Friday, July 27, 2012

What Almost Destroyed Our Marriage

Dark Secret #2 & 3 Revealed 

With 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A few weeks ago I felt the calling to share my story again when I saw it sitting in my list of posts "unpublished".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.
Here's a link to information on 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:



  1. Thank you for sharing Melissa! I prayed that somehow everyone would truly hear Father Mac's homily last week. We are expecting #6 in January :)

  2. Wow, a powerful post on a beautiful blog. I'm glad I found it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ditto to what Conquistadora wrote! Thank you for your honesty. I'm sure it will open a window for someone else who shut the door. Stopped in from the Catholic blogger ticker. God bless!

  4. Wow. You are courageous to share your story. I think so many women just don't understand the evils of that little pill. Mine story is similar to yours in many ways. I had a brief stint (comparatively) on the pill, but attribute our many miscarriages to it.

  5. Love your story. Sorry that both of you had to go through this. Maybe it was GOD's way of using you to save others. He knew both of you were strong enough to go through this!! I believe this because, I had someone save me from the evils of the pill many years ago.

    I took the pill for only months after having two c-sections too close together. May 24, 1982 then again May 15, 1983. Nine days short of one year. I couldn't get pregnant again for medical reasons and the calendar method we used after the birth of our first child DID NOT WORK!!! Many months later after trying several different pills, one pill finally seemed to be working. Every day I took the pill and it made me sick with regret that I was putting this poison into my body. I was a health fanatic and this didn't fit with my health beliefs and mostly because I knew the Catholic church didn't approve of it. But, I was terrified to become pregnant again because I have a cholinestrase deficiency.

    A friend/co-worker who is also Catholic knew how I felt about the pill and talked to me about it(the poison) every day. Other co-workers got upset with him about it but, he didn't upset me. It helped me know that I needed to find another way to keep from getting pregnant(Please know..I actually felt my best and loved being pregnant but my body could not afford another c-section too soon).

    About three-five months into taking the pill regularly, my oldest child, who now knew how to climb like a little monkey, put her little feet on the knobs of the chest of drawers and climbed to the top. The pills were in a box which she pushed to the floor. Soon afterwards my mom called me at work and said that my two children had injested the pills. She called poison control and was told it wouldn't harm them. I called my children's doctor and he came on the phone and said that my children would be ok but that I should attend family planning classes and never have to worry about this again. I told him that this method didn't work because we tried it already. He explained that the calendar method is NOT family planning. I had never heard of family planning before so, I trusted this doctor who taught the class because he was also Catholic and didn't believe in the pill. We attended the class and I learned so much about my body at that time. It was very interesting, healthy and it really does work!!! My third child was born five years after my second child and my fourth child was born three years later.

    Because of my medical condition, my doctor recommended that I have no more children so my tubes were tied during my last c-section. My tubes were tied because, I felt the whole c-section during my fourth surgery and the more surgeries I'd have, the less an epidural would work. Ouch!

    GOD blessed me with four healthy children and thanks to a good friend who constantly reminded me that I was putting posion in my body and making me feel guilty, I was spared the horrible side effects of that evil pill!!!!

    That friend saved me just as you are saving others by your story!!!

    1. Thanks for sharing your testimony too!

    2. Thank you for sharing this! I am having my second child a few weeks before my first one turns 1. My first was a c-section because he was breech and this second will have to be a c-section because they are so close together. I'm terrified of another c-section because the first one was horrible. My husband and I are from really big families (I am one of twelve and my husband is one of nine) and we want our own big family. We are Catholic and are going to stick to NFP after this next baby but hopefully no more c-sections after this. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Thank you for this post! I am a convert and both my husband and I were sterilized when we became Catholic and got married in the Church. The feeling of something missing happened to us too. We are still fixing things really, but I totally get what you are saying. Prayers for you and that this post helps other couples!

    Here is our story of our reversals.

    1. Thank you! We are working on our reversal story. ;)

  7. DEAR MELISSA, Thank you for posting this. This is a great gift. I will put it on my Facebook Page for my friends to read. I knew people on the pill too in the early '70s, young women who were constantly sick from it. Then I witnessed a woman fill a prescription for her teenage daughter who was having irregular periods. The woman was actually excited about it. I asked God, "Should I say anything?" Then I went forward and told her of the harmful effects to her daughter's health. She told me they didn't care, her daughter couldn't stand the irregular periods. I had terribly painful periods, had to be taken home in a snow storm by the police one time, but I lived through it. Luckily we never used any artificial contraception in our marriage. The Catholic Church saved me from that. God bless you. Susan Fox

    1. Thanks so much for sharing our story. I pray that your friends will be touched by it in such a way that moves them to conversion. May God bless you abundantly for your witness also.

  8. I was put on the pill at 19 for polycystic ovaries, and it messed up my metabolism, gave me facial hair, and I began to put on a pot belly. I stopped taking it after nine months, and none of the side effects have gone. That was thirty years ago, and I had three miscarriages due to low progesterone, the exact problem which caused the cysts in my teens, I was pre-diabetic! Now if doctors would treat instead of masking the disease, I might have thee more children. The pill is no cure for anything, it just creates further problems.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. I pray that God will use your story for His greater glory.

  9. They also cause dizziness. Although no one will tell you that. I tried to tell one nasty midwife but she told me it wasn't a side effect of the pill. Well the Dizzy spells also affected my balance. I stopped taking the pill on my own and low and behold it took a few weeks but I was back to normal. I have seen other midwives as I too hate male doctors and have loved them. This particular midwife has had many complaints and my Mom and sister also refuse to see her.

    1. Unfortunately, there are numerous other side effects that women are having without realizing the cause is from the pill that they are taking to "help" them. Keep praying for all eyes to be opened, not just to the side effects, but to the bigger danger which is to our souls.

  10. Your story is very similar to mine. My husband had a vasectomy after #3 child was born. Even without the pill I had many of the same feelings you describe. I think my soul knew that we had made a mistake even before I began to study Church teachings and Theology of the Body. Our repentance path seems very similar. However, God wasn't done with us. I learned through One More Soul (, that many other couples have been called to full restoration. After reading several testimonies of tubal and vasectomy reversals, one of them jumped out at me because it mentioned a surgeon in Texas whose ministry is to restore men to God's will. We had been quoted $15,000 by a local urologist for a reversal but Dr. Leverett ( only charged us 1/5 of that quote. He prayed with us before the surgery and allowed me to go in the room and minister to my husband praying for him as he underwent this. A picture of Jesus surrounding a surgeon was behind me. Undergoing that reversal was the best decision for us to feel completely restored to God's will. We have had 2 babies since then and one just go to heaven at 11 weeks gestation a few weeks ago. Openess to life has led us to explore NFP and see many positive effects in our marriage through improved communication and wonderful courtship periods during our times of abstinence. It also has helped us to better prepare to model chastity for our daughters entering their teenage years. Parents who exercise self control can better teach their teens that it is possible not to be ruled by impulse and hormones.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. We, too, found an awesome doctor in Texas who did for us what you described above. It was beautiful. And the positive effects it has had on our marriage is beyond imaginable. (We are working on that followup blog! Stay tuned!)