I have decided to completely get off hormonal birth control. And I am kind of scared…
I have had 3 shots of Depo-Provera given to me by choice as my contraceptive birth control method. This was my second choice after I opted out of getting the Mirena IUD.
The day I was to get the IUD inserted, I happened to catch one of those “Have you or a loved one suffered….blah blah” regarding Mirena, the very same thing I was about to leave and have taken care of. When I got there, I told my OB I was spooked about the commercial advertisement and wanted to discuss something else. He had mentioned how the pills in my past experiences had interfered with my abilities to breast-feed my first son (they dried me up) so the Depo shot might be something that would work better for me.
Turns out my second son would end up in the hospital at less than 2 months old with RSV – our breast-feeding routine also was cut too short for my little heart. However I did continue with the Depo-Provera – it was convenient in that I only had to get it every 12 weeks and I was oddly hoping to gain some weight (many women claim weight gain as a common side effect of Depo-Provera) because I was sitting at 90 lbs – about fifteen pounds from where I feel I should be.
- My first shot was in the middle of January. My period happened to come back just a week or so before this shot and it was my first period since delivering my second baby.
- That period didn’t actually end until a week before my second shot was due in the middle of March- that’s 11 weeks people. I was off my period for ONLY one week until my second shot of Depo.
- My period started the day AFTER receiving my second shot (mid March) and literally hasn’t stopped since! Not a single day. I have been on my period for over 5 months now.
I got my third shot of birth control in early July – period still going strong – my next shot is due in early October and I am not going to get it.
The last 5 months have been so emotionally crazy for me. To be honest the last 3 years have been a total life change. I have 2 kids who are 18 months apart. I went from 110 lbs to 135 with my first pregnancy. 105 lbs at the start of my second pregnancy and gave birth to him weighing a total of 112 lbs – I had only gained 7 lbs my entire second pregnancy. Since delivering my second, I have been sitting at 90 lbs or less and I am not happy about it.
I know I am way too active with these two little ones in comparison to how much I am and should be eating. I know a lot of mom’s get in this horrible little rut too. With my second son having terrible eczema his whole darn life (and he’s just 10 months old)- I was also not getting enough sleep. He would literally only sleep for 4-5 hours at a time, if that. My fiance and I would have to wake up maybe 4-5 times per night until literally JUST two weeks ago!
This birth control has made me feel crazy, weak, angry beyond belief, depressed, and tired all at the same time.
And I have to be honest, I am have been thoroughly up and down emotionally that it has seriously scared me. In the last 5 months I have gotten into arguments with almost everyone in my family – all hormonally fueled. I am normally an incredibly passive person and I literally cannot control my feelings anymore – I mean I yelled at my grandma last month (and she’s nothing but nice to me like the perfect grandma always is).
I don’t even feel like I have proportionate problems in my life -but I have a had a few too many bad days to where now I understand the warning that “some medications may lead to suicidal thoughts”. And that is literally not something I think anyone in my family would expect me to relate too. My issue with this, is that I am far too aware of how I am acting emotionally (I can literally tell when I am being re-damn-diculous and yet I cannot reason with myself enough to control it). Cue Ron Burgundy –
I feel so embarrassed sometimes because of the weird things that make me cry now – Ed Sheeran you son of a bitch! (I love you – but why you make me cry every damn time??!).
Two or so months ago, sitting at the dinner table with my family, my 2 year old was following along on his Baby Einstein Videos and saying the alphabet as the letters would pop up. When I realized he was getting all of them right (and by this time he was doing for a good 2 minutes) I just started crying! I had to run away from the table because I was so emotional that I didn’t want him to notice and think he was doing something wrong. Honestly I was so freaking proud and impressed because we don’t actually work on the alphabet too much and he apparently picked up the letters very well on his own – but I was balling like my cat died. How is that normal at all??
My best friend in the whole world gets me. I can tell her everything and she helps me, encourages me, challenges me, and she loves me enough to tell me when I am wrong too. I love that we have a relationship based on respect and not judgement. When we do manage to get together (our lives are in completely different places right now), we – of course discuss our current situations and her being her helpful little self – told me about her mom seeing a new doctor and that maybe I should go see her. It really has been too long since I have seen any doctor other an OBGYN -I just haven’t actually gotten sick or felt like going to a doctor was necessary (stupid thinking….)
On probably one of my worst hormonal days yet, I was texting my best friend seeking some advice and she gave me the number of the doctor instead. I literally called her right then and there and said, I think it’s time I see a doctor again. I have been taking Depo-Provera and I literally feel crazy. She happened to be open the very next day to see me and talk about my issues. She is a Naturopathic Physician and exactly the type of medicinal route I wanted to take – I had never been so excited for a doctor’s appointment in my life. I felt like there was a light at the end of the tunnel that is this crazy uncontrollable train of hormones and the never-ending period. She assured me on the phone that she has dealt with many women who have had problems with Depo-Provera and that we would be able to work on regulating my hormones again. *Biggest sigh of relief ever*
I have to get off of birth control and get back to my normal self.
My doctor is also ready to help me get started in Natural Family Planning as my new form of “birth control”. Doing a little research on Natural Family Planning – I feel like I have been lied to my whole life or something. Learning how my cycle works and embracing the fact that I can be the keeper of my own hormonal shifts (voluntarily speaking) is literally the most empowering part of this. Don’t get me wrong, I am scared as hell that we might get pregnant sooner than I would like to (our plan was to have another child when our first begins preschool) – but I am more than ready to be diligent and proactive in getting myself back to my silly, passive, sarcastic, glass-is-half-full demeanor. I am tired of feeling crazy!
If you are interested in learning more about Natural Family Planning too, this blog has been super helpful for me – Chloe at How We Flourish – Natural Family Planning.
My doctor has also recommended “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler *affiliate link*.
Please Understand – this was a hard post for me to write and share.
This was MY experience on this birth control method. It did “work” for me in that matter that I have not gotten pregnant though I do not feel it has worked for me in almost every other way possible. I want my experience to be known if other women are considering the Depo shots. It could totally work for you and you might not have of this emotional roller-coastering happen at all! I do not wish it upon any new mother or young woman adjusting to parenthood though.
Please share my experience with the women in your life – if they are pregnant, looking into birth control, or are interested in switching birth controls. This was scary for me and I just want to other women to know, understand and discuss these types of side effects with your doctor when choosing your next contraceptive method!
Please save yourself from ‘the glass case of emotions’.