Birth Control is sometimes an IQ Test …..

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:

  1. I have not got it wrong, and this is a patch free week.
  2. I have missed my “free week” and I am technically a week “late” with my AF.
  3. I have missed my “free week” already a week ago and I am technically two weeks “late” with my AF.
  4. 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.)

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Super Human …

This morning there was a brilliant show on BBC Knowledge called Superhuman.

Clearly a series – and hosted by the same bloke who does “Child of our Times” – also a brilliant BBC documentary.

I missed the beginning of the show, and have never caught the series, but within 30 seconds I was hooked.

When I came in it was all about these parents and how they were going for IVF.  This was the first time I had caught the show, and it really was very interesting.

One couple had had a previous child with cystic fibrosis, and had gone through a horrific experience.   In wanting to fall pregnant the second time, they wanted to genetically test the embis to check if they in fact carried this trait.

They then implanted a pre-tested embi back that did not have cf, so the couple went on to have a healthy son. (I am simplifying the process here as I is simple folk)

The second couple were Jon and Alice, and they called themselves everyone’s favourite aunt and uncle.

They are THAT couple who are dying to have kids but are being th-warped at every turn.  They are the couple that would make great parents, but by some stupid set of circumstances, they are knocking their respective heads against a brick wall.

It seemed to have something to do with when the fertilised egg started to divide.  Alice had an enzyme that caused the embi to not divide equally and eventually the embi would start to disintegrate. (Again I am simplifying it here considerably.)

The reason I am telling you this tale of woe, is Kennith and I are lying in bed watching this while Isabelle (13 months) is bouncing around on our bed.  She is at that bounce around stage – where every now and then she tries to throw herself off the bed, and the only thing keeping her anchored is either me or Kennith holding her leg.

I glanced over at Kennith while we are watching the show, and realised how truly sad he was for these couples on the show.

I could actually see the disappointment on his face when Jon and Alice’s procedure was not successful, and he groaned out loud for them.

I often say that Kennith is a good egg.

The fact that he can look at this situation as a man, and could really grieve for a couple he does not know, made me go all warm and mushy for him.

He could have sat there and scratched his balls   (as you do first thing in the morning), and played games on his iphone.  But he sat and watched the show and showed real emotion for these people who are trying to have a baby of their own.

He is a good egg that Kennith is.

<of course then the show said that in the time we have been watching this show, I have lost three eggs, while Kennith has produced about 20 000 sperm – Kennith then asked me if I had anywhere to put the sperm … sigh>

Not feeling so good …

I have not been feeling well for a few days, it was mainly IBS  (irritable bowl syndrome – or spastic colon or fuck-my-stomach-is-really-sore) related issues.  From about Tuesday night the tempo was definitely stepped up and I really started to feel more crap than bad.

Wednesday was pretty grim, and by Wednesday night I was in agony.  We stopped at an all-night pharmacist and they gave me the usual things that really barely bounce off my symptoms.   I  do think pharmacists should give you schedule 4 or 5 drugs if you have a convincing enough story and lie on their counter, but we can address that in a separate post on another day.

I seldom miss work due to IBS.  It is around so much, that if I stayed off when IBS hit, I would be at home permanently.  So I tend to chew back half a dozen Buscopan and go to work and just focus on getting through the day without screaming at too many people.

I generally lack patience and tact, but when I am in pain, I have been known to be rude to blind crippled children with dyslexia.

My symptoms are usually spasms, of the kind that make you sit up and take notice.  In my case I have to stand, as I can’t actually sit at my desk.  I break out in a slight sweat, and feel really nauseous.  The pain/discomfort increases and it gets to the point where I actually cannot hear what people are saying anymore as I am in so much pain.

My pain is often intensified when people say “Have you got a sore tummy, take an ENO that always make me feel better.” At about that point I start imagining smashing the Eno glass into their face … but again, I seem to have gone off on a tangent.

By Thursday morning I was really out for the count and phoned in sick – I know I may appear to be a lackluster employee, but I rarely take sick days.

I popped off to see a GP.  Who turned out to be really nice and mature – I am so tired of seeing GP’s who look like they are 12 years old and graduated in 1995.  I like my doctors a little old and weathered, and more important who appear to be older than I am – which is getting harder and harder to find as time moves on.

Doctor B was great and did not try to cure the problem, but we discussed my symptoms what has helped over the years, what has not and what today’s problems were.

