MIRENA IUD RUINED MY LIFE — a public service announcement.

DISCLAIMER: I’m taking a small detour from my normal blog content to do the Internet a favor. When I got my Mirena IUD in September, I didn’t do enough research. The only “research” I did was read the pamphlet my OB gave me. Big mistake. The eight weeks I had the Mirena IUD were the worst in my life and I’m blogging about it, hoping that when poor, unsuspecting women (who are smarter than I was) Google Mirena IUD, my blog will come up and they can save themselves from the hell I went through.

Also, at the mercy of search engine optimization, I’m going to refer to Mirena IUD by its name on every mention so that it will (hopefully) come up high in Google searches and not be buried by other stuff.

Okay. Here’s how Mirena IUD ruined my life.

After I had my son, my OB suggested I get the Mirena IUD inserted because it was one of the only birth controls I could take and still breastfeed. The Mirena IUD is a device that is inserted into the uterus that pumps out a constant, low-dose of hormones that prevent pregnancy but allow you to breastfeed.

A couple days after I had the Mirena IUD inserted, I started losing sleep. At first, it was only that when my baby woke me up in the middle of the night, I couldn’t fall back asleep. But after a couple days, I found myself immersed in full-blown insomnia. I couldn’t fall asleep at night without ingesting huge, unholy amounts of Benadryl and, even at that point, I could only sleep for an hour or two at most. (Yes, I am still breastfeeding. I called my pediatrician concerned about this — they told me that Benadryl was safe. So was Ambien.)

Then, I started having really horrible anxiety. A panic attack here and there. Really scary stuff. The insomnia and anxiety worked hand in hand, too.

After about a week of this, I went to see my primary care doctor. I hadn’t slept in a week and was beside myself upset. The doctor I saw (wasn’t my actual primary care doctor — she was out that day) attributed this to postpartum depression and gave me a prescription for Ambien and referred me to a counselor.

The Ambien worked for a day or two, but after that, I had to start taking more than one, sometimes three in a night to sleep. This was so dangerous. A few times, I had to have my husband drive me to work in the morning because the drug was still in my system. There are days — ENTIRE DAYS, PEOPLE — I don’t even remember. One day (sorry if this is TMI) my husband and I evidently engaged in — uh — married people activities that I HAVE NO MEMORY OF. Finding this out scared the everloving hell out of me and was the last straw.

Then it hit me — these symptoms had only shown up when I got my Mirena IUD inserted. I knew in my gut that Mirena IUD was the problem and I decided that I needed to get the Mirena IUD removed ASAP.

I went back to my primary care doctor even more upset about this, convinced it was the Mirena IUD. Because she did not insert the Mirena IUD, she didn’t want to remove the Mirena IUD. (Again, sorry for the repetition but I’m hoping this gets my blog a lot of hits from search engines.) What she did do was text her OB friend to find out what antidepressants were okay to take while nursing and, after hearing back from two of them, prescribed me Zoloft.

So, at this point, I was taking Ambien, Zoloft, AND Benadryl to try my damnedest to get some freaking sleep. But it still wasn’t working. All of these medications were prescribed to me because I wanted to keep breastfeeding but I didn’t feel comfortable taking so many freaking medications WHILE I WAS BREASTFEEDING.

OMG. The deeper I get into my story the angrier I become.

I did not relent. I knew in my soul that the Mirena IUD was the cause of all the insomnia. So I kept calling my doctor and my OB’s office to get some answers. But everyone shrugged me off, saying it was just postpartum depression and that I should feel good about the fact that I was “treating it”.

Bullshit.

A couple weeks went on and then one day, the anxiety got so bad. I had the worst panic attack of my life. I was shaking so hard and couldn’t breathe. My husband had to dress me. He had to feed me. All the while, my baby boy is laying there, crying, and I couldn’t even care.

I am not making this up. Ask him about it. It was bizarre and scary and horrible.

I was sick of not being taken seriously by the doctors. I was sick of being told this was postpartum depression. I know myself and I know my body and I know that what I was going through was because there was this foreign object inside of me pumping me full of crazy hormones and I was not going to stop until I was heard and the Mirena IUD was removed.

Finally, it came to the point where I had to lie on the phone to my OB’s office and tell them that I had thoughts about hurting myself and my child.

Magically, their “blocked out, totally full” schedule had an opening with another OB in an hour.  Funny how that works out.

When the OB walked into my exam room, he greeted me the way I’d been referred to by all these doctors over the past weeks.

