My body cringes. I feel that pang.
It’s right on time. I’ve seen the calendar.
Every month like clockwork. No surprises.
3 months ago I went off birth control for the first time since giving birth to Babe E (who is almost 3-years-old now). I have a natural cycle for the first time without trying to get pregnant. While I was on birth control I had no monthly cycle and my husband and I decided to remove it due to some hormonal issues.
I was not prepared for what was going to happen when I resumed menstruation.
We are not trying to get pregnant, but actually avoiding pregnancy using natural family planning methods (I will write more about this later) using BBT and charting. I had anticipated no issues because I charted religiously while trying to get pregnant so I know the ins and outs of the method and my body’s rhythm.
What I was not prepared for was the rush of emotions when my cycle began. I have never been emotional; thankfully never had to deal with any PMS symptoms nor did I have any hormonal/mood issues so many struggle with while on birth control. I thought finally I was going to feel better having that plastic removed from my uterus.
I was wrong. I began having what I describe as panic attacks every time my cycle began. You see — with my history of loss — my mind and body always responded to this as a bad thing. Something to panic about. The blood, the small (& normal) clots brings on a great sense of fear. I can rationalize that what is happening is “normal” but my “normal” for so long has alerted me to being in trouble — danger of losing my child.
It begins with the cramping I feel for the first day or two before my cycle starts again. Then it hits very hard the first 2-3 days of my cycle because that is when the flow is heaviest. It is hard to work through it. I have spoken to my doctor about this, my husband and I talk about this a lot and thankfully I have the Unspoken Grief community who helps me feel less alone with this trigger.