Well, I think it’s officially decided — we’re a one and done family. DadJovi came to this decision a lot sooner than I did. Although he didn’t always feel that way. As they were handing E. to me in the delivery room, the very first words out of his mouth were, “Let’s have another one!” It’s easy to be euphoric about the miracle of birth when you’re not the one who just endured nearly 17 hours of labor and C-section.
But I should have struck while the iron was hot.
For about three years, I couldn’t even think about having another one. The combination of some baby blues, job uncertainly for both of us and just the huge task of figuring out how to be a mom left me with little time to consider adding to our family.
Then baby fever started setting in hardcore. For about 18 months, all I wanted was a baby. I tried reasoning with DadJovi. I tried cajoling him. I tried pulling at his emotional heartstrings. But he wasn’t budging. He adores E. and is so wonderful with children. When we go to our friends’ houses, he’s usually the dad leading all the games.
But he’s also perfectly content with our family being a family of three.
Besides, he’s entirely too logical about things like money — he wants us to not have to always struggle so much. By stopping at one, E. will have many of the opportunities we never had as kids — ballet lessons, piano lessons, trips, and eventually attending the college of her choosing (if the two of us can ever pay off our student loans, that is). The hard thing is that I AGREE with all of his reasons. I do. I just can’t convince my heart of it sometimes.
However, over the past few months or so, I’ve started noticing an easing up in my own baby fever. It could be that I’m just charmed by the age of 4. Sure, she has her moments, but for the most part, E. has been an absolute joy lately. 4 really might be the perfect age. When I visited my friend Missy in Massachusetts this summer and got to spend some time with her ADORABLE 9-week-old baby, I had two thoughts: 1) God, this baby is gorgeous and I could hold her forever 2) I’m so glad her mom is here for me to hand her off to once she starts crying.
It reminded me just how dang hard it is to survive the newborn days. Of course I know I COULD do it, but do I WANT to do it?
I know better than to never say never. Who knows? Perhaps when we send E. off to kindergarten next year, we’ll reconsider. Or perhaps not. I do know that I’m not ready for either of us to take any permanent fertility measures, so I decided to do the next best thing — get an IUD.
I’ve been wanting one for years but they’ve never been covered by our insurance. But thanks to the Affordable Care Act that went into effect on August 1, what would have once cost me $500-$600 upfront now cost me the price of my copay — $35. Thank you President Obama for helping my family with our CHOICE.
I opted to choose the Paragard, which is good for 10 years and is hormone free. I’ve been on the pill so long that I really think it’s time to give my body a break from the hormones. Besides, I’m horrible at remembering to take the pill. And given my apparent propensity for getting pregnant (with E., I got pregnant within two months of going off the pill), going contraception-free is just not an option.
And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I’ll also be saving nearly $2000 over the next 10 years! So to recap: no daily pill to remember, no more hormones and huge savings to my family. That’s just a win-win-win. And if I were to have another baby, chances are I’d need another C-section. You’d think my insurance company would want to avoid that nearly $40,000 price tag a second time around. I can’t believe it took them this long to cover contraception devices like this.
Once my midwife’s office confirmed the insurance details for the IUD, we scheduled our appointment. She recommended I pick a day where I could relax for the rest of the day. Did she forget that I have a 4-year-old?
I chose Friday because it was the end of our vacation and it headed into a long weekend. Thankfully, one of our neighbors was able to watch E. while I headed to the appointment.
The excitement was palatable. My tweeps sent me their support and assured me it wasn’t going to be that bad.
@momjoviblog mine didn’t hurt any worse than a normal exam and mild cramping after. I’ve heard I’m in the minority though??
— Holli (@TheGreatAskini) August 31, 2012
OK, that doesn’t sound so bad. I can handle a normal exam and mild cramping. Besides, I’d already had a kid, and that should help right? Again, enter Twitter.
@momjoviblog my midwife said its usually MUCH easier once you’ve had a kid. Yay for stretchy cervixes! #thingsIneverthoughtIdsay
— Holli (@TheGreatAskini) August 31, 2012
My midwife did warn me that since E. was nearly 5 that my cervix might be tight and the process could be uncomfortable.
I also forgot one of her key pre-appointment instructions — I didn’t take the ibuprofen an hour before the appointment. I actually thought about it and considered it. But a) I was running around like crazy trying to get E. up, fed, dressed and out the door by 8:45. and b) I thought, ‘Well, if I don’t take ibuprofen, maybe they’ll give me something a little bit stronger when I get there.’ Stupid Jackie.
