Dark Secret #2 & 3 RevealedWith all the talk about the HHS Mandate and the "pill" lately, I've seen lots of Facebook posts, read lots of articles, and viewed lots of video testimonies that question the Catholic Church's stand against the "pill". I've really felt called to share my story, but hadn't because it's very personal. But a few months ago, I had a dream in which my entire story was written out for all the world to see. I actually saw it being typed out before my eyes. So, I prayed and then typed it out, but could never click the "Publish" button.
A few weeks ago I felt the calling to share my story again when I saw it sitting in my list of posts "unpublished". I ignored it. A few days later, I picked up my husband's Knights of Columbus magazine and began to browse the articles. I found one that literally brought tears to my eyes. It was one on the "unmentioned" side effects of the "pill." As I read each one, I began to cry more and more. It was my story! It was our life! It described everything I had gone through and everything I had put my family through. Again, I felt the urge to share my story, but again ignored it.
This past Sunday, I entered our church parish to find a Natural Family Planning framed poster on the altar in front of the ambo. Immediately, I thought of this blog waiting to be shared. Then our pastor told us that it was Natural Family Planning week and that his homily would be on Humanae Vitae. He shared how the Church shepherds had failed for so long to teach the truth of this document and that he would be changing that. Then he shared a little of his personal testimony. It was at that point that I knew I had to finally click "Publish."
So, here is my story of how the pill almost ruined my life, my marriage, and more importantly my soul.
My story begins back in high school. I was the last one in my circle, probably my class, to officially enter into womanhood. It was great and not so great at the same time. Most of the time I just pretended that I had gotten "it", because I wanted to fit in. Once I finally did get "it", "it" was horrible! I had the worst time every month. I started getting headaches, the worst cramping you could possibly imagine, terrible backache, and irregularity that had me constantly worrying about when "it" would come again. I often missed days of school laying on a heating pad. Finally, my mom decided to take me to a "female" doctor who was actually a man. Ick!
After my examination, this doctor wanted to talk to me "alone" in his office. He gave me the option of two different "kinds" of medication. One was the "pill". He explained that this one would help my monthly issues the most and protect me from other "things." (Wink. Wink.) Well, I opted for the one that would relieve my symptoms the most. I left out of there and got my prescription filled ready to have a "normal" life. Little did I know, I wouldn't have a normal life again for many, many years.
Fast forward five or six years, I'm married and ready to begin my family. I get off of the "pill" and nothing. Month after month, no baby. A year goes by, no baby. Several months in a row, I went in to my doctor's office after having a positive pregnancy test only to have the blood work come back negative. I was completely devastated, but still did not fully understand what was happening. I was told that this is "normal" after being on the "pill" for so long. What? No one explained this to me EVER!
After another year of no successful pregnancy, I decided to see another doctor, a specialist. This one informed me all about what prolonged use of the "pill" does to your body. He explained that the egg was being fertilized, but that it wasn't attaching to the uterus because my hormones were out of whack and weren't allowing implantation. I was so mad that no one had ever explained this to me before and so devastated that I had lost so many little blessings. But I still didn't realize the full reality of what had been happening---my own body had been aborting my babies. (Yes, the pill has an abortifacient effect.)
Fast forward again five years, we have three beautiful children and instructions from my new "Catholic" doctor NOT to have any more kids due to the three high risk pregnancies. This doctor had tried to convince me to have my tubes tied after baby number two, but really tried hard with baby number three. I continuously refused to allow that to happen. The doctor moved in on my husband making him fear that he could possibly lose his wife or the next baby if we were to conceive again. Again, being young and naive and thoroughly exhausted from all the issues we were having with our newborn daughter's health, we gave in, and my husband had the procedure done.
Once again the horrible periods came, the gut wrenching cramping, the horrendous back pain, and awful irregularity that I had as a teenager. This time I ended up in the hospital with a ruptured cyst on my ovary. Again, I was told the best thing for my problem was to go back on the birth control pill. But I was "so lucky this time. They had come out with a pill that eliminated your cycle for months at a time! Medicine had advanced so much since I last took the "pill". They were much safer now." Once again, I, desperate and still somewhat naive, bought it hook, line, and sinker. I knew that I would never be able to conceive again anyway and the only "problem" it seemed to cause in the past was not being able to conceive.
It wasn't long before I started noticing some of the "unmentioned" side effects. My mood swings were swinging so quickly that I felt I was on a merry-go-around. My migraines began again and were worse than ever before. I was no longer attracted to my husband and wanted nothing to do with him---physically. Everyone and everything was against me, rubbed me the wrong way, and made me miserable. No one knew the horrible roller coaster I was on except my husband and kids. They began to tip toe ever so gently around me which made me more irritable and angry.