“Got them postpartum blues, eh?” (He’s from Georgia.)

“NO,” I literally yelled at him. My voice scared me so I backed off a little. “Okay. Well. Maybe. But I don’t think so. I really think that my Mirena IUD is causing all of this.”

I then told him my whole story. When I was done he looked at me straight in the eye and said the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard spoken.

“No, you’re right. This isn’t postpartum depression at all. PPD would have shown up 2 weeks postpartum at the latest, and you’ve had this only since 8 weeks postpartum, which is exactly when you had that Mirena IUD inserted.”

I exhaled. He went on.

“This is pretty common, actually. The hormones that the Mirena IUD releases into the body are directly linked to depression, anxiety, and the resulting insomnia.”

When he said that, I swear to God, I wanted to punch every doctor, nurse, technician, pharmacist, receptionist, and OB I’d talked to over the previous weeks in the face. Here, finally, a doctor was telling me that what I knew in my heart was right all along AND EVERYONE ELSE JUST ASSUMED I WAS FULL OF CRAP.

“We gotta take that Mirena IUD out immediately,” he said. “Your hormones should level out within two to three days.”

EDIT/UPDATE: After he took the Mirena IUD out, he asked me how my mood/behavior was around my cycle since having the Mirena IUD inserted.

I laughed at him as I recalled YET ANOTHER way the Mirena IUD was ruining my life.

“I’ve been bleeding non stop since the day I got the Mirena IUD,” I told him. “I don’t know what a “cycle” is anymore.”

He looked at me with wide eyes. “Oh,” was all he said after a beat.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that lovely little detail. I bled, pretty heavily, for eight. weeks. straight.

SO MANY F WORDS, YOU GUYS.

The night I got the Mirena IUD removed, I didn’t sleep. But I didn’t have any anxiety. The following night I slept a few hours.

The third night, I slept like a f$&king baby. And my bleeding FINALLY stopped a week later.

When I had a follow up appointment with my actual OB she still maintained that what I was experiencing was PPD. She also claims that this is completely “abnormal” and that I am a “special case”.

O RLY?

mirenaIUDfail

TWENTY-THREE COMMENTS, the majority of which confirmed my suspicions. Oh and just FYI, if you do a simple Google search for “Mirena” and “insomnia” and “anxiety” you can have a freaking field day.

God, I’m so stupid sometimes.

Here’s the reality.

PMS is a real thing, y’all. So is postpartum depression. Behavioral and mental changes, directly resulted from hormone shifts within the body, are a real thing. It really really really happens. The medical community confirms this.

SO WHY IS IT SO F’ING FAR FETCHED TO THINK THAT CONSTANTLY PUMPING MY BODY FULL OF HORMONES WOULDN’T HAVE SOME EFFECT ON MY BEHAVIOR AND/OR MENTAL PROCESSES??!?!?!

Dan and I have agreed to keep my body hormone-free from here on out. If the worst thing that happens is that we get pregnant with another beautiful, wonderful, amazing blessing of a child, then so be it. I’d get pregnant a thousand times before I put anything like the Mirena IUD in my body ever again.

[Imagine me dropping my mic and walking away LIKE A BOSS because I am.]

friday favorite: my friends.

“Maybe you just have good taste in people.”

That’s something a good friend of mine said on the phone to me earlier this week. I happen to think she’s right. I do make a pretty decent effort to surround myself with people I know will lift me up rather than drag me down or drain me of my emotional resources.

When I survey the group of people I’m blessed enough to call my friends, I’m blown away.

Talented artists. Writers. Musicians. 

Fervent believers. Inspirers. Teachers.

Comedians. Listeners. Sympathizers. 

I could go on all day.

Basically, if you’re not friends with my friends, I feel sorry for you because they’re baller.

