I Can't Handle Any More Kids -- So My Extreme Birth Control Choice Has to Happen Now

Exhausted mom
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I recently made the decision to have my fallopian tubes removed. Not tied -- completely removed. This might seem like a drastic choice (especially for someone who, less than two years ago, underwent numerous rounds of Ovidrel and IUI in order to have another baby). But it's something I'm sure about, and something I'm suddenly scared that I have to do right now -- as soon as possible -- before it's too late.

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My husband and I love our kids, we really do. But having a second baby at almost 40 years old may not have been my smartest decision. I know, I know … there are women my age who absolutely relish motherhood. They have it all together. The playdates, the housework, the school lunches. They get everything done in a timely fashion, and they have fun while they're doing it!

Meanwhile, my daughter is 1 year and 2 months old, and I don't even have my personal hygiene together. Sometimes I go four days without getting a shower. I routinely stumble out the door for work in the morning with no makeup on, my hair not brushed, and no food in my belly.

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I don't know why, but motherhood the second time around has been especially difficult. Maybe it's because I was still in my twenties when I had my first baby, a son. I most definitely had more energy then. Like, a lot more. I was able to go out at night, come home at 2 a.m., and still get up for work in the morning (and be chipper about it).

Maybe it's because having an actual life is just a lot easier when you only have one kid. Even as an infant, my son was easier. He's now 9, which obviously makes a difference. He can play by himself, and I don’t have to worry that he might shove a penny down his throat and die. He can take a bath without me sitting in the room with him. He can wipe his own butt, and let me tell you … that is a game changer. I honestly forgot how all-important that one was, until I was up to my elbows in poop again.

My firstborn's father and I haven't been together since before our child turned 2. Before my new baby, when my son went to his dad's house one or two nights a week, it was like my current husband and I were temporarily kid-free again. For almost eight full years, I got to enjoy "adulting" on a regular basis -- and sometimes it was a much-needed break. We got to go out to grown-up dinners; we got to sit and watch TV uninterrupted; it was easier to keep the house at least semi-clean. Now with two kids (one of whom is in our house 24-7), none of those things happen, ever.

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In the last 14 months, my husband and I have had exactly three dinners alone together. I really can't remember what it's like to be able to eat without scarfing down my food at the speed of light. My baby is also still sleeping in my bedroom. She wakes up twice a night and it just seems easier to keep her with me than to trudge down the hallway all night long.

During these nighttime feedings, she likes to bite my nipple so hard that I bleed (enough to literally leave little red splatters on her ZipadeeZip sleep sack). I know I should let her cry it out. Any sane person certainly would. But really, I'm just too damn exhausted to lay there and listen to her cry, thus losing out on even more precious hours of shut eye. (I honestly don't remember losing this much sleep with my son, but my now-husband -- his stepfather -- claims that he woke up at least once a night until he was 3. Perhaps I've blocked it out?)

I'm sure there are people reading this and calling me a bitch -- or at the very least, an ungrateful, bad mother. After all, if I did things "right" I’d get more sleep … Right? Maybe. Regardless, let me reiterate that I love my baby. I love my son, too, even though I grievously injure my feet on his stray Legos at least once a week. They are the lights of my life. BUT I DO NOT WANT ANY MORE.

That's it. Line drawn. My uterus is closed. I think I might literally die if I were to have another baby. If not from sheer tiredness, then from walking in front of a moving car during a mommy-brain induced haze. Maybe from mistakenly drinking drain cleaner instead of juice, because my bleary eyes can't tell the difference. I don't really know, but I'm sure it would be tragic.

THAT is why I've decided to have my fallopian tubes removed. The reason I decided to do it right NOW is that I'm terrified of how a Trump/Pence presidency may affect health care (in general, but women’s health care in particular). As it is right now, birth control of all types (pills, diaphragm, IUD, and permanent methods) are covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

That means no cost at all -- no copay, no coinsurance, no deductible. The new president-elect has already said that he plans on drastically altering the act, and I am certain that women's health care will be one of the first things to come under attack. The New York Times and The Washington Post have both reported on Trump's plans to eliminate or alter the ACA , and the potential effect that will have on women's health.  (Plus, let's be honest here: Pence, who thinks that condoms are “too modern," is going to have a lot of influence over the president-elect, and that does not bode well for us.) 

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For the first time in my life, I feel like I'm backed into a corner. I feel like, in the very near future, my body might come under attack, and I might not be able to make decisions regarding my own health. A lot of women have chosen to get an IUD recently, for exactly these same reasons. In fact, according to an article posted by CNN earlier in the month, demand for long-term birth control like IUDs  (the type that should last through an entire presidential term) has been booming. While this is an appealing option for many, I've decided to go with a salpingectomy, due to a history of ovarian cancer in my family (research has shown a link between fallopian tube removal and a decreased chance of developing certain types of cancer).

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This was a "maybe someday" thought in the back of my mind as recently as November 7th, but it is now something I'm pursuing with a sense of urgency. I've been forced into this decision, much earlier than I wanted to be, because my health insurance may not legally have to cover my birth control anymore in the upcoming year. I've been forced into this decision because with no insurance coverage, I won't be able to pay for that birth control.

Despite my constant fatigue, and my likely-smelly hair, I still have fun with my kids right now. I think they have fun with me, too. I know that if I have any more children, that will change. I honestly won't be able to handle it. I am taking permanent action now, while I still can, and while it's still covered, so I can continue to be a good mother. 


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