Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Birth Control? REALLY???

Am I really moving backward?  Am I seriously considering birth control?  You know it takes some kind of astronomical event for me to consider going back on BC after all these years of wrestling with this topic.  Every form of birth control I have ever tried has had some kind of negative effect on me which caused me to shy away from it.  I'm allergic to latex. Nothing all that major occurs.  I usually just break out with a rash on my chest, sometimes my stomach (and other obvious areas).  Every pill I've ever tried has made me a hormonal mess.  Female condoms are just... messy, uncomfortable, and scary.  With my allergies I've had some strange experiences, like the time I thought I had an STD and it was an allergic reaction.

I know there are other options, obviously, but the easiest way for EH and I was the pill.  It was simple, not messy at all, I wasn't allergic to it, and it served its purpose.  We didn't get pregnant when we didn't want to.  However, after being on it for nearly a decade before deciding to have children, we always thought it played a role in our infertility.  My doctors have never really agreed with that theory, or rather they have neither agreed nor disagreed.  They've always said it "may have something to do with it" but don't seem sold on that hypothesis. 

Considering the position I'm in, it makes perfect sense for me to be on the pill.  I'm essentially dating two men for one thing!  It sounds so magnificently terrible to admit it out loud, but there is incredible potential for intimacy between TJ and I at this point. However strained and delusional it may seem, I am also still maintaining a relationship with Jay and we are still sexually involved on a regular basis.  For all intensive purposes, he is my boyfriend. However, I am not sold on the idea of having a child with him.  He's far too immature and has absolutely no plan for the future - not to mention his drinking problem and past drug use.  It makes me extremely resistant to even taking the risk of getting pregnant with him.  We have no real plans for the future.  How could we?  At this point, he HAS no future.

As much as I want a child, I don't think I could have one with Jay.  I know I've seriously considered finding an "anonymous donor" type.  I have thought long and hard about just screwing around until I get pregnant, for the simple objective of getting the baby I've always wanted.  I was especially serious about that possibility after losing the twins but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I want my kids to have something that I never had - a real family.  At the very least I want my children to have an excellent father who is an upstanding member of his community, an active part of their lives, a good influence on them. The more time I spend around Jay's family (they really are the Cleavers!) the more I realize I want a family like theirs. Well, I want the 21st century version.  I don't think marriage is absolutely necessary.  In fact, I don't know that I fancy the idea of remarrying.  However, I want my kids to have a mom and dad that love them, nurture them, and protect them from all the bull I had to grow up with.  I don't want my children to ever feel abandoned, ignored, or abused by me or their father.  If I go out and find a sperm donor they will feel abandoned.

So, birth control seems like a viable option right now.  I don't want my children being raised by an immature drunk like Jay.  And I certainly don't want to get pregnant with TJ again anytime soon.  Even if he and I do end up back together, we won't be ready for that for a while and his anxiety levels go so high so fast!  I wouldn't want to send him into a coma or something.

I do worry about the side effects of going back on the pill, but I'm not sure what other options I have.  It has to be something covered by the state of IL medical card (for now) that I will still be able to afford once my card runs out in a few weeks.  But more importantly, it has to be effective, comfortable, and conducive to my lifestyle.  I work two jobs and am taking care of my dying grandmother.  I don't have a whole lot of time to have to deal with this!

Does anyone out there have any recommendations of fairly inexpensive birth control methods aside from the pill, condoms, or abstinence?  =)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I Thought It Was Over!

The past year has been the worst year of my entire life.  I've been through a divorce, miscarried three babies, lost my job, lost the love of my life (well, maybe), and wrecked my practically brand new car less than two weeks ago.  I thought I broke my arm but in the end it was just a bad abbrasion, whiplash, and a twisted pelvis. Oh! And two broken fingernails. LOL.  I'm still healing from all of that.  My car is still in the shop.  I'm struggling badly to come up with the deductible, and I was already struggling anyway due to going two months with no work and paying $700 for new tires/rims last month after I was run off the road by a truck driver.  I thought the car wreck would be the end of it.  I thought if I could just get through the remaining six weeks of the year I would be okay.  I thought surely fate was finished doling out its punishment on me, for 2012 anyway.  I was wrong!

