Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Joy Being a Woman Brings

*Very girlie post. Any Fellas reading should consider yourself warned.

Since hitting my teens or perhaps even earlier I had heard women talk about PMS. Pre Menstrual Syndrome. I heard stories of cramps, headaches, backaches and crankiness. Then there were always the asinine comments by men about PMS and 'the rag' and how every time a woman is angry or frustrated with them, those must be the reasons why.

Once I actually started getting my period I was confused by all of it. (Here I go again, about to make everyone want to throw darts at my head.) I never usually had cramps, at least not very bad ones, and I also never had any of the other terrible symptoms that can go along with menstruating. It would often come and go without giving me a whole lot of trouble.

I got through all of my teens never having been on the pill. It wasn't necessary for me as I wasn't sexually active. My doctor put me on a pill called Diane-35 when I was about 24 hoping that it would help clear up my acne. (On a side note, it did. They don't prescribe it often because of the serious side effects it can have on some people.) During the two years I was on that pill I found my periods to be even less memorable than ever. They were shorter and there was less blood. (sorry for the graphic detail) Who wouldn't be happy about that?

I went off the pill in September 2004 and became pregnant that December. Before getting pregnant I did notice my periods being a little heavier again and that they lasted closer to a full 5-7 days but I still didn't seem to have any other symptoms. Then of course during pregnancy there were a whole lot of other girlie problems to deal with.

This is turning out to be a long story to get to my point. I'm sure you're all very surprised since I always take forever to get-to-the-point already. Anyway, as especially Bon knows I got my period back again when Miss A was about 8 months old. I was pretty sad about it since I was (am) still nursing and thought I wouldn't get it again until I quit. (ha ha, what a stupid myth!) And here is where I finally start getting to the point.

I have found that my postpartum periods have been just terrible. I feel crampy and tired. They have been really heavy and difficult to keep up with. And perhaps the worst of all, and something that I suspected since they started six months ago but I have now decided is a fact, I have relatively severe PMS. For like two weeks before my period. I am sensitive, cranky and weepy. I find I argue with my husband a lot during that time and I also get emotional with very little cause to do so. So, to sum up. Two weeks PMS, one week period, one week normal. (?) And that makes a month. It sounds pretty crappy when I break it down that way. This may be why life feels so hard sometimes. At least I've figured it out.

I guess since I've never really had these symptoms before I am having an extra hard time coping with them now. Not to mention running around after a toddler too. So I'm probably sounding like a huge wimp to most of you out there. It's okay, you can say it. But I'm curious, has anyone else found that their period has been more um... intense after having a baby? Or is it just me? I'm wondering if it's just a coincidence or something. And I'm hoping someone is going to tell me it gets better. Anyone?


Elicia said...

Please say it isn't so!!!! I have always had the worst PMS! I totally understand your 2 weeks PMS, 1 week period, 1 week normal. My 2 best friends are both very aware of my mood changes, and I remember one coming over and noticing wrappers in the bathroom garbage she asked me if I was okay or if I'd prefer that she went home. Geez, I didn't know I got that bad, even though I tended to hibernate by myself through the worst of it. If it gets worse after the baby I'm not sure if anyone is going to be able to put up with me!

(P.S. I think this may be a subject like waxing your armpits, I'm interested in what others have to say!)

bon said...

Progesterone cream, The End.

Seriously... Post-partum periodical action was starting to leave me semi-suicidal... i went to see my hippy docter, and he told me a few options I had open to me, the least invasive and/or dramatic was progesterone cream... I use it for a week once a month and I seem to be less likely to commit homicide. It evens out my hormone action, less monthly acne, happier bon... all around good stuff.


It also made me more fertile, hence my "surpris"ing little girl, Pearl.

See... I just KNEW you were asking for advice, even though you weren't.

Nikkie said...

Don't get me started. My periods have been hell on earth since I had Boo. I think I have an actual medical problem though. My cramps feel like very mild contractions sometimes, I have bad pain when I need use the bathroom, my lower back aches, I'm tired and craby. Before the baby I just had moderate cramping, some fatiuge, and just a little craby. So I'm not sure I'm helping any since I'm almost postive tehre's something wrong with me!

Dawnyel said...

UGH! My teen-age, pre-Cameron periods were not bad, but not good either. They were regular, but I'd get HORRIBLE PMS! Post-Cameron are weird. Before I found out I was insulin resistant I had maybe 3 or 4 periods a year! (Due to my PCOS!) Anyway, the problem with that is that even though I wasn't having the period part, I was HORRIBLY PMSy! My dear, sweet, award-deserving hubby put up with me for all of those years, and is STILL here! Thankfully, I've seen a doctor who's got me on meds to make me have MORE periods a year, and make my whole world happier! :)
I know it's not what you wanted to hear, but I think that seeing someone who KNOWS about "womanly" issues will help immensely! :) Good luck! (Oh, and I highly recommend Pamprin! I live by it some months!)

Carrie said...

I have never had such a good period as you describe in your pre-baby years, but my post-baby periods are soooooooo much worse. I have almost deblitating pains now and am so grouchy I think my husband wants to divorce me. I hope it eventually gets better. I'm so lucky that I got my period back at 6 weeks post-partum despite exclusively breastfeeding.

Jamie said...

Mine is worse too. The cramps and the length... but especially the moodiness! My poor husband, I have no idea how he puts up with me.

It's amazing how much a body can change after having a baby... you would think we would have evolved to handle it a little better. :)

And I'm with Carrie, no break despite exclusive breastfeeding.. NOT FAIR!

Thanks for putting this out there Mama D so we know we are still 'normal'!

Allie said...

Mama D - Pre baby had me struggling with extremely heavy flows and cramping. I consulted a naturopath and he radically changed my diet and poof! The cramping was gone yet still had the heavy bleeding.

Post baby - I am one of those lucky ones that didn't get my period again for 10 months after having my son and I only breastfed for 5 months. HOWEVER, the cramping was back yet the flow wasn't as bad.

Which is the lesser of two evils? Who knows as I promptly tried to get pregnant again just in order to not have to deal with the periods. :)

Jenn said...

I didn't notice much of a change after Leelee was born but then I had her by c-section. Make a difference? Now I'm nervous for when it comes back now that Lex entered the world naturally. I have always been fortunate like you too, not much in the way of side effects. We're 8 months and holding, let's hope for a few more!