1) In the nearly 6 weeks since I started taking it, I've gone up 13 pounds. I realize these results aren't typical--because if they were, no one would take the mini-Pill. When I researched it, I found that although many places said weight gain was not verified as a side-effect, many places also said that the chemical in the mini-Pill can cause water retention and also cause increased appetite. (Hi! How is that not weight gain?) One site assured me that the increased appetite would go away when the Pill was stopped. Oh, yes? And will the weight go, too, or do I get to keep that as a souvenir?
The weight feels weird. It feels puffy, soft. This doesn't feel like the kind of weight I gain when I eat too much (brownies, what?), and I've had plenty of experience with that kind of weight.
2) Statistically, theoretically, scientifically, the mini-Pill is about as effective as the Pill--especially if you are good about taking it at the same time each day, which I am. Anecdotally, the mini-Pill is nowhere near as effective. And if you get pregnant while taking it, there's an increased risk of birth defects. That makes me uneasy.
3) There is some question in pharmaceutical circles about whether the mini-Pill might lose some of its effectiveness on women who weigh more than 150 pounds. Something to worry about when I should be sleeping.
4) There is no evidence in decades of data that the teeny bit of medication in the breastmilk negatively affects the baby. I fret about it anyway.
5) If I got pregnant, Paul might think I deliberately failed to take the Pill. He knows I want another baby, and he knows I know he's unlikely to go with that. I can tell him a million times that I would never trick him into having another baby, but I worry a part of him might not believe me.
6) I think that since he's the one who doesn't want another baby, he should be the one primarily responsible for the birth control, or at least for half of it.
7) Also, even though I do want another baby, I don't want another baby yet.
8) And was I just imagining that I was sweating more? Because gross.
9) Ever since my friend's OB recommended it to her, I've been taking a vitamin C tablet after sex to prevent UTIs--even though apparently my friend's OB is the only one who's ever heard of this. And, I read a long time ago that vitamin C can interfere with the effectiveness of the Pill. I don't even know if this is true, but I have carefully stored this possibly-false information all these years. All this is the long way to say that I've worried that I am taking vitamin C at exactly the wrong moment for the mini-Pill to do its job. [Edited: I've looked this up online, and now believe the whole "vitamin C makes the Pill less effective" thing was an untrue adolescent rumor, which I cleverly put into Permanent Memory Storage. I did find stuff that said you shouldn't take more than 100 mg vitamin C per day while on the Pill, and/or that you should take more, because the vitamin C increases estrogen and turns the Pill higher-dose, which can cause problems and/or help, depending on the situation. But I'm tired of researching now.]
All these things contributed to the decision, and I stopped taking it at the end of last week. But! If I go off it and my weight issues continue, I may go back on it. I had reasons 2-7 and 9 before I went on it, and I still went on it. It was the weight thing that...um. You know. Tipped the scale.
Speaking of which, in the 36 hours after my last pill dose wore off, I dropped 5 pounds. I was glad to see that, because I was getting pretty crabby when I would complain and people would say, "Oh, actually it's a myth that the mini-Pill causes weight gain." The auto-translator in my brain informs me that that means, "Nope, it's all you, Fattykins. Why not try laying off the brownies?"
So, now what? Now the birth control decision gets to be made all over again. This time the decision is condoms and spermicide, even though I hate both for many, many reasons. The good news: 12 condoms and 10 spermicide applicators together cost the same as a month of the mini-Pill, and I can assure anyone who could possibly want assurance about such a thing that we will be saving money, if you get my gist. Especially after a trip to the store with two 2-year-olds and a 3-month-old. That is enough birth control for two months right there.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...