"She is my rock.."

My grandma and I have been living together for several months now, almost a year.  Her back has been in bad shape the last few months.  She went to the doctor and he told her the spinal fusion she had done three years ago and come apart.  Essentially, her back re-broke.  He took a no-contrast CAT scan which proved his theory.  However, his nurse was under the impression that my grandmother was addicted to the pain medication she was on so she convinced the doctor that, even though my grandma's back is BROKEN, they should lower her dosage.  They dropped 175 mg off the dose and supplemented it with aspirin.  In the meantime, my grandmother started having serious stomach issues.  She never mentioned it to the doctor, although I begged her to.  I also said that I thought her pain was due to another issue in addition to her back, but he doctor insisted it was just her back.  This past Wednesday I had to work late so I slept in a little.  My cousin comes over once a week to clean, usually on Thursdays.  I heard her come in early Wednesday but stayed in bed to be lazy for once.  I'm working 50-60 hours a week and needed the rest.  I never heard my grandma leave, but apparently, she did.  My cousin came in an hour later and told me that she had driven herself to the hospital because she was vomitting blood.

Later that day while I was at work my cousin called and told me they did a CAT scan with contrast and found a mass in my grandma's pancreas.  At first glance it seemed like it could be a solitary mass, not necessarily cancer.  However, later tests showed a mass in the liver and that the lymph glands are affected.  There's a PET scan scheduled for next Wednesday and a biopsy will follow...  I'm at a loss.  She has been my rock my entire life. She raised me most of my life and she has been my refuge every time things got bad.  If not for her, this last year would have killed me and now I might be losing her.  I've already lost my beloved ex-mother-in-law in September and now losing my grandma just MIGHT kill me.  She's my greatest source of support, the most important woman in my life.  I'm not ready for this.

Jay has been super supportive but he wants to spend every single waking minute with me, as if we weren't already spending every free moment together.  Since I live with Grandma, I'm alone in the house now, except the cat.  He doesn't like leaving me here by myself.  It's not like I'm suicidal, and quite honestly, I NEED time away from him, time alone in general.  Yes. At first I was glad he was here because I was so in shock, so devastated, and so unprepared for the news that I was almost unable to function at all.  All I could do was cry.  So I was glad to have someone here to be with me and help me get it together.  But now I'm at that stage in this process where I need to be alone and he won't let me have my space. 

To make matter worse, things have gotten more complicated with T.J.  As soon as T.J. heard about my grandma, he called.  This, of course, made Jay jealous.  He knows T.J. and I are still friends and that we spend time together on a regular basis.  He doesn't like it but he knows I won't tolerate him trying to control me in any way so he doesn't push the subject with me.  However, when T.J. called, I saw instant fear glaring in Jay's eyes.  He is so afraid I will run to T.J. for support.  I'm not saying he doesn't have a right to be afraid.  In fact, it's a very legitimate fear for him to have.  T.J. and I went through the worst possible tragedy in our lives thus far.  We went through the miscarriage of twins together, not to mention how I feel about T.J.  I agree that Jay should be worried. 

The End of Open Mic??

In addition to the tragedy going on in my "real" family right now, my very close-knit group of friends is being torn apart.  The two "main" friends of the group - Harper & Mayzy - got into a fight and he threw her into a wall, a couple of times.  She's badly bruised and has pressed charges.  Harper runs open mic nights on Thursdays and Mayzy is one of the prominent performers.  She said she isnt' returning to open mic and Harper has basically landed the responsibility of running it in the laps of the rest of us.  No more after parties at Harpers and most of the core members of the group are really worried that the group will split up and we will lose friendships.  The worst part is, T.J. is involved.  He is really torn up over it.

"So you wanna hear some amazing news?"

