Liner Notes 9/5

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Last week this was in my fortune cookie. Well, actually, my fortune said something about "finding pleasure at the seaside" (wtf) and then long after the kids were asleep, Hal found an extra fortune at the bottom of our take-out bag and I was like, "Hal! Let's open this and it can be our family fortune!" And then Hal was all, "cool!" And I was like, "woo" and then Hal bit the thing in half and this is what the fortune said. This was our "family" fortune:
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I didn't sleep for three days after that, even though I knew full well I wasn't pregnant. (Day EIGHT of my period, right here, folks. Sorry TMI but I Paragard apparently stands for "EPIC PERIOD CENTRAL.")

Okay so now I'm typing without a parenthesis. I've ditched the parenthesis because I have more to say on this IUD situation and parentheses cannot contain me. Parentheses cannot contain this perpetual period machine!

In fact, period is the wrong word for what I'm dealing with.

This? Is an elipsis, you guys. I am on my elipsis.

My periods used to last three days. Well, four, but only the first two were "serious" and even those days were nothing compared to what I'm dealing with now. I've never had to use anything more than a SUPER tampon on my heaviest days. Now? I have super extra XXXLLLLLXLXLXLX tampons coupled with the kind of pads I had to wear postchildbirth. And I have to sleep on a towel.

This is not a joke.

I'm not trying to gross you out. I'm telling you this because I love you and you have a right to know that the Paragard is killing me slowly and I am bleeding to death goodbye cruel world.

Not really.

But the rest is all true.

Also true: I'd rather bleed half the month than lose my hair and/or be pregnant again and I'm not ready to do anything permanent to my body and no I will not pressure Hal into having a vasectomy. (He controls his body and I control mine.)

Are you still reading?

Are you with me?

Sorry.

I'm done now.

(.)

And by (.) I mean (...). I mean (...!!!!!!!!)

Wait! Don't go. I promise I'm done writing about periods. I'm done writing about periods and now I'm going to write about bedroom decor because I spent all day pacing Archer and Fable's bedroom yesterday with a pile of stuff and no idea where to put any of it.
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And then I went on Pinterest, something I never do, and remembered why I never do it. All of that perfection is way too intimidating.

I've never been comfortable sitting on a white couch, you know what I mean? I am legit fearful of sitting anywhere near a white couch (or chair) and I feel like Pinterest is the "white couch" of the Internet and everyone is like, "come, sit down and make yourself comfortable on my white loveseat" but I'd rather stand, actually. I'd rather stand than sit on the white couch that I will undoubtably stain.

Or maybe I'm just using it wrong? Am I using it wrong? 

Anyway. My inspiration board is this: fall in love with stuff. Buy stuff. Cross fingers that stuff will find a way to look awesome, or in this case, awesome enough that kids will be stoked on their digs.
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Archer's corner = skyline for his city building/Tomica play. 
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Fable picking out wall art c/o a lovely sketch artist and former costume designer, melrose trading post 
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... which we then framed c/o Aaron Brothers' sale rack
***
Over the weekend we celebrated our two month housiversary (only 358 mortgage payments to go!) and next Thursday Bo and Revi turn one.  

One year as in twelve months. 

As in (extended pointer finger) this many. 

As in, "bye bye, babies."
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And maybe it's the "elipsis" talking, but I feel genuinely sad to see them off and into their second year...
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Maybe because it's our last year of the first year, you know? It's the end of their beginning and the last time we'll have babies. Crawling, clapping babies. 
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This, right here, is the mile marker. This is when the tails fall off the tadpoles and the wood fills with frogs and somewhere, in a clearing far away, an empty pond
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IMG_9208 Sigh.

GGC

91 comments:

glenda | 12:15 PM

I love that one crib is dark and one is light! Ying/Yang R&B :)

I love that you sometimes dress them alike!

I can't believe they will be one!

Thanks for sharing your beautiful family with all of us. xo

Clandestine Road | 12:20 PM

That wasn't gross at all! I am always grateful to hear other's experiences with IUDs. It is difficult to get a straight answer from doctors.

Take some iron, woman!

I hope your ellipsis finishes soon and that you are feeling okay.

Those photos just make me happy. Also, maybe the short stranger is a pet? A new neighbor friend?

Angela

Michelle | 12:25 PM

I have to tell you my period is EXACTLY like this. My baby girl will be one this weekend (sob!!) and my period is exactly like you just described. I used to have the 2-3 day cycle and it was glorious. Now, not so much. I am not on any birth control though, so maybe it's not the paraguard?
Can't wait to see Archer/Fable's shared room. I am sure it will be perfect and not in the "white couch" kinda way.

Lindsey | 12:33 PM

Yes, 100%, on Pinterest. It is also far too crafty for me. Maybe I'm following the wrong people but immersion in fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving crafts starting in July is not what I'm looking for. I have a Mirena and never, ever get a period. I know, I know, some hormones, but I am aware of them being way lighter than the pill. Which is to say: not aware of them at all. Also, that empty pond in the distance? Oh, yes. It's rushing at me at a sprint. Sigh. xox

Anonymous | 12:35 PM

i have 4 kids under 9 and its the babies not the IUD that is causing the 800 day periods- i have them too- they have gotten worse and worse and now after baby #4 it is soak the sheets, superxx plus pads time- it sucks! i think it is hormonal or something b/c i have never used an IUD...i am stumped on the bc thing...don't like any options and don't need another pregnancy either...house/kids look fab- great work

Anonymous | 12:38 PM

The paraguard bleeding...it will not end...I went from 2-3 days to 0 period with Mirena and now - 7-8 days and FULL HEAVY DAYS!

