Another late night post, Peeps… I had physical therapy tonight, came home sore, drank some cocktails, watched some of my DVR’d shows, and here we are. Isn’t that always the way?
I’m catching up on the Teen Mom Finale special and the first featured couple is Tyler and Caitlyn. *sigh* I can’t tell you how much I love them. Yes, they were “troubled kids”. Yes, they aren’t the brightest bulbs (I don’t. Understand. A word. You just said.) Trust me, Peeps, Bestie and Murs are cracking up right now. But they really made the best decision for themselves and for Carly. And they are growing into really great people. Coming through the wreckage into the brighter blue. It’s inspiring.
But, I digress… Again… The reason they inspired this post is BIRTH CONTROL. And our right to reproductive freedom.
Full disclosure… I lost my virginity at 18. Kinda old by today’s standards. Even kinda old for the standards 20 years ago. My first method of birth control was the good ol’ condom. I was in a pseudo-stable, and as far as I knew, monogamous relationship, so, I soon went to either Planned Parenthood or the student health center and got on The Pill. (Yeah, yeah, I don’t remember which. Damn. It was almost 2 DECADES ago. Gah.) I know that at some point in that relationship, I got The Pill from both places, so… Anyway…
It suited my needs. I was desperate to be a mother, but I knew in my heart of hearts that this guy wasn’t The Guy and that we shouldn’t procreate. Done and done. And if an accident happened, I knew that I’d do what Caitlyn and Tyler did and put the baby up for adoption. That guy and I weren’t fit to be co-parents. Not then. Not ever.
After college, we finally broke up for good. I was single for quite a long time and decided to go off The Pill. Again, my birth control of choice became the condom and I wasn’t afraid of buying them myself. Ahem. (Really, I’m thinking that I don’t care who reads this. Even my daughters someday. But then I think my god-daughter will read it and I get all verklempt- she’s a freshman in HS, Peeps. Gulp.) But yeah. I was a sexually active person and I took care of myself. So. Good on me. (God-daughter… sexually active does not mean promiscuous. I swear.) Regardless of that ookiness, I still held on to the fact that adoption would be option #1 for me, and abortion only the option if I couldn’t see a good outcome for the paternity. Make sense? No? Long story.
Eventually I met my Hubster. And he and I decided at some point to ditch the condoms and get on The Pill. As I said before, done and done. But something wasn’t done this time. I saw… forever with him. I knew that right then wasn’t the time for baybays, but… still… if an “accident” happened??? This was The Guy. We were gonna be together for life. So, yeah, well. Our kids were bound to be born eventually. Who were we to decide when? It’s all very complicated. Because we were VERY not READY.
Then, two things happened.
First a dear friend and former coworker of mine (whom I’ve since lost track with and really miss very much) was the kinda person that was, um, rightish…. As in right wingish. She was a soldier, actually, in the Salvation Army. Yeah, I didn’t know that they called themselves that either, Peeps. But she was a really good coworker and friend. Someone that I confided in quite a bit and someone who accepted me and my Boyfriend (Hubby) for who we were even though we weren’t living by the covenants she believed in. She was the one who told me that some birth control pills don’t prevent fertilization, but instead prevent fertilized eggs from implanting.
At first, I didn’t believe it. I thought it was all conservative propaganda. So, I did my research and found that she was right. And The Pill I was on, in fact, could allow actually conception, but prevent implantation. Well, that planted a seed that I wasn’t even aware of until….
Secondly, one Sunday night, after my Boyfriend (Hubby) left Baltimore to return to Staten Island, I went to take The Pill. For whatever reason, this night, I happened to see the expiration date.
Now, I’m a procrastinator (lazy person says Bestie) by nature. I always kept a spare pack of pills in case I forgot or couldn’t get a GYN appointment for a refill. So, I was using my spare pack. Which were… you guessed it… expired.
I saw that date on the pack. My heart started to race. I saw by the number of “hanging chads” that I’d only been on bad pills for a bit over a week. But… Boyfriend and I had sex two days ago. So… Theoretically… I was unprotected.
Old instincts honed over 10+ years of pregnancy prevention kicked in and I looked up the number for Planned Parenthood.
I made an appointment as soon as I could to get Plan B.
I told Boyfriend. His response was sorta, “Okay…” I didn’t know how to interpret that. At the time I took it as a “You do you” kind of response.
So… I got the Plan B pills. I took them.
Seemingly right after, I started having cramping and nausea and heavy, heavy bleeding.
I knew, logically, intellectually, that I was just experiencing increased hormonal effects that The Pill already provided.
Emotionally, I felt like I’d stopped something that was SUPPOSED to happen. I felt awful. When I voiced my feelings to Boyfriend, I found that he did too. It was like we both realized… Hey, wait… We were ready after all.
So, yeah, Plan B cannot stop an existing pregnancy. I know that.
This isn’t about what I KNOW. It’s about how I FELT.
I remembered my coworker’s words. Remembered that just because an egg didn’t implant, doesn’t mean it didn’t fertilize. I thought about those dreams of a family I saw when I looked into Boyfriend’s eyes. And I mourned. We mourned together.
We actually briefly debated throwing caution to the wind and letting fate decide. But ultimately, we decided to go back to the good ol’ condom.
Flash forward a year or so later and Boyfriend is now Hubby. We decide to get pregnant as soon as possible. I remember being in Jamaica on our honeymoon and wishing on a bright Caribbean star than we’d made a baby.
But about a month later we did. We actually made two.
Soon after our dreams come true – Lala & Loopsy – were born, we were faced with a decision.
What method of birth control fit us now?
Listen Peeps, those right wingers aren’t gonna like this…
We decided on Mirena. It’s an IUD with a low dose of hormone. It doesn’t prevent fertilization, but prevents implantation with more accuracy than a vasectomy.
So… Why the change?
Well, our family is complete. We are the Four Millards.
Our family. Our choice.
Yet another example of why I will always, ALWAYS, be pro-choice.