This post was sponsored by Paragard® (intrauterine copper contraceptive), but all thoughts and opinions are my own. If you are interested in learning more about Paragard, talk to your healthcare provider and visit Paragard.com for more information.
Whenever I imagined myself married with kids (back before I was married with kids), I always imagined having two. It might be because I come from a family with two kids, and most people I knew growing up were from families of four too. Now, it seems like three kids is very popular, but in the suburbs of Long Island, back in the ’80s, two kids was where it was at. Sometimes, I think that if I had started having kids earlier in my life (I was 34 when I had my first), I might have gone for a third. But then I remind myself of a few things:
1) We live in Manhattan and having three kids isn’t really realistic for us if we want to stay in the city. Space is limited and cost of living is expensive. I think we would probably have to move out of the city to be able to afford the cost of bringing up a third child, and I really love living in Manhattan.
2) We love to travel and traveling with three is certainly harder and more costly than traveling with two. Plus, Mazzy and Harlow are now at ideal ages for travel and having another would put family trips off for a few more years. Even worse, perhaps by the time we were ready to travel as a family, Mazzy would be in her apathetic teenager phase and be more interested in spending time with her friends.
3) Mike and I both work and already find it almost impossible to manage the busy schedules of two kids. We have a part-time sitter who works in the afternoon to shuttle the kids around, and still, Mike or I often have to take off work in the afternoon when our kids schedules take them in opposite directions. Not to mention, class trips, school conferences, doctor appointments, etc.
4) Ugh. I can’t imagine making mom friends with a whole new set of parents again.
5) And that wouldn’t even be the worst of it. We are finally sleeping in on the weekends! Mazzy and Harlow can sleep until 9am if we let them!
6) I lucked out and my body is in pretty good shape at the moment. I think that if I had one more kid, I would really run the risk of not bouncing back quite as well.
7) BREASTFEEDING. I am so done.
8) I am really enjoying my kids at the ages that they are right now and having a baby would mean diverting my attention away from them and focusing on a newborn, then a toddler. I think I’d be giving up a little of what I love so much about spending time with my girls.
9) We are in the process of renovating and redecorating our place, so why would we invite a baby to poop and spit up all over it?
10) I am too damn old. Both from a risk factor perspective and pure exhaustion. Also, it’s been a really tough transition for me, but I can finally say that I am happy to be focusing more on myself and who I am beyond being a mom. Having another baby would just be one way of putting that mid-life crisis off for a few years.
In short, I like the stage of parenthood I am in and I don’t want to sacrifice that for a new baby.
But, for some reason, even though I know we are done having kids (and have known this since Harlow was born), it’s been a hard thing for me to declare definitively. Six years ago, at one of my post-partum visits to my ob/gyn, he suggested I opt for an IUD. Aside from being one of the most effective methods of birth control (over 99%), he said IUDs are good for three to ten years (depending on the brand) and I could get one with or without hormones. I had a lot of problems with hormonal birth control in my twenties. When I stopped taking the pill, my period stopped and it took me on a ten year journey to get it back. And so, the hormone-free IUD – Paragard® – seemed like the right choice for me. Paragard is 100% hormone free so it doesn’t interfere with your body’s natural menstrual cycle or cause other hormone-related side effects. Best of all, it lasts for up to 10 years but can be removed at any time, so it gave me the freedom to change my mind. With Paragard if you ever decide to have another child, you can ask your healthcare provider to remove it and you can start trying to get pregnant right away.
Let’s be clear— I AM NOT HAVING ANOTHER CHILD. But, I like the idea that I COULD.
Paragard looks like this, in case you are curious:
Placement was done by my ob/gyn in just a few minutes! I’d heard that your periods are a lot heavier with Paragard and was expecting something major to happen with my first cycle, but it was really just on the heavier side of normal. There were a few months where it remained heavy, but then it seemed to lessen each month and it’s been what I remember as a normal period for the past six years. Paragard is also a low-maintenance option – which is great because I have a lot on my plate and I don’t need to add a daily birth control routine to the mix. I do not feel the IUD at all and have had no complications. And, I haven’t gotten pregnant, so that’s a ringing endorsement!
I would be lying if I said there weren’t times over the last few years when Mike and I have talked about the possibility of having another child, but it has always been more of a fun hypothetical discussion. Sometimes I get really sad that the baby stage is over but then I remind myself of all the things I have now that I wouldn’t have if I had a baby — like sleeping late on the weekends, sit down meals with real family conversations, the ability to travel and do things that the whole family appreciates, etc. etc. Deep down, I know that more kids isn’t the best choice for us.
A family of four feels right.
How many kids do you have and when did you know you were done? If you are done?
Paragard is a small IUD (intrauterine device) that prevents pregnancy for as long as you want up to 10 years. It works differently using one simple active ingredient — copper — instead of hormones.
Important Safety Information
- Don’t use Paragard if you have a pelvic infection or certain cancers. Less than 1% of users get a serious infection called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
- If you miss a period, have persistent abdominal pain or if Paragard comes out, tell your healthcare provider (HCP). If it comes out, use back-up birth control.
- In rare cases, Paragard may attach to or go through the uterus and cause other problems. Pregnancy with Paragard is uncommon but can be life threatening and may cause infertility or loss of pregnancy.
- Bleeding and spotting may increase in the first 2-3 months but usually decreases over time.
- Paragard does not protect against HIV or STDs.
Only you and your HCP can decide if Paragard is right for you. Available by prescription only.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
For full product information, please see the Full Prescribing Information at Paragard.com.