(There’s a little TMI in here. You’ve been warned.)
It happened. 8 months post-baby, I finally got my period. I’d been feeling crampy and achey for a few days, but I chalked that up to… well, everything. I have a tiny person to take care of, I’m still nursing, maybe I’d eaten a cheesesteak sub that day… Whatever the reason, I brushed it all aside until one morning, I saw IT. The streak of red that I should be used to since I’ve been dealing with it in one way or another since I was 12.
I’ll admit that when I first got my period at 12, I was confused. I will spare you the details, but it wasn’t how I imagined it, certainly not how Judy Blume made it sound. I finally copped on and proceeded to steal pads from my mom for a few months until I womaned up and told my mom I needed my own supply.
Around this time, many of my friends started on theirs. One friend in particular had a party of sorts. Her mother and other motherly friends had a celebration to honor her transition to womanhood. I remember her telling me this and thinking “That’s nuts. There is no way I’m celebrating this.”
For the rest of my adolescent and adult life, I viewed my period as an inconvenience. I have never, not once, thrown myself a party.
So this time around, all I can say was that it was weird.
Oh, the period itself was fine. If anything a little lighter than I was used to in days of yore, but mostly it was fine.
But I was weird. How I felt about it was weird.
For YEARS (yes, multiple and in all caps) I’ve been vaguely terrified of blood coming out of my nether regions. There were the 2 years of TTC, where my period marked another failure and another loss. Then while pregnant, I was worried in the back of my head that *something* would go wrong, so I went to the bathroom each time with a tiny sense of dread until that day in June when I did see some spotting, and was on bed rest for two weeks.
Now I have absolutely no reason to feel conflicted about my period. But I do. Kinda. Maybe.
It’s hard to shake years (YEARS) of conditioned response to something, to anything. We are creatures of habit. My habit has been to get my period and feel a profound sadness and fear. In a way, I realize this is positive because it means my body is returning to its old self (whatever the hell that means post-pregnancy.) But in my head, it also signifies the end of something. The end of what, is what I’m struggling to articulate. As much as I didn’t love pregnancy, I have loved being Chick’s mama. Once he made his way out and safely home, I’ve enjoyed taking care of him. And my body has played a role in that. My period seems to be signaling that my days as the physical sustainer of life are numbered.
Perhaps more than anything, it is that this CD1 marks the beginning of the end of Chick’s first year. He will be 9 months in a few short weeks. It all seems to have gone so fast.
(Note: Mr. O’s response was “That’s great. It means your body is getting back to normal.” Le sigh… sometimes dudes just don’t get it.)