As a teenager, menstrual cycles were annoying, gross, and pointless. I had no intention of having kids and just wanted to rip my uterus out. After I met The Husband, they were a cause to celebrate because it meant I was not going to be a mom yet. After having an early miscarriage and subsequent successful pregnancies, I am now conflicted about them.
Over the past 5 years, I’ve had only about a handful of periods thanks to pregnancy and enthusiastic breastfeeding on my children’s parts. Having one after so long was kind of surprising and I couldn’t quite remember what to do. But the most surprising part was how I felt.
On one hand, it was a relief. Not only was my body still functioning in this annoying way, but it meant I was not having a third baby. We’re very happy with two, so every period will be a celebration of not having a third child.
On the other hand, it means the potential of a child is lost. I really don’t want another, but, after a miscarriage, I think of this bleeding in a different way, at least for now. It’s the loss of a child that could have been. It’s not like the miscarriage since I know my body had recognized a pregnancy that time. But it is still a loss. The egg is gone and so is the possibility of whoever could have come from that egg.
As my daughter and I work on weaning, I know these cycles will be back with a vengeance. I wonder what they’ll be like this time. After my first baby, it was definitely different. We were preparing to have his sibling and every period was a way of tracking my cycle to figure out the best time for conception. This time, it’ll just be the loss of an egg.
I won’t lie and say it’s just another cycle. It is, and it’s not. I don’t know whether to celebrate not having a third child or to mourn the loss of a potential child. For now, my mind will waffle, but also wonder if it’ll ever go back to being annoying, gross, and pointless.