Confessional Fridays: TTA (and kind of terrified)

Remember how I was asking, just yesterday, Where do I go from here? Well on the family building front that question has me very conflicted.

On Saturday I popped the last little white pill from the last row in my last birth control pack. I’ve decided to stop taking even the mini-pill as it gives me pretty noticeable Melasma, which I hate. The minute my skin gets any sun, I develop dark blotches on my upper lip and around my eyes. Its supposed to be caused by increased estrogen (which is why many pregnant women get it and it’s also called the “pregnancy mask”) so I don’t know why I get it even when I’m on the progesterone-only pill, but I do. It doesn’t matter how much sunscreen I wear every day (I slather on a daily 30 or 50 SPF daily!) I still get it. It looks like I have a mustache.

So I’m going off BCP even though we’re not TTC yet.

In fact, I can’t even “accidentally” get pregnant (ha – the idea of this is still so ridiculousl to me) because I’m on a medication for my ADD and there have been no studies on how it affects human pregnancies (though studies have shown adverse affects on animal fetuses, whatever that means). So yeah, getting pregnant in the next two months, while I’m still taking this medication would be bad. And after that, it would probably be detrimental to my relationship if I got pregnant accidentally.

So we’re going to chart my temps and use the barrier method. Basically we’re TTA. And that seems very strange to me.

A part of me is really worried about going off BCP so long before we start TTC. As someone with unexplained amenorrhea, the most prudent move is to start trying immediately after stopping BCP as that is when you are most likely to continue ovulating. In the past, when they gave me three months of BCP to “jumpstart” my system I’d ovulate (or at least menstruate) for about three to five months before I stopped. Then I would never start again until the next round of BCP the next year.

When I was TTC I started acupuncture and a TCM diet BEFORE I went off BCP. I was trying to ensure that those three to five months right after I stopped birth control were optimal for a possible pregnancy. I continued acupuncture and TCM herbs and diets until I got my second BFP, about 11 months after I started trying. Those 11 months were the longest I’d gotten my period in over a ten years.

Of course I don’t know if I was ovulating all that time because of the acupuncture or the 2.5 years of continual BCP or a mixture of both. Or if it was just dumb luck.

I’m scared to stop BCP now when we’re not TTC for another five months. What if, by the time we’re start tying, I’m not having my period anymore? What if I then have to go on BCP for three months to kick start it? What if everything goes back the way it was before when I never ovulated.

I guess I’ll only know if I do it. I guess it’s possible my nine months of pregnancy jump started my reproductive organs in a more complete and long lasting way. Maybe I will have my period like clockwork from now until I’m taken over by the “change” later in life. Who knows?

All I know is for the next 5 months I’m charting to avoid. I will be checking for EGCM to know when not to have sex. I’ll be waiting for my temps to rise to know when it’s safe to have sex without pregnancy as a consequence. It’s all so foreign, so backwards. I can’t really wrap my head around it.

Sometimes I wonder if it will be hard to TTA. Will I want t throw caution to the wind (after I’m off my meds in July) and just go for it? I’m not sure, but I doubt it. While having my first child was something I wanted immediately, having my second feels different.

It feels different not because I know what I’m getting into, but because I realize how thoroughly I DO NOT know what I’m getting into. Before I had Isa I knew, in that vague and abstract way you can know something you haven’t experienced, that having a baby was hard work but I had no idea how it would affect me and my partner and our relationship. I had no idea how difficult it would be.

The discrepancy between how hard I thought it might be and how hard it actually is has taught me a lot. It has taught me that I cannot know how hard having a second child will be, especially when the first is still a toddler. It has proven that there are challenges I can’t, and won’t, anticipate. More than anything I know that I can in no way prepare myself for the strain it might put on me, and more importantly on my relationship.

Of course, I also didn’t know how amazing it could be. Even in my wildest fantasies (and I indulged in plenty of them) I could never have conceived of the joy and fulfillment my daughter would bring. Before meeting Isa I didn’t know what it meant to love someone so intensely and completely. I adore spending time with Isa and I’m eager to meet my (possible) future child(ren), to learn who they are and how they see the world.

There are so many more variables now. The temperament of a (possible) second child. The way Isa will react to him or her. The way they will interact with each other. It’s impossible to know what the family dynamics will be.

And of course there are the possible struggles, the possible losses. What will those be like when I have a child to care for? Will having Isa make it easier or more difficult? It will surely be very different to face those things when the journey is no longer my own, but my daughter’s as well.

So yeah, the whole TTA to TTC thing is exceedingly difficult to navigate with myriad variables and infinite unknowns. All I can do is make choices and deal with the consequences of those choices, whatever they may be. In the meantime I just wait.

2 responses

  1. Life is full of many choices and many times we don’t know until after the fact if a choice was right or not. You have put a lot of thought into this and when the time comes (to go off your meds) you will probably have thought about it a thousand more times. Whatever you decide, I’m sure it will be with certainty that it’s the right decision for you, your partner and your daughter at that time. Things can change in an instant and you might have a totally different gut feeling in a couple of months. It’s a very good “cross that bridge when you get to it” sort of situation. What is right for your family right now might not be the same thing in 3 months. Hang in there and the answer will come.

  2. I know I am (significantly) late with my comment – but I decided last night that I WOULD, finally, comment today, and it’s the first thing I’m doing in Will’s nap time.

    I also get Melasma – it started when I was on BCP and got significantly worse while I was pregnant. I hate it and hate what it does to my confidence. I will never go back on BCP.

    I share a lot of your mixed feelings about TTC #2. We’re not planning to start TTC any time soon, but part of me is already nostalgic for those newborn days, part of me is already impatient to meet my next child. But the sensible part of me is terrified. And I know it’s not the right time for us, for many reasons.

    So, that leaves us using nothing but my infertility and life with a 7 month old to act as a contraceptive, but still feeling pretty sure that we aren’t going to have a surprise pregnancy. Since I am still BFing and not menstruating (and never ovulated on my own even when I did) I can see no point to charting to TTA. But I can see how backwards and kinda fucked up that might feel.

    The bottom line is you can’t make your current choices based on what might or might not happen in the future. You can’t predict how your body will react. You can only choose what is right for you now, in this moment. And going off BCP and TTA is what is right. If it turns out that by the time you are TTC you have stopped ovulating, that doesn’t change the fact that this was the right decision for you at the time.

    One of the problems with IF and loss is that we all spend far to long trying to predict the future. And we can’t. Which sucks, but there isn’t a thing we can do about it.

    Good luck, my friend!

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