She gave me some muscle relaxants – gotta love that – though I was hopeful my sphincter did not think the relaxants were for him – and then some pills for intestinal cramping.

What a great combination, especially when taken together and at maximum dose.

Strange how when you look at the recommended dose you always think “well, that is for mere mortals with normal pain, for the pain I am experiencing – which is way off the chart – I need to double if not triple the recommended dose…”  Well, that is how I reason it anyway.

I always figure, what is the worst that can happen – I will just got to sleep for a long time, hardly seems like an undesirable side effect to me.

I would suggest being close to a bed, and not operating any kind of machinery or trying to text at the time of taking said muscle relaxants.

Thursday I lay there like a vegetable, and Friday was not much better – but I did start feeling mildly more human on Friday afternoon.

But strangely for the balance of the weekend I just kept feeling really crap – still crampy, though not throw-you-on-the-floor spasms, but nauseous, heavy, and just totally shite all around.

I was lying in bed on Saturday night whining quietly to Kennith.  Kennith suggested – in a not affectionate/optimistic voice – “is there any way you could be pregnant?”

Now I know that it is scientifically/biologically/religiously/time-space-continuum impossible, but at the same time I recall how I felt when I was last pregnant.  For those first three months and it was pretty much how I felt now – like absolute shite.

Suddenly I was alarmed – and still feeling sick!

Immediately I started worrying – good grief, could you imagine if I am pregnant!!  I am paranoid on the best of days and with the power of suggestion – especially negative suggestion – my mind can pick up on that scenario and run with it.

I had already worked out that I was due in late February/March, it would be a boy.

Kennith and I would practically be divorced then, I would weight at least 30 kilograms more.  Our house would be beyond chaos with too many children and not enough rooms.  I anticipated Pepe resigning because she felt I had pushed her too far.

Work had fired me as I would be so sick during this fourth pregnancy that I would not be at work much, we would be so far into financial trauma that we would be selling off any wedding presents we had received.

I went to scratch in the bathroom cupboard to see if I had an old – unused – pregnancy test lying around.  Sadly no, went back to bed to worry some more.

Sunday stopped at Clicks at Century City – pee’d on a stick – and not suprisingly it was negative.    The emotions one goes through when one is trying to urinate on a stick and not on your hand as you stare at that little line to appear or not to appear is really quite special.

For a moment, I actually thought “gee, what if I am” in a sort of silly smiley way.

The impact of a fourth child now would have killed us, even me a mildly rational person could have seen that.  I am barely coping as is.

Part of me – the sane part – was so relieved to have failed the test, though a very small – actually teeny-tiny-minute part – the unstable part – was a little disappointed, but that part of me likes to fly a little too close to the sun.

Kennith again asked if I would just let him go and have a vasectomy – and again indicated in no uncertain terms that he is OVER HAVING MORE CHILDREN!!  He even added “I AM DONE” with his arms that go up in the air for extra expression.

You know, I understand that.

I don’t accept it, and will continue to badger him some more – but in a subtle way.

He has taken to talking loudly and slowly to me on this issue so that there is no misunderstanding from him to me as to his wishes. But I just ignore him and think he will get on board.  (We can talk later about how I manage to sustain my delusions in the face of all evidence to the contrary.)

I know three children is too much and I often agree that we have bitten off more than we can chew, all this I know, but any way, that was my day.

Pee on a Stick why don’t you?

For those who don’t know me, it’s okay, I often wake up at night wondering if I know myself.  I do often wonder how I managed to get myself into this position – the position of being mom to three children.  When the number one issue is that I don’t actually like children (sure I like my own now, but I never played with dolls, and really tend to cringe back in terror when a young snotty happy faced short person runs towards me), and more importantly number two, I was very sure that I never wanted children.

My partner – Kennith – wanted children from the get go, I was very very reluctant and every time we had the conversation would wrap it up by saying “next year” knowing full well that next year was not going to be coming.  Six years into our relationship we had reached a cross-roads/an impasse and I fell pregnant with our first child when I was 28.  It was a totally planned endeavour.  This did not stop me sitting in the bath and crying like a knocked up 15 year old.

I do wish to place some blame on our friends Mike and Anita (names have not been changed to protect the innocent) – as they had exposed us to their child and it all seemed like such a jolly good idea from our vantage point.    I’ve never told them that they are to blame (if only partly), so hopefully they suffer sufficient guilt to bring me something great from the U2 concert that they are travelling overseas to go and see.

So there I was 28, unmarried, pregnant and frightened beyond measure …..