My husband and I were watching a re-run of Friends around this time last year, which is after we got engaged but before we got married, when he casually asked what the pill was doing for me.
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It totally threw me! In the 15 years I’d been popping the same pill every single day I’d never once questioned, what it was “doing for me”.
I’ve always been fairly lucky with my skin and 100% of the time use PMT as a great excuse to tuck into more chocolate brownies, than are stocked at our local bakery, so aside from a) keeping sperm way away from my precious eggs and b) allowing me to take packets ‘back-to-back’ if I had an important event that I definitely didn’t want to be pre-menstrual for, I really started to scrape the proverbial barrel of excuses.
Of course, the above two are pretty big reasons to take into consideration for being on the pill, at a time in my life when producing another human wasn’t on my radar, but when looking at the biggest reason to come off the pill when the radar has a we-would-love-a-baby-in-the-future beep there, they didn’t feature at all.
So there we were, in-between singing ‘Smelly Cat and mid-way through a tub of Ben and Jerrys, having a grown-up-panties-on conversation about how, if I came off the pill and we fell pregnant now, it wouldn’t be as scary as it might’ve been even a few years ago; We’ve committed to spend the rest of our lived together, and we were as ‘ready’ as we’d ever be.
We giggled. We said "holy f×ck balls" quite a few times. We giggled some more then, we carried on watching Friends.
I’ve been off the pill for just over a year now, (in case you’re wondering we’ve purposefully been using the ‘withdrawal method’! Oh, you weren’t wondering, that’s probably an over share then…) and in true grown-up style, we discussed in great depth how we’d get my body used to being pill-free for a few months. Following that we would be getting married, enjoying some Mr & Mrs time (including going on an all inclusive honeymoon, I know, how selfish), making a ‘before the bump’ what-we’d-personally-like-to-achieve list, and then and only then, would we be popping our ducks in a row for the next baby making phase.
It sounds a bit military when writing it down, but if you knew my husband, you’d know he’s a sensible old soul who loves to plan, possibly more than I do! It’s not for everyone, and who knows what life will throw at us, but I’m personally thankful I can have these conversations with a man, without the fear of him jumping on the next plane outta here!
So, coming off the pill wasn’t, for us, a ‘lets start making a baby’ time, it was part of the bigger picture, and since taking this step I’ve noticed a few things I wanted to share with anyone considering making the change to prepare their bodies for the next “phase”.
1. First up: boobs
WOW, they get bbbiiiiigggg around three days before my period. They also get a bit sore and sensitive, more than they did before… but then, after reading up a lot on this, it’s because my body is now functioning how it should do, naturally, without an artificial pill calling the shots. Hello natural boobs!
2. I became ‘regular’ straight away
I downloaded an app so I could have a good guestimate at when my period might arrive – mainly because I didn’t want to have to deal with that on our wedding day! – and within the first month after coming off the pill my period arrived when the trusty app predicted it would, and has continued to be one day either side of the prediction. I know this doesn’t happen for everyone, and often it takes a few months to get back on track, which is why a lot of women choose to get their body back to ‘normal’ before trying for a baby.
3. Sex is tingly
Since I’m probably already over sharing waaay too much, I feel comfortable telling you that I love bonking with my husband! But, since coming off the pill, sex has felt, well, different. In a really good way! It’s like there’s suddenly more ‘feeling’ down there… it’s actually alive! I’m sure, subconsciously, my brain knows that this is the man I’ll hopefully be lucky enough to make babies with, and that in itself is enough to make me tingly (and feel grown up!), and there’s probably a whole heap of science backing up why this happens, but I don’t actually care for the reasons! I’m selfishly just going to enjoy the moment!
4. … And I want more of it!
Following on from the above, I actually REALLY fancy my husband! (He’s pretty glad to hear this one! And to be clear I’ve always fancied him, just an incy bit more now!) One of the biggest complaints of pill-taking women is their lack of sex drive. Really. Again, I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve noticed a huge difference since coming off the pill in terms of glancing at my husband like a love-struck teenager and wanting to pounce on him every day.
5. There are pregnant women everywhere!
Oh Lordy, this is an eye opener. My friend (who would also like a bambino in the not too distant future) and I, were discussing how everywhere we look, we see bumps. It’s like we’re suddenly wired to spot the Mumma-in-waiting! I used to get this when I was buying a new car… suddenly I’d see ‘my colour’ car on every road I’d drive on, which made me think maybe I was common (or driving too much), but when you spot bumps all the time, it’s actually really reassuring that what you’re doing is common, and you’re definitely not alone.
So there we have it, a little round up of all things coming-off-the-pill-related. I’d love to hear if you’ve experienced these things too, or maybe some other insights you’ve learnt along the way x