After waiting an excruciatingly long time to hear back, I've been informed that I'm a pretty normal, if not large, woman - that my hormone levels are normal, my body is (relatively) normal, and the only thing I "suffer" from is high cholesterol (and it isn't even that high). The general consensus is that nobody seems to know why my body cannot seem to regulate itself, so despite my past bad experiences, I'm now on hormonal birth control - Necon 7/7/7 which is a combination pill and the generic version of Ortho-Novum - and am actually pretty happy with it so far. I've had a lot of really negative, painful, uncomfortable experiences with other things I've tried, and though I'm only a week into this experience, I'm still doing better than I was last time. By now, with everything else I'd tried, I had already begun to experience a hint of the pain and discomfort I was due for. I think my biggest complaint is some occasional, light nausea - nothing I can't deal with, and a huge improvement over the horrible headaches I got with the NuvaRing, or the insane cramps and continual bleeding I had with the Mirena or Paragard IUDs. I feel no moodiness, no obvious increase in blood pressure, no irregular bleeding - nothing. I feel pretty good, all things considered, and I'm hoping that the trend continues.
Meanwhile, I'm working my way through some holistic living and AP parenting books I bought at Waldenbooks before they closed. I'm hoping that the AP-style books will help us figure out some more positive, less emotionally-driven responses to inappropriate behavior and acting out, and allow us to reason better with the boys during difficult times. We've been making some remote progress without them, especially by offering G more autonomy (which seems to have come along with him starting pre-school).
Yeah, that's my baby getting on his bus for the first time the other day. He's such a big boy now, and it's hard to reconcile sometimes, because he always seemed so tiny when he was born. But starting school, having time away from us and to spend with other kids in a different environment, providing him some opportunity to make choices for himself, seems to have done a lot of good for him. He still throws tantrums and has fits, but we can reason with him to a degree by asking if that's how he behaves at school. It doesn't always work, but that's part of the reason we're working on it - it's something we can use right now, which at the moment is all that counts for us.