Thursday, September 2, 2010

She's baaaaack!

Aunt Flo, that is. Did you know that the return of your fertility after having a baby is often (but not always!) linked to when your baby goes for a six-hour stretch without nursing at night? Grace started sleeping through the night around eighteen months old, and sure enough, my first postpartum cycle soon followed. I had an inkling my fertility was about to return, I was moody for weeks beforehand, and I'm not talking your average, run-of-the-mill moodiness, I'm talking look-at-me-the-wrong-way-and-I-will- tear-your-fucking-head-off moodiness. For weeks. I was a real joy to be around, let me tell you!

Since Aunt Flo has returned, for the first time in my life, I have a regular cycle. Go figure, my husband gets fixed, then I'm finally fertile! Despite my lack of a regular cycle, we managed to conceive four beautiful children with the aid of "Taking Charge of Your Fertility", a must-read for all women, young and old (it should be required reading in high school!). Thanks to the information in that book, and my husband's super sperm (that's what our fertility doctor called them), baby-making came relatively easy. When it was go-time, we went, and nine months later (give or take), we were holding a new bundle of joy. Easy-peasy!

I didn't get my first period until I was 17 years old, and I would only get it three, maybe four times a year. While the Pearson baby factory was in operation for a full decade (!!!), I had (brace yourself) four periods. Now that I've had a regular cycle for six months, I have come to realize what bliss that period-free period was. This whole period business is kind of a bitch, you see.

My newfound cycle isn't textbook regular, it varies in length from 5-6 weeks, but there is one thing consistent about it, the super-awesome PMS part, Mother Nature's 'heads up' that the shit's about to go down. When I'm PMSing, I spend a few days doing the following:

  • eating things

  • yelling at things

  • crying at things

  • cleaning things (usually while crying and/or yelling at them)

There's also the awesome bloating and acne, can't forget about that! As bad as I thought things were for the fast few months, I was introduced to menstrual cramps during my last cycle. I woke up at around 2am one night to intense abdominal pain, I actually went to the bathroom to check for a crowning head, because prior to that night, the only time I had ever felt pain like that was when a baby was exiting my vagina.

As hard as PMS may be on my body, it's even harder on my poor husband. Often the lone figure in the line of PMS fire, he recently asked me "How come you're so mean to me?" We both doubled over in laughter when we watched "Get Him to The Greek", and Jonah Hill's character sheepishly asked his wife "Are you on your period?" So. True.

PMS aside, I often wonder if my uterus and ovaries are acting in collusion to ensure things never go according plan. If there's something about to happen that would be, like, a million times better if I didn't have my period, you can bet your bottom dollar I will have my period. Case in point: my husband and I are going to Las Vegas together, with no children, in five weeks for our annual pilgrimmage to the ABC Kids juvenile products show. While my husband is quite excited at the prospect of four days (and nights) of wild, unbridled passion, my uterus and ovaries and their new five week cycle have other plans. Although between you and me, that was never going to happen anyway. If I'm going to be away from my beloved children, I'm going to spend my time sleeping and eating. But don't tell him that, I will gladly let my uterus and ovaries take the fall for this one.

As miserable as I may be for the four days prior to Aunt Flo's arrival, I'll admit that I'm a little (OK, a lot) concerned about what it's going to be like when our daughters start their periods, if it's true that women who live together can have cycles that sync up, my husband and our son had better brace themselves for 3-4 days of hell every month. Considering how miserable one PMSing woman can be, I can only imagine what it will be like to have four of us under one roof. I imagine it looks something like this. Have fun with that, dude.


  1. So you've had 4 periods in 10 years, you've never had menstrual cramps, and now you're complaining about a little bit of mood when you're children are years old?

    Try getting your period at 9, having is come every 24!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! days like clockwork. Having a week of PMS, three days of being curled up in the fetal position vomiting, three more days of bleeding and cramping. Having your period return 2 months!!! after every child, and going through the same hellish dysmenorhea while nursing a baby and parenting a toddler.

    I'm sorry, what did you say, I couldn't hear you over the screaming sound in my head. ;)

  2. While my experiences weren't quite as bad as poor Maria -- I started at eleven and got six months period-free after my firstborn and am going on eleven months period-free post-partum this time (lucky me! Yay!) -- it's a little hard to sympathize with you! :P

    Nah, I sympathize with ANY woman going through so much trouble. The terrible PMS-from-Hell was only so bad for me for the first few cycles after my first son was born, so not normal for me. It was AWFUL. I thought I had post-partum depression sometimes, but it came and went. I'm starting to feel that way again, so I'm thinking Mother Nature is telling me that Aunt Flo will be knocking on my door soon, and I actually welcome that so I can get this part with the horrible PMS over and done with! Ugh.

    I hope it gets better for you. :)

  3. Our hubbies should try to get away together for Aunt Flo. My goodness I sympathize for my hubby.

  4. My cycle has been consistent since it started when I was 13. It returned 5 months after Emilia was born, and yes it was a drag, but since I had been used to that for the last 18 years, it wasn't really that bad.
    Not having a period for a decade on the other hand, and then being hit with it the way you're describing doesn't sound pleasant. Just remember that red wine and chocolate are great pals a few days a month! ;D