No you cheeky little buggers. Don’t get excited, I’m not firing the womb up for another baby. Bloody hell. No. Instead this is a lil’ tale about how I’ve been tipping a saccharine cocktail of hormones down my throat everyday for nigh on a decade and its time has come to an end. AGAIN.
I first went on the Pill aged I think around seventeen when I entered a very grown up relationship with a boy in the year above at college . Oooh errr get me. Anyway, I duly trotted off to the docs and was prescribed Microgynon which is the combined pill containing both oestrogen and progesterone, which you take for 21 days and then have seven days off during which you have a ‘bleed’. I believe it is one of the most common Pill’s available on prescription. Anyway all seemed hunky-dory, take a pill every morning and no babies please and thank you.
Seems perfect right? Well I spent a good eight years riding the hormonal contraceptive wave and whilst everything was good on the no babies front there was a lot of other shit to put up with. Irregular bleeding, cystic acne and the worst of all mood swings. Except because I had been on hormonal contraceptives for so bloody long I didn’t actually twig the moodiness was down to the pill until I came off it.
For most of my adult life I’ve had a pretty hysterical edge to me. Nights out in my early twenties were a knife edge of hilarious antics, skinny dipping, and scaling six foot fences in six inch heels versus floods of tears, despair and a hangover that left me feeling bleak and miserable rather than just desperately craving a McDonalds. Relationships were littered with stormy arguments, especially when I had been drinking because I was completely irrational – unable to listen to anything or anyone. Notice how drinking has cropped up a couple of times here? I worried that I might be an angry/sad drunk, but instead just believed that drinking amplified whatever mood I was in. So if I kicked the night off in high spirits, I’d end up swapping tights in the toilets with my mate so she could wear unladdered ones (what a wingwoman) and giggling and flirting with anything on two legs. If I was in a sad or bad mood, drink would send me swiftly west.
This is all beginning to sound like I should be in the AA, not banging on about contraception but bear with me. At this point I was with D, and that man has the patience of a saint for putting up with me through some of the shit I threw at him. We had some murderous rows, he took to calling me a belligerent drunk and I did seriously begin to think I had a problem.
However around this time I came off the pill after having been through the wringer with hormonal contraception. I had trialled the implant but after bleeding near continuously for a year, and having to take the pill on top of the implant, I was totally unimpressed with everything contraception-wise. Can you really blame me after all this for wanting to take some time ‘off” hormones? I just decided I was going to let my body rest before deciding what to go on next. Me and Dan discussed alternative methods, hello condoms you horrible unsexy little beasts, and agreed that if we were to get pregnant it wouldn’t be the end of the world anyway. (No this isn’t the story of how R was conceived!)
Anyway, I was additional-hormone free and HAPPY. I don’t know when we noticed, but there were no more ridiculous rows There were still arguments, but I was a much more reasonable person. It was D who really noticed it – probably because he wasn’t getting yelled at anymore. I perceived that I felt much more in tune with my body, and my emotions. I noticed when I was happier, when I felt more stressed out, and when I was actually upset. Its really hard to describe but previously if I was upset it was like I was a left-handed knight fighting my way down a spiral staircase. Damn near impossible and I was likely to end up dead. (twenty million points to you if you get that reference) The point is I would get more and more stressed/upset and was unable to get down from it, I could even have a little logical voice it my head saying ‘you are a knob head Becks, calm down’ but I couldn’t do anything about it. Except behave like more of a twat.
Without the Pill I do still get upset and stressed out, but now its a lot more logical – and if I am over reacting to something I can understand this and dial back appropriately. I can drink, and just end up being a dancing goofball who flirts badly (HELL TO THE MOTHERFUDGING YEAH).
I was off the pill for approximately a year before falling pregnant with R, and in a weird way I am really glad that I was. Like I said I got to know my body a whole lot more, and when we decided to actively try for a baby I was a lot more in tune with my cycle and with the changes that tipped me off that I was pregnant.
However once R was born I decided to go back on the Pill, as we definitely did not want any more little surprises when we have our hands still fun with this bundle of joy! So back on the old Microgynon I went, despite me laying out my concerns to the GP. I was advised to go on it, see how I felt for three months and then come back to discuss. I never went back. Almost instantaneously my moods took a nose dive I was mainlining more hormones before mine had settled post-birth and combined with the stress of a new born – well it was bloody awful. And it was the same mind-warp again, I couldn’t see that my moods were getting worse and couldn’t rationalise with myself. I felt completely locked in my own head. D told me straight – to get off the Pill right away.
So I did, I binned them, and would love to say I didn’t look back – but if you’ve been reading this blog you know its been a full on and hard ten months. The mood swings weren’t as dramatic though, and I felt more in control of them – if I am exhausted then yeah I’m going to be stressed and easily irritated. There’s none of the ‘spiraling’ that I would have whilst on the Pill.
Obviously this won’t be the case for everyone, the Pill is a bloomin’ marvellous invention, but it has made me really question the side effects and I will seriously consider these before going back on any form of hormonal contraception. Some of you will be reading this and unable to imagine that I could be a whirling shrieking dervish, but equally there will be those of you who know me and be like yeah, she cray cray. I’m just looking forward to getting pissed and dancing like a loon without turning into the Hulk again.
Peace out, B x