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Everyday Health Postpartum Pregnancy

“Birth Control May Ruin Your Life & Other Things I Wish Someone Told Me After Having A Baby”

Disclaimer: This article is personal and the opinions of experiences I went through. I don’t think it will relate to everyone and I’m certainly not offering health advice or telling you to do what I do.

I love being a mother. My husband and I tried for many years to have a second child and after 7 years, we were surprised to find out we were expecting again. I gave birth to my youngest 10 months ago.

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I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy, having my littlest at 38 weeks & 6 days via c-section. I developed pre-eclampsia the day before I was scheduled to have her so a morning of pre-registration at the hospital ended up turning into me not being able to leave and scheduled to have her that day.

I struggled with breastfeeding. It was a piece of cake for my first child but my second? It was hard. Very hard. Not only were the first 4 months full of colicky cries and screams but as she was eating, she wanted to constantly move, she hated to eat laying down, she refused to breastfeed and only wanted a bottle. I tried pumping but eventually, I became so overwhelmed that I gave up. There are still times I miss that closeness but also, I know I did what was best for her and I.

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By about 6 months postpartum (December 2015), I was worried because I hadn’t become “regular” in my cycles and my hormones were all out of whack. My hair was falling out and I just felt like crap.

I called the OB-GYN and she prescribed me birth control. Big mistake.

Here’s what I wish she would have told me instead of prescribing me birth control:

1. Your period may not be regular for the first year after giving birth.
2. You had issues with breastfeeding, you weren’t exclusive and it was really an off and on thing. It will mess with your weight and your hormones, not to mention, make your period irregular as well.
3. Your hormones are balancing out and until your period becomes regular, you really will feel like a mess but it’ll get better, hang in there, you’re almost there.
4. Take it easy, stop stressing out. Stress is a big cause of irregular cycles. Take a deep breath and relax.
5. It’s okay to feel the way you do. Your body is adjusting. You just went through a lot.

Instead, I decided to take the birth control in hopes of “regulating my hormones” but really, it only made things worse.

The first month passed and I called her. Not only did I have an entire month of discomfort and issues, I felt weird. She told me to give it 4 months to kick in and really start working. So, I decided to give it a try.

The end of March came and I started feeling off. Really off. April rolled around and I had lost it. I was constantly angry, I started breaking out, I was insecure, irritable, irrational, anxious, unhappy (for no reason) and just all-around unpleasant to be around. What was wrong with me? Why am I feeling this way? I was overwhelmed. I had lost all motivation. I wasn’t ever feeling suicidal or harmful to myself or others, I just felt.. awful. There was nothing specific going on that would make me feel this way. My life was great, nothing was wrong, work is wonderful and busier than ever, why do I feel depressed? Why am I so unhappy feeling? Why do I feel so anxious? Why can’t I form sentences? Why does my mind feel cloudy? Why am I gaining weight when I’m working out and eating healthy(ish)? Why am I breaking out? I never break out. Why am I crying at 1am into a paper towel roll for no reason? Why do I feel so insecure and distant? Why am I feeling so unworthy and unwanted? What is happening?

By the middle of April, something had to change. It was only getting worse. I had no idea what was wrong and at this time, I didn’t realize what was happening. Did I have postpartum depression? Did I have anxiety? Do I need to get some other kind of meds? Do I need to see someone?

My hormones were so off balance, my birth control was not helping me AT ALL and never once helped “regulate” anything. I looked at my husband and told him how I was feeling. He googled my specific birth control and every single symptom I was explaining to him was listed… right there in front of us. Hundreds upon hundreds of pages from women who had been experiencing the exact same things. “Get off this ASAP if you want to feel normal”, “Run as fast as you can away from this stuff!!!!”, “DO NOT TAKE THIS”, “Makes you feel like the worst person in the world”, “Thought I had postpartum depression, turned out it was this birth control!”

The results were pouring in. I was prescribed something to “help me balance and feel better” and it almost drove me insane. I had to get off of it IMMEDIATELY.

That was a little over a week ago. The first 4-5 days off my birth control were the hardest for me. Constant mood swings, emotions, sadness, anger, heart palpitations. The last 3-4 days have been the best. I feel more normal now than I did 4 months ago when I saw the doctor. Why all of a sudden to my birth control stop helping me? Did it ever work? Was it ever really helping me?

Should I have just waited it out and let my body adjust to having a baby, stopping breastfeeding, etc?

I think so, yes.

There were many times this past month where I just didn’t want to get out of bed. I felt like a dark cloud was looming over my head. No matter what was going on, I couldn’t shake the feeling. I struggled. I struggled bad. At the time, I had no idea what was going on and whenever I would mention something to a doctor, they just looked for the next best thing to prescribe to me. I didn’t need medicine. I didn’t need anything. I needed to let my body adjust.

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So, 10 months later, I am finally feeling like myself. I wish that I would have known to just give myself a little bit of time.

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There is so much more to say but without boring you and dragging this on, I am going to end this here. I am finally on the mend.

P.S. I am happy to tell you the name of my birth control I was taking, just ask.

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2 COMMENTS

  • Lindsay on October 4, 2016

    I had a hormonal IUD placed in 2011 after having my 2 children back-to-back and it took me until this Summer (4 1/2 years later) to realize I wasn’t just dealing with postpartum and the normal overwhelmed mom situation. Depression, anxiety, lethargy, irritability, brain fog, dark clouds. Neither my family doc nor a psychologist I visited made the connection. I got a random bad case of melasma on my forehead over the last year and treated it with everything before my dermatologist mentioned the hormones in my BC could cause this resurgence of “pregnancy mask”. It wasn’t until I Googled that possibility that I read the stories of women who had dealt with all of these mental and physical adverse effects. What a mess I was as I look back on it! Like you said, I could say so much more, but I decided then (entirely too late) that I would have it removed immediately.

    After having it removed and a non-hormonal IUD put in its place, my mental clarity is so much better. I am getting used to the return of heavier cycles and hormones adjusting (fun stuff), but I wouldn’t trade it for all of the previous side effects.

    I, too, am on the mend. I wish I’d have read this 4 years ago.

    Reply
  • Lauri on December 31, 2016

    I’m 7 months after having baby and still a mess- thank you for your blog – I was contemplating calling my OB- thank you for reminding me it’s the way it should be . Hope you feel better soon

    Reply

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