With all the heavy emotions floating around, perhaps spending time with T.J. wasn't the best decision, but he asked if I wanted to have a drink Thursday.  We found out that Harper and Mayzy weren't going so we knew that drama wouldn't interfere with our conversation.  We went to open mic.  One of the other core members was there with some of his bandmates running the show while Harper was gone.  We had a few drinks and then T.J. dropped a bomb.  He told me he bought a house!!!  He's been living with relatives for three years!  He showed no signs of getting his own place again anytime soon, and he hadn't told me or any of the others about potentially buying a place.  Out of nowhere, he suddenly owns a house?  It was kind of weird.  He just whispered in my ear, "So you wanna hear some amazing news?"  I was terrified he was going to say he met someone but he whispered, "I bought a house."  I was obviously shocked.  Then, he REALLY shocked me.  He asked me not to tell any of our other friends and asked me if I wanted to come over to see it.

I followed him to his house.  It's so cute!  It's a small, two-bedroom older home with a vintage kitchen.  New windows, fresh paint - super cute, and perfect for T.J.  Better yet, it's not the kind of house where you have a live-in.  It's definitely a single man's house.  I hate to admit that I'm relieved there won't be room for a girlfriend to move in, but I took a huge sigh of relief when he showed me the second bedroom and said, "It's far too small for someone to live in here. It'll probably be my office or music room."  I hope he didn't sense my relief. 

After showing me around, he turned to me and said, "I've missed you the last couple of weeks." 

I shrugged it off and said, "Well, I was taking a break and Thanksgiving kept me busy."  It got quiet. 

T.J. put his hand on my arm and asked, "How are you holding up?"

I shook my head.  "I'm not.  I'm just faking it."

He sighed and put his arms around me, pulling me to his chest.  I just closed my eyes and breathed him in, trying to block out all the bullshit and just focus on how his arms felt wrapped around me.  I said, "You smell like bar soap and cigarettes."

He laughed, pushed me away from him a few inches, and asked, "Can I kiss you? Is that allowed?"

I stopped breathing for a second but I could feel my head knodding has he used his finger to tip my face up to his.  I can't tell you how dizzying it was to feel his lips on mine again.  I didn't know how to react. I wanted to cry.  We kissed for a few seconds and then he excused himself for a few minutes.  He returned with a couple of blankets and a pillow and asked, "Can we just lie down and talk for a little while?"  He looked down and blushed a little.  "I don't have any furniture yet."

We lay on a blanket in his living room floor cuddling, talking, laughing, and occassionally kissing for a few hours, until Jay texted me and asked if I could come over.  T.J. asked me not to go.  He wanted me to stay the night.  I didn't want to give Jay any reason to be suspicious so I hugged T.J. and gave him a kiss on the cheek.  He said, "You're the only one in the group that knows about this place.  Let's keep it that way for now, okay?"  I promised I wouldn't tell anyone and rushed off to meet Jay.  I may have imagined it but I think I saw disappointment in T.J.'s eyes as I left.

I am trying so hard not to get my hopes up.  This doesn't mean that T.J. wants me back.  And he is obviously not looking for a serious long-term relationship or he wouldn't have bought a bachelor pad.  However, the fact that I'm the only one in the group who knows about the house shows how much he trusts me, and he point blank asked me to stay the night without ever asking for sex.  He wanted to spend time with me and said he missed me.  Though that makes me really excited, it also scares the hell out of me.  Jay and I have a good thing going.  What if T.J. does something that convinces me to leave him and then I just get my heart broken again?  Mayzy says that she can tell T.J. is completely in love with me but he is so scared of being hurt and of having to sacrifice who he is to make someone else happy that he won't give in - not to mention how the twins and the miscarriage have affected both of us.  It's SO complicated and scary!  Mayzy has known T.J. a really long time.  I believe that she truly believes the T.J. loves me, but he has never said that he does and that is what keeps me guessing...

I could walk away from this.  It would be especially easy right now considering the drama in the group.  I would have the perfect excuse to leave and never come back but I can't do that.  I can't walk away from them all, and I can't help how I feel about T.J.  I have to at least keep them at arm's length until T.J. has time to figure out what HE wants.  In the meantime, I still have no clue what I'm going to do with Jay...