Last year when my period returned just about 7 weeks after Natan died, I cried (and drank), wondering if it was my body’s way of denying the pregnancy, of behaving like some of the people around me – affirming that because the pregnancy was too short, it didn’t happen. I thought about how I should have still been pregnant, or at the very least breastfeeding. Now I know for sure that’s not true, because here I sit with my 7-week old healthy full-term baby swinging away in front of me and I HAVE MY PERIOD. I’m breastfeeding, people. Every 2-4 hours. Damn it. I hate that I can now possibly attribute the weepy days last week to PMS. As well as the crampy weirdness in my pelvic area that was exacerbated by nursing. That’s not true – I don’t hate it. I’m just flabbergasted. I thought I’d get more of a reprieve. My body, is in this respect alone, exceptionally regular. I’m exaggerating my distress of course, and lucky I suppose.
I had my 6-week follow up on Wednesday. I took Samuel and everyone oohed. I was nervous taking a baby to an ob’s office, lest I hurt grieving parents. But I knew that Dr. K and the office staff wanted to see him, and since they all contributed so much to his safe arrival, I brought him. A new receptionist sat at the entrance, and she asked if he was our first. The nurse behind her looked somewhat stricken. I answered honestly and she sputtered a bit.
Dr. K cleared me for all normal activities. She emphasized that “fertility is not my problem,” so we need to be careful. But you see in my mind fertility is my problem. We meant the same thing, though, ultimately. If I were an idiot, I could probably get pregnant again in two weeks. I know of so many women who would like this problem. For me though the return of my cycles reminds me of just how loaded it all is for me now. Going on the pill, of course, is easy enough. So I’m not sure what I’m whining about, really.
A few weeks ago, my mom told me that an old friend of mine from high school was pregnant with her second child. An “oops” pregnancy. She’s due in July, which will make her two children only 20 months apart. She told my mom she thought she was “one and done,” but now she guess she’s “two and through.” I can’t participate in that silliness. The stupid phrases sting, and an “oops” pregnancy would be so irresponsible it takes my breath away. I was so happy to go off birth control a bit over two years ago. So liberating and exciting to want to get pregnant.
I’m going on a progesterone-only pill that has a 1 in 200 chance of failure if taken perfectly (1 in 20 given normal human error). Normal enough and I’ll be especially careful on my especially fertile days but it won’t make me feel secure enough to mean I won’t be just a little bit nervous. And maybe even a little sad every month.