Thursday, October 25, 2007

TMI re My Relationship with My Aunt Flo

I got my first period when I was very young. I was only ten, and while my fifth grade class had had a brief intro to sex ed in which the concept of menstruation was explained, we were told that girls experienced menarche when they were 12 or 13 or 14, not 10. So when I started bleeding, I knew what it was, but I was terribly ashamed -- I was sure I had done something wrong. So I didn't tell anyone. It's amazing what you can do with enough toilet paper. My mom didn't find out for a month or two -- not until I clogged up the toilet with all that toilet paper. (She told me she too had gotten first received mother nature's gift at ten -- why she didn't think to tell me this before then mystifies me to this day.)

I have had a love-hate hate-hate relationship with my monthly visitor ever since. Pre-BCP, I would bleed heavily and for what seemed like forever each month. I was the girl who perpetually bled through my clothes, no matter what precautions I took. (In the sixth grade, I wore red pants for days each month -- and I distinctly recall bleeding all over the chair I was sitting on in library class, which was very much not red.) And my cramps were excruciating. I still remember going for a walk once and finding myself doubled over on the side of the road in pain -- I had to hail a cab to get home. On BCP, the flow seemed to get heavier, but no longer lasted quite so long, and the cramps were much less awful. Post-BCP, it mainly stayed how it had been while on, but with the occasionally awful cramps again. Secretly, one of the things I most looked forward to about being pregnant was the joy of not bleeding from my hoo-haa for 9 months.

The one great thing about my cycle has always been its regularity. Always 29-30 days. And I always know it's coming because 2-3 days beforehand, I get overwhelmed with a weird anxious paranoia -- that one day each month, I am sure that the quality of my work is poor, my friendships inadequate, my marriage a sham, all due to failings on my part. This would probably be a serious problem in my life with hard core repercussions for my sanity if I wasn't aware of the correlation and the cyclical nature of my self-loathing. I have come to think of it as a part of my womanhood.

After the D&E, the doctor said it could be anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks before the return of my monthly bill. I wasn't really worried. And, shock of shocks, thirty days later the crimson tide rolled back into town. I am on CD12 right now. I started charting my BBT just to keep myself occupied while in this holding pattern and have been holding steady in the 97.1-97.4 range, so I haven't ovulated yet, but I know my body pretty well, and I'm pretty sure I'm getting ready to ovulate right now. And it kills me to feel like we're wasting an opportunity. I am really tempted to ignore the doctor and just go for it. But I know I'm supposed to be letting my ute build its lining back up. And I know I'm supposed to be letting myself heal emotionally (and I know I'm doing much better but am still a bit of quite a mess). Nevertheless, I'm kinda glad P is on a business trip might now, since it'll keep me from doing anything impulsive. When he gets home, I'm just going to have to keep reminding myself that we have quite a number of condoms due to expire in early 2008 that we need to get rid of. And, for now, I'll try to enjoy the purely recreational (rather than procreational) sex.

(Who's impressed with my mastery of catamenial euphemisms?)


Katie said...

Your periods sound awful, and my heart aches for the ten year old you, feeling ashamed. I am sorry that you had to go through that.

Enjoy that recreational sex!

Manda said...

Oh me! I'm impressed!
And I'm with you...about once a month my husband give me the old eyebrow raise because I'm fanatically cleaning and crying because he left his socks out ... again. Nothing a little dark chocolate and Alias reruns can't fix!! :)
Ah, recreational sex. Have fun!!