It does get lighter (6 months in now) but I am beginning to think hubs thinks I am making it up. No way it could go on this long every month. Sorry bud. It sucks for me too.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:38 PM

@Anon @Michelle But my periods were NOTHING until I had the IUD inserted three months ago. I started my period weeks after the twins were born and my periods were light and easy as ever. It wasn't until I had the IUD inserted that it got insane heavy.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:39 PM

@Anon 12:38. Ugh. Solidarity.

WHY IS BIRTH CONTROL SO AWFUL AHHHHJHDKJAHSKDJ!

Sarah | 12:40 PM

I have paraguard and yeah... 14 days is the longest so far. The weirdest bit though is the slow start. I have 3-4 light days then 2 heavy days and then about a week of slooooooly tapering off to nothing. When I'm not on birth control the first days are the heaviest. Despite all if that, it is the best way I have found to still have the sex and not have the babies.

Jilly | 12:43 PM

Ugh, I think right around the time I needed to sleep on a towel I'd be all NOPE. Are barrier methods right out?

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:43 PM

@Sarah Yes. Agreed.

MamaD4 | 12:44 PM

Hi GGC--So sorry to hear about your elipsis, but that comment about the XLXLXLXLXLXL tampons made me laugh. A little. I had Depo-Provera (one round) after my third (and final) baby and it was the worst thing ever. It's been almost three years and my periods still haven't straightened out. Meanwhile, my youngest is heading to Harvard. Thanks, Depo. My husband had the vasectomy and it's great and it IS reversible if for some crazy reason you'd decide to have more tadpoles!

Your family is SO beautiful!

Unknown | 12:52 PM

Don't worry you are not alone in suffering with the Paragard....I am in exactly the same Ellipsis....about ready to throw in the proverbial bloody towel with this crap!

It's nice that I am not alone in hating it.

Also, I adore everything about you!

Glutteny | 12:54 PM

I was on Implanon (the matchstick size arm bar) for 2 years prior to getting pregnant with my second and I had the same issue with unnaturally long and heavy periods.

The sad reality is birth control is all about settling for the least worst option. And some people want to make out like women want free access to this stuff like its candy and not an unnatural susbtance with long term consequences for our bodies. What other choice do we have though?

I finally broke down and used a diaphragm which minus the inconvenience of having to, ya know, put it in, convinced me once and for all that there is no such thing as a "good birth control" if it is also a pharmacuetical.

juststudying | 12:54 PM

Lovely photos again. When I see the pictures of Hal with your four little (and not so little) ones I often wonder about his approach to parenting, his thoughts on twins, and his reflections on your life together. He's such a mystery on the blog. Anyway, have a lovely day and thanks for sharing (and over-sharing ;) )

Anne | 12:58 PM

I used to have 2 - 3 day periods and never had a cramp in my life. I went on the Paraguard 7 months ago... I was met with intense cramping and 9 day periods (one that lasted 10!)... The cramping has ceased and Flo's extended stay is now hanging out around 7. I'm hoping that as my body gets used to this thing, it will find a happier spot closer to my blessed 3-day-without-any-cramps-existence.

It isn't exactly the most pleasant thing I want to deal with for a THIRD! of my month, but if it means I can stay away from hormones (and craziness) and prevent a pregnancy I'm not yet ready for, then its a small price I am willing to pay.

Abi | 1:02 PM

I love the photos!

Baby #3 will be 1 on 9/18 (we gave birth a week apart?). I'm happy and sad and nostalgic. I gave away lots of baby clothes in the spring, and now I'm feeling all sentimental and finding it hard to pack away things that won't even go over her head anymore. IS THIS NORMAL?

Anyway, sorry about the Paraguard bleeding until the end of time. I'm still on BCP and its not a happy place either.

findingmagnolia | 1:04 PM

So glad you posted about Paraguard; I'm considering my birth control options beyond the current option, which is exhaustion and lack of motivation to make an effort for sex if there's the remotest possibility I could get pregnant. (I CANNOT be getting a baby through major surgery if I am accidentally pregnant, no thank you, never never never NO.) I'm seriously considering getting my tubes tied, but even though it's not as invasive as it once was, it's still farther than I was hoping to have to go for decent, non-hormonal birth control. But an ellipsis instead of a period? Oh, dear. I hope your punctuation gets itself in order soon.

Elizabeth Barone | 1:06 PM

So Mirena has completely f*cked up my period. I've had it for a year now and Mirena and my body have yet to compromise. I'm with you -- I'd much rather not be pregnant -- but still. My period is lighter than before (it's more of a serial spotting), but it seems to last forever.

Sigh.

The more I see of Esteban, the more in love with him I am. Have you done a full house tour post yet? Those textured walls and arches just make me swoon.

Gabrielle | 1:19 PM

As I was looking at your beautiful family pictures, I wondered what you do with them all--do you ever make photo books? If so, who did you order from? Do you print them and frame them? I'm just in awe of your lovely pictures and can't imagine you leave them to linger in the darkness of your hard drive like SOMEONE I know *ahem*

katalia | 1:25 PM

I love my paraguard IUD. Yes, it made my periods longer and heavier (and oh so much more cramping), but that decreased a bit as time went on. And I got used to it. I now use a diva cup mostly, and I love not having artificial hormones in my body ... I feel better overall.

I did want to warn you that my friend got horribly anemic with her paraguard. Her periods were so heavy and horrendous while she had it, but once she took it out everything cleared up immediately. It's just something to be aware of.

