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Birth control allowed me to become a mom when I was ready, not a moment sooner

I started taking birth control when I was 16 as a way to help ease the pain of some really terrible menstrual cramps. (Some days, I just wanted to call the school to let me know she was sick and lay in bed with a heating pad.) The birth control worked, thankfully, and my pain gradually subsided and my period became super predictable. But over time, I came to see birth control less as a way to control pain and more as a way to protect myself from a unwanted pregnancy.

When I started having sex with my boyfriend through high school and then college, I knew the last thing I wanted was to get pregnant. I was in my teens and getting pregnant was non-negotiable for me. I knew I wanted to finish college, find a job I was passionate about, and do all the things young people can do without feeling tied down to a baby I wasn’t ready for.

Don’t get me wrong: I knew I wanted to be a mom 100%, one day. But a teenage mother? No way.

I wanted to travel the world and explore things I had never seen, eat food I had never tried, and meet people and discover cultures that interested me. When I was 20 years old, I traveled alone to beautiful places: Thailand, Italy, Spain, and China, with all the freedom in the world. I was able to work, pay off student debt, and only live in apartments because I could afford it. Would I have been able to do this with a baby if I was a single mom? I really doubt it!

I was able to do what I wanted. I was able to enjoy my full freedom and youth. She could go to the movies or date whenever she wanted. I could stay up as late or go to bed as early as I wanted. I could book a weekend trip to Vegas with my friends, all without having to think twice.

Now, at 34, I am older, wiser, much more mature. I live in a house that my husband and I bought. We have financial security that I never would have had when I was 20 years old fresh out of college. And we have a beautiful 4-month-old baby who means everything to me. I love him so much.

ace a new mom, I am very grateful for the Pill. Thanks to the pill, I was able to take charge of my life and have my baby on my terms when I felt really ready. Being a 34-year-old new mom is wonderful. She in no way would have been as prepared, mentally, physically, emotionally or financially, if she had gotten me pregnant at 20 years old. Now I have more maturity, patience and security than I did.

I really love the freedom that birth control has created for women. Being able to take your life into your own hands and decide how you want to live, and choose if and when you want to procreate, is amazing. I am so grateful that I had this option, and that it gave me many years of freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted, without the fear of an unwanted pregnancy. Thanks to the pill, I can now enjoy motherhood on my own terms and I am very happy about it.

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