Well here she is again. The unwelcome guest, the visitor who outstays her welcome, the oh so ugly notification that, yet again, I am not pregnant. Another month goes by wasted. Or so I think, I am currently in the transition day that has become a fixture in my menstrual cycle that plays games with my head. One day there is bleeding, the next there isn't and then just when I start to think it may be good news, bam there she is to shatter my illusions. I have that joy to look forward to tomorrow.
I have been taking contraception for as long as I can remember, a side effect of a mis-spent youth and meeting my husband at the tender age of 16. First it was the pill, various different types until I found one that agreed with me. Then the move onto the injection until an ill-informed, hostile University Nurse bullied me into an implant. 2 years and a bucket load of evening primrose oil to combat breast pain later and I was back to the pill until our trying to conceive journey began. During this time I was fortunate enough not to have periods and despite a few pregnancy scares (oh the irony) it suited me well.
Obviously anyone trying for a baby doesn't want to see those telltale signs of spotting but after being bleed free for almost 8 years it is a real shock to the system to have them return. Along with it some subtle changes from the periods of old.
You see I was the text book, our biology teacher could have been describing me during lessons on the reproductive system and menstruation. Perfect 28 day cycles with a predictibility down to knowing what time of day she would appear. I was regular down to the point where my swimming teacher didn't even ask for a note any more, her register looked like this... 1st-tick, 8th-tick, 15th-tick, 22nd-red cross, 29th-tick etc.
8 years of (apparently unneccessary) hormones and a miscarriage later and my periods are a different kettle of fish. They start with a day of spotting, then a day of nothing and wondering if it was a sign of pregnancy. Quickly followed by a gush of bright red blood and the inevitable upset that ensues. 5 of the most painful, horrendous, disgusting, messy days known to man come next. Then after a few days of trying to pursuade my husband I am no longer a freak of nature that can bleed for days on end and not die, ovulation occurs a whole 4 days earlier than the text books tells me it should. Then comes a fairly normal 14 day luteal phase before the whole thing starts again. Throw into this some delightfully named 'extra wet cervial mucus', hot flushes, headaches and periods of unexplained clumsiness and you have my month in a nutshell.
Herein lies the problem. When did I stop being me? When did I turn into this neurotic mess who won't drink a glass of wine for 2 weeks every month 'just in case'? When did I become unable to start a sentence without the words, "I read something on babyexpert today..."? When did I change from wife, friend and colleague to the crazy baby lady? When, and possibly the biggest when, did I start looking at prices and offers on the Mothercare website when I am not even pregnant???
I ZB do solemnly declare that I am not longer going to be crazy baby lady, I will not obsess over Baby Expert, Mothercare or Mama's and Papa's websites. I will not look sadly into the bathroom cupboard at the pregnancy tests. I will not swear at the television when an advert for pregnancy tests comes on. I will not huff and scowl at pregnant women in public and I will try to hold a conversation that does not contain the words 'baby, pregnant, pushchair, extra wet cervical mucus, ovulation or 2 week wait'!!!
Until next month....