ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion


I've been taking birth control pills for about 7 years, just slightly longer than I've been having sex. A couple of times in the last year or so, I've thought about going off it. I know there are various health impacts of taking the pill long term that can be reversed pretty quickly when one goes off it, and some that take longer to shift. I also know there's just the general wonkiness that goes along with taking someone else's hormones on a daily basis, and some environmental impact (although I don't think my urine is going to make that big a difference on its own, with or without the extra hormones).

I thought about stopping last year before heading to Guatemala for a few months, on the theory that I wasn't planning to have sex for a chunk of time and therefore I could get rid of the pesky hormones. I ended up not doing that for three primary reasons: First, if, by some deeply unfortunate chance, I was raped during my travels, worrying about pregnancy on top of that would be a terrible thing. Second, the convenience of being able to schedule my periods for a time when I wasn't going to be on a bus for 12 hours a day or away from running water for a couple of days appealed to me. And third, I thought it might not be a good idea to fuss with my hormones whilst also fussing with lots of other stuff in my life.

More recently, I've had a variety of factors come together to make me think that now might be a good time to take a break, so last week, I decided I'd stop. I discussed it with the parties on whom it might have an impact and explained my thinking, and it all sounded pretty fine to me. So, Friday night was my first night of not taking a pill on purpose in 7ish years.

Well, that was the idea, anyway. In fact, what happened, is that I didn't take the pill when I went to bed, and then I spent half an hour in a frenzy of consideration about what an accidental pregnancy would mean to me.

I don't want to get pregnant. I don't want to have kids, and I certainly don't want to do it now, of all times. I'm not in a position of wanting to pay for voluntary visits to a doctor to get fitted for a diaphragm, cervical cap, or to get an IUD, and I'm simply not comfortable with a condom as the single barrier to my getting pregnant. I definitely don't want to pay for involuntary visits to a doctor around a pregnancy, in whatever form they might take. I prefer to leave that up to my friends who have made other choices.

So, I got up to take Friday's pill, went back to bed, and slept, if I may say it, like a baby. But not like those pesky babies all my friends talk about that wake up in the night, but like my sweet fantasy baby who sleeps soundly and quietly for 10 hours at a stretch. Yes, thanks, I'll have more of that.

All of this leads into a post about facing fears and sorting through them, but I think that'll wait 'til tomorrow. For now, I'm gonna go see if I can have any interesting dreams for several hours or so.

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