3 weeks ago I started taking Birth Control for the first time in 6 years.
3 weeks ago I was excited to work on regulating my hormones to help with my ovarian pain, my postpartum acne and my rosacea.
3 weeks ago I didn’t see this coming…
As a teenager I tried birth control but didn’t like the way it made me feel. The doctors insisted I shouldn’t be able to notice anything different but I was sure it made me feel “different” but didn’t have any physical signs to prove it.
After having Jackson 9 years ago the doctors insisted I get on birth control again. I told them I didn’t like the way it made me feel but I couldn’t describe why or how and they convinced me it was in my head.
After bleeding for 2 months straight after getting the shot I promised myself I would NEVER try it again.
Well fast forward to 7 years ago after I had Emmett and again the doctors insisted I just try a different form but that it would be good for me to go on.
Weak. Defeated. Lost. I went against everything I knew about myself and said yes again. This time we tried the IUD.
For months after I went on the IUD I had excruciating pain. I talked to the doctor about it and they insisted it was ovulation pain. I’d never had it before but it could develop after having babies so that’s what I was feeling.
I was exhausted all the time. I was angry. I had suicidal thoughts. I had no motivation and depression sunk into every corner or my life.
Not only was I battling with PPD unknowingly I was in constant pain and had no answers.
I scheduled an appointment with my doctor and told them I couldn’t stand the pain any longer and wanted to get the IUD checked out.
The did and ultrasound and their office policy was if you don’t hear from us, no news is good news.
Back then I was 27 years old with 2 kids, had zero confidence and was extremely naive. I believed and trusted most people and I did not advocate for myself because I always felt inferior to people who had more schooling than I did.
So when the phone call saying something was off didn’t come, I didn’t question it one bit. I must be crazy. Maybe this was just normal for a girl after she had babies. Maybe I’m being dramatic. Maybe all the insane thoughts I was having was who I really was and it just took having kids to push my limits and figure it out. Maybe I wasn’t fit to be a mom after all. Maybe I wasn’t meant to be here and I was a waste of space. Maybe my kids would be better off without me…
6 more months went by after the ultrasound and each month the physical pain got worse but the mental struggle was even more difficult.
I went in for my yearly pap smear and my midwife asked me how I was feeling. I told her the pain was still present and getting worse. That I didn’t want to be on birth control anymore and that I wanted it out NOW.
She had a concerned look on her face, asked me if I ever heard back after my ultrasound, went out of the office and came back.
“Ummm, you still have the IUD in?”
“Yes. You guys never called and you always say no news is good news and to not call the office unless we need another appointment…”
“I am so sorry. We need to get that out now. The ultrasound showed it slipped down into your cervix and that’s why you were having so much pain.”
A flood of anger came over me.
“What? It slipped and you guys didn’t tell me. I told you I was suffering, I told you I was in constant pain, I told you my husband said he could feel it. You said you would call. Why didn’t you call!?"
I’d love to say I handled this with grace but I was furious. Absolutely furious.
“I’m so sorry. Let’s get it out right away and figure out our next steps…”
After she removed it and apologized again and again she brought up the topic of other forms of birth control.
“ABSOLUTELY NOT. I don’t like it. I’m done.”
And I was…for the last 6 years. Until 3 weeks ago.
3 weeks ago after months of going back and forth on whether or not to have an exploratory surgery to look for what is thought to be endometriosis or to start with control to see if that helps with the pain, I chose birth control.
Against everything I felt or said I did it anyway.
The difference. This time I’m not the weak human I used to be. I’m confident. I have control. I love the shit out of my life and I’m motivated AF to do all the things. I have a passion and zeal for life that most people can’t even wrap their head around. I love the journey I’m on. I love my relationship with God. I thrive to live.
Slowly over the last 3 weeks things have been changing. My anxiety has been increasing. My hearts been racing for no reason at all. I’ve barely worked out. I haven’t eaten anything to fuel my body. I’ve done no bible study. I have zero drive to work. I’m exhausted constantly. I’ve been short with my kids, my friends, my husband, literally everyone. I’ve watched more tv than I have in 6 years. I’ve barely cooked. I haven’t grocery shopped. My body broke out in hives Saturday night which NEVER happens to me, like ever. And then Monday I reached a breaking point.