SarahSews | 1:31 PM

I'm sorry you are having trouble. I had ellipses like that 3 years after having my old child. It was horrific. Gory. Disgusting. I needed hormonal BC to tame the gross and let me live my life. I got a Mirena because my doc said Paraguard would make my periods longer, heavier, more painful. Not sure why your doc wouldn't have told you that except that maybe the OB knew you didn't like your Mirena?

katalia | 1:35 PM

Oh, and I should mention the details about timing.

I've had my paraguard for more than 18 months ... my periods are now ~7 days with the first day and the last day or two being pretty light. The cramping starts a day or two before, and goes away by the 3rd-ish day. I keep track of my cycle through an iPhone app, and it's regular as clockwork, which is so nice!

(It took 6+ months to get to this point, though).

Mama Smith | 1:36 PM

Ugh- I've been waiting for your Paraguard report and bummer to hear it's having that effect, that's my fear... but I don't want hormones again and there's just no decent options. At this point I've waited so long to deal with it that I'm starting to think about another baby :) At some point I will have to solve this problem though.

Your new house is amazing btw- it's the stuff of pinterest! -Lilly

Dinka | 1:36 PM

That sounds awfu! We use NFP. The most natural method there is. Not very popular, sadly, but it works. You can find some info here: http://iusenfp.com/home/

Anything that messes up your body so drastically is not good for you. If there was a food or chemical that made you bleed excessively you'd cut it out immediately. You even cut out sugar for good reasons. Artificial hormones or artificial devices..it's all the same to me. Bad.

Chelsea | 1:37 PM

Best fortune cookie I ever had:

I'd been complaining for about an hour about wanting desert but we were supposed to be on a healthy diet.

The man hands me a left over fortune cookie which I devoured then read the fortune:

"Treat yourself to dessert once a week"

Words to live by!

Emily | 1:40 PM

I thought you were going to go back to your period/elipsis with all that talk about not wanting to sit on white couches! HA!

But I totally appreciate the honesty (and humor) with which you write!

Katie | 1:50 PM

Girl! I am SO over this birth control shit! I am 8 months postpartum, didn't breastfeed (breast reduction, natch) so my period came in with a vengeance. I had Implanon put in my arm at 6 weeks postpartum. It. Has. Sucked.

Seriously. I just finished a THREE WEEK LONG PERIOD... Talk about your ellipsis.

My options were almost nonexistent for birth control. I get rocking cysts on my ovaries that like to explode, so I'm supposed to be on some form of birth control. The estrogen makes me looney-toon crazy, so I narrowed it down to progrestrone-only birth control. Two options. Implanon and Paraguard. Since I'm screamingly allergic to copper, I figured it wouldn't be wise to stick a piece of copper in my uterus so as to dash any hope of future children. But I don't think I can do this Implanon shit anymore. The bleeding is SO unexpected. I might just take my chance with the rupturing cysts (no real danger, just debilitating pain) and re-read "Taking Charge of Your Fertility." UGH.

Katie | 1:51 PM

Also! You are way kind to allow your husband his own decisions about his body. My opinion is that since I was his child's incubator for 10 months (seriously...10), he will get snip-effing-snipped when it comes time.

Jack's Mama | 1:51 PM

I have an opinion on the paraguard. And I am not saying I am right but it makes sense as a theory in my head. So the paraguard creates a hostile environment for the egg to implant. But the egg can still get fertilized, not be able to implant, then becomes your period...your heaviest period ever because it may have been slightly more then just an (unfertilized) egg.
I dont say this to sound like a crazy person, I am pro birth control. I am certainly not a doctor and I could be 100% wrong. I was trying to decide my own birth control method, did some light research, asked opinions of friends (almost all said the same about the heavy paraguard periods) and in combination with my Human Development degree, and studying the biology of the monthly cycle. I came up with my own UNEDUCATED opinion. I also think it gets better over time because the hostile environment increases just enough to then prevent the egg from being able to fertilize eventually.
Please don't get upset by my uneducated opinion, and feel free to disregard it.

JosiePosie | 1:57 PM

I remember those IUD periods well... When I'd get monthly gift sometime around wake-up time, and then have to clamp a hand between my legs to catch the gush as I waddled to the shower to let it flow (much like the faucet) down the drain.
I used to use TWO super extra bonus tampons with a huge maxi pad just to get through half the night.
I was also in a dance company at the time, and a 3 hour class was often too long for my feminine product to handle, and my pink tights would be red all down the inner thighs.
So now we're using condoms and diaphragm and crossed fingers. Good luck with your period, mine did eventually settle down, but it took about a year and a half to be "average heavy"

JosiePosie | 2:02 PM

@Jack's Mama
Paraguard is made of copper, which is a natural spermacide, so it works double duty birth control. The extra heavy period comes from the irritation to the uterus (i.e. it's trying to get rid of the strange contraption inside)
pre-med, but still, also no doctor

Sascha | 2:10 PM

Thanks for sharing on your ellipsis! I'd had the Paragaurd after our singleton (8 years) and before twins and never had as heavy a period as after I had twins. (Paraguard after twins at 6 week checkup) My period was the same as you are describing. The best thing I did was have a few Acupuncture visits (just during one cycle) and voila, periods back to normal. I also took a tincture for one month from the Acupuncture doc. Normal (for me) flow and number of days. I couldn't do the XLXLXLXX Tampons, large pads and sleeping on a towel much longer. Chinese medicine to the rescue!

Jessi | 2:29 PM

Word *fist bump*
I had a paraguard after my second child.. After bleeding almost non-stop for 2 months I had it removed.. the DR swore the IUD wasn't the cause, but just two days after removal no more bleeding and my cycles resumed as normal.

