**Warning: If you are of the male persuasion, you probably won't want to read this post.**
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, we can chat about all things "womanly."
Several months ago, I did some of my own research on the pill (online and TCOYF) and the things it can do to your body. I only did a little bit of reading, but what I found - combined with issues several of my friends have had after getting off of it - I was convinced I needed to 86 the pill from my daily routine. I attempted to convince my hubby, but to no avail. I understood his reasoning, and pretty much agreed. When we moved here, we quickly got told about the D-word. The D-word changes a lot of things. A lot.
With him not here, there is no real reason for me to stay on it. So, after being on the pill for almost 7 years, I stopped taking it. Because of my cycle, I decided to get off the pill right before Joe left. Oooh, that was a smart move. Not. Anyway. Life after the pill has certainly been...an adjustment. There are a lot of things I haven't had to deal with since I was 17.
The reason I first went on the pill was because of my insane cramps. They were/are not as bad as other women's but they're still pretty rough. There were days when I was in high school that I literally could not concentrate in class because of the sheer pain I was secretly enduring. I was miserable one week out of every month. Completely and utterly miserable. I can remember spending a week in bed during summer in pain, nauseous and wanting to die. Once I got on the pill I still had cramps, but they were bearable. Plus, my doctor gave me permission to take 4 200mg tablets of ibuprofen every 4-6 hrs. That's 800mg 3-4 times a day. That's prescription-strength ibuprofen right there.
Another thing I haven't had to deal a whole lot with is the acne. My acne was bad in high school. My dermatologist had me taking an antibiotic every day, along with using Differin to make the zits disappear. This didn't help too much. The antibiotics made me nauseous and the Differin made the zits hurt worse. Go acne! =/
So, for 7 years I was pretty much rockin' the pill. Then this summer, I stopped. The cramps have returned in full force, as has the acne. I was literally in a ball on the couch this past Saturday, praying that the 800mg of ibuprofen would kick in. I also burned myself with my corn bag - I heat it up in the microwave and use it as a heating pad, minus the cord. I have to take either a muscle relaxer or benadryl and ibuprofen before I go to bed at night so I don't wake up in the middle of the night in extreme pain. Awesome, I tell you.
And then there's the super-painful and slightly embarrassing acne:
Yeah, let's start with the worst part. My back, neck and shoulders. I live in Hawaii. I wear tank tops half the time. Having acne in these places is just freakin' awesome. You can't really see them clearly, but they are there. There are also more that you can't see because I didn't want to put a full body photo on here. The worst ones are in the middle of my back...probably because that's where my bra stays. Yay.
Then there's my chest. No shortage of annoying bumps here. Also annoying... Try wearing cute shirts looking like this. =(
Ah, the face. The most normal place for them. At least these I can kinda cover up.
I'm not gonna lie, I pretty much miss the pill. If it weren't for future plans and the knowledge of all the hormones the pill pumps into my body, I'd probably go back to it tomorrow. I miss completely knowing my "start day." Charting does help with that, but I never had to think about it before. I miss the lack of extremely painful cramps. I really miss my mostly-clear skin. I never had perfect skin on the pill, but it was a bazillion times better when I was on it!
After reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility, I really have a good understanding of what the pill does... The author is pro-charting, knowing your body and avoiding pregnancy (and TTC) by not taking contraceptives. Me? Gimme the pill, please!!! That said, I think it's a personal decision. The pill isn't for everyone and neither is the charting business. I have friends that will probably never go back to the pill. I probably wouldn't either if I wasn't going crazy. =P
I'm so glad that I've read TCOYF, though. It has some really great information...and I probably wouldn't have known some things if I hadn't read it. There were several "Ooooooh! That's what that was/is!" moments. So, for me, as soon as I can get back to the pill and its hormone-controlling powers I will. For now, I guess I'll manage, though.
Isn't being a woman just awesome?!
What are your thoughts on the pill? Saving grace? Evil?