True confession: I miss my period. I’m pregnant so, yes, I’ve missed my period. But what I’m saying is I really miss getting my period. Let me explain.
Being pregnant (FTM here = mommy message board language for first time mom), has been an amazing journey so far. I’ve just crossed over the halfway mark at 20 weeks and am so happy to be riding the energy wave of the 2nd trimester having drifted past the nauseating doldrums of 1st trimester slumpsville.
The be brief, the journey has been…interesting. There are ups and downs and hormones flaring and odd, unpredictable things happening in my belly and nether regions — not so unlike how one might describe a menstrual cycle. But, for me, my menstrual cycle had become a reliable friend. A pal I could depend on. It took years of tracking and journaling and staying present to patterns of the physical and emotional ilk (this was all before the period app boom) to get to a point where I could work with my cycle, or have it work with me. While not always perfect, finding the rhythm was like solving a hormonal Rubik’s Cube, finding THE perfect-sized piece to blast a power block in Tetris.
Over time, the 4-week menstrual cycle started to make so much sense to me once I saw it all as a cycle not just in two parts: having my period and not having my period, focusing mainly on that period part.
In one word, my week 1 is contemplative, if not a little melancholy (oy, ok already more than one word), week 2 is happy-go-lucky (three words making one-ish word, right?), week 3 is feisty, week 4 is roosting (as in, coming home to roost). There’s much more to it, and more stuff going on in the body during those times, but the bottom line is that I learned that I could use this information to my advantage. Having better awareness of my cycle allowed me to be more in control of my body, my choices, my relationships and my life. Most importantly, it meant freedom! Knowledge is power, my friends. (If you’ve read any of my Cycledork Chronicles you get my gist.)
Anyway, I doubt I need to remind you that being pregnant means no period. But so far, it’s also meant that all that predictability has been tossed out the window, flushed down the loo like last month’s uterine lining, if you will, and replaced with new experiences, guessing games, and lots of unreliable mommy message boards (I’ve been warned not to read them, but who wouldn’t want to get completely unscientific advice about how many kicks means it’s a boy or girl?).
The good news is it’s because of all my period predictability and tracking that I was able to get pregnant right away in the first place. I knew when I was ovulating and I could tell fairly quickly that I was pregnant (a test on the first day of what would have been my next period confirmed my presumptions). The other good news is, of course, that a little life is being created right in my uterus, the same organ that has inspired so much discomfort and frustration over the years, followed by curiosity and eventually, respect and appreciation.
So, it wouldn’t be fair to complain about not getting my period. In fact, some of you might be reading this and thinking I’ve gone completely bonkers. No cramps or bleeding for nine-plus months? What’s not to like? (Not going to lie, it’s not the cramps and bloaty pants I miss.) But I will tell you that as amazing and beautiful as this experience has been, and hope it will continue to be, I can’t wait to return to my regularly scheduled period!
By the way, as I’m new to this whole pregnancy thing, I recently learned that I probably won’t get my period until 6 months after giving birth. The bright side during all this is that contraception methods have gotten a whole lot easier (read: nonexistent), but a word to the wise — even though you might not see your period after giving birth you might actually be ovulating. So unless you want to get pregnant again right away, it’s recommended you start using the birth control method of your choice once baby arrives and you’re ready to get frisky again. I’ll keep you posted on postpartum periods, of course.