Hate hormones, hate IUDs.. We did pull and pray, got our third child :) DH got a vasectomy. I could/would have just gone on having snuggly babies but he's more practical thinking of things like "college funds" and such lol

Cave Momma | 2:39 PM

I love the liner notes. They are my favorite part of your site. I have had my Paraguard for almost 4 years. It used to last FOR.EVER! And yes, also crazy heavy. Now? It's heavy for 24 hrs starting the 2nd day then gone by day 5. So.. maybe there is hope that it will calm the eff down? Either way, I'm with you on the whole this is better than anything else I've ever had. I'll take the heavy period.

anna | 2:41 PM

you are totally right about the paragard and the period thing. i wanted to tell you that when you first mentioned getting it, but i figured being pregnant again or dealing with crazy hormones outweighed heavy bleeding. however, heavy bleeding is the understatement of the year when describing a period while having the paragard. i had it for about three years. while the heaviness never let up the length of time did. so it started out to be a 1 1/2 long period to more like 7. i know not great, but i didn't get pregnant when i didn't want to and had no hormone issues. also, having it removed was no biggie and my periods went back to normal almost instantly.

HayleyR | 3:11 PM

I always love looking at your linear notes.

Wow what a spooky fortune cookie :P

I can't believe that your babies are already going to be one!

Xx

Heather | 3:52 PM

Oh. FUCK the IUD. I had one inserted in May (the Paragard).

This is going to be long:

At first, it was great. Periods were insanely heavy - I also needed a towel and 300 pads to avoid making the bed look like room 100 of the Chelsea Hotel.

Then I noticed I was suddenly unable to lose weight. No matter how little I ate, how much I exercised, how much sugar and carbs I cut out of my diet - the weight bounced in a 2 lb. range. I felt bloated most of the time and looked 5 months pregnant all of the time.

I started doing some research, because I wanted the IUD to work - it's so convenient - and saw that copper can lead to imbalances and blah blah, so I took zinc to counteract it. It did nothing.

Then I noticed pain in my left leg. Every time I stood up, my hip and knee were so stiff, I limped. I'm in my 30s and healthy. There is just no reason for that to be happening.

In my research, I found hundreds of women experiencing a lot of the same things (and some with even worse symptoms than I had). All of these women also had a disturbingly common thread that I'm also seeing in the comments here: their doctors just don't believe them.

I experienced that, too. Even when I finally went to have it taken out two weeks ago, the doctor tried to convince me that it wasn't the IUD. Please, woman. All of my problems started when this thing was inserted and further, I know my body. I just knew something was not right.

Sure enough, it was taken out and within 48 hours, I had dropped five pounds. Many women probably use the copper IUD safely and effectively, but there are a ton of women out there experiencing unpleasant side effects that their doctors are either not telling them about or are simply outright denying the existence of.

If any other commenters are using paragard and have been feeling off, dig around - there are a lot of very unhappy women out there.

Anonymous | 3:57 PM

Everyone is different - but please don't take super heavy bleeding and/or cramps while using an IUD lightly. I put up with both (cramps were quite severe) for 3-4 months with my old Paraguard and finally went to the doctor who discovered I had a raging pelvic infection. Conventional wisdom w/ the Paraguard is heavy periods, but don't ignore it without getting checked by the doc. Just my 2 cents. Good luck!!

Kristen | 4:03 PM

Yay for condoms!

The Musings of Another Mama | 4:28 PM

Holy moly I'm so glad I chose Mirena. I couldn't imagine periods that heavy. I havn't had a period in over a year now and I'm so thrilled. I'm sorry you're having a a bad experience with your IUD.

verdemama | 4:37 PM

I, too, got a Paragard about three months ago and I'm experiencing the exact same thing. Not only did my first (super heavy) period last 14 days, I could also literally feel the IUD inside me for the first month. It's gotten a little better since then, but I'm still not 100% sold on it. I'm a little concerned by Heather's comment that mentioned having sudden unexplained pain and stiffness in her body, which I've also had lately and hadn't considered it could be from the copper in the Paragard. (Looking into this more, stat.)

Whyyy must contraception be such a pain in the ass? I'm considering going back to simply keeping track of my ovulation (there's an app for that), which worked great for me in the past.

Good luck with your Adventures in Birth Control! The kids are gorgeous, as always.

Roxanne Dubier | 5:19 PM

I'm sorry about your Mirena problem. I remember reading about it because I too have Mirena, and I too lost my hair when I got it--lots of it. Lots and lots of it. Small animals of hair in my drain, on my sofa (not white), in my bed, everywhere. But, I got Mirena after the birth of my third child. And, I had lost my hair with my other two kids...as in up to 1.5 years after having them I was still seeing a receeding hairline. So, for me, it wasn't the Mirena, because when I was Mirena-free I had the same hair issue. All those darn hormones. Now, I've had Mirena for 3 years, and no babies, lots of hair and 5 day very light periods. So, maybe it isn't the Mirena. Personally, just waiting for menopause :-)

Megatron | 5:23 PM

I think it's hilarious that you think a little period/... talk is going to scare off your readers. Pff. I am actually thankful to read about your experiences and your readers too. Not just in this, but everything else too. This is quite a community you've grown here and I'm sure I'm not the only one who sits down and reads your blog as if she's having coffee with a friend. So...thanks! Also, I love the artwork Fable picked out. Any chance that artist has a website? Great frames too.

