So! I take a birth control pill called Ocella. Ocella is the generic for Yasmin. And if I understand it correctly, Yasmin and Yaz are the pills that have been in the news recently because of a bunch of problematic side effects including symptoms such as DEATH. Which concerns me, but not a lot, because I read prescription inserts, and ALL versions of the pill have little pamphlets that come with them that basically say, "You understand that by taking the pill you are specifically requesting to die, right?" And if THOSE seem scary, I read the pamphlet that comes with a mere TAMPON and that puts it in perspective.
But! My cousin is in the hospital because she was on Yasmin and got a blood clot in her lung. And while a brief hospital stay is in my repertoire of parenting fantasies (another is solitary confinement in prison), I get that this is not actually a vacation. (She's expected to make a full recovery and is impatient to get out of there.)
There are few reactions less sensible and more human than deciding to go off a medication after someone I KNOW has a problem---as opposed to after a bunch of people I DON'T know have problems. My cousin having a blood clot in her lung means exactly ZERO for my likelihood of having trouble with a medication, or for the statistical dangers of the medication, or for how the medication compares in danger to other medications. And I tell you this with a self-deprecating shrug, because NEVERTHELESS. I'll finish out this packet and then that's it.
So isn't this fun? We're back to the birth control problem, and MY GOODNESS does this ever go around and around and around again. My favorite birth control ever was the Fertility Awareness Method, which made me feel SUPAH SMAHT, but Paul's not willing to do that one now: it was perfect when an unexpected pregnancy would have been fine and even welcome, but that was then and this is now.
Every time I bring up this topic, lots of people suggest the IUD. On paper, this would be the best option for me right now: it doesn't have the hormones that cause problems, and it's long-term but it wouldn't be hard to remove if there was a change in the no-more-babies decision. But the IUD works by allowing conception to take place but then not allowing the zygote to take hold, and that makes me feel uncomfortable, so for now this method is out of the running. (The pill, too, works by making the uterine lining unreceptive to a zygote---but because it first attempts to prevent ovulation altogether, this is more okay with me. The hormone IUD works more like the pill, but in that case I'd rather just take the pill.)
All barrier methods seem practically MEDIEVAL, and they require a level of responsibility more consistent with people for whom an unplanned pregnancy would be fine.
I've tried Depo-Provera---but again, if I'm going to use hormones, I'd just as soon use the pill. I don't have any trouble remembering to take the pill regularly, so going in for a shot every few months is actually MORE of a hassle for me.
Soooooo, we're back around to the pill, but a different formula. Or...well...
Well, it could be Time for The Snip. I have been verrrrrrry reluctant to make a permanent decision about this, but the other night I said to Paul that if he was REALLY SURE, then it was TIME TO STOP MAKING ME RUIN MY LIFE WITH HORMONES. It was partly a tantrum and partly serious. I'd probably have another baby if he changed his mind, because hey, free baby, but as my youngest finishes potty-training and my second-youngests go to kindergarten this fall I do also feel more ready to say "Fine. Done. I guess that was it."
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...