Thursday, 1 September 2011

Birth Control And How It Works


After Isaiah and Liz were born, when Jason and I were in one of our "we've had enough kids, I think our family is complete" phases, I went back on The Pill (you'll notice I've capitalized it so it won't be confused with things like Advil or Gravol or Oxycontin).

We had had a lot of discussions about the pro and cons of various forms of birth control, and settled on The Pill, mostly because I like to control EVERYTHING. The greatest thing about The Pill is actually that fun dial-a-Pill disk. It's cool. It made me feel like I was eating Pez every night before bed (I didn't get out much at the time.)

When the big kids were little, Jason and I made a concentrated effort to be the ones to raise them. It was really important to us to be their primary caregivers. It worked out great- both our big kids are super-confident, really well adjusted, generally great kids, and I credit this to our being at home with them for the first 5 years of their lives. (If one of them ever commits mass murder or votes for the Pirate Party Of Canada (no joke- real party- see 
www.pirateparty.ca)), we'll blame that on the chemicals in tap water, not their upbringing, which was obviously highly successful.)

The problem was, we weren't a 'single income' type family- not if we wanted to eat. Our solution was that Jason would work days landscaping, and I would work nights. So every day, Jason would get home at 4:30, and I would give him the abridged version of how everyone's days had gone, and what needed to get done that night, and rush out the door to be at McDonald's (and later Starbucks) by 5. This meant that for most of the big kids' childhoods, we were essentially 2 single parents operating out of the same home. And as a (pseudo) single parent, you can't possibly be on top of EVERYTHING.

One night, when the big kids were about 2 and 4, I came home from Starbucks after my shift at around midnight, and found the house peaceful, kids in bed, fast asleep, and Jason, standing in the bathroom, looking around with a puzzled expression.

"I put them to bed, and about half an hour later I heard them laughing and came in here. I don't know what's wrong. But something has to be."

He had checked the usual- Liz had been known to mascara herself up like an undercover cop on a vice sting, and Isaiah had flushed more things down the toilet than I care to remember, so it shouldn't have been hard to figure it out. We looked for almost an hour, but between the two of us, we couldn't figure out WHY they had been so happy. And nothing scares me like a happy kid.

We figured nothing was wrong and gave up looking. Right up until my pretend-Pez moment before bed. I went into the bathroom to take My Pill, and couldn't find the fun little disk. With a sinking heart, I checked Isaiah's room, and yep. There it was. In the corner. One empty plastic package (which had been almost completely full that morning), and one lonely, little, pink Pill laying on the carpet beside it.

Praying Isaiah had simply taken them out and flushed them (and we all KNOW it's never that easy, hmmmmm???????), I shook him awake to ask him where they had gone. When I finally got my point across his sleepy little brain, he stammered out,

"We ate them! We ate your candies! But it's ok, cause I shared! We went one for me and one for her and one for me and one for her!" And at the end there was one left over and I didn't even keep it for myself!!!!!"

DAMN those Pill companies and their fun little dispensers! What the hell were they THINKING??? (We'll gloss over the part where I left them on the bathroom counter instead of putting them back inside the medicine cabinet, shall we???) There must be kids all over the WORLD dropping dead from estrogen or progesterone or whatever-it-was-in-there poisoning!!! WHAT HAD WE DONE??????????????

As Jason dragged a sleeping Liz out of her crib and proceed to try to stuff the two of them into winter jackets and boots for the trip to the emergency room, I called poison control to find out if there was anything I could do to keep them alive till we got there. When the woman on the other end picked up, I blurted out my story, nearly hysterical with early-onset grief.

And she laughed.

And laughed.

And laughed.

And then explained that this happens all the time. Mostly due to the awesome little Pez-like dispensers. And that there was nothing to worry about because the amount of hormone in the package wasn't nearly enough to harm a child or have any lasting effects.

"Your son will probably throw up in the next few days," she explained, "and since your daughter has just received a fairly large dose of adult women's hormones, she may be a little off kilter as well."

Awesome. We put down the phone, got the kids out of their winter gear, flushed the last remaining Pill, and crawled into bed, absolutely wrung right out.

The following day, as Isaiah was coming down the stairs when I called him for lunch, he threw up. It wasn't a little bit of barf that can be easily cleaned off the carpet. It was a GEYSER of puke that sprayed the stairwell, the walls, the railing, and dribbled through the railing onto the toy box below. Whereupon Isaiah turned to run back up the stairs to the bathroom (still puking) and got the OTHER half of the stairwell, the hallway  carpet, and most of the bathroom floor. I plunked Liz down in the living room and spent the next hour wiping vomit off virtually every surface in the top floor of my home. Isaiah sat in the bathtub with a bucket and watched me.

Seriously grossed out, I went downstairs to retrieve my poor daughter, who I had left to her own devices in the living room while I cleaned. I found her (no joke) sitting in front of the tv, SOBBING in front of a commercial with puppies in it. I asked her what was wrong and she looked up at me and screamed "LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!!!" Oh, my God, my 2 year old was PMS-ing.

This went on for 3 straight days. My house reeked of barf, and Liz cried at the drop of a hat roughly every 15 minutes, and was mad as a hornet the rest of the time.

I never bought another pack of Pills. I was done. There were other, better methods that didn't involve the kind of hell I had just been through. But I realized that you don't actually have to TAKE The Pill. You can just watch the aftereffects of having it in your home with two young children.

Best birth control method EVER.