Ellie D | 5:36 PM

One year old?! Holy crap on a cracker! I can't believe it's been a whole year since I was repeatedly checking your blog to get the announcement post as soon as it came up. It's crazy how time flies.

Brooke - Little Miss Moi | 6:28 PM

Okay I think this will be a rambling comment so be prepared…

I AM RIGHT THERE WITH YOU SISTAH. I mean, I am right here, right now, with you. Currently in my google toolbar is the search term "Heavy period after pregnancy". I mean a super tampon in an hour and a half kinda heavy. It's horrible, horrible, and this is about the fifth one i've had since I had harriet so I think they are here to stay YEGADS. BUT… unlike you I can't blame it on an IUD as I DON'T HAVE ONE! This morning I told my Mr that I think Harrie wreaked major havoc with my uterus. Two kids, three post partum haemhorrages and now this… it's SO YUK. So yeah.

As for the one year birthday. My due date was the 6th (today for me!) and Harriet wasn't born until the 16th… and one night during the overdue wait my friend texted me and said, "I had a dream you had the baby! Maybe it was just cause I saw on twitter that GGC has gone into labour"… wow was I jealous. I was so upset. How unfair that you got to have your babies before mine. Of course two days later along came Harrie. But I didn't realise that until about 6 months later… I could have sworn harrie was born a month after the twins.

Ok enough stalkery stuff from me. Have a great evening. And enjoy the final week of baby-dom. xx

@AngelaYBlood | 6:28 PM

You are just so fabulous. I love reading your words. And love the pics of your babies. Thank you for sharing your life.

Etosia (e-tasha) | 6:33 PM

@Katie I've now had my Implanon for 1.5 years. It took about 7 months for the 3 week periods to stop and I haven't had a period since. Just a teeny bit of cramping and bloating is all. My sister had the same reaction to and is now period free. Hopefully they will go away for you too! Hang in there!

Tirzah | 6:43 PM

maybe a stray puppy, cat, bird... hamster? rolly-polly? will wander in to your yard and become the newest addition to your pet brood!

Etosia (e-tasha) | 6:43 PM

I have an Implanon Insert and had 3 week long periods for the first 6 months and then just like that they were gone. I'm 1.5 years (out of 3) in and hardly have cramps.
I got Pregant after 2 years on the Depo and other bc gives me horrible migraines so Implanon it will be indefinitely.
Also, my mom has her tubes tied and still has crazy cramps that keep her in bed for most of their duration.
Your children are gorgeous!

Lisa Y | 7:11 PM

It definitely IS sad that we have to choose the least bad option. I asked my doctor about the copper IUD and when she found out my period were already eight days long and heavy, she said, "Not for you!" So I have a Mirena and although I got to keep my hair, I lost my sex drive. Like, all of it. Especially said since I was hormone crazy like an 18-year-old boy during my last pregnancy. But for now, with three little, little ones at home, it's a trade I'm willing to make.

Jenbeck | 7:50 PM

Wanted to make a quick comment about wondering who that short stranger will be, but reading through the comments while the political comments are running in the background, I am so riled up! Women should have better choices than this! We should have more support about getting to love our bodies, enjoy our partners, and choose when to make life-altering actions for more children! All that without hemorraging and losing our hair!

I'm not particularly partisan but amped up to vote for the man who loves women!

kellyredhair | 8:27 PM

I had periods like yours for YEARS (and I've never had an IUD). I ruined clothes, furniture, everything. It was GROSS. I finally had a thermal ablation - it was a pretty simple procedure with a day or two recovery time. I now have little to no bleeding at all. And I still have all my "parts".
:)

Jenna | 8:49 PM

Hullo all my sister paragardians! I have had the beast a good 2.5 years, and it did take close to 18 months but my period got normal again. It will happen! There is hope in the future, and I am that hope! I don't even have to keep the monstrosity tampons in stock anymore, that's how back to normal it got. Hang in there, there will be an end.

Anonymous | 8:52 PM

I've had two Paragards, one pre-baby, and this one post-baby. Both times my periods went from 3-4 days to 7-8 days for the first several months, and then settled down into 5-6 days. A happy compromise I was willing to take for awesome birth control! Hope it works out for you.

Anonymous | 8:52 PM

I've had two Paragards, one pre-baby, and this one post-baby. Both times my periods went from 3-4 days to 7-8 days for the first several months, and then settled down into 5-6 days. A happy compromise I was willing to take for awesome birth control! Hope it works out for you.

chantalart | 9:11 PM

About the paragard- the first year was difficult with heavier periods- i didnt even know tampons existed for extra heavy flow- but then it settled down to light periods that lasted 3-4 days, minimal cramping. You'll get there!

Martha | 10:47 PM

Pinterest - it's weird. Sometimes it feels like looking at the Popular page on IG. I follow people who seem to love the stuff I love and I have a lot of freaking time on my hands...can't get enough of that Pinny stuff! But never before I read my fave blogs....:)

Martha | 10:47 PM
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Miss Anna | 3:43 AM

Positive Paraguard experience here: I had one for six years and loved it. Periods were generally 5-6 days with maybe one heavy day and some heavy cramping. Last month I had it removed as we *think* we're ready for a family.

Currently I'm following the Fertility Awareness Method and tracking my cycle. I love it but it does take more effort than the IUD.

I definitely understand the IUD isn't for everyone (sorry it doesn't seem to be working for you, Rebecca. BC is a PAIN to sort out), but for anyone out there on the fence, know that it can work and I would definitely get one again.

Robin | 4:27 AM

One of my favorite posts girl! <3 your honesty. Can't believe your babies are one! Happy birthday Bo and Revi.

