A Birth Control Story

Like a Cinderella Story or the Princess Diaries, but about birth control and totally different. 

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great week - I'm sorry about not posting yesterday; the day got away from me and I just couldn't make it happen! Part of that has to do with some HUGE news that I will share as soon as I can, so keep checking in so you don't miss what's going on #deeptease

Today's post has to do with something that I am pretty passionate about, since it involves my health, and my health and longevity is obviously very important to me. Now the men reading might be like, this has nothing to do with me, but I say you're wrong and should keep reading. Let's be real here...do you have sex? Does your special lady friend/wife/baby mama use birth control (and if you don't know the answer to that question, shame on you). Or if you're a dad, you might want to keep this in mind for your daughter since it's kind of a big deal. 

And if you're a woman, it's on you to make sure you are in charge of your health. Use birth control or some sort of fertility method until you're ready to have kids, use condoms, be smart, don't ignore crazy health symptoms, etc. 

So here's my birth control story. 

I have been on some sort of birth control since I was in high school and my high school boyfriend's sister took me to Planned Parenthood because she was smart and knew we were crazy and hormonal and she didn't want a niece/nephew quite yet. I started off on the pill and that worked really well until I was 20 and got pregnant with my ex-husband (best surprise ever). 

I mean, look at how stunningly beautiful I was in high school...who wouldn't want a piece of that? (Btw...this picture is from when I was 14 and I most definitely was not doing the deed then - I'm not going to say when it actually happened, but it was definitely not at 14...way too young). 

Seriously though...black streaks in my hair, hemp necklaces...wow. 

Tangent time...how freaking cute is 1-year old Justin?? If you look under his nose, he has a scab from where he slammed his face into an end table while trying to walk. And then his right eye has a scab where he was bit by a pit bull. True story. One of my coworkers offered to babysit Justin and their dog bit him, completely unprovoked (he was just playing with toys). However this coworker also bragged on the regular about how he would "discipline" his dog by hitting her, so I don't blame the breed...I blame the moron who beats their dog. Lesson learned and luckily it was not as serious as it could have been had he been bit a bit more to the left.

Moving on...

To another tangent...can I get an "awwwwwwwww" for sweet and cute, little 18 month old Justin on a beach in Alaska? I mean, SERIOUSLY!! 

Okay, now seriously moving on and back to my story. 

After having Justin I decided to try something other than the pill, since I got pregnant while taking the pill. At first I tried the patch and I hated it - it was gross and made my skin break out and I just didn't like it. I eventually ended up getting the copper IUD and had it for approximately 4 years without any issues at all, until I had an unfortunate water skiing incident that knocked it loose. 

I'm not even kidding here guys...

No bullshit - this epic wipeout resulted in my IUD getting dislodged #naturedouche? Is that too much information? Oh well - stick with me because it's all important, I promise. 

Luckily I was actually getting ready to start my first egg donation a month after this, so I just stayed off of the birth control and got ready to pump my body full of all sorts of other hormones/medications!

Don't worry...I'll talk about my egg donation(s) experience in a later post.

While I was in the egg donation cycle, they had me take Yaz and let me tell you something...I loved Yaz. Love, love, LOVED it. My skin was clear and glowing for the first time ever and I was able to maintain my weight and I wasn't a raving lunatic once a month - it was the best. 

Unfortunately, while we were living in Massachusetts I started experiencing horrible migraines, usually for a couple of days during the week before that special time of the month. They were usually bad enough that I'd have to leave work and lay on the kitchen floor (it was cool) with the lights off until my migraine medicine kicked in. These migraines involved something called an aura - basically I would get tunnel vision and my eyesight would narrow with blurriness around the outside and lights bothered me immensely. I knew this wasn't normal or okay, so I went to my lady parts doctor who said it was probably due to my birth control and the hormones fluctuating too much and I should try a method that would keep my hormones more steady - so she gave me the Nuvaring. 

I hated it. 

Hate, hate, HATED. So I switched back to Yaz and decided I would just deal with the migraines and they're not a big deal...