I knew things weren’t going to be good when my midwife asked if I’d taken the ibuprofen and I said no. Her face was the look of horror. She said, ‘Well, we’ll just try to get through this then. But I really wish you’d taken it. I know it sounds like it won’t make a difference but trust me, it would have helped a lot.”
I got up onto the table and she started walking me through the procedure. I’d done a fair amount of pre-appointment research (well, except for that whole ibuprofen blunder) so I had a rough idea of what to expect.
I’ll spare you all the nitty gritty details and enter right at the fun part — the dilating of the cervix. HOLY SHIT. There’s really no other way around it. Holy shit that hurt like a mofo. It took some manipulating since my uterus tilts toward the back (something I learned the hard way through hours and hours of back labor) but eventually, she got me to 7 cm. It’s a little ironic that that’s where she stopped — that’s as far as I got during labor. On the day I had E., I arrived at the hospital dilated 4 cm and my water had broke. 12 hours later, I had only made to 7 cm and my labor had stalled.
The fact that she dilated me to 7 cm in a matter of minutes felt a little bit like a slap in the ladyparts. Although I guess I would have been more pissed if she’d gone beyond that point.
I remember thinking in the days and weeks after labor that I was never, ever going to forget how badly it hurt. While that’s true in theory, the brain does you a solid and helps you forget specifically what that pain felt like.
Feeling nostalgic? Get an IUD. Out of nowhere, I felt like I was in labor again and it hurt. Bad. I was doing my best to quickly remember my yoga breathing techniques. Obviously I wasn’t doing a good job, because my midwife kept saying, “I need you to relax. Untense your butt muscles and relax onto the table. It will make this so much better.” She lied. It didn’t. But eventually I found a focal point and breathed my body to relaxation.
And just like that, my baby fever was cured.
As soon as the IUD was inserted, she told me to sit up and the cramping would almost immediately ease up. She was right. The cramping was starting (it felt like severe labor cramps) but the sudden take-your-breath-away laborlike pains had vanished. I sat there for a moment and was starting to feel better. She and I were talking when suddenly I started having tunnel-vision and I about fainted. I promise you people, I am not a fainter. In fact, I’d like to think I have a somewhat high tolerance for pain.
She quickly had me lay back down and the nurses brought me in some water and a piece of chocolate.
Finally, I was able to stand up and get dressed. And that’s when the severe cramps set in. Again, they just felt like really bad period cramps and nothing like the hell I’d experienced on the table during the insertion.
I drove myself home, picked up E from our friends’ house and came home and took 800 mg of ibuprofen. My midwife told me to start with that and continue to take 600 mg every 4-6 hours.
Even though my body started feeling better almost immediately, my ego was definitely bruised. How could so many women have told me that it was “no big deal?” I know it’s like labor and every woman’s experience is different, but I was really feeling like a wimp. But then, just like they always do, my tweeps started coming through for me.
@momjoviblog WORD. I had 3 vag births and my ob made it seem like “no big deal.” I was sweating like Nixon. It took a loooong time.
— Elizabeth Thorp (@poshbrood) August 31, 2012
I love that last tweet. I heard from many other women throughout the day, and they all assured me that I’d survived the worst part and not one person had any complaints about their IUDs post-insertion.
But I couldn’t help but feeling I’d been a little blindsided by how much it really hurt. Well, there had been one voice of warning.
@momjoviblog I’m not going to tell you I told you so.
— Michelle (@crzyrunninglegs) August 31, 2012
Yeah, I deserved that “I told you so.” Well played, Crazy Running Kegs.
I will say that once the ibuprofen kicked in, I felt MUCH, MUCH better. I stayed on top of taking the pills all day and aside from severe cramping from time to time, I was fine. I was even able to take E. to her first ballet practice at a new ballet school and I spent the evening finishing up our #CFLBlogCon presentation with Michelle and Christine.
But I really did appreciate hearing from others about their experiences.
If you’re curious about the insertion process, this is a great explainer and closely matched my experience. I really did feel relieved to know that I’m not just some big baby (well, maybe a little bit of one but certainly others have had worse experiences).
Bottom line, though? I’m THRILLED that I got it. The temporary pain and discomfort are well worth it. And if we change our minds about adding another little Jovi, I also heard from women on Twitter who got pregnant shortly after having theirs removed.