I sunk into a deep depression and just wanted to hide out in my room all day and night. I remember laying in bed trying to figure out a way to end my life without really committing suicide---car accident was the only thing I could come up with. I even remember asking God to just have me go off a bridge or something. I really feared that I could one day get to the point of hurting myself or someone around me. I felt as if there was a different person living in my body and in my mind. I knew I needed to get out of this "funk", so I prayed and prayed for God to show me the way.
One night after a horribly emotional day, I called my sister-in-law, and we began to talk. As we talked, I shared how "out of control" I felt. As I talked, she kept saying, "Me too." She and I began to compare stories and realized that we had all the same "symptoms". Finally, we learned that we had both been put on this new "pill" for medical reasons about the same time. I got off the phone and began researching this new "pill". I found tons of chat rooms, forums, support groups, etc. all full of women talking about this same "out of control" feeling I was experiencing. I checked the pharmaceutical website next----NOTHING! That was the last day I took the "pill."
I continued to research and read over the next few months. I continued to learn all about the "unmentioned" side effects of the "pill"---mood swings, headaches, hormonal shifts, depression, anger, blood clots, stroke, cancer, etc. I began to look back at my life. My migraines, depression, and extreme moodiness began in high school (first began taking the pill), worsened in college/first year of marriage (switched to a new improved pill), and came back after third child was born (began the new only have a period every few months pill). It all began to make sense and fit.
Then I began to look at our society and realized that this little "pill" was probably the cause of so many failed marriages, broken homes, abusive homes, and the absolute fall of family life in our society. The Catholic Church was right and had predicted this way back in 1960---contraception would be the downfall of family values and society. It would lead the way to so many other sinful acts---sexual promiscuity, abortion, adultery.
Over the next few months, I slowly began to feel like myself again, but really didn't even know who I was. I had been on this roller coaster of a ride since high school. I had a lot of self-discovery to do. For most of my life, I was either on the "pill" or pregnant, so I had no idea what "normal" for me was. Neither did my husband. It took a year or two for us to figure it all out and fall in love with one another again, but things still weren't perfect. There was still something eating away at my soul and causing intimacy issues in our marriage.
A few years later, I attended a continuing education class on Sexuality and Morality to be able to continue to teach religion at my school. It was in this class that I learned so much about my body, my hormones and pheromones, and about God's plan for sexual intimacy. During this time, I was also reading a lot about Theology of the Body. God's plan for human sexuality, marriage, and intimacy was the Truth I had been searching for. It was then that I realized what was still missing in our marriage---our openness to receive children.
Even though we both had confessed this many, many times to many different priests and both knew we had been forgiven by God long ago, we still hadn't forgiven ourselves for making such a hasty and uninformed decision. It was hard for us to work through this no matter how hard we tried. Something always felt missing. Something always felt wrong. We had always planned on having a large family, and I continued to imagine the kids that should have been running around our home causing chaos with the others.
I desperately wanted more children---the children God had intended for us to have. I began to make this my plea to God everyday numerous times a day. My husband and I began to discuss this more and more. We wanted to make up for the mistake that we had made. We wanted assurance that we had been forgiven. That's when God began to call us to be foster/adoptive parents. We once again are able welcome children into our home and family. This is one of those ways that God turns a bad decision into something positive.
Another positive that can come from all the misery is if just one of you reading our story makes a choice to stop using contraception. If we can help just one couple from making the mistakes we have made, then it was all worth it. I challenge each of you reading this to do your own research and to pray fervently for our Lord to lead you to make the right decisions for your marriage, but more importantly for your soul and the soul of your spouse.
The only reason the "pill" did not destroy our marriage was because through it all we kept turning to God in our trials. We continued to attend Mass even when we didn't think we were worthy. We continued to beg for His help when things seemed hopeless. We continued to stand by our vows even when we didn't want to. I thank God everyday for my husband and the strength and courage God gave Him to stand by my side as Satan tried to destroy our family as he has so many others.
Here's a link to the KC article What They Didn't Tell You in Sex Ed by Alton J. Pelowski. This was the article that summed up about 16 years of my life. It helped both me and my husband better understand that awful time in our life even though we had left it behind many years ago.
Here's some links to the Church's teaching on contraception. Even if you aren't Catholic, read it with an open mind. It makes sense. Just look at the world around us and see for yourself.
Natural Family Planning. (It's not just for Catholics!) Read about it. It's not that hard to do and now there's an App for even that!
My last blog was about accepting God's challenge. This was not an easy challenge for me. It was one of the hardest things for me to publish. I pray that you accept the challenge---inform yourself and seek the truth. That is our biggest regret---we didn't inform ourselves.
Here's another great article: http://www.myfemininemind.com/2012/07/things-your-doctor-may-not-have-told_25.html
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE NEW ENDING TO THIS POST: http://forbetterrworse.blogspot.com/2015/07/how-did-that-happen.html