Fast forward to a few years when we moved to Florida and I got a new lady parts doctor. After telling her about my migraines she said this is actually a huge concern and that she would not be willing to prescribe any combined-method birth control for me. You see, when you are taking a combined hormone birth control and you have migraines with an aura, it actually increases your risk of having a stroke. My doctor explained this is fairly new research, but she recommended I stop taking combined method birth control and switch to something that's either progestogen-only (mini-pill, the shot, the implant) or non-hormonal (copper IUD, condoms, diaphragm, rhythm method). 

I was super bummed because I actually loved taking Yaz and the positive side effects I experienced with it, but I didn't want to have a stroke (obviously) so I decided to try out the copper IUD again. 

I did not have a good experience with it the second time. I actually ended up gaining over 10 pounds that were primarily in my stomach, had horrible periods, terrible skin, and all sorts of other side effects...

We actually got married a month before I had the IUD removed and luckily I looked fantastic that day :-) Be humble, bitch sit down (it's a song...)

But I really did have a ton of issues with the IUD the second time - it had actually gotten lodged into my right ovary (which meant it hurt like a mother when they took it out) and that was causing a lot of inflammation which could be part of the reason for my bloating all the time. I also ended up getting diagnosed with PCOS around this time and was told I'd probably not be able to have any additional children naturally, which I talk more about in this post...at this point they put me on the mini-pill which is a progestogen-only pill and safe for people who suffer from migraines (especially with aura).

3 months after they told me I had PCOS and wouldn't be able to get pregnant naturally, I found out I was almost 4 months pregnant.

Needless to say, I wasn't overly worried about birth control until 8 weeks postpartum, when I started back up on the mini-pill and luckily I have not really had any issues with it. The biggest thing with the mini-pill is you have to take it at the same time every day and if you miss it by more than 3 hours, you will probably end up pregnant. Not. Even. Kidding. Also, I'd like to blame the fact that I still have baby (toddler?) weight to lose on the mini-pill, but I am capable of being honest with myself and saying that it's actually because I eat like a horse and drink too much wine/beer sometimes. I need to start practicing moderation with my moderation - don't think too hard about it and it will make sense. 

Also in regards to PCOS, I have not had any of the issues since having Jules and I do wonder if mine was just triggered by stopping birth control. I guess only time will tell - you better believe if I start experiencing weight gain, horrible skin, hair on my face, thinning hair, or any of the other myriad of symptoms I experienced after coming off Yaz, I will be going to the doctor and getting a full blood panel. 

To review all of the above:

I was not having sex at 14, I just think the picture is funny.

If you or someone you know (friend/wife/girlfriend/sister/mom) take birth control and experience migraine with aura, please urge them to discuss this with their lady parts doctor ASAP. 

The actual increase in the risk of stroke is a small one, but like I said earlier, I'm not effing around when it comes to my health. A stroke is a big, potentially fatal deal and it's not something I am okay risking, even if it means my skin sucks and I'm 10 pounds heavier (again, probably more to do with my "moderation" than anything). 

And if you are on the mini-pill like me make sure you take it at the same exact time every day or you'll get pregnant. 

Finally, I know you're all concerned about the state of my bathroom mirror. 

Yep! Still dirty...all of the other bathrooms have been cleaned, but I just haven't been able to get to our bathroom yet and my husband is working a bajillion hours so he hasn't been able to do it either. It's happening this weekend though. Hopefully (no promises). 

Other than cleaning my bathroom and folding laundry, we really don't have much planned on this glorious long weekend - Jules is doing much better so I think we might try to find a splash park somewhere? Maybe go to the beach if we decide we can handle the crowds? Grill some steaks or something on Monday?

How about you? What are your Memorial Day weekend plans? Please tell me you're having a BBQ and/or doing something super fun!

Oh and before I forget, I have an awesome deal for Le Tote! I actually kept another one of my dresses from my last box because I can't live without it, and I'm really excited about the next box that I'm getting early next week since it has THREE dresses that I saved on the app instead of the usual one or two. 

Use the code 20OFF3 to sign up and you'll get 20% off for 3 months. That's a seriously awesome deal, so if you're thinking about doing it I urge you to give it a shot for 3 months - that's only $47/month for the 4 articles of clothing, non-maternity box! And doing it for 3 months will give you a real taste for it and you can make an honest decision on whether you like it or not.

That's all I have for today - have a fantastic weekend!