FAM Journey, Weeks 2-3

Hi all!

I’m not sure how many folks are following along here, but thanks if you are! I wanted to steadily post weekly, but obviously life sometimes gets in the way. Regardless, I’m checking in with my journey to get off hormonal birth control.

I stopped taking my BC pills on the last day before my “placebo” week started. Following that day, I had 2-3 days of extremely light spotting. I wouldn’t even call it a period – seeing as it was just a false bleed anyhow.

Around the same time, I began charting my temperature every morning. Immediately, I saw how general stressors of life could affect my temps. I went to a friends for girls’ night, drank quite a bit of wine and my temp the next morning shot up over 98 degrees, when I’m usually between 96.5 – 97. I’m thankful the app I am using allows me to select an option for a questionable temp and can exclude it from my chart lines.

Of course I knew I hadn’t yet ovulated because my cervical fluid was dry and my cervix was very low and closed – no eggs here.

By far the most amazing change I have seen is in my mood and demeanor. It’s much easier to function through the day – I don’t want to sleep on all my down time. I’m less abrasive toward family and friends, and I can feel my sex drive creeping back up. I’m sure my hormones wont go totally back to normal for a few months, but I am thrilled at what I am feeling and seeing in my body and mind right now.

I’m also several hundred pages into Taking Charge of Your Fertility, and the hype is right. It is the greatest source that you could pick up for this process. It will help you really understand what happens during your cycle. It will make you re-think any “issues” you may have thought you had and you’ll say “oh, that’s what that was.”. I was someone who thought that every time after my period I would have a yeast infection. In reality, I tend to just have a more crumbly-type fluid on my dry and sticky days – go figure!

I’m currently on day “17” of my cycle, however I am considering it an iffy one because I didn’t have a true “period” starting on day 1. I just based day 1 off of the first day I would have taken my placebo pills. Currently I am waiting for ovulation, and am definitely getting close. So from here until my next “safe” zone I’ll be using barrier methods during sex. I found the first large amount of creamy fluid yesterday so I expect to find my thermal jump in the next 4 or 5 days. I’ll keep you posted!

 

xx

 

Start: Week 1 – Bye Bye, Birth Control

The reactions that I have received in telling a few close friends about stopping my birth control are ones that I expected. Most hovered in the area of “well you need to go to the doctor you can’t just stop” and “aw you’ll be the next one pregnant!”. While neither of those are necessarily true, they do have some resonance.

Can I just stop taking my pills? I took my last “real” pill yesterday and I’m on my final placebo week. Of course I have been doing research and watching videos of others’ experiences coming off hormonal birth control. Truthfully, I don’t really want to go back to my doctor (I actually use Planned Parenthood at the moment), because I don’t want them to say “oh lets try another pill we can find one that’s right for you.” So yes, I can stop taking my pill. Will I have side effects from the lack of those particular hormones? Quite possibly. My body has been altered so much by these fake hormones that I don’t know what could happen. But I still believe that our bodies have the ability to heal themselves as long as we treat them right.

I shouldn’t have to go through horrible symptoms and trials and errors to find birth control that works for me. Men, grab a condom and you’re good for pregnancy AND STD’s. We have it a little bit harder. I should be able to find a reliable, safe, natural method of birth control that I can use that doesn’t make me crazy! I already have depression and anxiety – and I truly believe since starting hormonal birth control both have become exponentially worse.

I feel like I have lost a big lust for life. Yes, my sex drive is also down so that “lusty” part is also a struggle. But in general, I have become duller. I lack motivation in the morning when I have plenty to do – even today, with this blog post on my to-do list, I rolled around in bed for almost 3 hours before starting it. Sure, I was up and down. I had some toast, popped my vitamins, and called my mom. Still, there’s something missing. I feel almost numb, the way I was before I got on my anti-depressant (yes I am for natural methods of medication but my anti-depressant literally saved my life. I’m working on getting off of it slowly but right now it is something that keeps me functioning – balance!).

I’ve received my copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility and I’m absorbing it all. I just wish I could shove it in my friends faces sometimes. I want to say “this is different, but not. It is new, but it’s old. And I can do it and make it work”. But that might take a while.

This week is almost a prep week – I’ll have my “period” probably Tuesday thru Thursday and then hopefully my body will begin to try and balance itself out.

