July 19th, 2013


birth control, family planning, third kids

Got another mirena IUD in last week. Once again it was no sweat - I took a bunch of ibuprofen before I went to the doctor, wore a pad in case of bleeding, I think she messed one up and had to put a second one in but who knows I wasn't paying much attention. Sat there for a second after the doctor left because I thought I remembered feeling lightheaded last time I got an IUD in, but my last OB told me that lightheadedness was caused because a lot of women hold their breath when their cervix is messed with. This time I tried to breath more. It didn't terribly hurt, sort of a dentist-office level of discomfort, and it turned out I wasn't lightheaded at all. I drove home, felt a little crampy afterwards so I laid down and took a nap for about an hour, and when I woke up I wasn't crampy anymore and went about my day.

And just like that I'm birth controlled!

It's not permanent. People keep asking if we're gonna have a third kid. Part of me feels like I'm so good at pregnancy and childbirth, it's a sign we should totally make another baby, it's hard to look at a cute tiny little one and think of it as your last baby. Especially since Olive is so good, and I love seeing Marc with babies, it makes me mushy. Then there was this story about our zoo needing to get a third elephant, because they're such social creatures you never want to have just two because if something bad happens to one elephant the remaining one would be alone, and I was like "see? siblings should be like that!"

Deep down inside I think a third kid is somewhat irrational, I don't want to buy a bigger car, don't want to wait for a table of five to open up at restaurants, I want to go back to school for an MBA after the "little kid" time of my life is over. I wonder if it's ecologically irresponsible to outnumber yourselves. I hate blowing away my health savings account and having to re-save for it.

But the final, even bigger reason: Marc says absolutely not. No third kid. If I want another baby it cannot involve him, he says, he loves our girls but has no desire to make another one and is downright insulted when people ask if he wants to "try for a boy".

I smiled and nodded at him, but wasn't sending him the list of in-network vasectomy doctors just yet, instead I scheduled my IUD.

Then something interesting came up this week. I was at Mom's house with the girls, and mom always wanted a third kid and I think she kinda regrets not having one, and she was also home with us when we were babies. I was telling her that I wanted a third kid but worried that I didn't have the authority to make that decision, since marc is the at-home parent. Oh yeah that's another reason why we should stop... I'm not that great a mother to my TWO kids, I totally freak out when marc leaves me alone with them for more than a few hours, Josie's craziness sends me to the brink on a pretty regular basis and I do the "I know you were home with them all day but can you please put her to bed so I can just lay here and read?" thing.

Mom also heard Marc talking about how he wanted to take another contract job with a company in town that does oil well financing, he's sort of an expert in that business these days, but we'd have to find childcare, etc.

Mom grew up in a house with four little siblings, was raised around babies, and taking care of her own was still a lot of work. She doesn't know how my generation does it with the smaller families we grew up in and distant support systems... marc deserves a gold medal for what he's doing, staying home with the girls. Then she told me, "Honey, if he says no more kids, listen to him. He's putting some years into this, for your family, but if he has other things he wants to do... well, just listen to him." She was basically saying that just because I'm good at pregnancy and marc is good at wrapping up babies, doesn't mean we should just stick ourselves in this mode for a decade. Especially if Marc is tired. And he has the right to be.

So it sounds like Olive will be our baby. Life will be peaceful and relaxed, two is a good number, a sensible number. I never can tell how I'll feel about this years down the road, and it's always hard to make concrete life-changing decisions. I wrote that deciding to have that first kid was like jumping off a cliff, no way to be ready for it. Deciding to not have kids is like another cliff. But it's life, it is what it is, we'll be happy no matter what.