The other day I felt a little sick. Not much, just a little off. I also had a bit of a cold, the slightly stuffy claggy-down-the-back-of-the-throat kind. Nothing to write home about, really...and then I brushed my teeth. The claggy-down-the-back-of-the-throat feeling combined with the tooth brushing gave me what recently had been a very familiar feeling. GAG. Retch-gag. My first thought was 'Well, that was a bit yucky' followed swiftly by my eyes bulging open in an 'Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!' expression. Good lord, no. Impossible. I CANNOT be pregnant again...I mean, I've even had an installation to prevent such occurrences. The feeling was SO pregnancy-gag though. Good lord, no.
I have The Fear very badly now. I thought before that there was no way I could manage being pregnant with the other two kids, wait, not just pregnant but then having three kids (!) - the implications on working, finances, space, relationships...but I didn't have the fear of it because I never saw it coming, and assumed it wouldn't happen. Ok so fine it did happen and in the end it was alright. But now FOR SURE there is no way I could manage being pregnant again, no way. Not now certainly, not ever (?). (I have added a question mark because I suppose never say never - my husband did mention perhaps another one. Interestingly, this was while I was in the birthing pool of all places and times to choose such a discussion. Maybe part of his plan, of course, because the likely answer at that particular junction was of course a snarling "Are you out of your mind??!!") With my new ever-constant dose of The Fear on board, I had booked an appointment ASAP for a NMBP device (No More Babies Please) named Mirena, as soon as I was eligible, 6 weeks after the birth of lovely baby number 3.
I saw the GP who then asked me a series of questions about this and that, why do I want a coil fitted etc., which she then answered out loud for herself as she looked at my file on the computer screen:
Child 1: aged 3
Child 2: aged 1
Child 3: aged 0
"Oh yes, well, I think this is a very sensible decision indeed!" she said. I had to agree.
As I was booked in for my Mirena fitting I was offered an appointment which was three days prior to my husband returning from his fellowship away, or the next available slot was in 4 weeks time. "Yes please, the early one please, yes book it right away!!!" I replied, almost panicky. I couldn't even fathom taking the chance of my husband's return, of him even being beside me, or being in the same room as me, or being in the same country as me, without adequate protection. The receptionist I am sure could sense The Fear, and booked me right away.
Since my installation I definitely feel 'safer' in a more permanent, yet non-permanent fixture sort of way. This thing will last me five years, five years of no worries! Five whole long years of no babies! Yet I can whip it out if I feel some crazed need for yet more children. What I hadn't bargained for was the (what it seems like) five years of constant bleeding. ARRRGGGHHH. When you are breastfeeding part of the 'pro' department is that you don't get your period for ages, perhaps even the whole time you are breastfeeding and sometime afterwards. This cursed Mirena, since the very moment it has joined me, has caused spotting - with no end in sight. Of course this is a listed side effect, but, really, REALLY???? it has been three months already I've had it and I have not been without underwear and a liner. ARRRGGGHH again! I thought the breastfeeding would counteract this evil effect, but it hasn't. On the bright side, as a method of birth control this constant bleeding side of things is certainly effective, limiting any *activity* to the confines of the shower stall to avoid any...er....mess.
I also thought naively that it would be put in, and I wouldn't even know it was there at all. I guess I get on with life and I effectively don't really know it is there, but I know it is there by the crazy wiry strings hanging about *in there*!!! They are crazy! And wiry! And I so notice them. How strange. At my follow up appointment the GP had a look and she even had to sort them out, my crazy wiry strings, as they were "all tangled up"! Bizarre. It is so worth it though. Knowing I don't have to have The Fear anymore.
Until that other morning that is, until the pregnancy-gag toothbrushing incident. My eyes bulging open in the 'Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!' expression, I do what any panic-in-the-moment woman would do - bust the pregnancy tests out. I knew it was impossible, but was it merely improbable? I do seem to be a fertile lady...if someone were to get pregnant with one of these things installed it would be me, I just knew it. I had 8 leftover test strips from my cheapo internet pregnancy test order from the last scare, and cracked one open, did the deed. As I was waiting, it struck me as a novelty that this test, actually, will likely be negative. Any other test I had taken was planned, or I had just known would be positive. This time deep down I did know it would be negative, but because of The Fear, I just had to check, I just had to be sure. Negative. Phew.
So now I have 7 tests left, to calm any future irrational symptoms of pregnancy that come up in the next five years. Don't get me wrong; I love my kids, and I wouldn't trade my circumstances for the world - although the little one was a surprise he is the best surprise of my life and I couldn't imagine life without him as a part of our family. As he is likely the last baby I will have I am also really appreciating every moment, and holding him a little longer after his night feed so he can snuggle sleepily into my arms, pooching his sleepy lips, nuzzling his sleepy head. I am really paying attention to all of his moments, I don't want to miss a thing.
Hold on then, make that 6 tests to calm my irrational symptoms. I'll save the last one just in case my husband does become out of his mind again...and I feel like having another nighttime baby snuggle - just in case I missed something the first three times.
Until then, me and my new best friend Mirena are getting along just fine. I might even go have a shower to celebrate.