Katie | 6:20 AM

Now in the midst of my third pregnancy in four years (having conceived twice while properly using hormonal BC) we're pulling the trigger on his and hers procedures. I was thrilled when the hubby offered up a vas (that was actually in the works when we conceived our #3) and I've now decided the only fail-safe for our super-fertility is a tubal litigation for me as well. The lingering questions cast by temporary BC solutions would push me over the edge so we're going a little more extreme...

M | 6:46 AM

I pretty much had to stop right in the middle of your post and comment because the Paragard gave me the worst periods ever. They were week long and painful to begin with, and after Boy #1 I used that for birth control. Holy shit. Holy blood. Holy long periods. Two weeks long each...with spotting in between. Pain like I had never had before (never went into labor with either kid.) Like stay-in-bed-for-three days-because-the-horse-pill-motrin-did-nothing-for-me-have-you-seen-my-percocet-from-my-c-section? pain I finally had that sucker removed and now we have boy #2. Rather than going back to IUDs I had a tubal ligation - but evidently my body still thought the paragard was in there because the long and painful periods remained. I finally had a uterine ablation about two years ago and it's...better. Only week long now and only the first day makes me want to crawl under the covers and die. My sister in law had one as well - hers worked better, she has no periods at all. Mine are no walk in the park but I will take what I have now over what I HAD.

Arnebya | 7:07 AM

Hand raised to join the club of the Most Fucked Up of All Fuckedupness in Periods. While before the Paragard my periods were long, like 6-7 days, there were really only 4 that needed to be contended with with more than a pantiliner. Irritating, but I was used to it. With the IUD WHOO LAWD! I am constantly muttering "this shit here" to myself. For 9 days every damn month I am a stuck pig. But! It stops and gets very light after day four, then picks back up two days later like ha ha, we forgot ALL OF THIS.

I used to maybe, MAYBE need a Super tampon. But now? Super Plus Maximum Strength Squared Infinity PLUS a regular pad because the Super Plus Maximum Strength Squared Infinty is not enough and you will leak onto all of your clothes and sheets as though you are just learning about the period world like your blood-on-clothes-and-sheets 11-year-old.

OK, I'm done oversharing. It's just that...ugh. And damn. Also, WHAT THE FUCK?

And yet, I stay with it because I am not the pill remembering type. Or the shot getting type. Or the won't break out from this patch type. My husband is not the ball snipping type and we are not the condom using type. I guess it's me and Nine Days of Nonsense.

Arnebya | 7:15 AM

Got so sidetracked by periodpalooza that I forgot this: Bo and Revi at one. It's almost unbelievable. Almost. If it feels that way for me, having only watched them blossom via photos, I can only imagine what your family feels like to live it, to see them a year later, laughing, clapping, waving, walking. To see them beside Archer and Fable and notice their individual changes in this year as well. Congratulations.

hausmilleradventure | 8:06 AM

Ditto to all the heavy period nonsense everyone else that is/has use/d Paragard. Annoying doesn't come close to describing the feeling of the gush of this period. Ugh. I've had mine for 11 months now and it has gotten progressively better, but it's not anywhere near normal. One should not have to use the Super Duper Plus tampon AND a pad to contain only 1 hour of flow. That's ridiculous.

Seriously. Why must we choose between the least worst options? When is the male version of the pill going to come out?

sm | 8:58 AM

Oh I feel your pain with the Paraguard! I had one pre-baby and now have a post-baby one. It definitely causes crazy periods for a while. My doctor told me 3 months, I found it was more like 6 or so.

BUT sex without having to remember a pill, or a condom or ANYTHING else totally makes it worth it to me. I tell all my friends to get one. Tough it out lady and it will get better, I promise!

Mary Pullias | 9:09 AM

I had the paragard for two years with the same issue. Long, heavy periods. I felt awful and had my hemoglobin and iron tested to check and see if that was the problem. Well, my iron stores were undetectable and my hemoglobin was 8 (normal is 12-16 or 13-17 depending on your source). I had it removed last March and within 3 months, my hemoglobin was normal and my iron stores were on the way up... and I as pregnant. :) I know some people like it, though, and have a better experience, so hope it improves for you!

Molly | 10:57 AM

I hope that the IUD gets better as the months go on! It sounds like you've tried a lot of forms of birth control that your body just isn't tolerating well, and that seems to me to be grounds for a conversation with Hal. No one deserves to be pressured or coerced into something, but considering it takes two to tango, it does seem like honoring your body's real sensitivity to birth control with a conversation about next steps is pretty reasonable. Hal seems to be able to control his body, but are you truly able to control yours if you force yourself to be the sole bearer of responsibility for how many children you have, when it's causing you real physical problems? I get that you want to respect Hal's bodily autonomy, but you need to respect yours too, and just talking about this impasse isn't pressuring anyone. It's just being honest that your body just might not be capable of doing all the work for the both of you.

The Flynnigan's | 11:04 AM

I don't have children but I can empahtize with your period woes, or MASSIVE bleeding woes. My schedule USED to be down to a sciencem, predictable and on time all the time. Since I've started working out like a mad woman and some stress I had at the beginning of the year, I have no idea what's going on with my vagina, because at any given moment, my body could decide it wants to bleed. It's so bloddy (no pun intended) annoying. I feel your pain darling. xoxo

Kim | 12:13 PM

I love how quickly and easily this post transitioned from ellipses to poetry.

