I was using protection. I was on the pill. Something my doctors never told me until my appointment at Planned Parenthood was that if you use the same pill for a long time without a break or switching brands, there’s a chance your body will adapt to the hormones and you will be able to get pregnant. That’s what happened to me. After 5 years on the same pill, taking it the same time every day, it stopped working.
Back when my awesome CNP started me on azathioprine, we discussed the side effects. She stressed repeatedly the need for multiple birth control methods, since this was a drug that could cause birth defects. She didn’t go into specifics, so obviously I imagined something along the lines of thalidomide because I am a morbid, morbid lady, and I took birth control pills somewhat frantically.
That was back in 2003. (Recently I had a year-long break from the Pill because I couldn’t really afford to fill a scrip for it,* but I’m back on it now.) In the intervening years, I had another doctor who told me in our initial meeting that as long as I took folic acid daily with the rest of my pill platter, any fetus that might spring suddenly into my womb would have no problem. I asked him again a year into our relationship as gastro-and-ass patient, and this time, he hemmed and hawed and said that if I was planning to get pregnant, we should discuss other options. So.
And so. Even with the various gastro discussions, I’m still not precisely sure what birth defects are associated with azathioprine. I believe at one time I read something about polydacty, or problems with fingers fusing or babies maybe growing extra fingers. Clearly I’m very well informed and qualified to talk about this. But I still take aza (and A. and I still use a wild and colorful variety of birth control methods) and I still think that one day, I might want to have a kid. Is the only way to take a pile of Devil Pred for nine-ten months? Is that stuff really safe for a fetus? Is any medication? Would I have a choice? Would it be vain to create a child under such conditions when there are so many healthy children given up for adoption?
Man, I wonder why A. doesn’t like to talk with me about having kids? I do like a good light conversation on my gut health versus the future of our genetic pool. Or maybe that’s an oxymoronic debate.
*Still the most stupid excuse ever. Because an unplanned kid, that would be a whole barrelfulla economy!