Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Immediately after my surgery, I mean before I even vomited rainbow Jello on Corey, before they even untied my arms and stuff, a resident popped her head over the bedrail and asked me, "Now. What kind of birth control will you be using?"

You are stunned, right? Stunned that this was the first question asked of me after delivering my baby. I was expecting someone to ask if I was planning to breastfeed or maybe if I wanted chicken or fish for dinner. I sort of sputtered and asked her to repeat the question, certain I was hallucinating. She said it again. "What method of birth control will you be using?"

I told her Corey and I hadn't discussed it yet.

For the next four days, any time a medical professional came into my room, he or she asked me what form of birth control I would be using. You know, in case I felt an overwhelming urge to make whoopee after my catheter came out or they took the staples out of my stomach.

Again and again, people asked me this question. I eventually discovered they are uber concerned that women will get pregnant again too quickly and risk damaging their fragile insides. At any rate, I never answered them and they sent me home with prescriptions for condoms and spermicide and the morning after pill. Oh, and Vicodin. Because after all, I had just had surgery and might be thinking about relieving my pain before I got down with my husband.

Finally, at my 10-day postpartum check, I just told them an answer so people would stop asking me the damn question. I said we would use a diaphragm. It seemed logical at the time, they wrote it on my chart, and nobody asked me about sex again for like 5 weeks. Which was great.

Today, I had a marathon postpartum checkup in which I got such an extensive pelvic exam, the midwife had to change her gloves three times. Why such invasion? Evidently, when you write down that you want a diaphragm, you actually have to get FITTED for such a thing. Did you ever see one? Do you know what one is? Because it is huge. And rubbery. And really pretty gross. It looks like a prosthetic breast.

After they decided which one I should use, the midwives told me they would leave the room and I had to put it in myself. I didn't want to put that thing inside me! But I did. Upside down. So then I had to extract it from myself. I was running around that room naked, propping my feet up on things, trying everything possible to wedge that prosthetic breast in my damaged hoo-ha. It was terrible. Frustrating. Smelly. Very weird.

In the end, I have a prescription for my very own prostethic-breast-shaped contraceptive device. And nobody will ever again ask me what form of birth control I will be using. But if you did? I would hazard a guess that diaphragm will not be the likely answer.


Valtastic said...

If I had a baby ripped from my uterus my response would have been abstinance... seriously... who wants to think about that after labor?

Secondly.. I went to my OB/GYN for my yearly and I talked about non hormonal options since I don't want to pump myself with chemicals.

She then showed me the diaphram... for one pre labor (1 in diameter) and then the multiple laber one (about 3 in in diameter)... and then talked about how I should have babies soon since they are great. (I was single at the time)

Then she told me about how you have to put it in hours before sex and leave it in hours after... yeah not fun...

Good luck with that..

PS I love my OB/GYN despite her baby push since she found a miniscule lump and is a great doctor.

Emily said...

I can't imagine that is a form of birth control with a high success rate since the insertion/removal seems like a pain.

There is the much simpler non-hormonal option of temping and using condoms for a third of the month.

but really, I guess I see the medical concern, but who's THINKING about that when your stomach is still so ripped open you can't pull up your underwear alone?

Kelly said...

They totally asked me the same question like a zillion times too!!!! Seriously, you know 'cause that is soooo the first thing on your mind!

Em said...

Is breast feeding a less reliable method of fertility suppression than I have been led to believe?

Katy said...

theoretically, breastfeeding exclusively prevents ovulation. however, i will be going to work 2 days per week and pumping and i cannot be sure my body will signal to my ovaries effectively. plus, when miles starts eating some solids at 6 months, i will ovulate for sure. of course, by then it would be "safe" to make a baby. my god. can you imagine getting pregnant that soon??

Jumbo said...

I'm still trying to get the mental image of you, naked with a C-section scar running around a doctors office with your legs propped on various things up to your elbow in your who-ha diggin' around for an inverted rubber boob. In my mind's eye, I see the room a-shambles, you naked in the corner in the fetal position, crying, and the doctor and a few nurses looking upon the scene in horror, finally calling in Willy the Janitor with a plunger to extricate your stuck diaphragm. It's not a pretty scene in my head right now, thanks for that...