. Fact: I love my kids. I was blessed to fall in love with each of them the moment they were born. Moments after Emily was born I knew I would do it again. And the moment after Lucy was born and Emily said “It’s a sister” I knew that I was done. These were my children. We were complete.
2. Fact: I have good intentions. And grand plans. Eat a healthy snack every day becomes eat peanut M&Ms on occasion. Stop wearing yoga pants unless I am exercising becomes wear yoga pants when you are planning on staying home for the day. Make sure I have planned our dinners in such a way that I do not have to throw away a single leftover easily turns in to I totally I forgot I bought this cilantro but we ate everything else! Go, me!
Small things. A single bag of M&Ms, cozy yoga pants when it is cold outside and a $2 bag of fresh cilantro won’t change the course of history. But take this pill every single day at the same time or you might get pregnant. Another baby? A baby changes you. Forever.
It took me 36 years to like me just fine. This Life, the one where I forgive myself for a bag of M&Ms or some wasted cilantro, I want this Life. And the “Yes, actually I was on birth control pills but aren’t we Blessed to have this baby” baby just doesn’t fit in this Life.
3. Fact: Nursing my babies is important to me. It might even be more than important. It goes well beyond nutrition and it is the cornerstone to my parenting philosophy. Many of the decisions that I have made about how to be the best mother that I can be center around continuing the mother-baby nursing relationship for as long as it is mutually desired.
I am not denying that other women can be wonderful mothers and not breastfeed. (Nor am I telling you that daily M&Ms, a wardrobe made up solely of yoga pants and regular take-out because you forgot to pull chicken breasts out to thaw signals the imminent failure of your family foundation. But it doesn’t add up to the Life that I want. For me.)
So, I breastfeed. And I avoid things that can have a negative impact on that relationship, things like hormonal birth control.
I shared here about how I had Big Plans for getting back in the marital saddle as soon as I got my IUD last February. I had a copper IUD after Emily was born and it worked well for me for years. There is an adjustment period, pardon the pun. But it is worth it.
4. Fact: I am not a squeamish gal when it comes to my own body. I sing the praises of the menstrual cup loud and proud. Who wants to think about their period all of the time? Not me. Twice a day you can empty a menstrual cup and chances are your periods will be shorter in length! The Diva Cup is awesome. The other day a friend asked me if she could talk to me about it. I laughed. I sat in my living room and showed her how it works, folded it, talked about the magical twist and release that creates a perfect seal. Ordinarily someone has to ask me to not talk about my menstrual cup. I am what one might call a huge fan.
But that doesn’t mean I want to wear it every day. The Diva Cup is not intended to be an everyday accessory. You see where I am going with this, right? This is when I try to find a clever way to explain that I have had my period on average for 14 days out of every 21 since I got it back (at three months post-partum!!) Umm. I don’t need a separate paragraph to include the Fact that that is some bullshit right there.
5. Fact: Every women is different. Every body is different. And evidently every woman’s body isn’t even the same year after year. My beloved hormone-free Paragard isn’t working for me this time. After much research and soul searching I am having it removed and replaced with the levonorgestrel-releasing Mirena. Many women have had a Mirena with no impact on their milk supply at all.
But I am afraid.
The rest of the ill side-effects that are possible: hellacious acne, migraines and depression, I won’t be able to ignore them. It won’t sneak up on me. I will never sit down at the end of the day and say “Damn, I have had a debilitating headache all day, I didn’t even realize it.”
But I don’t know what low milk supply feels like. I don’t know how to know that it is happening. I know I do not want my baby (and yes, she turned one last week, but she is a baby) to wean. I don’t even know what weaning a baby looks like. And more than that – I do not know how to mother a toddler without nursing.
I am, as I always am, nursing Lucy while I type. And I am, as I sometimes am, crying. If the Mirena works for us I will be happy. And if it doesn’t, if my mik supply dips and I can’t get it back up quickly, I will be having it removed “even though” my baby is over a year old.
I struggled with this decision. Above all else I struggled with admitting that I was making choices about my birth control largely based on my ability to breastfeed my twelve month old. And I shouldn’t have to struggle to admit that. It’s how I choose to parent. And it works for me. And for my kids. And when I put it like that it doesn’t sound so complicated.
If you find this because you are struggling with your own decision, feel free to contact me. If you want to share your experience because it will be helpful to you, please do. If you want to tell me about your sister-in-law with a Mirena that breastfed her entire neighborhood until they graduated from high school or warn me that my insides will likely turn inside out I can assure that I have weighed both the risks and the benefits and made a choice.
In the coming weeks I can promise to keep y’all posted about my milk supply. More boobs, less uterus! Now that’s a campaign platform if ever there was one.
Update: What did my seven-year-old think of watching me get my IUD? Find out!