I used to have crazy ellipses myself, pre-pill. I've been on Zovia for approximately, oh, 10 or so years, and only in the last year or so have started to think about other options (apparently as your body's estrogen levels change when you get older, that can mess with your pill's side effects? like, uh, dryness? and then you have to use Premarin? which is for menopause? which at 28 you feel awkward using, because your mom is also using it? awwwwkward).

TMI CITY, MY FRIEND!

Kim | 12:16 PM

Oh, and PS, Pinterest is agonizingly inspirational. Like, I am literally in agony over how inspired I am (in relation to my ability/funds to create such magical beauty). But I am feeling newly invigorated lately, and maybe I will attempt to make some magical beauty.

Also, I used to have a white couch. No kids, no pets, but I did keep a Tide to Go stain stick nearby for spills. Which happened. Frequently. A few years ago, we swapped the white slipcovers out for brown. Thanks, IKEA. Much less stressful.

Nana | 12:23 PM

Listen up, kids. All this bleeding IS. NOT. NATURAL. and could not be a good thing. PLEASE get rid of the d....d (what's it's name?) thing! I want you all to live long and be happy (most of the time) and healthy. Doctors are not always right.

I know, I know. I lived in prehistoric times. Can't help that. But I used—God forbid!—Yes. You guessed it. The DIAPHRAGM. It did not kill us. I dashed into the bathroom, sloshed in the goop and—wango!—, slipped it up there real quick and leaped back into bed. Or I had it in there from the get-go since I'd already seen the gleam in his eye or felt the buzz somewhere else in me. I had a long, happy marriage and we made mad, passionate love often all through those years. All. Our. Lives. (until he got sick.) Honest. His attitude was it's a husband's duty to make his wife happy in that department and he did.
Do I have to say "Anonymous". You might as well speak the truth. Nana.ooxx

Nana | 12:25 PM

P.S. I love your photos.

Michelle | 12:25 PM

I've had the Paraguard for 4 years now. My periods were definitely super heavy at first but now, they are pretty much back to what they were before I started HORMONAL birth control aka hell.

For someone not having any kids, the paraguard is a dream. I regret ever going on hormones. The during(hair loss, migraines) was bad and I'm not too fond of the acne(back, shoulders, ass) that I got from going off.

I'm not a dr. so I have no idea the differences between an iud in a post pregnant or never pregnant body but I'd give it a chance.

Kate Zalesky | 1:14 PM

Hola! Paragard fan/hater here. I love that it's not hormonal, hate the periods. I got mine in October of 2011 and experienced the hemorrhagic ellipsis you're describing, and now I'm in the wonderland of 7 days of hemorrhage, 5 days of non period, 4 days of SURPRISE SECOND PERIOD, and then we spin a wheel and see what we get for the rest of the month. Sometimes it's a prize, sometimes it's bankruptcy...of blood. I'm blood bankrupt some months.

Anyway, I still can't bring myself to say that I "hate" it. Just wanted to commiserate!

Anonymous | 2:10 PM

I've had the copper IUD for 11 months now. Still after 11 months, the first 2 days I am convinced I am going to hemorrhage to death. I'm talking super plus tampon every 2 hours. It's rough!

BUT I CANT GET PREGNANT :)

The cramps have lightened up a bit and some months the bleeding isn't quite as extreme.

My doctor; which I love, told me make a habit of drinking TONS of water when you get your period and the first heavy days eat red meat. I'll always have steak on the first heavy day then the next day I'll make myself a salad with the steak on top. I've made sure that my diet is high in Iron.

So far, I don't mind the IUD. Hell it's better than condoms, hormones and the pill (which I got pregnant on!) The IUD can be a pain in the ass, but the alternatives are harder to deal with.

Hope it gets better for you.

Ashley Austrew | 2:12 PM

It gets better! I don't know how long you've had your Paragard, but mine took about 4 or 5 months to chill on the crazy period thing. Now everything is cool.

My daughter is exactly one month younger than Bo and Revi. Can't believe we're about to have one year olds. So sad/awesome/happy/awww where did our babies go?

Candace | 2:14 PM

OH man the IUD sucked ass. I had mine for 18 months and the bleeding and pain kept getting worse. They don't tell you when you get it inserted that if your uterus faces back that you may end up getting excruciating back pain. At some point the pain became so intense I could not walk. Every month felt like a mild horror movie. Eventually, I ended my relationship with that evil thing and my life is back to normal. Of course, condoms do suck :(

Laura | 3:51 PM

Oh Rebecca, you're amazing. Seriously. The kids are all so gorgeous and you're so real and awesome. No such thing as TMI, indeed!

I think it's all been said here but I'll chime in yet again as a 5-year owner of the Paraguard. I feel your pain regarding the ellipsis but I gotta say - I love that thing despite our rough times together and for me, the ridiculous period thing has improved with time (slowly).

Mine is not as heavy and painful as a lot of people have described but it is definitely Super Plus-level heavy for two days. The thing that irritates the crap out of me is the slow taper on and taper off, making the entire affair almost a two-weeker all told. I have learned to just roll with it and tolerate the trade-offs.

All months are not the same, however and for sure, the situation is better and more predictable and lighter than when I first had it. (It also destabilized my pH like a mofo and I had a miserable couple of years before an awesome GYN put me on a regular maintenance routine of boric acid.) TMI, yo.

But, now 5-years later, the Paraguard and I are friends and I regularly celebrate the security of 99.9% effectiveness without having to do or remember anything - and most importantly, without hormones.

My hilarious and hot doctor who put that sucker in 5 years ago told me that the concept of the IUD is as old as time - it's just way more sterile now. Things to be grateful for...

