About rugrats, minivans, The South, photography, farmer's markets, puberty, Army, snotty noses, blankies, movies, hugs, autism, make believe, homeschooling, sibling rivalry, car seats, weather, in-laws, scribbles, marriage, and somewhere in there, a stoned British reporter.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Grown up type decisions

I'll start this off with a huge warning. This post contains TMI stuff about my female health issues. So if you are a guy, or just someone who doesn't want to read about my reproductive system, you have been warned. Avert your eyes. Go to i-am-bored.com or something.

Ever since I started my period at 12 years old, it has always been heavy. (see, I told you this would be a TMI post) After having Lindsay, it became even more so. Like scary heavy. Can't leave the house heavy. Making my iron counts so low the doctors are worried heavy. I become barely functional for an entire week out of every month.

A few years ago I had a bunch of tests done to rule out any problems that would be causing it to be so heavy, and nothing was found. To give you perspective on how heavy it is, the average woman's period ends up being somewhere around 2-4 ounces total. Mine? Is somewhere more in the range of 20-30 ounces. So. . .yeah, it's a tad much. How I know how much it is, is because I use a menstrual cup, but that is a whole other post.

At my most recent appointment, my doctor opened up the discussion to what we are going to do to treat it. She first suggested birth control, which I was against for many, many reasons which I won't get into right now. Then she acted like she had the holy grail, a Mirena IUD, which puts out a small amount of hormones. Normally I am against IUD's for ethical reasons, but since my husband was "neutered" last year, that's not really an issue any more. So I agreed to have an appointment for a consultation for one and left the office.

Then I came home and got on Google, which is what I always do. I then found out that a Mirena is not going to be in my future. See, I already have trouble with really bad migraines around the time of my period and any other major hormone fluxes. And one of the main side effects of the Mirena? Is headaches. Not to mention weight gain and a bunch of other things I was very unhappy to read. My migraines are already monster enough, and I think something like that might just throw fuel on the fire.

So then I did more researching online and I have basically learned that there are so few options out there for me. Either things involving hormones, which I don't want, or things that permanently sterilize you. Which shouldn't be an issue, since we are done having kids.

But when I showed my husband one treatment option I found that to me sounded doable (endometrial ablation), I told him it would make it to where I would be infertile. His response was to ask me if I was sure that was what I wanted. He asked if he died and I got remarried, would I want kids with the new guy? I looked at him dumbstruck, that was light years from the response I was expecting. For those of you who have been reading long enough, you know that our decision to not have any more has been hard on me. I would love to have more, but I know it's for the best not to. My body likes to spit kids out before they are ready to be born. So even if husband died and got remarried, as much as I would love to have more, it still wouldn't be the right thing to do.

So why is it that this is becoming such a tormented decision for me? The rational side of my brain knows it is best. I should take care of my body now so I can be a better mom to the kids I already have, and not hold on to some pipe dream about future hypothetical children that would only happen if I got remarried, and maybe not even then. My irrational side though, the one that wants more and won't shut up about about it, will not listen to the rational side. And I don't know what to do. I wish there were more treatment options out there, but there really aren't.

Any words of wisdom from the peanut gallery are appreciated.


Lorie said...

A co-worker of mine had a similar problem. I'm pretty sure she is on some form of birth control to control it. Of course my advice to you is to at least try the options that are available to you, if anything for your daughters sakes. My co-worker's daughter has the same problem she does. Finding an awesome woman doctor is so hard. Finding one that is willing to find all the options that work for you, your beliefs is even more difficult. Best of luck to you. It was a pleasure meeting your wonderful family. Hannah is so precious. I can hardly wait to hear her talk!

The Mrs. said...

20-30 oz!?!?! I can't even imagine. I think I'll stop complaining now.

I can tell how much you're struggling with this decision. I'm kind of the same way when we start talking about more permanent forms of b/c (i.e., the big snip). It just seems so permanent, even if we agree that we're done. I don't think it's something you'll ever be totally okay with. Given that you are faced with so few options it makes it even harder, I think. Almost like you're forced into it, you know?

I think you said it the best though when you mentioned being able to really be there (either physically, emotionally, whatever) for your four munchkins now. Whatever you decide you'll be in my thougths and prayers!

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

Well, I just got on the Minera IUD for the exact same reason and it's been OK. A little weight gain, no headaches.

If it does not work, we are going the the ablation route. Doc wants to give it 3-6 months.

I can tell you that a friend of mine did an ablation and said she is a NEW WOMAN.

As for the infertility thing, I can't really give any advice, that's something you need to decide for yourself.


Anonymous said...

I had the Mirena for almost 2 years in between baby 2 and baby 3. I had NO side effects with it whatsoever. I felt better about it from a moral standpoint than I do the pill, and it was the perfect non-permanent, long-term birth control for me since I practically get pregnant way too easy and was WAY to scared to try natural family planning methods.