What a fracas this whole birth control thing has turned out to be. I can see why people choose to use nothing or be careful or plan naturally or whatever. I personally am considering becoming a nun.
Went in yesterday to have the Mirena placed. This is my second appointment time, since for the first one, at five weeks, I was called the DAY OF and told it was too early. Turns out to be blatantly false- they can insert an IUD as early as a few minutes postpartum, but the likelihood of expulsion is much greater.
SO I’m in my midwife’s office and the nurse asks if I have been sexually active since the birth. Heck yeah, I said, laughing (we really only just began again- promise). The nurse stares at me and says in a hushed voice, “but did you use protection?” Looking around furtively, like it was a matter of national security, I answered “of course”. The midwife comes in, looks over the chart, and says: “did no one give you postpartum instructions?” Umm…yeah? They told me all about caring for the stitches and getting rest and remembering to take the prenatals. And they mentioned sex, I think….about being careful? About not wanting to come back at the 6-week mark already pregnant again? So, protection. OK. So I went my merry way and, at about 5 weeks, was fine enough to go ahead and…well…you know…
What they should have told me was quite different. Like, NO SEX AT ALL. OR ELSE. Turns out that the Mirena can actually be used as a quite effective “morning after” contraception, within three days of intercourse. But having ANY sex before insertion carries an infintessimal risk that you MAY be pregnant upon insertion. And since a pregnancy test (blood or urine) can’t detect a pregnancy until 14 days in, there was an (albeit miniscule) chance that the insertion could cause an infection and miscarriage of the potential-though-highly-unlikely-fetus. Which means, by choosing insertion, I could be killing a baby. “So”, the midwife says, cheerfully, “what would you like to do?”
Talk about hot sweats. There, in the glaring light of the examining room, with the open-at-the-front gown and the lap sheet that never covers everything you want it to, I was given The Choice. I could have the thing inserted and abort a possible baby, or I could wait two weeks and be assured that I wasn’t pregnant- as insignificant as that chance may have been- and be sure.
I KNOW we used protection every time. I KNOW I have been breastfeeding, and I KNOW I haven’t had a period. But…but…but….
So I walked out without an IUD.
Turns out it may be good in more ways than one. My midwife and I discussed the IUD situation and she asked me if I had chosen the Mirena because I wanted lighter periods. I told her no, and she recommended the Paragard copper IUD instead, citing the lack of hormones, the smaller incidence of spotting, the increased time of protection, and even the cost, which turns out to be several hundred dollars less.
I have my next appointment in 14 days- and no hanky panky until then (promise). I may decide to go with the copper IUD instead, which carries risks as well, but many fewer. The end result of the whole kerfuffle? A feeling that I should be taking this a whole lot more seriously than I have been. BC is one of those conscious and informed health care decisions that should be done thoughtfully, with deliberation, and with as much information as possible. 14 days isn’t such a long time, even with a GPH like mine. And as G and as P as he is, he is also thoughtful enough to know the hugely detrimental impact that another baby would have at this point. Gotta love procreation, but it’s a delicate (and messy) business. I’ll sit this one out, thanks.