So, I just wanted to put this out there for anybody who has ever been in the same situation.
The story goes:
1. I had run out of pills and was unable to take the first one (Friday's) in my new pack. Yes, the first one, the one that is most risky to miss. Unfortunately I didn't know this then because it doesn't say so on my pack. It just doesn't.
2. I made up the missed pill on Saturday, about eighteen hours after I was supposed to take it (I miscalculated in my original post https://www.empowher.com/community/ask/i-started-my-new-bc-pack-day-late#comment-form). I took it the afternoon of the next day (I usually take it at 9PM). If you're into specificity, that makes the window between my last placebo pill and first active pill forty-two (42!!!) hours. A big enough number to cause alarm, at least for me. This also means I have prolonged my placebo week for more than a day and a half.
4. Had unprotected sex the next day (day 3) thinking I would be safe having just come off my period + making up the missed pill. (WTH was I thinking RYT) Never again am I going to risk being even a little irresponsible like this.
5. Spent the following week being an anxious nut. I am a fairly anxious person to begin with (see: username) and this is only worsened by the fact that I am in no means prepared to be a mother just yet. I'm 23, if you're wondering. Before I started birth control I had my first major scare, and when THAT happened I was almost certain I was pregnant from all the *symptoms* I was *feeling.* Amazing what the body projects when your brain freaks out.
Anyway, THIS time, I did feel some symptoms--some cramping, some gas, some breast pain, some back pain, some diarrhea, some discharge. More on this later.
6. On Week 3 of my active pills, I saw my boyfriend again after a while, and we had contact. He had not been able to pull out in time so I freaked out (even though I had not missed any pills since), went online to research about taking emergency contraception WHILE on the pill, and that was when I found out about the whole business on missing the first pill. I did end up taking emergency contraception, for the week 3 contact; alas, I was already too late for the week 1 contact.
7. Two days after I took ECP, my boobs began to hurt, a little more intensely than they would before my normal periods. Naturally I freaked out again and spent the next few days checking out my breasts every hour if they looked swollen or if the areolas were getting darker. Naturally, I thought they were.
8. The pain subsided after about three days, on-off. Next, I got mild cramps. This was two days before I expected my period to come (although I was half-expecting a delayed period because of the ECP).
9. The day my period was due was the pinnacle of my nervous-wreck-week. I was going to take a pregnancy test if it didn't come on the next day. I had read about breakthrough bleeding and implantation bleeding and was hoping that if it did come, it wouldn't be because of the latter. It seemed my situation was a special case: I missed one pill, and took ECP weeks later. So I didn't know what to expect as far as bleeding goes. Would it be a breakthrough bleed from missing the one pill, would it be my normal "period" on the pill, or would it be bleeding from the ECP? What a mess, right? I know my hormones are now messed up, so even if I did know my body well it would be very difficult to predict.
By night time, I was sure it wouldn't come because regular Aunt Flo usually came in the morning/afternoon. And then my mild cramps began turning into these bad (but very familiar) cramps. And sure enough, about after an hour, I found myself bleeding. Bright red AF, the way she's supposed to come, right on time--I'd never been so happy to see her.
My boobs felt normal, I didn't feel bloated, and there were no other symptoms. I'm hoping the ECP was unnecessary and didn't affect my cycle that much. I feel 100% I'm not pregnant, though I might take a PT at the end of my period just for good measure.
10. To conclude, if you want to save yourself from poring over Internet horror stories, user error statistics, and general dread, just TRY NOT TO MESS UP, and do the smart thing if you do. I know even perfect users could fall pregnant on the pill, so I'm going to be sure to use a back-up method from now on. I consider myself really lucky if I have not in fact ovulated in the first week, but again, it's not a risk I would ever take again.
I'm happy this platform exists because it did provide some reassurance for other women to weigh in. I'd like to leave my experience here for anyone who might be seeking a little comfort. I knew it made me much calmer to read other women's experiences, though I do hope most of them followed up on their posts.
Thanks, and as always, good luck.