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March 28, 2010

Why I Went A Little Crazy

Birth control. It can drive you crazy, figuratively or literally. Some of you may remember that I mentioned that I am unable to use any form of hormonal birth control but I never went into detail. Now, the day has come when we will journey down that road.

Before Jonathan and I got married, I started looking into birth control options. It's a type-A personality thing to do, you know. Being overly-prepared and researching every possible option.

After I read everything I could find on the billion choices on the market today, I decided on one of the easiest forms of birth control, the NuvaRing. As the classic infomercial line goes, "You just set it and forget it!"

Flash forward to less than a week after starting the NuvaRing. I'm alone in my apartment, sobbing my eyes out on the phone with my mother, who I'm sure was seriously considering hopping in her car and driving the three hours to my apartment just to make sure I was going to live through the night. No, I wasn't dying. Nor was I in any pain, physically at least. But I was an emotional wreck from the birth control hormones which had sent me spiraling into a depressive episode.

LESS THAN A WEEK. That's all it took and I was a broken mess.

Now for those of you who have never experienced something like this, you're probably thinking that I didn't tough it out, after all, hormonal birth control methods take some adjustment. And you are welcome to think that. But had you been on the other end of the phone that night, you would have understood that what was happening was far beyond feeling a little blue.

So I removed the NuvaRing and managed to get through the next few weeks until my body returned to normal. At that point, I was through with the principle of set it and forget it. Give me something with more maintenance that doesn't make me think my life is meaningless, and I'll take it. Heck, I'd sign up for that plan in a heartbeat!

So after talking with my doctor and establishing that NO, I was NOT suicidal, she wrote me a prescription for the pill. And thus began my second trip through hell.

Looking back, the pill was worse than the NuvaRing. The phrases "rock bottom" and "crazy" can't fully be understood until you're sobbing into your fiance's shoulder while you know that you have every reason in the world to be happy.

Suffice it to say, the pill was not a success. Nor was the mini-pill, attempt number three at birth control.

In the end, my doctor concluded that my body was not able to handle the hormonal treatments. Which severely limited my options for birth control.

Three months after our wedding, Jonathan and I found out that we were pregnant. Which, incidentally, has nothing to do with what type of birth control we were using. But it is relevant to the rest of this post.

When I found out that I was pregnant, I feared that the following nine months would be a repeat of the horror show I had previously experienced. But IT NEVER HAPPENED. Sure, I was occasionally hormonal (some of you may remember my posts about yelling at our cable company, which may or may not have been linked to pregnancy hormones), but it wasn't anything near what I experienced while on the pill.

Now that my little boy is almost three months old, I have been forced to reexamine the topic of birth control. Because I don't want to push 19 children out of my vagina a la the Duggar family. And let's be honest, the idea of condoms is pretty unappealing.

And so this type-A personality is willingly subjecting herself to what could possibly be her fourth living nightmare. After talking with my doctor, I am going back on the mini-pill with the prayer that experiencing pregnancy and birth somehow made my body more tolerant to the hormones.

Let the roller coaster ride begin!


  1. Just remember I'm here for you, Sweetie...always!

  2. I have the same dilemma. Hormones are NOT for me. Have you thought of an IUD?

  3. We looked into the possibility of an IUD. From the research I did, I found that they change the lining of the uterus so that implantation cannot happen (should fertilization occur). It's a personal choice and I certainly don't judge anyone who chooses the IUD option, but it's not for me since I can't ethically justify the possibility that I might be preventing my child from being born if fertilization happened. Although there is an extremely small chance of fertilization when an IUD is used, I just feel more comfortable not taking the risk. If it comes down to it... I'd rather use condoms. But let's hope that we don't have to go down that road!

  4. OK, I am not trying to be a debbie downer, but I have the exact same issues with BC among other things. I tried the Nuvaring and I've been on it for 2 weeks and I am an emotional wreck! I am so bad people have asked me if I have PPD. I told my mom I was going to run away from my responsibilities and I meant it! I think I am just stuck with the condoms!

  5. You might think about trying the mini-pill if you haven't already. It has a lower dose of hormones. Even if I wasn't nursing (which makes the mini-pill my only pill option for BC), I would still be trying that one instead of the regular pill. Good luck with whatever you decide!

  6. Alyssa-- If you ever want to talk to me about NFP, I would be MORE than happy to chat on the phone or whatever with you. I have never used ANY form of birth control (fyi-both our pregnancies were planned). It is so natural to follow the signs of my body, and I know exactly when i am fertile, so it is very simple to avoid pregnancy if you are not ready at the time, and very easy to get pregnant (if all is well within) at the same time when you are ready. Like I said, let me know. You take a class (we only went to one) and voila- NO birth control, free and natural! It is not a "calendar" method like most people assume, and I never had to take my temp every night, etc. --so it's not a lot of work, like some people think as well. But, like I said, let me know if you want to talk about it!

  7. a new mom myself I've enjoyed reading your blog. De-lurking for the first time to offer up some encouragement! I agree with the above poster on trying NFP. I was on BC for years, went off to try to conceive, unsuccessfully for 2 years. We tried NFP to help with conception and it worked. I learned so much about the way my body worked that I never knew before. My husband is a health teacher and thought he *knew everything* about sex ed until we started this - he was so enlightened! We are now going to use this to prevent pregnancy for a year or two until we're ready again. Good Luck with your decisions!

  8. I know exactly what you are going through, BC does the same thing to me. I've been put on 5 different methods. I hope the mini-pill will be successful for you this time. :)

  9. Along the lines of the commenters suggesting NFP, I would recommend the book "Taking Charge Of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler. It tells you everything you need to know about, well, taking charge of your fertility!

  10. I feel your pain on the whole hormonal bc. Part of my problem is I have polycystic ovarian syndrome so part of going on bc was to help my hellish cramps. Not so much. I went throught three different kinds before I was ever married and found one that I thought I liked. Well the first one did nothing to help my pain. The second one made me a raging lunatic. I was completely bipolar on it. I honestly went to my dr to have her check me to see if I had it (family history of it) and remember her having to hand me kleenex as I bawled my eyes out describing my symptoms. The third one made me gain 70 pounds in two months after I got married. It was awful! So now that we are having a baby (we used condoms for two years but come to find out i wasnt ovulating anyway so poor hubby hehe) im in the dilemma of what to do to prevent pregnancy since i refuse any hormonal bc and iud for the same reason as you. And since i have my disorder, ovulation prediction kits dont work. You and I may just have to go into showbiz with our 50 kids! lol

  11. Thanks for all the support ladies! You're all wonderful and it's helpful to know that other women have had the same struggles I've gone through on hormonal BC!