I Am Woman

and just what does that mean? Waking up in the morning, getting my family breakfasts and lunches ready, sending them out the door with hugs and kisses a they make their way to work and school. And tehn? Then, I get myself ready...and I bike up to the doctor. My bike chain guard falls off on the way and I fix it. Head into the waiting room for my 10am appointment. It is 9:57. I wait til 10:40. And then I am called in.

I discuss my birth control options. I show her the implant in my arm which needs to come out. It's worked for the past three years, but is now expired. What else can I try? I do not want to go on the pill...it is not reliable enough with such a chaotic person as myself. And this implant stuff is for someone much less queasy than I. You should have seen the bruising on my arm for a month after I had the last come out...painfully, I might add. Am I a good candidate for a tubal? My two boys are definitely enough to fulfill my role as mama. What about an IUD? Or Mirena? I don't know much about these, but have done some research in the past days.

I tell her that my last Pap smear was over 5 years ago. I feel foolish and my face turns pink as I admit that I have neglected my health for so long. Yet, I also feel proud that I have taken this step to finally get it done. Those things are so not fun. Exposing my nether regions to another is not something I thoroughly enjoy. I am prepared today, have put on a better pair of undies, shaved my legs...with the expectation of having it done...finally. As if it matters as I strip down to nothing, laying bare on the exam table. But for today, I don't have to...

She checks the implant in my arm and goes about gathering her supplies. And after she numbs my skin, she cuts me, but I feel no pain...until she finally has the little bugger encased in her scissors and begins to pull...all those tissues attached for the past 3 years do not want to release this foreign object now embedded as a part of me. She cuts further and further until all the tissue finally releases the implant and it slips out with a pull. I am amazed as I watch her blot at my blood without gloves protecting her hands. Something like that would never happen in America. She gives me a butterfly stitch and bandages me up. It was not so painful afterall. I have a week to keep the stitch in place and then all should be well and healed.

We sit back down to discuss birth control options further. My 20 minute appointment is now already more than an hour overdue. I think of the poor people waiting in the waiting room, getting impatient, wondering what could be taking so long. She finally tells me that she herself uses the spiral, Mirena, and that it is good for 5 years. She says it has very low hormones, something I am looking for, and is a simple procedure. No more cutting, she assures me. As she writes out my prescription to pick up at the pharmacy, she tells me not to be intimidated by the huge box. Her eyes get huge as she explains that all teh insertion tools come with the tiny spiral. I need to make an appointment with the gynecologist, and to inform him that since he's already down there, he should complete a pap smear at the same time. I need to wait til 5-7 days after my next period. Too bad mine just ended...yet another month before I can be free of pregnancy worries. Erwin especially wants no more children...and I admit, the past 2 years I have known that I too, am done with diapers and stroller and late night breastfeeds. I definitely don't want an accident, no matter how much he or she would still undoubtedly be loved. I can feel my patience with my children slipping as I age. No, I don't even have the right to another child. I couldn't give her all that she deserves. I have passed my parenting limit.

We discuss a few more issues, she writes out another prescription for pills to protect us in the meantime, and then discusses with me the security of using condoms in this between period. I assure her we know all about condoms, noting that Erwin REALLY doesn't want any more kids. Condoms have a rate of failure. We probably won't be using them.

As I leave with my arm bandaged, I look into the completely full waiting room. I cringe at what they are all thinking...but as I hop back on my bike and ride home, I am thrilled. Goodbye implant. Hello Mirena. Let's see how this one works out for us...just one more month to go...and then, I can again feel fully as if I Am Woman!


Jen said...

I get pregnant when I only use one form of birth control, so we use an IUD and condoms. :)

So far I haven't gotten pregnant for two years, so it is working.

Claudia said...

How about tube tying? Or are you still thinking about having more babies?

V-Grrrl said...

A brave post, and one so many women can relate to. On one hand it seems we have so many options and on the other hand when it comes time to choose one, there's never enough.

Good luck with Mirena!