Don’t let the title fool you. I am all for birth control. I have been on it since I was 18. But after going through depression, post partum, two kids, and lots of work stressors, the chemical imbalances kept coming. I never put two and two together until now that it could be the Pill.
I went off the Pill for our attempts to get pregnant the first time. It took us some time, so I was definitely “off” mentally, but I wouldn’t attribute it to the Pill necessarily; I was messed up with our attempts at getting pregnant. Once I was pregnant, I felt amazing. I loved being pregnant right up until the end, and I had heard that being pregnant for people who normally were depressed or anxious, that it may balance you out. My sister swore that her friend who normally had to take antidepressants was “completely normal” during her pregnancy. Although having a baby definitely wasn’t easy, I still felt somewhat balanced. I didn’t go back on the Pill right away, because I attempted breastfeeding, and then oopsie, I got pregnant with our second without meaning to. I mean, we were going to try for number two anyway, it just happened a little too easily and quickly for us. So then, after we had our second, I told my OB GYN I wanted to go back on the Pill. I didn’t want any more oopsies, I wanted more control. I waited until breastfeeding wasn’t on the table, and then went back on full strength birth control. I didn’t know it was probably the worst idea ever.
Postpartum ensued. I realize it’s not directly related to the Pill, but it didn’t help. I was on and off various types of antidepressants, in and out of therapy, and then I thought I had found a balance. Flash forward two years, when my husband and I decided to try for a third. I didn’t talk it over with my OB-GYN, but I stopped taking the Pill, and kept on with my antidepressants. Mind you, I did discuss it with my psychiatrist, who has been amazing and awesome throughout everything. She agreed it was a good idea, to see how my other medications did alongside of the non-Pill time frame, so we could look ahead as to what my overall mental state could be. I noticed some changes, not right away, but over the course of a few months.
First off, I was overall happier. Little things didn’t bug me, and I actually wanted to be with my kids more often instead of willing them to go play and leave me alone. For my husband’s benefit and ultimately my own, I wanted to have sex. More. (I enjoyed it, too, instead of being a bystander who just waited for it to be over.) My work life was more balanced as well. I didn’t freak out when things were thrown my way, and I laughed more with my colleagues. I wanted to do more, and I avoided less. I wasn’t sure if I was just “dealing” with things much better. I brought it up to my psychiatrist. The hormone imbalance was evident and based on what I was reporting, she agreed that yes, it was Pill related. We had finally found a balance for me.
Am I nervous that if I do get pregnant with number 3 that it will throw everything off again? That I will go into a crazy mommy state that I hate my children, keep my legs closed indefinitely, and fall back into my avoiding and want to stay in bed phase? Of course. But I know better now. I know that I will come out the other side, and with the support of doctors and my husband, I know I can do this. I will never go on the Pill again. Yes, my husband cringes at the thought of getting snipped instead of me going on any birth control, but after he’s seen how different I’ve been, he has agreed, albeit grudgingly. I am glad it served it’s purpose for the last 17 years of my life, but I also wonder how different my life would be had I not gone on it in the first place. Am I angry at the times I lost along the way? Nope. I am damn happy I didn’t end up barefoot and pregnant at the age of 18. I can deal with the roller coaster of life if it means my life ended up the way it is now.