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.

Confessional Fridays: I don’t wanna (the completed version)

Turns out I posted some unfinished version of this many hours ago. I have no idea what version that was. OOPS! Anyway, in case you get my posts via reader, here it is again, in it’s completed form:

I wrote that title and then I navigated away from the page. I came back and re-read what I had written and I laughed. I could write on numerous topics for that title. Here are just some of the posts that could follow the title of “I don’t wanna…”

… clean my house.

…. go to work.

… eat my veggies (more on this soon).

… grade papers.

… do my taxes.

… ever swipe my VISA at Babies R Us again.

… be a responsible spender.

The list goes on and on. In fact, the topic of this post might seem a little strange, surprising even. Because what I don’t wanna do is, take birth control.

Queue the snorts, muffled laughter and/or down right hysterics. Take birth control? you might think. I’m my own, unintended birth control, I WISH I had to TAKE something to not get pregnant, but I can do that all by my lonesome.

I get it. I really do.

I guess now would be the appropriate time to offer some back story. In the interest of keeping this brief I will use bullet points.

– Amenorreha from 18-26. Take BCP every couple of years to jump start menstruation but it never sticks.

– Meet Mi.Vida and take BCP for 2.5 years while we’re together.

– Me: VERY eager to start a family with Mi.Vida when we realize we’re in it for the long haul. Mi.Vida: not so much; the opposite, in fact. It takes us a while to come to an understanding.

– I start acupuncture/TCM diet/Chinese herbs before we start in an attempt to keep menstruating once I’m off the pill.

– Queue TTC with BBT charting, OPK sticks and timed intercourse.

– In the space of about a year we have one ectopic pregnancy and then quickly become pregnant with our daughter.

So back to birth control. Basically, I hate taking the pill. Of course it’s annoying to have to take it every day at the same time of day. And every three months I have to remember to order it before I run out. I also don’t like putting synthetic hormones in my body, altering the way it works. But my biggest complaint with BCP is that it decimates my libido.

And that is the other confession for my post. Some (most?) of the time, “I don’t wanna” also applies to sex. But it’s not really that I don’t want to have sex, it more like I don’t really care if we do. I know that sounds horrible to say, but it’s the truth. Well, not the whole truth. I mean, I do want to have sex because I feel great after we do it and I KNOW it makes our relationship better, deeper, closer. And it’s not like I don’t like to have sex, because I do. And once I get into it, I’m into it and I enjoy it very much. But before I’m in the throes of it, almost always I could take it or leave it, in equal measure. I just don’t have that drive inside of me. And I think it’s because of the pill, because I felt this way long before having my daughter.

Lately I’ve been needling Mi.Vida about not wanting to take the pill but I’ve never asked us to really look into possible alternatives. Last night and this morning we got into a little tiff about it. Today I sent Mi.Vida the following in an email:

Recently, since I’ve been trying hard to make “our time” a more important and integral part of our relationship, I wonder again if the pill has something to do with my decreased libido… Sometimes, when I feel so much pressure to make sure our sex life is healthy and thriving I can’t help but feel resentful that I’m taking something that could potentially make it harder for me to do that.

So that is where I’m coming from. I feel really stuck in the middle. On the one hand I know it’s the optimal form of birth control for us, on the other hand I think it might be making it difficult for me to be an enthusiastic participant in our sex life, which is also really important to our relationship. The fact that this is something that physically alters the workings of my body doesn’t help much.

When I say optimal, what I mean is most effective with the least amount of hassle. My go-to family planning alternative is charting to avoid (or whatever it’s called in Taking Charge of Your Fertility). Mi.Vida’s is condoms. Neither of us feels very enthusiastically about each other’s alternative (and Mi.Vida doesn’t feel very enthusiastically about his own, quite frankly).

Mi.Vida is very adamant about family planning. He does NOT want us to have a child before we’re “ready”. I’m not so worried about it, I think it would be kind of fun to just get pregnant while we’re really not trying. A part of me even thinks it’s silly to worry about it when so many months of perfectly timed intercourse with semen-friendly Pre-Seed yielded nothing. Mi.Vida could not disagree more. I know his is the responsible way to approach things but it’s just not what I feel in my heart. My take is that we’re in the “family planning” part of our lives, for me an unplanned BFP would be the best kind of surprise. For Mi.Vida it would just be unplanned, and possibly burdensome.

So that is where we are right now. I’ve decided I’ll look more into tempting to avoid and present my case to him when I’m ready. In the meantime, I’m renewing my prescription today or tomorrow for another three months of the pill. I guess I’m fine with whatever we decide as long as we’ve explored all our options.

In the meantime, can anyone recommend some effective aphrodisiacs?

And for all of you who are here for ICLW – welcome (and sorry for the sex talk)!