Picture it, High School circa 2006 and I am passing all sorts of clots during my lunch break. I'm fighting back tears as I put my last pad into my underwear. This was getting out of hand. What was I going to do? I pull up my pants & say a prayer that I can make it through the rest of the school day without leaking & embarrassing myself at school-- or maybe worse, on the bus. As I washed my hands, there were about 10 other girls in the bathroom talking about the latest drama. I feel uncomfortable as I take a quick peak at myself in the mirror, great ANOTHER painful zit has made an appearance, right in the middle of my forehead. I feel slightly lightheaded and feel like doubling over in pain due to the cramps. God I hated being a girl.
But here is the truth. I never knew the first thing about hormone health. The current talk was most girls in my high school had irregular periods, it was normal, and were put on birth control. Truth is, I never knew when my period would come or not come. Little did I know that 9 years later, I would meet a wonderful midwife, a doula, and some amazing people that taught me all about hormone health and how to truly balance my hormones & they would ultimately change the course of my life.
Flash forward to 2009 and I am sitting in an OB/GYN office and getting on birth control for the first time. My periods would be 1-3 days long. My pain had gotten better, my acne got a bit better not much, but I found that my periods would happen sporadically. I had horrible insomnia at night and true PMS for the first time in my life. After three months on the birth control, I began to have horrible acne, I'm talking zits on top of zits. I bought every kind of facial wash you could imagine and nothing helped. I spent tons of money on foundations to try to cover what was impossible to cover. One night I had a sudden and horrible pain in my stomach that ended me back in my doctor's office the next day. She sent me for an ultrasound and ultimately I was diagnosed with PCOS.
PCOS is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and according to the mayo clinic, is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods &/or excess male hormones. The ovaries develop numerous small collections of follicles and fail to release eggs regularly. Sometimes the cysts would burst. There is said to be no cure. Source
I remember thinking that was sucky and was given a new script for birth control. Over the course of the next 2 years I tried a couple different birth controls and then had a miscarriage due to birth control failure. Since I didn't want to have another miscarriage, I was encouraged to try some type of implanted birth control. My mother in law warned me against this, but I decided to follow the advice of my doctor and I ended up on an IUD. First of all, since I hadn't had any children- it was horribly painful to have put in. I began to gain weight... 40 pounds in 4 months. No amount of dieting and exercising was making me lost anything. My acne was still gone but the look of my skin completely changed, I looked like I was aging. Six months after the IUD was placed, I was in the Emergency Room getting prepped for an emergency surgery because I had developed a cyst inside my ovary and was in danger of destroying my ovary.
That changed things for me. I had this sudden realization that the distress I was under was most likely due to the FALSE hormones in my birth control. I realized my mother in law was right and I should have heeded her warning, after all, it took here years to get pregnant with my husband and his twin brother. Before surgery I insisted that the IUD be removed during surgery. The doctor argued but I made sure I made my wishes known. I went off birth control that day and never went on it again.
At my 6 week post surgical check up, I had lost 45 pounds. Now I had started studying natural health shortly before this and then I found myself enrolled in a conference and there that I heard an amazing doula start speaking about the importance natural feminine products (pads, tampons, etc) due to the chemicals that are in the pads. She talked about what it means when you are passing a lot of clots and ultimately what it means when you are having terrible cramps. She talked about the beauty that the period is and balancing your hormones.
She blew my mind. I immediately invested in a menstrual cup (it didn't work out well for me) so I turned to cloth pads which worked for me until I became pregnant with my first child. I also threw myself into studying false estrogens, and went right down a rabbit hole. False estrogen cleanses freaked me out, but I tried one-- 2 months later my acne was gone. I learned about skincare products and hair care products containing endocrine disrupting chemicals. I learned about how birth control doesn't balance your period- it removes it. I learned about foods that support hormone health, in case you're wondering FAT feeds the hormones! I learned about Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and more. I could probably write for hours.
It was then that I changed my company, I was only into making soaps and lotions for about 6 months and wasn't even on Etsy yet. I removed synthetic crap and moved to organic supplies. A year later I found myself enrolled in a Traditional Naturopathy Program to begin studying to become a Naturopathic Doctor. I learned even more there about balancing hormones. I found many brilliant women who knew so much about balancing hormones, such as Cassandra Wilder of The Goddess Ceremony Podcast. I learned even more from her.
Now my husband and I were trying to get pregnant with our first child and things just weren't lining up. I ended up taking advice from a friend and did a liver/gallbladder cleanser for a month. I began supporting my female reproductive system even more with beautiful teas and herbs. I ate all the liver balancing foods because the liver processes hormones. I began to find my cycle syncing up with the moon phases, something up to this point had not happened for me. We were still struggling to get pregnant, so I began my last effort of trying essential oils. Essential Oils changed everything. Every night I had a routine of which oils went where on my body. I found that this blend of oils helped when I had period cramps as well. 3 cycles after starting the oil routine (along with daily teas) I got a positive test. The rest has been history so to speak.
This blend of oils are the same blend of oils that I have in my line Cycle Me Free.
Now in this post, I didn't give the exact cleanses I did, the exact herbal tea infusions I had, or the exact oil blend I used. This is because during this time I was under the care of a Naturopathic Midwife & Naturopathic Doctor. I would highly suggest that you find one if you are struggling with your hormones. I know of quite a few that might be able to help you, please just reach out! No one should have to live this way, when there is a change for them to be free.
Who am I?
My name is Jes! I am the earth loving, natural parenting, Jesus loving weirdo your mama might have warned you about! I am the owner of an organic, chemical free skin care product line, called HBC Organics.