I am sitting alone in my kitchen crying in pain. For as long as I can remember my period pains have been bad enough to floor me. Usually they come at night, I wake at 2 or 3 in the morning feeling as though someone has been punching my stomach and back. Nothing makes it better. Hot baths, cold baths, drugs, exercise. It normally lasts for about 12 hours.
12 hours of unstoppable pain. And the whole time I’m having to deal with that it just feels like extra punishment. I already didn’t get pregnant, now my body punishes itself for that with cramps so bad that I’m sweating and shaking. It hurts so much I throw up. I spend hours at a time sitting on the toilet, clutching my belly and crying.
Luckily my six year old is away today, she’s not here to witness me crack up. I’ll never get used to this. Sometimes I wonder if maybe this pain has something to do with why I’m struggling to conceive, but doctors have told me everyone experiences PMS and period pain in different levels, nothing to worry about.
It’s times like this I wish I wasn’t a woman. If I can’t even have a baby, am I a woman? I don’t feel like one. I might as well get a hysterectomy, at least then I wouldn’t have the pain, the monthly reminder of my dysfunctional body.
If you’ve ever had trouble trying to conceive you’ll know how I feel today. Each cycle you time the sex carefully, you eat well and abstain from alcohol after ovulation and you cross everything that this will be your lucky month. And you wait, and you wait, and then finally you cry, because once again this is not your lucky month.
I am unlucky with my periods. My cycle ranges between 35 – 48 days in length so if I’m going to be late, I have to wait until I’m really late. This month I got to day 39 and was feeling tired, sore boobs and a bit sick. I was bloated and started to get a few mild cramps. This happens every month, this is what PMS feels like for me. Yet every month I manage to convince myself that this time it feels different. Every little feeling I have, every food craving – could it be a sign? I learnt long ago not to Google every little thing. The internet convinces me I could be pregnant and then, when I’m not, I’m even more devastated. Losing on the scratchcard of life.
And now I have to wait again, I won’t be ovulating for three and a half more weeks! Seems so unfair I have to wait that long. My husband thinks I should start doing my BBT again just to be sure, usually I just go on cervical mucous (gross, huh?!) but that isn’t a foolproof system.
How do you cope each month when you’re struggling to conceive?
All my life I’ve been rubbish with contraception. That’s not something any woman would usually admit to, but it’s true. I very rarely used condoms, always forgot to take the pill and just never really bothered worrying about it.
I got married in my late 20s and for the past two and a half years have been actively trying to conceive. My husband is nonchalant about the whole thing, he already has two kids you see.
I’m already a mum to a 6 year old, I just didn’t meet her during the first year of her life. I’m a good mum, but I don’t feel like other people see me as that. I feel like everyone – friends, family, in-laws – sees me as a step-mum. That’s not to say I want a baby just to prove them wrong, of course not, but that would be a bonus.
I want to be able to join in conversations with other mums about pregnancy, cravings, birth, nappies, sleepless nights – all the things I missed out on.
This isn’t something I feel I can discuss with anyone, people think I’m being ridiculous, but I can’t help how I feel, can I?
For now I’m going to do some housework, go to the kid’s singing recital and think about why I felt I needed to start this blog at all.