Happy Friday, everyone. 🙂

things i love thursday! (december 6, 2012)

Happy birthday to me, y’all! I turned 27 on Saturday so, obviously, I have a lot to be thankful for this week.

nora_redeye

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • My epic birthday weekend!
  • My awesome husband for putting that together.
  • Birthday dinner at the Melting Pot.
  • Libby taking on Dax for round two. (She won this time!)
  • Butterbeer cupcakes.
  • My Harry Potter themed birthday party and the fact that Dax (for the most part) slept right through it!
  • Sleep. Always and forever.
  • Getting visited at work by my two favorite guys.
  • Praying over text message. Oh, technology.
  • Getting to hang out with Nora a lot because…
  • … we played a show together on Saturday! What a great birthday gift.
  • The season of Advent.
  • Dedicating our baby to God in front of our community.
  • Dinner with the crew after church, just like old times!
  • A happy, smiley, adaptable baby that allows us to drag him everywhere.
  • Hulu Plus and Netflix.
  • Dinner with the Mocks at Piggy’s.
  • Running into another family from our childbirth class! Baby Oliver is so cute!
  • Friending said family on Facebook so I don’t have to keep praying I just randomly run into them around town anymore.
  • My counselor.
  • MY AWESOME MOM, whose birthday was yesterday!
  • A delicious, fun, agenda-free lunch with this dude.
  • Coffeeeeeee.
  • My friends and family. I have the best life.

What do you love this week? 

the power of affirmations.

For those of you who missed it, I’ve recently begun seeing a counselor on a regular basis. Counseling, in my opinion, has gotten a bad rap. You hear that someone is seeing a counselor and you immediately assume he or she is either battling a porn addiction or so depressed even this can’t help.

[Disclaimer: Should my terribly dry sense of humor be offensive to you, please know that I am NOT suggesting that depression be taken lightly. If you are clinically depressed, especially if you feel strongly that you want to hurt yourself or those around you, please know that your condition should be taken seriously and you deserve to be helped.]

I assure you — neither is the case for me. Rather, I believe that anyone who has spent five minutes on this broken earth trying to interact with other imperfect people can benefit from counseling and should, finances and time permitting, actively seek it out.

My counselor’s name is Dr. Maki. She is a bit older, and she’s refused to dye her hair anymore as a physical representation of her acceptance of her own body. This gives her a lovely grey-to-black ombre style. She has big, kind eyes that, when focused on you, seem to be searching your soul for answers. She wears a ring on each finger, each with a different but equally emboldened stone. She is, based on the three sessions I’ve had so far, simply wonderful.

Two weeks ago, when I saw Dr. Maki last, I was in a very bad way. I hadn’t slept in weeks and was battling such real and crippling anxiety I was literally vibrating uncontrollably. I couldn’t even handle my day-to-day activities. I had to call in to work. I was losing control of everything.

[Side note: Later that night I put 2 and 2 together to figure out that my Mirena IUD was causing these symptoms and I made an appointment the next day to have it removed. I have since gone back to my old self. But. That’s another blog post entirely.]

When Dr. Maki asked me what ran through my mind when I was battling the insomnia, I told her that, really, nothing was going through my mind at all. I wasn’t thinking anxiety-inducing thoughts. The insomnia was a side effect of the jitters from my IUD as opposed to something caused by a racing mind. But the thing I did keep thinking over and over was this:

“Why can’t I sleep like a normal person? Why am I so broken?”

As I spoke these words, tears sprang to my eyes and rained down my burning cheeks. I truly wanted the answer to that.

“Why am I so broken?” I repeated, hoping she could enlighten me. She took one of her many rings off and handed it to me.

“This ring is broken,” she said.

I examined the ring — a lapis lazuli stone in a beautifully intricate silver setting. Nothing about it looked broken to me. I pulled it closer to my cloudy eyes and tried to make out any flaw.

“If you look closely, you can see a little black crack that has been mended by a jeweler,” she continued.

As she said that, my eyes found what she was referring to. The slightest dark mark showing that the stone was, indeed, broken.

“Every morning when I put that ring on, I say to myself, ‘I am not broken. I am perfect just the way I am.’ For now, I want you to wear it and say the same thing.”

My eyes shot up from the stone to meet her gaze. “Really? You want me to wear your ring?”

“Yes,” she reassured. “For as long as you need. I’ll get it back. Someday. But you need it right now.”

To be real with you guys, I felt so weird about it. But I did it.

“I am not broken,” I said with a smile I couldn’t contain. “I am perfect just the way I am.” And I slipped the ring on my right ring finger.

not_broken_ringI’ve put that ring on every day since then, keeping my promise to Dr. Maki to repeat the affirmation each time. It has gotten less and less weird with the dawn of each new day and, believe it or not, has even become something I actually believe.

Because this has been working so well for me, I decided to try it with something else I put on each morning — my wedding rings. Now, whenever I put those on, I say to myself, “I am loved.”

I am not broken. I am perfect just the way I am. I am loved.

It is my firm belief that the truth sounds the most beautiful when it comes from within yourself.