A LONG ASS Explanation and Probably TMI
I, and both of my sisters, have female type issues. One of my sisters does not have periods at all and was diagnosed with PCOS about ten years ago.
My other sister and I both started late, and since then, have only menstruated sporadically. Though not formally diagnosed, I suspect that both she and I suffer from the same condition to a lesser degree.
Prior to having children, it was not at all unusual for me to only have three or four periods a year. After I had Pubescent One, I didn't have a period for 15 months.
Yeah, no heartbreak there.
It never did bother me much, and in fact, I realized quite early that I was enormously lucky not to have to deal with all that crapola on a regular basis.
But...it has been a distinct disadvantage at times. I couldn't really do any "family planning" in the conventional sense, because my body just doesn't work like everybody else's.
When we wanted to get pregnant, we just had to...dance a lot...and hope for the best.
Also, I couldn't use any of those methods of conceiving the gender of one's choice. I realize that they are probably entirely fallacious, despite the proliferation of anecdotal evidence. (A person I used to know was quite fond of saying that the plural of anecdote is not data).
But they were just believable enough for me to be disappointed that I couldn't at least try one.
We tried to have our children closer together. Ideally I would have liked about two years between the two. But when one ovulates only when the sun, moon and stars all align properly, the moon is in the seventh house and my aura is chartreuse...it's hard to make that happen, particularly, when one has a demanding toddler to care for, and one's disinclination towards sexual relations is so profound that one's spouse at one point jokingly, but with a scintilla of sincerity, suggests a sexual surrogate.
Thus, my boys are nearly four years apart. I did get pregnant when Pubescent One was three and I was pretty thrilled to have managed that. Sadly, I miscarried. I was devastated.
But not by the miscarriage. Though I was sad of course, I was able to be fairly pragmatic about it. Nature knows her business and there was a reason my body rejected the tiny life growing inside me.
No, I was devastated because I feared that it would take me another three years to get pregnant again, which would put my boys 6 years apart. I worried that such a gap in their ages would lead to a distant relationship between the two.
To my relief, I got pregnant again quickly. Very. Quickly. Obviously, we were thrilled. But we were stunned to hear that I was 9 weeks pregnant.
We went back over the timeline, trying to figure out what the heck could have happened. I tested positive Labor Day weekend. We went away for our anniversary on Sept 25th, figuring it was probably the last time that we would be able to do so for quite some time. The following weekend, I miscarried.
On December 1st, I tested positive again. December 4th I had an ultrasound to date the pregnancy.
9 weeks. Again, uhhhh, what?
We couldn't figure it out. The doctor suggested that perhaps I had miscarried one of a set of twins. But I had had several ultrasounds during the process of miscarrying and never was more than one gestational sac visualized.
However, Diminutive One was HUGE (9lbs., 5 oz.) when we has born, and had several characteristics of a post mature baby. So maybe. Who knows?
The point is, my body cannot be relied upon to work in a fashion that is remotely predictable or conventional.
I'm 39 now and around 36, my periods suddenly and inexplicably became regular, although they usually vary by a few days each month. Every now and then, I do get a little longer delay between periods or have a very scanty pseudo period.
So I really didn't think much of it when my period didn't arrive on time. I was grateful in fact, because District was coming up, and the park hosting the tournament had terribly inadequate facilities. I mused, with some irony, that with my luck, it would arrive just as the tournament was kicking off.
And then I thought, it would no doubt arrive just in time for the State Tournament. My trip to Chicago. The drive home from Wisconsin. The first day of school.
And then, suddenly, I was not only late, I had skipped my period entirely and it was time for another one. That period too, failed to occur. And then I started to worry just a little.
Now, I should mention that we do not use any form of birth control. It's never been necessary. And when it became necessary, I found that my options were limited.
I can't take hormonal birth control because it aggravates my migraines and because I had pre-eclampsia with Diminutive One. I tried an IUD, with disastrous results. My uterus was not amused, and I bled heavily for 8 weeks solid. The diaphragm was difficult to position because of my tilted uterus. And it was, quite frankly, a pain in the ass.
That left condoms. What guy do you know that will willingly encase his most sensitive and prized appendage in a sheath of skintight latex?
So we've been praciticing the rythym method since Diminutive was a baby.
Until about four years ago, we had intended to add to our family anyway, and figured that if I happened to get pregnant then it was meant to be.
Husband came to the conclusion first. They boys were getting older, things were getting easier. With their growing independance came the freedom that had been missing from our lives for a long time. And, the older they got, the more expensive they became. Husband worried about paying for things like braces, college and first cars.
He was ready to be done. He proposed a vasectomy.
I balked. I wasn't quite ready to close the door on my fertility. So he waited. I guess he knew that I would eventually come to the same conclusion, and he was right. About two years later, I was ready too. I gave him the green light on the old snip snip.
But strangely, it never happened.
I warned him we were playing with fire. I warned him that it just takes one lucky little swimmer to make a baby. I think he felt very complacent because we had always had to try so hard to get pregnant. Trying not to get pregnant was just not something he had ever had to worry about.
And then my sister, who has profound fertility issues, who doesn't ovulate and has never been able to get pregnant without expensive drugs and multiple IUI's...got herself knocked up.
That scared him a little. He resolved to make an appointment ASAP.
Then I missed a period. He begged me to take a test and I obliged. I took four. They were all negative.
I reminded him that the same thing happened with both previous pregnancies, but...happy to have dodged a bulltet, he didn't want to hear it.
He resolved to make an appointment ASAP.
And my period remained MIA.
The last couple weeks, I have wanted to, erm...dance...A LOT. Husband, certainly not complaining, but curious nonetheless, casually inquired as to what had put the music in me.
I didn't know, but didn't really think much about it. I've been much more, erm...amorous...in general since I crossed the threshold of 35.
Yesterday, I was sitting in car line, feeling distinctly...libidinous (how many euphermisms for horny do you think I can posit? A LOT, I bet)..and thinking about how I was going to debauch my husband later in the evening...when it dawned on me.
The same thing happened when I was pregnant with Pubescent One. I was voracious. Rapacious. Insatiable. Profoundly and uncharacteristically....horny.
See, the thing is, because my body is so unpredictable, I could have ovulated at any point during that interval. I might only be a couple days pregnant, or a week pregnant, in which case, a negative test is not that unlikely.
I called husband on my cell phone and told him about my epiphany.
There was dead silence on the line.
"Honey? You there?"
"Yeah. Ummm...is there a clinic you can go to for a blood test?"
"Well yeah, but it will cost us a $50 emergent care copay. Do you need to know that badly?"
"Uh. I guess not. Will you call the doctor first thing on Monday?"
So, here I sit, wondering and not feeling pre-menstrual in the slightest. Husband is worried, but philosophical. He likes team baby. He sees how much I like team baby. He knows I've been feeling sort of...superfluous and irrelevant lately. I never felt like that when I had babies to care for.
Sure, I wanted to go to college, get a job, write a book. But I have a lot more time for that. I only have a little more time for having babies. My mind, I hope, will remain sharp well into my twilight years, but my ovaries and my uterus will eventually wither and atrophy within me.
A baby. Huh.
And now that I have written this missive, I will no doubt start tomorrow. I'm surprised, frankly, because invariably I start immediately after peeing on the last in a very expensive series of chemically impregnated plastic wands.
Maybe I should go buy another one.