Take Charge of Your Fertility

ancient birth control…beating off storks…

I grew up in a household that did not value body autonomy, especially not feminist ideals related to issues of fertility. My father’s favorite thing to say was “die to yourself,” using the example of Jesus dying on the cross and giving up “all his rights” in order to save us. This message translated into the overt belief that “you have no rights, because you are a Christian, and so you have to give up all your rights to follow Jesus.” As an adult I think my dad botched the true message, especially since there’s a difference between being told ‘you have no rights,’ and choosing to forgo your own desires to benefit someone else.

As a child, and teenager, it felt very hierarchical and patriarchal, that I, especially, as a woman, did not have a say in what happened to my body. When I chose to have sex with my boyfriend, at 2 months shy of 18, they believed I was trying to be “like her,” and assumed that my boyfriend took advantage of me. Because I certainly couldn’t make the choice with my own body. And while hindsight shows me that there was peer pressure from the other half of my relationship, it wasn’t anything close to rape, or even date rape. I made a choice with my body, and even if it was a choice I later regretted, it was still my choice.

And so, today I finalized my choice to take charge of my own fertility desires to not have another baby (right now? ever?). Sure I consulted with Boof, but I chose this for my body. And it feels good, although a bit crampy since it’s settling in. Haha. But while I am bodily and spiritually confident in my decision, there’s this niggling back-of-the-mind thought that has entered a few times, and I know it’s based on my childhood upbringing. There’s this judgment that I am an evil-hell-going-feminist. That I have strayed so far from the party line that I’ll be burned at the stake. While a few close friends know of our my decision to get the IUD, most family hasn’t been let it on that decision. I’m mostly optimistic that they’ll be supportive, but there’s always a little doubt that they’ll still love me at the end of the day. And I worry, will I regret my decision?

I don’t feel completely different. But here I sit, a woman who can have unprotected sex from now until 10 years from now when the IUD craps out, without worry about getting knocked up. It feels liberating, although I’m sure it’ll take a little getting used to…

How does your values, or values you were taught, inform your reproductive choices?


  1. You know, I battled a loooong time with whether or not to get an IUD. I read these horror stories of punctured uteruses and all these worse case scenarios. In the end I had to decide which terrified me more: another baby or a chance something MAY go wrong. I love my son endlessly but the thought of another baby right now, if ever sends me into a panic.

    When I thought of having kids I knew I wanted the son I have. I can’t imagine having a better more perfect person in my life. I don’t want to have kids for the sake if having kids. Kids are ppl not baseball cards. I’m not starting a collection. I’m starting my family. Everyone says “oh. He needs a sibling to play with.” My own mother said I should I have another one because what if my son died or something? Again! He’s my son! Not a turtle! I can’t just get another one and make it better.

    I’m so happy with my family as it is. I got my IUD because I might change my mind one day and it gives me the option to do that.

    I’ve had mine for 9 months and issues so far. I feel like it was a good decision. I hope yours goes well too.

    • THANK YOU!

      Every point you make speaks right to my heart. There is stil lthis niggling back-of-my-mind ‘what if’ thinking about the fantasy daughter I could have someday, mixed with the feelings of ‘wow, I’ll only have ONE chance to do everything (experience the pregnancy/birth/newborness/etc). But I know right now I only want one child. I possibly will want another one someday, maybe, but holding off has felt like the best decision ever.

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