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Flo

06/25/2014

Belle

Have you seen the commercial where the teen girl lies about her period starting? All the cool girls are getting theirs so she lies and her mother catches her in the act. I saw it for the first time yesterday whlie reading an NPR article on the commercial. What struck me was not how weird it is to sell a period starter kit. Nor how off the mother-daughter dynamic was. Or even how freaking hilarious a vagina cake is (although now I find it rather amusing).

Nope. What struck me was my nodding head as I watched this girl lie about her period to fit in. Yep. Me. a 33 year old woman nodding her head in solidarity with the girl who painted fake period blood into a pad with nail polish. Teen girl, I feel ya. I desperately want Aunt Flo to visit me, too. Although I won’t go so far as to lie about it!

Sabine will turn one on Tuesday. One. My sweet little girl is already one! All my mommy friends, those nursing and not, have unceremoniously welcomed back their Aunt Flo. All the familiar gripes have come with their Flo, too. Such an unwelcome visitor, bringing cramps, bunchy pads or unsettled tampons, and granny panties with her each time.

Meanwhile, infertile Belle is still period-free, her period panties unused but not forgotten in the back of her underwear drawer.

While my fellow IFers begin symptom spotting in hopes of the miracle pregnancy, I continue to period spot. Any inkling of moisture sends me racing to the bathroom, eagerly awaiting a streak of red, yet always feeling defeated when I realize that no it was a just a little pee from laughing/coughing/sneezing too hard.

I don’t know if my period will ever come back. It has not been around for years anyways, why would pregnancy make any difference? I do know that when October 1 rolls around, which will mark 2 years since my last chemically induced period, I will call a doctor. I have a recommendation for an RE in New York who is supposed to be the best of the best of the best. He is known for his willingness to actually LOOK For what is wrong, not just say that IVF can get you pregnant and send you down the rabbit hole. Part of me prays that with a period would come hope for another child. The other part, though, prays that I can just feel like a normal woman. My family is complete. Is it too much to ask that my body be complete, too?

When did your period return postpartum? Were you nursing? Have you ever had a doctor actually try to find the reason you are infertile, or did they all simply say “IVF can help” and push you to sign up?

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27 Comments

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  1. June 25, 2014

    I still haven’t gotten mine, and I’m not the infertile one in our equation. Some of us just take longer than others! My friend just got hers back on her daughters first birthday. I would say to be patient, but you do have reasons to be frustrated.

    Brace yourself for the miracle BFPs in this community. They hit me HARD after Matthew was born. Lots of tears in this house, especially when they complained about not being ready for another baby.

  2. June 25, 2014

    Griffin turned one on Friday and I stopped breast feeding two months ago and I have still not gotten the dreaded visit. I have now changed to a stronger birth control (ha!like I need that) in the hopes of jump starting my body into remembering what it’s supposed to do. Try not to wait too long before seeing someone, rather be pro-active. We know our bodies need the extra push so start shoving now.

  3. June 25, 2014

    I’m only right months into breastfeeding, but I’ll be shocked if AF shows up by itself. The two years before I got pregnant (IVF) each cycle was either chemically induced, or after an early m/c. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was a teen, so it’s no surprise. Every so often it’ll happen when I least expect it, and it’s totally inconvenient — like my wedding day.

  4. nonsequiturchica #
    June 25, 2014

    Ha! That’s a funny commercial. I was bummed when my period started 5 months after Izzy was born. I was still EBF so I figured that it would hold out longer. BF hurts more when I am ovulating (sore nipples), but the monthly hormones do help with the sex drive…

    • June 25, 2014

      What is a sex drive? Lol!!

  5. June 25, 2014

    I started my period at 15 mo postpartum (nursing 2x/day from 12-15m). I’d been taking myoinositol since 12mo postpartum, and I think the combo of that + cutting back on nursing is what got it to come again.

    • June 25, 2014

      I have been considering myoinistol!! Is it safe when nursing?

      • June 25, 2014

        Yep! I can email you a bunch of links about it if you’d like.

      • June 25, 2014

        I should clarify that there have been no long term studies on myo-inositol & breastfeeding and conflicting advice online if it’s okay or not to take while BFing, but it’s a naturally occurring substance in the body and I felt comfortable being on it while breastfeeding Stella.

        • jesicabrennan #
          June 25, 2014

          I’m taking it and breastfeeding and I’m ovulating. So…there’s that!

  6. June 25, 2014

    I feel you on this one. Totally, utterly, and completely. I just got mine last month–a real one, 10 months PP and I hadn’t breast fed for 5 months. It’s sad how much hope that one frickin period has brought me. Prior to that one, I hadn’t had a non birth control/non Clomid induced period in 3 years. It absolutely sucks to have your period go missing. I know how much it messes with your head.

