I have the amazing capacity to get myself worked up into a tizzy by something that hasn’t even happened and may never happen. Does anyone else do that? You know, you have conversations with someone in your head and you get upset about it…
I will now warn my zero male viewers that the rest of this post will deal with menstruation and contraception, so if you are squeamish and want to click back over to ESPN, I will not feel rejected or mistreated.
I am not sure where to start… so, let’s start with contraception. I have two kids and for many, many reasons, that is enough. My husband, like many Chileans, is convinced that three is the magic number. I have told him: a) when men can bear children he can go for a third; b) he can have as many as he wants with his second wife; but c) I will not be having a third baby.
So after baby number two, I broached the issue of contraception. I wanted something long-term/permanent, but for a few reasons, I did not want a tubal ligation. I had kind of decided that a vasectomy was the way to go: minimally invasive, low likelihood of damage or problems and a pretty good success rate. The only other option was an IUD.
To make a long story short: I have an IUD. It is the Paraguard, or the copper T (ironically, the IUD my mother-in-law was using decades ago when she became pregnant with her youngest. But nothing is 100%, you know you have to accept a small margin of error.) The upside: it has no hormones. I have never taken birth control pills and I have just never felt comfortable with the idea of hormones. And seriously… I have BEEN pregnant; I do not want to take anything that tricks my body into thinking it is pregnant.
To make a short story long again, I was absolutely furious. The initial "get a vasectomy" conversation did not go well. I know most men aren’t really comfortable with the idea of getting snipped, and knowing my husband I knew he would be really, really uncomfortable with the idea. Yet, I felt I had sacrificed enough. He didn’t want to totally block the possibility of having a third. I assured him that I was not going to be having a third. He said you never know. I said I knew…. And so on and so forth…
I fumed, literally, for days, and finally I reasoned that I was the one who didn’t want more kids. If we were to part ways or if something were to happen to me (god forbid, of course) then he might eventually be in a place where he would or could have more kids. So I let it go.
Still, I cried when I went to get it put in, not about the babies I wouldn't be having, but reading about possible complications, uterine rupture and all that. But, it has been more than two years and there have been no problems.
Well, actually for a few months (or a year, whatever) I had the worst PMS in the history of the universe. I mean, I was homicidal for a good two weeks of the month. It was exacerbated by the nagging thought it my head that it was the copper T’s fault—due to copper toxicity or something, which was by default my husband’s fault for what I called “not taking any contraceptive responsibility.” I talked to my doctor she gave me some ideas and said it was probably due more to my age than anything else. Thanks Doc!
From my IUD I am going to jump to menstruation. First, I’ll say that I wish your body would just shut that function off when your brain had decided it was no longer biologically necessary and then I wouldn’t have to deal with this next issue.
I am a tampon girl. At 14 or 15, after the first awkward months of having a period and using pads, my step-mom suggested trying tampons. It was kind of scary and I remember crying in frustration trying to get it inserted correctly. But once I figured it out-- I never looked back.
Why am I talking about tampons anyway? Well, tampons are not very common in Chile. Most Chilean women don’t use them (something vaguely about being Catholic and fears of losing their virginity—which they may wish to re-define). Tampons are hard to find in Chile; there is no variety; they are expensive. This was the case 10 years ago, anyway. My husband suggested that it may have changed, but from what I have read recently by other ex-pats it is very much the same. I used to send my mom money to ship me boxes and boxes of OBs, for almost 4 years.
Rather than carry a 5-year supply down there with me, I looked into other options… well, THE other option, the menstrual cup. I tried the Diva cup. It took me a long time just to get up the nerve—is it that weird of an idea? Yes, I think it is a little weird.
Maybe it takes time to get used to??? But I tried it for a cycle and was not sold. It is a little messy, I can’t imagine having to do it in a public bathroom. I couldn’t seem to get it situated quite right. I couldn’t feel it; it didn’t hurt, but it kept kind of leaking, just a little.
The box says not to use it with an IUD, but checking online I saw that many women do. I called my OB and asked her; she said it was fine, so I bought one. The first day I used it I had some cramping. I hadn’t had cramps for a long time so, naturally I started worrying about it:
What if it dislodged my IUD?
What if it comes out, like I pull out the cup and my IUD is in it?
But the Dr. said it would work fine… what if she is wrong?
What if I am like the 1% of people who have issues with using both?
If it comes out, I am not getting it put back in… I won’t do it, I already did it once.
He’ll have to get a vasectomy
What if he refuses?
would I do?
Well, there would be no sex…
That would be miserable!
What if he just never gave in and didn’t get it done?
Would I leave him?
Yes, that bastard…
I got myself all worked up.
Later, I told the hubs about my mental conversation with him and how upset I was with him for his potential refusal, and how I was making ultimatums and such. I kindly suggested that if the situation should arise that my IUD comes out for whatever reason, it will not be going back in, and that when I tell him that he needs to get the V-job, he should seriously, seriously consider it because I have already resolved to leave him if he doesn’t.
I might give the cup another chance, but I don’t know if I can do the menstrual cup thing. I am bringing it as back up, but it looks like 5 years of tampons it is. I just bought like 20 boxes of OBs
… and my US peeps should be on full alert for tampon requests…
…that and baking chocolate…
Was that waaaaay too much personal information, or what?