After last month’s HELL that was my first post-partum period, I have come to the conclusion that I need to NOT deal with it anymore. Seriously.
It would appear that all my comparisons to labor were not exaggeration and that I actually DO have an excellent memory of what they were like, even though I hadn’t had one for 33 months. It wasn’t like being in labor; it was WORSE.
See, when I was in labor I could block the pain by moving around, breathing through it, and focusing on relaxing and bringing my son into the world. But this? This was BRUTAL!
Day one was like being in active labor, with a break every four hours at which point it was like being in early labor. FOUR HOURS, people! That’s just not fair!
Day two brought full on transition, all day, with no reprieve. I tried heating pads. I tried drugging myself up to the point that I’m pretty sure would border on overdose of Advil/Tylenol (with codeine). Those pills, even though I took 2 of EACH, did NOTHING! Oh, but ONE thing did help distract from the pain; I had to dig my nails into my skin on my arms, right to the point that they were bruising and my fingertips were numb. That turned the debilitating cramping to just a dull ache, because my brain was on pain overload and couldn’t figure out where to focus. But the second I lessened my grip or let go entirely, the pain came BACK! Needless to say, Day 2 was the worst, as it has always been. Except I think it was even more so, but then again Day 2 of the past usually had me drugged up on codeine and passed out in my bed to try to sleep the pain away. So there’s the whole fact that I was awake to consider. And without going into too much detail, there was THIS exchange:
(Notice that tampon is leaking after only 2 hours, get up to quickly take care of the mess; thankful that black loose flowing dress hides blood well. Clean up bathroom floor to hide evidence. Return to couch to play video game)
Husband: Uh oh.
Me: What happened?
Husband: I think one of the cats hurt themselves. There’s blood spots on the kitchen floor.
(starts looking for the ‘injured’ cat)
Me: No…it’s not the cats.
Husband: Then why is there blood–
Me (getting up to clean it): Just…you don’t want to know, okay? I’ll clean it up; I must have missed some spots.
(backs away as if he was just about to touch some toxic biohazard)
Day 3 was a combination of Day 1 and Day 2; which is unfair because Day 3 used to be just an easier Day 1. Advil and Tylenol and the heating pad STILL did NOTHING.
Day 4 I was STILL dealing with Day 3 bleeding and Day 1 cramping, which pissed me off because Days 4-6 used to be super easy. Like, I was DONE! I could deal with Days 4-6 because there wasn’t anymore cramping. It was just a bit of blood and not even that much of it. I used to feel NORMAL by Day 4. And now Day 4 is the kind of hell I imagine Day 2 is for those with “easy” periods.
Day 5 and Day 6 still had a bit of cramping, but not much. Oh, and I was super exhausted. So overall I had the week from hell.
So in dealing with all of that, I’ve come to a decision regarding my reproductive cycle that I’m sure a lot of people might have an opinion on. I’m going to increase the effort I put into trying to get pregnant again, now that I know I’m fertile and have this axe looming over my head each month. I never thought I’d be one of those women who had to schedule sex or track her ovulation cycle, but given the option between that or getting my period, I’ll happily take Option 1. Upon getting pregnant (which will hopefully be in the next few months) I will enjoy 10 months of blissfully NOT getting my period and having my hormones oddly more balanced than when I’m NOT pregnant. Then I’m going to breastfeed on-demand, for as long as my second born wants me to, at least until their second birthday, same as their big brother. At this point my period is likely to come back AND I will have achieved my goal of breastfeeding up to two years, so it won’t be a big deal when I commence with Step 2: get back on birth control.
Yep, even though my husband is getting snipped after our second baby is born (just in case of miscarriage), I’m totally going to keep taking artificial hormones. And I’m NOT going to take the sugar pills; I’m just going to keep taking the regular pills and skip the withdrawal bleed altogether. Maybe I’ll allow for one a year, like pregnancy, but that’s it. There’s a pill brand that lets you do that now.
Some people are going to think I’m overreacting; that being on the hormones indefinitely could be bad for my health. I’ll tell you what’s bad for my health: being on my period every month!
I just…I can’t do it, people.
And if you need more convincing after I just told you what this last one was like, well, here’s more reasons why:
The pain. I just can’t deal with that level of debilitating pain every month. Not when I have actual responsibilities now. Not when I have kids to raise. Not when the house needs cleaning and dinner needs to be made. This level of pain is SO bad that all I want to do is sleep and have it “go away”; you know, because I’m passed out and can’t feel things when I’m unconscious. But I can’t do that now, so the pain is just not tolerable anymore.
