Tag Archives: Health

Is My Robot Arm Birth Control Giving Me A Brain Tumor? (And other questions)

January 21, 2015


A long time ago a few of us talked about birth control. I was looking for something after our second baby was born and asked if anyone had found anything wonderful. There were a lot of helpful comments on that post, along with agreed frustration over the few options out there that are satisfying for everyone.

After a lot of research and “WILL THIS HURT???”, I decided to get the Nexplanon inserted in my arm after Eva was born. And now, a little over a year later, I’m getting it out.

If you’re new here, let me welcome you to a brief history of my uterus! If I had visual aids, I would first show you a picture of a flat-chested young woman in the 8th grade who still did not have her period. Then I would tell you about the day that flat-chested young woman finally did get her period, after faking it several times and almost dying on a water slide. Then I would tell you about sleeping around in college, waiting for my honeymoon, and then trying really, really hard to get pregnant.

Lucky for me, I had two kids after many drugs and carbs, and am now in the place many parents find themselves: not wanting any more kids right now, but not ready for the big V.

Initially the Nexplanon was a dream come true. A painless insertion followed by minimal spotting, no periods, and hassle free sex for three years. Then a few months ago I started getting bad headaches, followed by depressive episodes and an anxiety I’ve never experienced before. Truthfully there were a few days before Christmas I would not have been able to take care of my kids if Austin wouldn’t have been home.

To be clear, there’s a good chance all of these symptoms could have nothing to do with the birth control. There’s also a chance I’ll never have those symptoms again. But if removing these hormones from the equation could prevent that heaviness from happening again, I am more than willing to try. As soon as I made the appointment, I felt relief. Taking the first step is often half the cure (especially when the only other step you’re taking is googling brain tumor symptoms).

Of course the downside to all of this is that someone is going to cut a 4 inch piece of plastic out of my arm this morning while I nervously make small talk about the weather. A few years ago, a lab technician was drawing blood samples and in a nauseated frenzy I asked if he “enjoyed being outside.” He paused before replying, “You mean, like outside this hospital?”

I have never been great with blood.

Birth control is so complicated. The female body is so complicated. Every symptom is a symptom of something else. If I had a nickle for every wasted pregnancy test or googled illness, I could fund my own personal cheesecake factory–and I don’t even like cheesecake that much.

A prayer for the unsuspecting nurse midwife who will inevitably wonder why the pale 29-year-old is sweating and talking about storm patterns.

Another chapter for this uterus.


Let’s Talk About Vasectomies!

October 21, 2014


Do you want to know what guys love talking about? Vasectomies. Cosmo may think it has something to do with lace underwear, but no. Guys definitely love talking about testicular surgery.

I want to tell you that Austin and I don’t talk about having a third baby every week, but that would be a lie because we talk about it every day. No one wants to talk about it, but out it comes in various forms having to do with things like vacations and private school and most importantly how will we ever have time.

Practically we know it doesn’t really matter. If we have zero or three more kids, we will be fine and happy and make it work. But when two firstborn children marry each other, it is very hard for everyone to just relax.

The conversation often centers around the desire to be more than parents. We find ourselves routinely frustrated over not being able to pursue hobbies because the kids are constantly asking for refills of orange juice. Austin loves babies, but worries the stage of diapers and tantrums will seem unending if we keep the ball rolling. I know how he feels. There are many moments every day when I stop and think, this is all I can sanely handle. This is absolutely it. 

On the other hand, children are heart growers, birth is beautiful, and what about all those instagrams of newborns in sleepsacks?

Pros and cons, pros and cons.

Our plan has always been to wait until Evie is three years old and make a decision from there, but it is hard to push it from my mind. I want to know for sure if these are my last infant years. Will I really only have two little faces in the rear view mirror? Should I be keeping my baby bathtub? What if my robot arm birth control is giving me a disease? IS MY WOMB EMPTY FOREVER.

I have talked about the last baby before. From the beginning I have treasured our daughter like she is the last time I’ll ever kiss a soft baby belly, and yet I can’t help but dream about a Braverman-like crowd at future holiday dinners. I love my kids so much, why wouldn’t I want more? Won’t Waylon and Eva want more siblings? What other kind of humans could we grow!

Of course there are many opinions. Last week I read an article on the top ten reasons why you definitely should have a third child. A few days later, I read another post on why you definitely should not. Both used the word “selfish” and both made it seem like I was only one round of Clomid away from the best or worst decision of my life. It was confusing.

It is human nature to be curious about the what-ifs. I will pray for peace and Xanax. Best case scenario is that I will become more enlightened, or at the very least, more relaxed. We have time. We have two mostly nice kids. Hormonal birth control (probably) won’t kill me. What will be will be.

In the meantime, keep making babies and let me know how it goes.