“My Story…” Monday: My Journey with the Pill– Diagnosed

(Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some very personal stories.  There will be ignorance, learning, and hard choices addressed along the way.  If you have different views from mine– on either end of the spectrum– I am totally comfortable with that.  I do ask that we show one another kindness and always remember that each woman’s journey is different…)


I can remember very vividly where I was when the phone call came.  I was standing at a teller window in the sunny Boca Raton office when our customer service manager told me I had a call.  I took it in her office and my stomach dropped when the man on the line introduced himself as the senior partner at the OB/Gyn office I went to.  I knew right away that wasn’t good.


Why was he calling?  Why wasn’t I getting a postcard in the mail that just indicated everything was normal?  Why was there a human and not an automated “A-OK” recording playing in my ear?


I could feel the blood drain from my face as he delivered the news:  My PAP had come back abnormal.  They had detected cells that didn’t look quite right.  I would need further testing to ensure they were not cancerous or pre-cancerous.  


I didn’t cry on the phone.  In typical JessieLeigh fashion, I held it together and calmly scheduled the cervical biopsy I would need to undergo.  Tears burned behind my lids as I re-cradled the phone, but I walked back out into the bank and carried on.


The results of that biopsy revealed cervical dysplasia.   (If you go and look that up, you’re going to see a whole list of risk factors, none of which applied to me.  Just goes to show that illness/disease really doesn’t discriminate much.)  Cervical dysplasia is a pre-cancerous condition.  It is almost completely treatable/curable and often just requires observation.


And observed I was.  Painful biopsies every three months for close a year.  And then it changed.  The cells got worse and my doctor recommended I have cryosurgery to freeze and kill the cells.  I did.


As I sat at home for a couple of days recovering from that surgery, I started worrying about my fertility and how all of this could impact it.  I was terrified to think that my window for having children may have suddenly grown narrow or non-existant.  I went off the Pill.


The vomiting and fainting returned right away, but I was confident in the way that young women often are that I would get pregnant quickly now that I wanted to.  Except I did not.  Months would go by finding me curled up on the couch, my husband holding my hand and hair as I vomited in a bucket or shook in a pale sweat.  Fifteen months, to be exact.


Pregnancy, even with the discomforts and morning sickness (mine got bad enough to be classified as hyperemesis gravidarum), was a time of respite for me.  I was overjoyed to be having a baby and thrilled to be free of my debilitating periods.  I gave birth to a full-term, healthy baby boy and life was good.


At my post-partum check-up, my OB inquired about birth control methods.  Despite all the assertions and assurances of the medical professionals, I remained utterly unconvinced that the Pill hadn’t played a role in why it took me so long to conceive the first time.  I refused to go back on it.


I was pregnant again five months later.


to be cont.

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3 comments to “My Story…” Monday: My Journey with the Pill– Diagnosed

  • Here I am again, dying to hear the next part of this amazing story!! Thank you for sharing this.
    Jennifer xx

  • AAARGH! Cliffhanger again!
    I took 4 and 5 months after going off the pill to get pregnant. Now that I haven’t been on the pill since spring of ’08 STILL not pregnant. UGH…though in your shoes I would feel the same way you do. I think some people’s systems are more sensitive to the hormones. Since you had freakshow periods your whole life I can’t imagine why you’d be typical in response to anything else related to it.

  • Laraba

    I was on the Pill the first year of my marriage. In retrospect, I really wish I had looked into it more…I know now that there are times when a woman does ovulate on the Pill (obviously that happens, since women do get pregnant on the Pill) and there is also evidence that it changes the uterine lining, making it harder for a fertilized embryo to implant. In my view, that’s an abortion caused by the medication.

    But anyway, I didn’t know any of that. A year into our marriage we felt God’s call to allow Him to bring the kids he wanted into our lives. I went off and it took 9 months for me to get pregnant. Now, that is really NOT that long, I know that. I know that. But since I got pregnant 13 years ago, I’ve been pregnant 12 times (that includes 4 miscarriages.) I get pregnant CRAZY easily. But it took nine months after I went off the Pill. I won’t know this side of heaven if the medication was part of it but I am certainly suspicious.
    I must say that if I was experiencing debilitating periods, it would be hard to not get the relief from the Pill. As I said in a previous comment, if any of our 5 girls have problems with periods, I pray we can find another healthy solution using natural hormones or something — maybe dietary changes, progesterone cream, etc. Lord, give us wisdom!

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