My period arrived like crazy this week. First-trimester exhaustion coupled with the kind of back pain I haven't experienced since I was in labor. I had trouble sitting, standing, and bending for several days.
After Westley was born, I got exactly five months off before my period came back. It was regular--every 29 days--immediately. I had expected more of a break, or at least more of an "adjustment period" (heh) because I was nursing Westley constantly: nursing for nourishment, nursing for comfort, nursing to sleep, nursing back to sleep, nursing for nursing's sake. In the end, it didn't make much difference. My period couldn't stay away, and it was Jacked. Up.
Based on information from various public school health classes and assorted anecdotes from female friends, I gather that typical periods start strong and taper off. Sometimes there's a bit of spotting to begin with, but the first few days are usually the worst. At least, it was always that way for me. Not so under the new, post-baby regime. Things start off light, and get heavier and heavier until about day four, when I start getting increasingly back-achey and miserable. Just when I think the bleeding and the cramping can't get any worse, everything stops. Completely. From torrential downpour to 85-and-sunny in the space of about 12 hours. Jacked. Up.
I thought things would get better on their own as my hormones chilled out and righted themselves and I nursed less often. Instead, each month was worse than the month before. "That really concerns me," Rob said in his slow, serious way. Behind his eyes I could see the flicker of Worst Case Scenario Mode booting up.
Last month, I finally went to the doctor. According to the doc, there's nothing wrong with me. Everything is fine, just...different. My uterus is tipped waaaay over to the right side, and my bladder is waaaay over to the left. The bleeding pattern is unusual, sure, but not unhealthy. And the excruciating backache is my body's "pain memory" from having back labor with Westley. In other words, my abnormal periods are just the new normal. I'm supposed to accept and "live with" this effect of labor on my body. As with the snail-trail of scar tissue that complains every time I have sex or use a tampon, the only solution here is to suck it up and deal.
Um, no. No, and no. Being told that Advil is the answer to my debilitating nine-day periods sets off my Bullshit Detector in a big way. We can transplant an organ and heal a broken limb, but my cockeyed, folded-over uterus just has to hang out, torturing me with its "pain memory" every month? I've consulted Dr. Google, but I think an actual human second opinion is in order. There has to be a real solution to this problem: one that doesn't involve a steady stream of pills for the rest of my menstruating life.
I mean, all I did was have a baby.