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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Why I Said Goodbye to Birth Control Pills

Disclaimer- this post may be a little TMI (too much information) for some. If so, click away now!

Another disclaimer- I'm still learning this stuff. I strongly suggest that if you're interested in this method of avoiding pregnancy, that you do your research! I know I did!


Three months ago today, I took my very last birth control pill. No, there is no Hunky/Little Offspring in the plans. No, we're not crazy. We're using FAM.

A little background info-

I've been on birth control since I started college... so.... 7 years. My mom told me she thought it would be a good idea- that it would help regulate my periods and clear up my acne. I'd always had pretty regular periods, but I liked the idea of starting fresh in college without zits.

During those college years, I was pretty stretched for cash, so I had to prioritize my budget. First on the list was birth control, followed by food. I was a dedicated pill user. I had alarms on my phone to remind me. I carried an extra pill pack in my purse in case I forgot to take a pill and I remembered when I was out and about. I really liked knowing exactly when my period would arrive, the fact that my embarrassing zits cleared up, and frankly, that I was doing what all responsible grown-up women do.

I never had any side very noticeable side effects. Sure, I gained some weight, but almost everyone does in college- I attribute putting on the pounds more to the ice cream machine in the dining hall than the Pill. However, I did see some of my close friends experience side effects. One friend was taking a version of Yaz and had terrible mood swings that left her feeling powerless and a little crazy. She switched pills and the side effects went away. Just one of those crazy things, I thought.

After Zeke and I got married, I continued using the Pill to regulate my period and to avoid pregnancy early in our marriage. Now that I was sexually active, though, I started paying more attention to the signals my body was sending just in case, on the off chance, I did get pregnant while on the Pill. Paying closer attention to my body made me realize a couple of things.

First, I noticed that I got headaches before and after every period. Secondly, I noticed that while my periods were never very long, I always had lingering spotting for a couple of days afterward, something I didn't remember having happened before I was on the Pill. And thirdly, I realized that my sex drive was super low (which I didn't know before getting married, anyways).

With my new health insurance, though, the Pill was free. And everybody takes the Pill, right? The other options were an IUD or condoms, so I thought.

Still, I didn't like the very minor side effects I was recognizing, and I also didn't like the fact that I was forcing my body into a pattern other than the natural and normal pattern God gave me. I started finding information about natural birth control, and came across several bloggers who use the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) or Natural Family Planning (NFP). I talked to Zeke about it. He told me that he wanted me to be healthy, but wasn't so sure about FAM. Sounded risky.

So I did more research. I was really surprised by some of the information I found, like that the "yucky discharge" I found in my panties as a teenager was natural, normal, and was able to tell me a lot about myself. I found research that showed that the Pill is a cause of cancer, that the Pill ages the cervix twice as fast, that the Pill can act as an abortifacient. I learned that FAM has been used for years and years, that it's scientifically accurate, and that if it's used correctly, it can prevent pregnancy 99% of the time.

I bought the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility, read it cover to cover and then again, and then decided to start charting. I talked to Zeke again... and he read TCOYF and made faces about some of the pictures... and agreed that we could do it. I practiced charting my Basal Body Temperature (BBT) and checking my cervical fluid, and when I had taken my last pill for that cycle, I didn't refill my prescription. I kissed birth control goodbye.

See another post here about our FAM journey!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Changing Directions

These past few weeks, I've been in the process of changing directions.

I've been walking down the path toward teaching for years now. I've gone to school, gotten my license, been a SPED aide, taken more classes, subbed, gotten another license, long-term subbed...

But now I'm changing directions.

As I began to realize that a full-time job wasn't going to happen for this fall, actually, the night I wrote this post, Zeke came home with news- the registrar for the Bible camp had taken another position and was leaving. I was sad to hear the news- our registrar was an integral part of our camp family.

I took a job at camp working at the front desk for the summer. I got to know the registrar even better, helped her with different things as she prepared to leave... and found that I kind of liked her job.

After a lot of prayer and after talking about it incessantly to Zeke as he tried to shower in peace, I applied for the registrar job.

I'll start my first day as camp registrar this week. It's definitely not what I expected to be doing, but so far, I've enjoyed it. Switching gears, changing directions. Still walking in the path laid out for me.

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