    • June 25, 2014

      Sunny, it sucks so much. I’m considering gluten free again in addition to joseys suggestion for myo inositol. That is a bold statement for she who loves some dark stinky beer!

  7. jesicabrennan #
    June 25, 2014

    I didn’t get mine until 19 months and I’m still nursing at 23 months. Pregnancy hormones may actually give you a period and ovulation post baby, seems to be happening that way for several of us who don’t usually ovulate on our own. I’m on Cycle 3 of ovulating since my period came back!

  8. June 25, 2014

    Mine came back after 10 months (I did breastfeed), but its been crazy irregular since then.

  9. Romy #
    June 25, 2014

    I’m sorry you’re dealing with this and I hope you will find some answers.
    I breastfed for 7 months (well, exclusively pumped because my little guy never learned how to latch on properly). I got my period a few weeks after I quit breastfeeding, actually HAD a miracle pregnancy right then but it ended in a miscarriage and I am about to start IVF again because we just want to have tried for a 2nd and if it doesn’t work out, so be it (not willing to try again if this round fails).

    In terms of our cause for infertility: it went from unexplained to “there is an ovarian issue but we don’t know what it is”. The new diagnosis was based on the fact that they had to bump me up to 450 iu of Gonal F and I still ended up with only 2 surviving embryos on day 3, at age 27 and with all normal test results.

  10. June 25, 2014

    I feel your pain, Belle. I WAS that teen girl many moons ago, praying for my period, and I have never felt like a normal woman because my periods were practically nonexistent. After my first baby, I didn’t get my period until I stopped nursing, when she was one, and then didn’t get it again until I started on Clomid when we hopped on the TTC train again. Our second is now almost 9 months old and no period yet. Again. Hang in there! Hoping that doctor can give you some answers. xo

  11. Britt #
    June 25, 2014

    Sorry to hear that this is stressing you out 😦 I didn’t get my period back after having my twins until almost exactly their first birthday. I nursed one twin till 15m, but one had never gotten the hang of nursing during the day (but was a champ at night, so annoying, is this even a thing or just my kid being weird??), so he effectively weaned when I night-weaned around a year, and that was right when my period came back, so it seems there was a connection. It’s so much heavier and more painful than before I had the boys.

    Our issue with fertility was miscarriages (3) and doctors never had any answer beyond a shoulder shrug and puzzled look…Gee, thanks, guys.

  12. Amy #
    June 26, 2014

    Mine did not come back until ten or eleven months postpartum. I was still nursing, but had probably ramped down my pumping a tad and we had supplemented somewhat irregularly by then as well, and he was probably starting to really get into solids by then (weird how fast the specific memories fade a bit!). My cycles have always been fairly regular, though, if ultimately futile even if I conceived (I never stay pregnant except for the one time that I took alllllll the meds prior to and after TTC). I hope you get some good investigative work done with this RE!

  13. June 26, 2014

    I was a complete breastfeeding failure (I had to throw in the towel after a few days), so my period returned fairly quickly (I think it was 2.5 – 3 months pp). As for my RE experience, I went though extensive tests and was given a diagnosis of DOR before IVF was recommended, so I can’t complain that they just tried to shove IVF down my throat without giving a reason. I hope if/when you see the new doc you can get some solid answers and solutions.

  14. June 29, 2014

    Breast feeding for 8 months and I haven’t gotten mine yet. Lots of spotting, spotting, and more spotting (yay endo), but nothing “for real.” I might breast feed forever to avoid it, but I’m not planning to get back on the baby making train either.

  15. June 30, 2014

    I was probably a weird case that you don’t want to hear about — I got my period 4 months post-partum, while breastfeeding 100%. And it’s back on schedule now, heavier than it’s ever been. I have NO idea what that means for my fertility but I don’t have high hopes for miracle pregnancies because I’m pretty certain my tubes are fucked. I think it’s one of those crappy scenarios where, if you do get a period, you go down a rabbit hole of “what if” and inevitable disappointment; and if you don’t get a period, you get flat-out depressed. Blargh. Hope it’s a promising RE appt. at least!

  16. July 3, 2014

    ugh I just got my first postpartum period a couple weeks ago at exactly 6 months. it was awful! heavier than I’ve ever experienced… so much so that when I was at a friends baby shower I sneezed and almost bled to death. Okay that might be an exaggeration but the force if the sneeze caused a major breach in my super extra duper tampon. It was unpleasant to say the least. I am still EBF so who knows if I will be regular now or not but I actually did notice a change in my sex drive. I actually wanted to have sex for the first time since before the babe was born! As for my infertility we don’t have a specific diagnosis although my doc suspected an egg quality issue since I didn’t respond the best to the meds and we had low quality embryos.

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