I had my baby daughter last year, my little bundle of joy.
Barely a month after giving birth, I used the birth control implant Implanon – a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick. The implant releases hormones into your body which prevents you from getting pregnant.
Surprisingly, I got flak from friends and relatives over it, especially from those who had been trying to conceive for many years.
The thing is, The Hubba and I had already decided on me using Implanon right after the wedding, as we weren’t planning on having a baby yet (at the time). We thought of giving it a few years of just the two of us, before having a child.
But then again, according to the British-American Anthropologist Ashley Montagu, “The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.”
Anyway, I did some research on contraceptives after The Hubba and I made our decision.
I discovered that the government has an initiative called The National Population and Family Development Board (or Lembaga Penduduk dan Pembangunan Keluarga Negara / LPPKN) under the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.
Among the many services and programmes offered by LPPKN include family planning services and fertility treatment.
Thank goodness I found out about the services and treatments provided by LPPKN. It would’ve cost us a bomb if we did the procedure at private hospitals.
The staff were helpful. It turned out that not many of us (myself included) realised the benefits of using contraceptives.
I spoke to one of their clinics about contraceptive options, which included condoms, pills, injections and Implanon, among others.
Since I’m not the most disciplined or diligent person, I struck out pills right away.
I didn’t want to visit the clinic to get contraceptive injections every three months either, so that’s out.
Neither the Hubba or I were keen on using condoms, as it took the pleasure out of, well, you know, our ‘workout’, so that was strike three.
After we calculated the cost of using the implant as opposed to condoms, injections and pills, it turned out roughly the same. You can get more information on Implanon’s costs here.
So, Implanon it was then, at the cost of RM500.00. It promised a 99% of success rate of not getting pregnant for the next three years.
The only drawbacks of it was that you might get irregular, light, or even no menstrual periods at all. Also, possible hair loss and weight gain among others.
But after using it for almost 10 months, the only thing I experienced was not getting my period – which I actually welcome as it saves me the hassle and cost of buying the sanitary pads monthly!
So, a month after I gave birth, I set up an appointment with the LPPKN clinic to have my Implanon injection.
The procedure took less than a minute, and I barely noticed it being inserted under my left arm. The small rod felt rubbery and I just needed to keep the area around it clean and bear the minor bruises for about a week.
And I was all set.
I only told one friend and an aunt about the procedure, only to find myself under fire for my decision.
Pretty soon, word got around and I got an earful of not-so-friendly ‘advice’.
Some felt that I shouldn’t limit my options so soon, that my baby deserves a sibling, or two, or three. Others were upset as they haven’t been blessed with children yet even after being married for so long.
And here I was, not wanting any more kids and resorting to contraceptives instead.
I wish I could tell them off for being nosy parkers and being a kepochi. But some of them are very dear to me, especially those without kids yet.
Not only that, when I told them I didn’t want any risky pregnancies since I’m already 40 this year, they cited all sorts of “research” and “examples” of those who had given birth later in life. This included Madonna, J. Lo, and Mariah Carey.
Yeah you read it right – they even quoted them.
Contraceptive was a choice The Hubba and I made, and I wish my loved ones would respect it. I truly hope others who are in the same boat would take responsibility and stand by their decision.
Also, I love my baby too much for her to share my love with her other siblings (*should she have any, that is).
If you liked reading that, you might also like I Use Birth Control for My Out-Of-Control Hormones. This Is What I Learnt After a Year of Taking It.