April 29, 2008

My birth stories: Or - More things than you really wanted to know about my reproductive health/history Part 2

Last time, when I wrote about having D, I ended talking about trials to come when it comes to the birth control I took after having her. I'm not going to regale you with the full 8 years worth, but taking that shot started me on an oddessy I'd much sooner forget now. And I'd really rather have all it's effects erased from my life as well.

When I was considering our birth control choices, I didn't see many options. I didn't find myself very good at taking medication, as there were lots of times I had forgotten some---chief among them, having just come off of a pregnancy, my prenatal vitamins. I had tried to breastfeed D, but after a short time (which I will elaborate on when I discuss my breastfeeding story), that came to an end. So, my few options seemed to be (a) winging it, and if I got pregnant again I did (which T would have preferred---I think he would have tried awfully hard to get me pregnant again quick so our kids could be just as close together as he and his brothers are), but that was out because after the ordeal I had to go through with having D---the sudden onset of labor (not really, because I just don't think I knew the signs. Not that there was a lot of obvious pain, just a tremendous amount of discomfort the day before), the tearing, the hematoma and resulting effects---(b) use condoms and hope we didn't get pregnant (why use condoms? We are a monogamous married couple.), (c) do the cross your fingers and hope thing, with some removal, (d) get something implanted or (e) get the shot. Well, the shot's every 3 months, there's little to no period, the nurse assured me (after repeated asking) that I'd be fine with little to no side effects, so I started on that.

Frankly, the nurse off, way off. Perhaps the 2 biggest effects right off were fatigue and an immense appetite. I always could eat a lot---but that can't be all of the reason for the weight I gained. I was making an attempt each day to do some exercise---walking with T to work, I was even still a member at the health club I went to before I joined the Army, which our first apartment happened to be across from. I'd go to aerobics classes, yoga, tai chi. Like I said, I did a lot of walking, with T, on my own, to the playground not to far from our house so D could play when she got older, pulling a wagon full of clothes up to the laundromat up the street from us. I might not have been a fanatic about it, but geesh! And my mom swears that in the time after I started taking Depo Provera and the year I took it, I ballooned. And you really can't say I never got my butt out and did stuff, because I HAD to walk to get where I was going most of the time---we didn't have a car, and the only time I really used my parents' car was to get to the doctor, either the gynecologist or D's pediatrician 30 miles away (the same city I had her in).

It didn't do the greatest for my head either. It's not documented since I wasn't going to any doctor other than the gynecologist---we didn't have insurance, and I was paying out of pocket for the shots---but I'm sure I suffered from some sort of depression at the time. I know my self esteem was in the gutter some---I can specifically remember one time T was trying to get frisky, and I went to wave my hand to get him off, and I popped him right in the nose. He got a nose bleed---but to feel so bad to discourage attention from your hubby, and then be insistent enough to end up batting him hard enough in the nose to make him bleed? Please people, I had to be depressed!

And the tricks not having your period plays on your mind! Not just during the 12 months I was on the thing, but for the majority of the next 8 years! I had started to wonder if I was EVER going to be able to have another kid. I guess the withdrawal method just works that good for us :-S But, I never had a period. Starting about 2003, after I went to Weight Watchers the first time, I sorta had one. Here and there, so much so I really got to calling it a "when it wants to" not a "monthly." Because it was NOT coming every month. For a few years before my first Weight Watchers attempt, it wasn't even coming once a year! I wondered if I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I got tested for that once T got in the union and we had insurance. The numbers came back normal. I don't have a thyroid problem, those always come back normal. No blood sugar imbalance---even with a family history of diabetes (my YOUNGER sister already has it for heaven's sakes!), my blood sugar comes back normal every time. My cholesterol even! I'm just fat. Because of that damn shot!

I can't really tell you how bad I felt during that time. I've got journals, but frankly they're in our storage upstairs and I'd really rather not revisit that time that indepth. It was crazy. I know there were times I FELT CRAZY. And even with my questions and having to go through what I had to to have D, there were times even just after I quit the Depo that I would go through babylust---wanting another baby so bad I could taste it!

Like I said, I didn't know if I could have another kid because of how spotty if at all my system was working. T and I discussed it, and I decided that we could start trying for another when I was 6 months away from graduating college. I figured, it would probably take FOREVER if at all for anything to happen. I figured, I was probably infertile at this point---I mean, you have to ovulate and bleed pretty frequently to be fertile, right? Those are the SIGNS, right?

But the gods were smiling down on us. Things were in store for me that I'd doubted could ever be. Boy, did I get a surprise.


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