But if we don’t change our minds, that means it’s going to stay snugly in there until I’m 45. That’s a trippy thought. Maybe by then we’ll be ready for one more.
What was your IUD experience like? Or, have you ever experienced a medical procedure that others assured you would be “no big deal” and turned out to be a very big deal?
I just had an IUD inserted, too – I think you and I talked about it on Twitter a bit. I got Mirena, since I’ve been having MAJOR PMS symptoms. And yes – it hurt, a lot!!! After the first uncomfortable bit, I was like, “All done?” and the doc was like, “Oh no, I was just checking to see how big your uterus is!” And THEN the fun began – and I remembered my Advil, so I can just imagine how much worse it was for you!
But, yes – it was worth it. We’re a THREE and done family. I’m very happy with our family now, and have no plans for more kids.
And thank you to health care, I didn’t have to pay a DIME for my IUD. Whoo-hoo!
We did and thank you for your input! Hope it’s been helping with your PMS. I’m a little curious/nervous to see what my body is going to be like without hormones. I was only off the pill for the first couple months before getting pregnant, then pregnancy. I started taking the mini-pill after giving birth, then when I was done nursing, switched back to the pill (again, since I’m terrible about remembering to take it, I had to get off the mini-pill which MUST be taken at the same time every day). My midwife is having me stay on the pill for the first couple months of the IUD to sort of ease my body into it. I think I’ll let myself get through Christmas still on the pill — no need to introduce mental and emotional instability at the holidays!
And yeah, the whole procedure last longer than I thought it would. I thought it’d be real quick. It was still relatively fast but then they left me lay there dilated for a couple minutes before inserting it. Those were some dodgy minutes!
Hooray for free IUDs! It just makes so much sense for insurers, don’t you think?
Thanks again for your input!
My doctor educated me on IUD as a form of birth control but didn’t provide some of the detail you did. I’m not a fan of the constant hormones I am putting in my body from the pill but it will do for now.
Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run says
Yep. Just decided I will never get an IUD somewhere around your “holy shit” and “7 cm.” So thanks for that. I’ll stick with the pill that has been doing me wonders since I was 19. But I’m pretty sure I’m a none and done family.
I promise, I already feel like it’s worth it — even if it doesn’t sound like it. And apparently for every one wimp like me, there are 10 people who say it’s really not a big deal. And many of those are people who never had kids, so I don’t think that makes much impact on it.
Yeah, it was bad. But from the time I got on the table til the time I was sitting up was just over five minutes … tops. If you can run marathons and survive Crossfit, you could survive this without batting an eyelash. Just sayin.
Kashi @ Cape Island Runners says
Oh man, you hung in there longer than I did! I have a baby-free uterus and to get an IUD since I had been on the pill so long and thought it would be a good idea to take a break from the hormones. My ob/gyn did say it would be more uncomfortable than ladies who haveh ad babies, but she thought I would be ok. She did not give me the ibu recommendation, wish she had! She measured my uterus and though mine was on the small side, she said it was fine. In the most painful moments of my life, for reals, she got the IUD in there and then I had insane cramping! Like I have never had before! They gave me like 800 mg of something to help with the pain and it did not put a dent in it. Which is crazy bc I never take pain meds and can usually get away with 200 mg. They kept saying it would get better and it kept not getting better. I had driven myself and could not imagine driving myself home. Mine was also on a Fri and I had to work the next day so I probably jumped the gun and told them to please take the damn thing out cause there was no way I could wait til Mon like this! They did and it was sweet jesus instant relief!!! Like nothing had ever happened at all. Wowies, never gonna try that again. Stayed on pill and that was that!
Mind you, the main reason I was doing this was b/c at 28 I was already sure I did not want kids, but they (at least my doc and her colleagues) won’t tie your tubes at that age, esp with no kids and not married. Here I am, 7 yrs later, happily married and still quite sure I don’t want any! It did bother me that I felt like they would snip a dude in the same position, but not a lady. Do we all have to have kids? Or not know what we want (I have felt this way since I was a wee one)? What do you think about that?
Glad you are a-ok and that yours worked out!
Oh man, is right. I can’t believe what a bad experience you had! For me, the insertion was the worst part. But once it was in there, I was fine, other than some period-type cramping. But that sounds horrendous! I would have had them take it out, too!
I wonder if they’ve improved their devices in the past seven years. Perhaps something to think about again in the future? I’ve also heard that having it inserted while you have your period makes it much less painful, too. Or, maybe it’s time to send your husband in for the snip-snip! My husband is ready to at any time, but that just seems so permanent to me. I’m not QUITE there yet.
