Tuesday, 8 October 2013

My Menstrual Cycle

 Had a bit of an emotional panic attack today about my blog. Just felt a bit overwhelmed by what I am doing. ie) exposing myself and my innermost feelings to anyone and everyone who wants to listen! What if people don't understand? what if even my fellow infertile sufferers are not able to fully relate to what I have gone through and what I continue to go through? Then, I'd feel even more alone and ashamed of myself than ever. I had a bit of a cry when my husband got home from work. And I think that's all I needed really. Since then, I feel reassured that I am doing the right thing. It's that whole learned behaviour of hiding away that I am fighting against. Bugger the what ifs! It's true, there may be folk who just don't 'get it'. But it doesn't matter. It's about me being in control at last and not being afraid to tell it as it is.
Since becoming infertile, I have gradually over time become so familiar with the ups and downs of my menstrual cycle. In fact, I am acutely aware of it. I know that 2 or 3 days before my period I will feel quite bad-tempered...sometimes psychotic! (which is where I am now, hence the emotional attack earlier). I then calm down just before it starts. Day 1 of my period, I normally feel extremely relaxed, loved-up and quite horny. My sex drive increases at this point, but I often feel rather anxious on and off during the week after my period tails off. Then as ovulation gets closer and closer, my mood improves and my sex drive escalates. I feel really good mentally, confident in myself and very amorous with my husband. But immediately after ovulation, I slump! I feel moody and my sex drive plummets to minus figures and I often feel quite depressed. That's definitely my least favourite time of the month. Then as we get closer to my period arriving, my mood perks up a bit, as do my feelings of amorousness (not sure if that's a word...but you know what I mean). And so we're back to the beginning.
Isn't it ironic that a woman who is completely incapable of naturally conceiving actually knows her menstrual cycle better than the back of her hand?! Really it shouldn't matter. It should be irrelevant. But you see, everything is ticking along as normal. Each month my body continues to go through the process of preparing itself for a baby. The womb lining thickens and an egg is released. But of course, each month the egg dematerialises into nothing because it is unable to get through to my womb where there are millions of little sperm swimming ready and waiting in vain. The doors are closed. And so, approximately two weeks later, my uterus sheds its lining and makes preparation for another month of potential reproduction, little knowing that its efforts are futile.
My body goes through the motions every month. And despite everything, I too go through the motions. I don't mourn the loss of a baby when my period arrives - I'm not quite that insane. (Although I have been known to google the words 'pregnant no fallopian tubes'. It's amazing what you can find on the internet!) But I do feel very energised as ovulation approaches. I know all the tell-tale signs that I am ovulating. And even now, regardless of everything that has happened to me, I still feel excited, knowing that I'm ripe and ready, good to go for a bit of rampant baby-making. I know that it's hopeless, that I am psyching myself up for yet another explosion of heartbreak. But I can't help it. My body is dictating and I'm going with the flow.
How heart-wrenching it is every time to have the magic of procreation snatched away from us! Sex is a HUGE topic which I won't get into right now. Let's just say that living with infertility does create all sorts of complicated emotions that can have enormous repercussions on one's ability to fully enjoy physical intimacy. It's about feeling broken, damaged as a woman, lacking in femininity because you can't do that most basic and natural thing - make a baby. It's about feeling angry towards yourself (and others) and guilty that, as a wife, you shouldn't be so obsessively hung up on procreation.

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