Oops/Anti-Oops: My Mirena Side-Effects


So I started writing another book (the first draft is about 10% done, in fact). In my defence, there were extenuating circumstances:

In late May I began using a Mirena IUS contraceptive. I had one very long period at the beginning (a month; not unusual when the Mirena is first placed), then an eight-day but relatively mild period in July. I seemed otherwise side effect free except for quite noticeable depression. The depression was within acceptable bounds (I didn’t feel like harming myself or others) pending further observation (depression and small children don’t mix well).

In late July I suddenly had a laundry list of other Mirena symptoms – cramps, nausea, sensitivity to smells, almost throwing up, difficulty breathing after exercise (only once), headaches, a migraine, blurry vision, dizziness, irritability, no real period (just spotting), sleeping longer and more frequently, anxiety. . .

One thing is immediately obvious about all these symptoms – they’re pregnancy symptoms. I looked up some stats and worked out that quite a few people get pregnant while using the Mirena (and then have a 50% chance of miscarriage because of it – great). Almost 1% of people using the Mirena get pregnant (and it’s often an ectopic pregnancy that can put their fertility and life in danger.)

Long story short, I’ve taken something like a dozen pregnancy tests including two blood tests and even an ultrasound (which confirmed the Mirena was in place despite the fact my GP was unable to remove it) and although it’s still technically possible for me to be pregnant (some pregnancies survive on undetectably low levels of HCG, which is what blood and urine tests are looking for, and the ultrasound might have been too early to see evidence of pregnancy), it’s unlikely. I’m limiting myself to one home pregnancy test a week now. Today’s was negative, of course.

Which is a shame, because CJ and I plan to get pregnant as soon as possible after Louisette is toilet trained (which is only a few months away, and who cares about a few months? It’s the same level of inconvenience as the much more likely wait of several months or years AFTER toilet training as we try to conceive). So I’m in this very frustrating, “Is it a baby? No, don’t be silly….but wait, is it?” stage, while also more and more depressed and irritable and dizzy and headachy.

It’s worth mentioning again: ALL of the above symptoms are documented Mirena symptoms. It pretty much works by telling your body you’re already pregnant, so claims of “I know my own body…I’m pregnant!” are as unreliable as unicorn airways.

I have an appointment with a specialist to have the Mirena removed on Monday 16th September, and if she can’t do it (the strings designed to facilitate removal have curled up out of reach) then I’ll need either a “procedure” (meaning I’d be unconscious at the time) or an operation to get it out. I don’t care about that (unfortunately, the idea of taking a whole day off from minding children – even if it involved getting cut open and/or having a stranger put their hand inside me – sounds wonderful) but I do care about the fact that it’d probably take more long miserable days or weeks to organise.

The depression has sharpened to the point that it’s difficult to keep my temper most days (shockingly, since my entire life is minding one-year olds, this is unhelpful), so I saw three possible options:

1. Go to bed for three weeks, making CJ take all of his sick and annual leave to mind Louisette, and abandoning my carefully-orchestrated work situation (I need to work two days a week in order to do my Cert 3 in Childcare as an apprenticeship, saving $3000).

2. Spend money and eat chocolate like the world is ending – gaining around 10 kilos in the process – which I really can’t afford after the last two years. (The good news is I’ve just lost about 5 kilos, and I’m keeping on going if it kills me.)

3. Write a book – excitement now, and depression later! (The inevitable life cycle of a book is, “This is the best book ever!” –> “This is the worst book ever!” –> “This book is okay. I’ve worked hard and made it as good as I can. Maybe someone will publish it.” –> “Nope. No-one will publish it. Well, that was a largely pointless year of writing effort.”)

So that’s why I started writing a book. Because I’m pregnant sans baby, and it sucks. But it should improve soon.

The book is set in modern-day Canberra, featuring a hidden magical community of three extended families – the Whiteheads can do things with people’s minds; the Strongs can change the physical environment (including flying and making fat disappear), and the Winters see the future.

Ebony is a 16-year old Winter who sees one day ahead, with a strong lean towards fatal events. When she sees a death, she tries to prevent it – and she’s well enough respected that most of the actual saving of lives is delegated to others. But when she sees the death of the royal heir, things get a lot more complicated.

And here (or way above if the formatting doesn’t work) is a pic of Louisette (middle) with two of her cousins.

Published by Felicity Banks Books

I write books (mainly adventure fantasy for kids and young adults), real-time twittertales, and a blog of Daily Awesomeness. @Louise_Curtis_ and http://twittertales.wordpress.com. My fantasy ebook is on sale at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/278981.

2 thoughts on “Oops/Anti-Oops: My Mirena Side-Effects

  1. That book idea sounds amazing! I kinda hope that you don’t get better for ages, so the suffering brings out the best writing you have ever done and you get even more success from your gift!
    (Otherwise, get better soon!)

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