Firstly. PERIOD. Let’s all say it shall we? Out loud please. Men too. Especially men.
Let’s try TAMPON.
You’re doing great.
I’m really not trying to be condescending. But why do we still have a problem with all this? Why can’t we ask men…our husbands, boyfriends, dads and brothers to pick us up
some tampons from Tesco without feeling embarrassed or altogether gross?
It’s because our mothers had periods that we are on this earth. That perhaps your darling babies, teens, grown children are here with you.
Because a woman’s body operates in such a miraculous way each month, new life is created.
The shedding of the lining of her womb (her PERIOD) signals day one of a brand new cycle. A new opportunity to conceive. Her ovaries and their follicles are prepping once again to release a precious egg. An egg she was born with. How mad is that? An egg that was present in her body when she was still in her mothers body, curled up tight, feeding from her mother via an umbilical cord.
Woman’s bodies are unbelievable.
But believe them. Be grateful for them.
Believe that they have their own rhythms. Their own inbuilt cycles that release and refresh each month. A range of spiking and dipping hormones, so complex in their measures and timings that make the system work correctly. Too much of one or the other at any one time could prevent new life from forming. A fault in hormonal signals from the brain to the reproductive system could hinder the correct response ‘down below’.
And for years women have hidden their periods. We whisper the word. We stomach the pain. We plug the blood. We freshen up, hiding the blotted knickers from sight. Some of us buy tampons and still feel a rush of relief when they’re often hastily plopped into the shopping bag. Hidden. Nothing to see here.
I had my last period in March, given the pregnancy. It was an exciting day (although bittersweet as it meant I wasn’t pregnant…again) as it was the day I got to call the IVF Clinic and say ‘we’re on!’ It was the start of another round of IVF, another chance. Because I had a period, I was able to book in a day 8 scan for them to check the lining of my womb. To see if it was lush enough to accept an embryo, to envelope it and keep it safe and warm. To see if it was good enough to book in our embryo transfer date. And it was. By day 8 (period over with, body now prepping for ovulation) my lining was already at 8.61mm! To have a better chance of embryo implantation, they’re looking for (at time of transfer) a thickness of over 7mm. And here I was some 10 days away from transfer, at 8.61!
You rockstar womb!!
Was it the walnuts I’d been eating? The acupuncture? Who knows but my body was ripe and ready. Doing its thing like a boss.
That deep and velvety lining that develops and thickens? Because of that some of you are parents. Not just because of that, but without it you’d possibly be in a very different situation just now. If a healthy embryo can’t cling to that surface and be held and retained…no baby. And it’s that surface that if you aren’t trying to conceive or are unfortunately unsuccessful that month, gets released as what we call a PERIOD.
So I’m here in bed at 7.17am having woken up half hour ago feeling soooo hot and bothered and uncomfortable in my pelvic area.
Ahhh hello whirring, stirring endometriosis pain. It’s been a while. I know you’re going to dial up. That this is just the first course. That the main pain is on it’s way. My mind flicks through today’s plans to make sure I’ve not got too much on. Two house viewings at lunch, then back home. To rest and get through this often crippling first day of my cycle.
A trip to the loo confirms that my body has started regulating and performing its act again, as only a woman’s can.
Hello blood. Fresh, bright blood.
Thank you body. Thank you for withstanding what happened last month and still showing up with the goods. If I were you I might’ve gone on holiday for a bit. Taken a break. But no. You’re so in tune that here you are, showing me you’re capable and still up for it. Up for this baby making thing.
I fucking love you.
Actually I’m gonna repeat that like we did the awkward words above.
I LOVE MY BODY.
I LOVE MY BODY.
I LOVE MY BODY.
Yes the endometriosis thing is unbearable. Inside my body as the lining of my womb bleeds, so to do the little escapee patches of cells similar to my endometrial lining but they have no exit route. They are trapped inside my body. The body I love. They could be attached anywhere in there. To my ovaries, bowel. Bleeding and hot. Resulting in twisting and spiking pains that very little can relieve.
But whatever. I have endo. It can’t currently be cured. So what am I gonna do? Well, what any apparently strong and brave woman does of course. Get through it. Take it. Accept it. Move through it. Talk about it. Assured that somewhere some scientist doctor person is working on ways to detect endo without surgery and cure it without horrific drugs that could cause a zillion other conditions. Trust.
So now, because of this period, I can input my dates into my fertility app as a way of being a bit more in the know, well informed for the IVF Clinic. Because of today we’ll have a more accurate idea of when we will be able to commence with another round of IVF.
And now I’m looking back on yesterday in a more knowing way too. I cried over news reports. I wasn’t hugely hungry. I shoved chocolate in my face post fitness class. A possible periody cliche? Perhaps.
Anyway the pain is developing expertly now. It’s 7.51am. Time to get up, put some goodness in my busy body and show some compassion and love to myself.