After a 4 1/2 year absence, I got my period back. And boy did I get it back. After my first daughter was born, it came back for a day when she was 13 months old and then I got pregnant the following month. This time I didn’t get it back until my daughter was 21 months old. I guess my body wanted to give me payback for all the years it missed me.
It was miserable, absolutely miserable and it gave me some flashbacks to my past. I was fortunate to not start my period until I was a freshman in high school. I remember multiple times my senior year, spending half of the day in the high school bathroom vomiting because I started my period. There was about three months in a row where I was sent home from school because of these episodes. Finally my mom took me to the gynecologist and they put me on the pill. Because ya know, the pill solves everything.
The pill was heaven and made my cycles tolerable. The vomiting ended and my periods were much lighter. I was so happy to have this magic pill to keep away my misery.
But the funny thing about the pill, it has an even better job than maintaining cycles. I soon realized I could have sex and not worry about getting pregnant. An extra bonus.
Which was perfect timing because my boyfriend at the time had just got caught shoplifting condoms. Seriously. So now I took on the role of birth control. I was in control. I could do what I wanted and when I wanted. All thanks to the pill. (How silly.)
But years went by, boyfriends came and went, and I found myself in college and growing rather tired of taking and paying for the pill. I was in a serious relationship (my now husband) and wasn’t sexually active but worried about quitting the pill. I didn’t want my periods from hell to come back.
At the time, I didn’t know that the Catholic Church was against the pill. So I can’t say my conversion away from the pill had anything to do with the Church. It simply was the annoyance and the expense that pulled me away.
And so, I quit the pill and prepared for the worse but the worse never came. My cycles were very regular and tolerable. I was very thankful I could have a normal life without the pill.
Then I realized why my cycles were tolerable. My first two years of having a period, I was very active in school. Junior year, I dropped out of sports and so be it, my cycles got worse. In college, I started working out and started running religiously, five to six days a week. When I got off the pill, I was training for my first full marathon. I continued to run marathons up until the month I got pregnant with my first daughter.
I realized when I wasn’t very active, my cycles were crippling. Even tough I am a busy mother, chasing after two little kids, I am not physically active enough. I’ve only been running two or three times a week and doing short distances.
So last week, I picked up the running again and will be working out five to six days a week again. I think this will help tremendously and make my cycles so much more manageable.
I wish all those years ago, my doctor would have explained to me that my activity level could have helped my cycles, instead of subscribing
a band-aid the pill. I sometimes wonder, would I have viewed my sexuality differently if I wasn’t on the pill? I might have taken it more serious if I didn’t have the pill as a crutch.
I know a more active life doesn’t solve every woman’s fertility ailments. But gosh darn it, doctors need to be more pro-active and not pro-protection. How differently are world might be if more woman were empowered and had real control over their bodies.