I was so frustrated at nothing and couldn’t even imagine having to disciple one more kid that I told the bigs I was going to lay down with Jude to get him to nap and headed upstairs.
Laying there staring at the ceiling thoughts started swirling. Thoughts that I haven’t had in YEARS. Thoughts that were not my own.
“Jac, this is so hard for you. You’re failing at everything. You can’t accomplish anything. You’re business is failing. You’re failing as a mother. You’re not a good wife. Look at you. Wouldn’t the boys be better off without you. Wouldn’t life be easier if you just weren’t here.”
As those thoughts swirled through my mind, I sobbed myself to sleep in the middle of the day feeling hopeless, worthless and unloved.
At 4:15pm I was awoken by my husband. Huh? What? Where am I? Is everything okay? What’s going on?
If you know anything about my husband you know he doesn’t come home early. He works his butt off, barely takes vacation time and leaving before 6pm is a rarity.
So what the heck was going on?
“Bri, what are you doing? Why are you here? Is everything okay?”
“Well you didn’t sound good when we talked earlier. I was worried about you. Are you okay?”
“I don’t know…I just feel off…”
After getting up, making dinner (leftovers), and then binging on more tv I ended up on a phone call with one of my best friends. Who also happens to be a therapist, who also knows my struggle with birth control and my fear of taking it.
I told her everything and immediately she said, “STOP TAKING IT.”
“Really? Just like that? I can stop.”
“Ummm, yeah no, you need to stop. Everything you’ve told me can be a side effect of birth control. Don’t take anymore. We’ll figure this out.”
HOLY SHIT. What?! I’m not crazy? Oh my gosh. Seriously. What in the eff.
Instantly I felt a huge wave of relief and gratitude rush over me. This was it. This is exactly why I’ve been feeling this way. This is NOT me. It’s temporary. It’s going to be okay.
Wow. Even typing those words shocks me. Yesterday I couldn’t even fathom how to write a single sentence and now with the help of incredible people God has put in my path I’m able to string together words to share this story with you all in hopes that it will help.
If you’re not feeling like you I get it. I’m still not completely me and I know it’s going to take some time to get it all out of my system.
I’m not giving up on what’s going on with my body because I know somethings off.
But I do have the tools and support to help me get back on track. Without it, I can’t imagine how long it would take me to figure it all out alone. I’ve been there, done that, and I refuse to spend years alone, defeated and depressed pretending I’m okay.
With strength, confidence and control things will get better. I don’t have to wait for them to change I need to take action.
Step #1 - Stop that birth control.
Step #2 - Share with my tribe so they can pray for me because I need it and I don’t need to feel ashamed.
Step #3 - Give myself grace.
Step #4 - Take one step, one day at a time. It won’t be long but I’ll be back on track soon and in the meantime it’s okay if I don’t get it all done.
Step #5 - Learn to trust your intuition & don’t second guess yourself even if someone is more “educated” than you. No one knows you better than YOU.
A wise woman once said “In my work I see people who work very hard to use the good in their lives for good works and hide the bad things that have happened. Why? God doesn’t bring suffering to us so that we can hide it. He doesn’t punish us with suffering. He allows us to choose our destiny and deal with the consequences in the afterlife. Suffering reminds us that we need Him and that we have everything we need to be strong, confident, and in control of our actions and the choices we make.” -Dr. Linda Sinnott
Lord, thank you for this reminder. I know I don’t see and understand it’s purpose but I know you’ve designed my life and this story will help someone somewhere. Thank you for being evermore present in the trials and tribulations and for surrounding me with incredible people.
Thank you for grace. Forgiveness & Love. Thank you for reminding me to share my truth and stay strong when there’s backlash for sharing “too much.”
2019 you have been a year of growth, perseverance and commitment. 2020, I’m ready for you…well almost ;)