I am reasonably bright but I find remembering to take birth control nearly impossible.
I tried to take the birth control pill a number of years back.
When I realized I was taking them five or seven at a time, because I kept forgetting to take them each day, it occurred to me that it might not be the best method for me. My amending the one-a-day protocol may well lead to pregnancy, which at the time was not the plan.
I heard about a birth control injection, and looked into that a bit.
You only have to do that once every three months.
Sounds like a pretty full-proof plan to me. Though I am not really keen on injections, I felt that it was a small price to pay for not having to take handfuls of birth control tablets.
Of course I did not actually go and have it done every three months.
I read that it takes about nine to twelve months for your cycle to stabilize after your last injection. I figured if I was two or three months late with my follow up injection, it was not really going to do much harm.
I tended to skate on the wild side with that method as well.
Please bear in mind that we have three children and none were conceived with a “surprise” – they were all conceived as a plan. Even with my rather reckless disregard for the fine print on birth control products, it seems I do not fall pregnant unless there is a plan and a spreadsheet involved.
In each case I came off birth control, waited the correct period, and then we started trying to conceive. I am not saying that it is impossible that I fall pregnant with my rather flagrant disregard for the instructions, but for me it appears to be unlikely based on past experience.
Earlier this year, my OBGYN sort of went the colour of pale puke when I told him I was on Depo Provera (birth control injection). He did not quite run naked screaming into the traffic, but he did raise his eyebrow and lower the tone of his voice to a very serious level and made reference to my age, and some other unsavoury comments, which are best left unsaid for a lady of quality like myself.
The man is from Austria, one listens when an Austrian man issues commands/suggestions to you.
With his rather sobering suggestion, I opted back onto birth control pills.
Again I found myself gobbling handfuls when I remembered. I realized that maturity has not changed me at all when it came to following instructions on the packs of birth control. I felt if I remained on this path, we would be parents (again) before the month was out.
I was lamenting my problem to the GP whilst she was looking over one of my kids for one illness or another. She commented that there is a birth control patch on the market, it is quite new, but she recommends it.
You stick it on your body once a week and leave it – then put a new patch on each week, and that is pretty much the level of effort involved. That is the extent that you need to remember. One plaster, once a week.
Sounds easy! She was jolly nice and wrote me up a script too. (I do love piggy-backing on a doctor’s visit and not having to pay for two consultations.)
I was very excited to get my first lick-and-stick patch. I stuck it on my rather large arse and thought something would happen. I am not sure what, but there was nothing, so I thought, well clearly I must be doing it right.
Let’s leave it to do it’s work quietly shall we.
Second week, I was all excited about my “patch change day” – listen I do not have much excitement going on in my neck of the woods. It went well, and I was pleased that I had managed to find such an easy method of birth control that even I could not muck up.
Third week, still excited about my patch change day – none of the magic has been lost on me. It was quite special, until I stuck the patch to itself and I could not get it loose. Shit! No patch! Damn it!
I had to get to work, and then something happened on the weekend and I could not go to chemist.
I finally got there on Monday and got a new pack. Took one patch out of new pack to use to finish week 3 of old cycle.
Ah, all very easy.
It even comes with stickers that you stick in your diary to remind you which day is patch 1, patch 2, patch 3 and free patch week – what could be easier? Nothing could be easier, right?
Do I still manage to get it wrong? Of course I do.
Fast forward about two months. Last week I am standing about to change my patch – it is basically a plaster about 20mm x 20mm that you stick anywhere on your body and the hormones are absorbed through your skin.
I think “wait I have got it wrong” – and then I realize I have totally cocked it up and I have no idea where I am in my little patch change program, like no idea!
You are meant to have 3 weeks of patches, and then one week of no patch – as then you have an AF/your cycle/eat chocolate and scream at the cat, which ever fits you as the most appropriate term for what occurs in week 4.
So then I realise I have it wrong, so one of a few things are going on here:
- I have not got it wrong, and this is a patch free week.
- I have missed my “free week” and I am technically a week “late” with my AF.
- I have missed my “free week” already a week ago and I am technically two weeks “late” with my AF.
- I have no idea where the hell I am in my month.
Because I have no idea where I am – other than in the bathroom – it could be option 1,2, 3, 4 or any combination of the above.
I stood looking more confused than usual. Then I got stressed, and consulted with Kennith who suggested I use this as a “patch free” week and start sticking a new patch next week, as there was nothing else to do.
I agreed with him – only because I really had no idea what the hell I was doing.
But then the mice/hamster/small rodent in my head started to run amuck – like totally.
I was convinced that I was already a week late (with the arrival of my period in case it is not obvious) and then I started to think “what if I am pregnant?”
The problem is that I move from “what if” to “I am pregnant” pretty quickly. Actually the term is “with lightening quick speed.”
Added to that is that I have felt nauseous like no one’s business for nearly two weeks now, and my stomach has just been feeling out of sorts.
So based on all of this I totally started living in the assumption that I am now pregnant (with number four you understand!).
I started wondering when I should pee on a stick, just to confirm the obvious and all.
And more importantly how long I should just not tell Kennith, because I am sure he will actually run away – not metaphorically.
But like packing his underpants and an onion into a little bag and actually running away. (He did that when he was small, packed an onion and a pair of underpants and ran away from home…gotta love a child who runs away with a change of underwear and ingredients for a simple salad.)
As the days dragged on I constantly thought the universe was giving me signs.
I saw an advert the night before last, advertising a new brand of pee-on-a-stick-and-see-if-you-are-pregnant that not only tells you if you are pregnant, but also tells you when you conceived. I googled the product after seeing the advert.
I have never seen that advert before – it must be a sign!
Then this morning someone was speaking about pregnancy, and as I walked in to the room, someone said “You will probably have another one, right?” to which I answered in silent horror (and amazement) “How did you know, is it that obvious already?”
Another sign – surely!
This morning I put on my “shirt that I bought at the beginning of my last pregnancy” to work – oh there were signs everywhere I tell you.
I had already shortlisted names. It will be a boy this time.
Started mentally moving Isabelle into Georgia’s room – decided on which bedding would work for both girls. I cut back on wine last night – yes, one should only have limited alcohol when one is pregnant, it is the responsible thing to do.
I had already started apologizing to Isabelle this morning as she would not be my baby any more as there would probably be an usurper in our midst.
As you can see, one just needs only to point me in the direction, turn my little mechanical key and off I go.
I pictured the conversation where Kennith sits me down and explains that we really cannot have four children and then tells me that we need to discuss an abortion.
And then the part where I am pulling my hair and beating my chest in anguish and begging him to reconsider.
I have pictured so many permutations that I am quite exhausted, what being imaginary pregnant and all.
I thought I would leave it until Monday and then officially pee on a stick.
As it worked out, it seems there is no need to pee on a stick as of late this morning. I can honestly say I am actually a bit disappointed, I am not crushed and flaying around on the floor, but I am a little disappointed.
I am waiting for Kennith to phone me crying in relief! (he did not know about my delusional pregnancy, so there is no need to send him any words of condolences.)