This past Wednesday, I had an IUD inserted. I’m married, and I’m going to be 35 this year, and just a few months ago I had decided to stop taking birth control pills because I wasn’t feeling great about being on hormones. I thought I could be ok with a bit of pregnancy risk, being almost 35 and married. But I’m not.
Of course, there are other reasons for having the IUD. I have endometriosis, and I have been experiencing a significant uptick in pain since I stopped taking the pill. That’s the easy thing to say if I talk about my current choices around fertility and children. I could also tell you that this IUD has localized hormones, which makes me feel more comfortable with it as a birth control method. I could also tell you that an IUD is easily reversible if I change my mind and want to try to have a baby.
But if you want the real reason for the IUD, it is this: I don’t think I’m ever going to want children enough to have them. I want other things so much more.
Elizabeth Gilbert says it really well here:
I am in the trenches of accepting that I want other things way more than I want children. I want children just a little bit, but not enough. I want to focus my life on teaching and writing about magic. Teaching and writing need my attention, my commitment, my mothering. The life that I really want needs room to breathe. And I may feel differently in a year, or in two years…and maybe I won’t. All I can really do is listen to my gut, which has been insisting that I remove the worry and fear of an unplanned pregnancy from my days. I know this for sure: I need to protect the life that I really want.
Thankfully, I have never regretted listening to my gut.
Thankfully, there are many ways to live a satisfying life.