Yowza, though, I’m sorry you had such a rough go of it with your experience. Thankfully mine went 1000 times better. Sorry!
I’m so sorry that my slutty cervix and I led you astray! To be fair, though, we WERE on our period. I also wonder if it makes a difference that you didn’t have a vaginal delivery? My midwife made it a point to say that once a baby’s head has passed through the cervix, the IUD is no big deal.
Ha! You and your whoreish cervix have nothing to apologize for. My prudish one could learn a thing or two from you gals. That’s interesting about the vaginal v C-Section. I actually thought of that but thought maybe perhaps the fact that I had gone through the labor and dilation process and E was in the birth canal would help. Guess not. I just think it’s been too dang long and my cervix forgot what it’s supposed to do. And there’s also the fact that my cervix hates me and fights dilating with every cell in its being. Bitch.
And they really need to stop saying it’s NBD … between me and other stories people have shared with me, it’s clear that it’s such a different experience for every woman … just like labor and delivery. But I do so appreciate all your tweets today. You were VERY helpful, friend. And you made me awkwardly bust out laughing in my OB/GYN waiting room! 🙂
Okay, that is NOTHING like my mirena insertion. There was no dilating involved! Just a quick cramp with the probe to measure, then the same with the mirena (the little T part is flattened and doesn’t pop out until it’s in). Nothing bigger than about 1 cm in diameter! No wonder yours was so much worse! Yikes. My after cramps were bad, but advil helped a lot.
As an only child who had a childhood filled with opportunities and choices, I think it’s awesome you want to be a family of 3! I love reading your blog because it really reminds me of how my parents were with me as a child; the lessons at an early age, numerous Disney trips, etc. However, my mom and I had a rocky rocky time during my teenage years-I realize now at 25 a lot of the reason we fought so much was because I didn’t have a sibling to fight with. So that is my advice to you-don’t take it personally when you have the mother/daughter fights. Everyone needs someone to fight with 🙂
Thank you so much for this comment Lindsey! The one hold-up that keeps me from really being done done with kids is worrying about how E. will feel about it in the future. Will she hate us for making her an only child? Will she understand? Will she be lonely? So hearing your great story made my heart soar … even if you made me even more terrified of her teen years! 🙂 But really, I truly thank you for your comment.
I even THINK about how it would have made an impact that you didn’t have a full vaginal birth. Derp, Michelle. I do think that would make a slight difference – but at the same time going from 0-7cm in a matter of minutes just does not sound fun!!!
The great thing is that even though E will be an only child – you have a lot of friends who have kids roughly the same age. I truly believe that friends can family — and in that way E has TONS of siblings to give her a hard time (feel free to borrow B & L any time)!
PS – Crazy running kegs for life
Megan @ My Path in Motherhood says
Man, I was thinking about getting an IUD, but now I’m not so sure. I was on the pill for 2 years before going off to get pregnant, which only took 2 months, and since having Molly in May, we’ve just been using condoms. The women in my family have had a low milk supply, and I know it’s not genetic, but I didn’t want to push my luck with that, so I didn’t want any hormones at all. My OB did mention an IUD, but I never really looked into it. I’m still not sure, but I’m glad you were honest about your experience. I’ll have to keep that in mind if I decide to get one at some point.
Like with everything, it turns out the IUD insertion is so different from woman to woman. You could be like many of the other woman I heard from and barely even feel a think. I’m five days out now, and although the cramping is gone (for the most part; every once in a while there is some light cramping), I’m now dealing with (TMI alert!) a lot more discharge that I counted on. I’m hoping it’s a short-term issue. She told me to expect it for several days.
I’ll probably write a follow-up post in about a month or so. I’m still on the pill and plan to stay on it for about three months, per my midwife’s recommendation. She said it would be too much to quit that cold turkey and deal with the IUD insertion at the same time. Check back in with me before you make a final decision! Nearly every single person I’ve spoke to, even if they had a rough insertion, too, has had nothing but wonderful things to say about life with an IUD.
Jocelyn | ScooterMarie says
Oh what the hell?? Dilated to 7cm in a matter of minutes?! YOUCH!! I’m glad the pain subsided fairly quickly though. I honestly know nothing about the IUD process. But I am gearing up for experiencing that labor pain again in just a few weeks, EEK!!