Questions, comments, concerns? I’d love your feedback and/or advice on transitioning into FAM. Do you think I’m moving too fast? Why? Still skeptical? – Tell me your concerns. Knowledge is power – who says we can’t learn together!?

xx

Bye Bye Birth Control

I got my period when I was 13. I wasn’t sexually active until college, so I did not bother with birth control. People suggested it to me for my horrible cramps and long, bloody days during my period (I was sent home on my 16th birthday because my period was so bad. My teacher looked at me, pale and drawn out – hunched over my sewing machine about to die and told me to go to the nurse – Happy Birthday to me…).

The times I did have sex I used condoms. But by the time I was in a serious relationship, something had to give. Neither of us enjoyed condoms, I had gotten a diaphragm but never mastered its techniques so I didn’t really use it (might have to bring it back into rotation though!). So I started on a fairly low-dose pill and had a great first month. Then I had my “period” every 2 weeks for 2 months. So back to the doc I went and got a different script. This one seemed much, much better. I thought maybe I had mood swings, but I also wasn’t remembering to take  my anti-depressant every day. I thought maybe my libido was acting strange since I was losing some of my sex drive. I thought maybe it was just stress or exhaustion. But then my joints started to hurt a little bit more when I tried to get on my yoga mat. And I was crying for no reason at NO single thing. I knew this wasn’t just stress or being tired.

For so many years I rejected hormonal birth control. I knew it wasn’t for me. I knew it could mess with my body’s natural currents. I was an advocate for never, ever going on it. And because of my financial state, life state, (CAN NOT have a kid right now), I gave in. I let myself believe it was the only way I could control my body.

Not so, folks. I’ve had brilliant health coaches along the way remind me of the dangers and I do wish I had listened. I kind of just don’t feel myself while on this stuff. I’m finishing out this week and then getting my “period” next week. But after that I will be going off the pill.

Yes, the plan is to transition to FAM. I’ve ordered my thermometer and books and literature and I’m researching all I can. I advise everyone to do this.

I think I’ll try to do a week-by-week update for this blog and track how my moods are and how things go once I stop taking the pill.

Meanwhile: comment your literature, book recs, youtube videos to watch, etc. If you’ve done this link me to your experiences or comment your story. I want to get in a lot of research and absorb knowledge before I really embark.

xx

Lessons In BabyGap

I wrote this post, and then lost it. It was beautiful and fantastic and the fact that I lost it makes me want to CRY. But I guess it happened for a reason, right? So here we go, round two.

If you don’t know, I work at the Gap. Usually, in BabyGap. And I absolutely adore it.

Long story short (after losing my first copy of this I’m way too lazy to write out the ENTIRE post again, apologies), the children always bring me back to earth about what is real and beautiful in life. Almost daily, a mother or father or couple will come in with a young child, either an infant or a little one under the age of 7 or 8. And every now and then he or she will be a real gem.

It’s rare that I ever find a truly shy child. Most of the time, they come in and smile at me, and we immediately get to playing games while their parent(s) shop. They try to hide, I pretend that I can’t find them. One time, a grandmother had to return to her car and left her grandson in my care. I was working in GapKids that day. And he stood with me at the register and we talked. I asked him what he wanted for Christmas, he told me about what he was buying for his big sister. It was as if we were old friends or cousins.

Peek-a-boo is the most basic children’s game and it never fails to entertain. I used to wonder why, but I no longer do. It’s quite simple. Children can’t fathom that a person can simply hide. They don’t understand that someone can mask a part of themselves from someone. They believe in the goodness and truth of a human being. So the idea that you haven’t just disappeared and you’re, in fact, being false, doesn’t occur to them. And it isn’t because they aren’t educated, it’s because they aren’t tainted by the falsehoods of the world around them. They’re quite pure in that way and they are what we all should strive to be more like.

My favorite experience, by far was this next one. I was working in BabyGap, but I crossed over to Kids’ for a moment. Two girls around the age of 7 or 8 were leaving with their mother. And saying goodbye to everyone they passed. They saw me come in and said “Bye pretty girl!” I said goodbye. One shouted “I love you!” and the other said “I love you too!”

And their mother just laughed, maybe a little embarrassed. But I was touched. And they probably did love me. And I assured them I loved them too. Because of course I do. Why can’t we say I love you to everyone we pass by? Why?

Have a beautiful day, xx.