Monday, January 19, 2009
To Be Brutally Honest
If reading about a woman's menstruation makes you uncomfortable, please stop reading now. Seriously. Last warning. There may be some cussing in this post and I apologize for it ahead of time. I've got my fucking period. I really hate this monthly beast. If I could jump start menopause, I would. If having my reproductive organs removed weren't major surgery, I'd go for it. If I weren't totally eeked out at the idea of a permanent artificially made object being made to be part of my body, I'd go for that permanent sterilization thingee that can be done in your OB's office (that part eeks me out, too). Way back in high school, I'd bleed like a stuck pig for 7 solid days. Super heavy flow for 6 out of 7 days. Cramps and diarrhea and fever and achiness and mood swings like nobody's business. Ended up on the pill before ever having sex in order to control that flow. I was borderline anemic and the pill helped. Things looked up. The pill was magic. No cramps. No mood swings. None of the unpleasantness... well, except for dealing with the whole pad and tampon routine still. But in comparison to what it had been, life was easy! And then I discovered that I could safely SKIP a period if I wanted to! Just keep taking the pretty orange pills and skip the silly green pills and lalalalalalala! I started having a period every 3 months instead of every month. And it was still a breeze! Heaven! Menstruation Heaven! Then I got married and we decided that we wanted to have a baby. OK by me- that meant no period for 9 months! And then, silver lining, breastfeeding meant even LONGER with no period! Heaven! Menstruation Heaven! But now my baby days are done. I've birthed 2 children and my insides have changed. My cycles are very regular. And the symptoms are starting to creep back in... the cramping, the moodiness, the achiness. Last month, in order to get through the holidays, I even broke down and took... Midol. And now we are at today. And my period started last night. And I don't feel good. Lack of energy, major case of the blah's. And that whole bleeding thing. It just sucks. I wanna go home. I wanna take a nap. I wanna be whiney. Well, I got that one down! And one more thing. When I first got my period... oh, I remember being sooooo excited. I was a "woman" now! Whoopee. I was out to dinner with a friend and her family, went to the bathroom and- tada!! My friend was with me and she ran and got her mom. Her mom gave me a pad to put in my undies. I ran and called my mom. I was EXCITED. It was my own developmental milestone. Something all my friends had already done before me (I was a late bloomer). And now I was one of them. I was leaving my velveteen behind and becoming real. But you know what? When you get the big sit down to talk about your period thing... well, there was a lot no one told me. I got the big talk about how my cycle works and how it's this miraculous part of the amazing thing that my womanly body can do and blah blah blah. And that every 28 days, etc, etc, etc. The blood part? Glossed over. The clots? Skipped over. The symptoms? Minimized. So hopefully when the time comes for me to talk to Teagan about getting her period, I'll be able to be straight up and honest with her. And let her know that a lot of months, she might feel really crappy and sore and achey. And that she might be ridiculously moody and that she will hate feeling that way just as much as the people around her hate it. And that not only will there be blood coming out of her body, but also those dark blood clots that can make you want to pass out just from seeing them. And that it sucks. And I'll hand her a bottle of Midol and a heating pad and an eye mask and tell her to go take a nap. And I'll teach her about tampons early on and not make her learn about them from a druggie roommate from down the hall in her college dorm bathroom. And I'll let her know that I fully understand that during this week each month, she may feel like she isn't right in her own skin, she may feel deflated and defeated and irritable and tight and saggy and bitchy and moany and crampy and all that at once. And that there isn't a good way to let your loved ones understand what this thing called a period actually does to your body, to your emotions, to your mental well being. That you can absolutely feel out of control and unable to snap out of it, unable to feel better. And that if you can just be patient and get through the first 48 hours... it really does get better. And I will still teach her all of the miraculous mumbo jumbo stuff, too. And the cool medical stuff. Just like you can know a lot about your body by paying attention to your poop and pee, you can learn a lot about your body by paying attention to your monthly cycles. Yeah. That's the kind of cool mom I'm going to be. But only if she gets her period when I'm not bleeding and cramping and clotting and whining and... even better if she can wait until I'm well done with having one myself. I'm certain I can be a way hip, totally cool, open and honest mom if I'm not bleeding like a stuck pig.