Drugs don’t help. I’ve said this before and I will say it as many times as I need to, until it sinks in. Advil, Midol, Naproxen, Tylenol and even CODEINE; they do NOTHING to ease the pain.
I am not in any condition to go ANYWHERE. We’re talking 3-5 days out of each month when I can’t do anything or go anywhere. I can’t go to the store, I can’t even sit in the car. I am MISERABLE and unlike before I had a family, when I could just hole up in my bedroom and my dad and brother could go out for a fun father-son day (or you know, HIDE from me), I’m apparently NOT exempt from going out NOW. I tried to tell my husband to leave me at home on Day 2, when he wanted to go out to Bed, Bath, and Beyond (WHY?????), but he just didn’t want to listen. Which led to me walking around the store, miserable, and digging my nails into my arms. It also leads to my next point…
I am PSYCHOTIC. This isn’t just simple PMS moodiness. I was PSYCHO on Day 2. I was screaming at EVERYONE around me. I wanted everyone to just leave me (the fuck) alone and let me play my video games in peace. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I didn’t want to DO anything. I didn’t want to play with my son. I wanted my husband and child to just GO AWAY, because I was SO murderous that I was afraid I might snap and hurt one or both of them. It’s precisely this reason WHY I choose isolation in the first place; even *I* don’t want to be in the same room as me. Really, it’s for everyone’s protection to just leave me alone for 3 days or so.
The exhaustion. I’m not anemic, so just get that thought out of your head right now (looking at YOU, Nana), but the fact is that with my particular cycle patterns I hit a wall one week before my period, then the week of, and only just start to come out of it a few days after it’s over. This exhaustion is a combination of bleeding and hormones, and it SUCKS. When I was single, I could deal with this aspect easily enough; I simply wouldn’t DO anything besides go to work/school and then I’d take plenty of naps. Well, I can’t do that anymore. I can’t even go to bed when I want, because my husband kind of wants to spend time with me after he gets home from work and I’ve put our son to bed. If I pass out at 7:30 then that’s not happening, which then makes me feel guilty. And also, being that tired means I’m less fun for my little boy, and he can’t just stay home watching Disney movies all the time while Mommy naps on the couch.
Diet and Exercise don’t help. I know what all the books/articles say; I’m telling you those things do very little to help ME. How do I know? Because I am getting far more exercise these days chasing after my toddler and we walk EVERYWHERE. I’m probably in the best shape of my life right now, and I’ve been eating better too. No, I still don’t eat a lot of vegetables, but I do eat more fruit and we’re shopping the perimeter of the store and not eating a lot of processed stuff anymore. So my diet AND exercise has improved significantly from when I was single, and it’s done very little to help improve my periods, so I’m calling bullshit.
I have people counting on me to be sane, happy, and able to actually DO things for them. When I was single and my period was kicking my ass, I could always call in sick or miss a day of school or two. But NOW I don’t get a day off; I’m a wife and mother. My son counts on me to play with him and pick him up and hold him when he’s sad. I can’t DO that when I’m on my period; instead of happy Mommy, he gets screaming, ANGRY Mommy. I HATE that I can’t be the mom he needs, but my overly hormonal, psychotic brain makes it impossible. If he smacks me or throws something on the floor or does ANYTHING go make life harder in that moment for me, I get ridiculously pissed off. I yell. I throw the offending toy he hit me with across the room. I tell him to go away and leave me alone. I’m SO MEAN and I can’t control it. Same with my husband; I often want to punch him. I just hate EVERYONE around me at that time; even the CATS aren’t safe. It’s horrible.
I have NO ability to relax or think positively. You know how they say that when you’re in labor it’s impossible to think? Yeah, well that’s me every month I have my period. I can’t relax. I can’t take a deep breath and count to ten, because in the time that I try to take that deep breath my insides are conspiring to kill me with the pain. So when I’m getting frustrated or angry and about to say or do something that I wouldn’t otherwise, it is extremely difficult for me to come down from that.
If drugs actually worked for me, maybe I could think clearer than I do, and I wouldn’t be such a raging psychotic bitch. But drugs DON’T work, and I can’t sleep through my period anymore. Honestly, in dealing with this ONE period I just don’t have any desire to do it again. I hated how I felt both physically and emotionally. I hated that I yelled at my little boy and that I truly wanted him and my husband to just go away and leave me alone. I didn’t want to be hugged or climbed on or even talked to. I had NO interest in being a wife OR a mom, and while my husband can sort of deal with me enough to know that I’m only acting this way because of my period, my son doesn’t understand. My son doesn’t deserve to have a psychotic mom every month. So that’s why I can’t have my period anymore.
Sorry, Mother Nature, but I just can’t deal with your monthly gifts anymore; I have a family to take care of.