Definitely keep on eye on your iron though, as everybody has said. I have to remember to take supplements or I get woozy. No biggie for me. Good luck, you awesome rockstar!

deannagabriel | 4:48 PM

1. I adore the cityscape idea for Archer's room. Brilliant!

2. I can't comment on the paragard as I'm more of a nuvaring girl at this stage in my life, bbbbuuutttt I must admit that getting rid of tampons and switching to a divacup changed my life. Ive had heavy period issues (like a week Or longer sometimes) and not having to worry about spending what felt like a small fortune on feminine hygiene products a month was awesome. It's not for everyone, and you definitely have to be kinda one with your body and such, but man is it fantastic to never have to buy tampons or pads ever and not have to worry so much about leaking. Super super super awesome.

Anonymous | 5:36 PM

Yeah, I had the same issue with my IUD. I ended up taking it out. I couldn't stand it (tons of bleeding---when you teach 2nd grade you can't escape to the bathroom that often). I thought it was just me who had such a horrible experience with an IUD and I have always felt awkward about having to remove it a few months later (especially since insurance didn't cover it).

Anonymous | 8:38 PM

After being on birth control for four years, I finally got fed up with the massive mood swings. My husband and I have been using the withdrawal method for about a year and (knock on wood) it works for us. Honestly, I haven't looked back.

I was surprised to learn how effective it is when you learn how to listen to your own body and it is done properly. Granted, we don't have any children and it wouldn't be a disaster if I did accidentally become pregnant. Not for everyone, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Whittles Wobble | 10:17 PM

Oh em geeeee! I got the Paragard yesterday. YESTERDAY AFTERNOON! My heart leaped when I saw Paragard. I said to myself "I hope she keeps talking about her Para-period, I need more information! I need to relate!" And then your mind audience discouraged you and my hopes and dreams to hear more about a fellow Paragard-er were dashed. I awoke twice last night clutching my abdomen due to the cramps. I suppose my body is just adjusting, but I have a hysterical little voice who is highly concerned that I will be the exception to the rule and my body will flip out and reject it and destroy my cervix, and my va jay will fall off and HOW WILL I PEE THEN?! Anyway, my point is, feel free to share more Para-tales. I yearn to relate!

Indira | 3:47 AM

I have to say, given how much us women have to go through in order to have effective birth control, I would darn well pressure my husband to have a vasectomy! The burden always falls on the woman's body, and I've had enough to last me a lifetime. His turn to mess with his body for once.

Howeverrrrrrrr, I see that Hal is not sure if he is done, and in that case yeah, I would leave it. Ok, I guess I would maybe throw the V word about only if we were both sure we were done. Cause then it's like, give my poor childbearing body a break? Your turn? If he's not sure though, then you don't want to pressure anyone into an irreversible decision.

Ok maybe pressure is the wrong word. But I'd be disappointed if my man were super opposed to it after all I'd put my body through. If we were sure we were done. There. That's my scenario!

Keri | 4:58 AM

There's a new permanent birth control on the market for women: Essure. You walk in, get a couple of screws in your fallopian tubes, walk out and no more birth control ever. The scar tissue will build up around the screws in your tubes, rendering you infertile. My friend got this and she has absolutely no side effects whatsoever. Something to consider if you are 100& sure you are done with pregnancy et al.

Althea | 6:10 AM

Girl...GIRRRRRL
I went for Mirena six weeks after having my second baby...I had just finished the post-childbirth period...
And yeah...I'm bleeding to death too. But I still have all my hair, sooo
Congrats on your house. We're moving soon too. What up, parallel life?

Anonymous | 8:46 AM

Have you ladies with Paragard woes considered Implanon?
It's a little stick of progesterone only birth control (the size of a matchstick!) that get's inserted into your arm near your bicep. It's good for 3 years, can be removed any time, and get this: Since I started in March, I have had 1 period cycle. I used to menstruate for 10 days or so on the REGULAR, and the last 3 months of the Pill, it was more like 20 days on, 3 days off.
The procedure was painless, and it was covered by my insurance so it cost me $40.

I'm a pretty big advocate, and I've been MUCH happier with this than any other birth control method I've tried. And trust me, I've tried BUNCHES. Just a thought, Bec! It might be worth looking into, if the Paragard doesn't agree with you.

<3
Hilary

Kate Zalesky | 8:48 AM

I went with Paragard simply because I do not respond well to any hormonal birth control. Dual hormone BC makes me a crazypants person, and I got pregnant twice on POP. I'd probably sooner say Fin, we're done, get snipped por favor, than I would go back to hormonal BC.

Kate | 9:17 AM

I had implanon for the full 3 years. It was HORRIBLE! The first year was great, no periods great skin. Then in the second year my periods refuse to stop, I was on my period for probably 75% of the time the last two years. As well as being a hormonal mess.

When they went to remove it, it turns out the it had partially bent in my arm, probably as a result of getting blood pressure taken.

It was the worst 2 years of my life!

Sarah T. | 9:34 AM

I'm with you: longer, heavier periods are way better than hormone-induced crazy. In fact, I was actually offended by my new OB/GYN's recoiling in horror when she found I was on Paragard and not Mirena. She also rolled her eyes and scoffed when I told her it was because I wanted to be hormone-free. I don't think I'll be returning to this gal...

I'm not having soak-the-sheets heavy, but it's definitely far longer and heavier than my birth control pill periods ever were. And the 2-day warning I get via a rush of blood that then disappears is fun...

Oh how I wish that America would get with the program and offer more than two of the HUNDREDS of IUD options that are out there. It's so ridiculous. Thank you, pharmaceutical companies.