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It’s not often that I mention my desire to raise children in my blog, I think sometimes those thoughts feel too intimate to share with the general public. However, I think it’s important to discuss women’s health, and so I’d like to open up for the first time about it.

Be prepared for in-depth descriptions of gynecological stuff.

The Role of Stress

Stress has always been the main thing that affects my menstrual cycles. I started my period when I was 13, used tampons the very first time, and had a cycle that came and went like clockwork for nearly 4 years. Genuinely, every 28 days I had a heavy period every day for 7 days. I had horrendous cramps, every PMT symptom you can think of. Fortunately I had a very understanding mother (she’d had 9 kids by this point) and on my paternal grandmother’s side there was a history of difficult monthlies and pregnancies and birthing. So already I was sort of up against it since I was clearly taking after my nan and my first cousins.

When mum died I was just turning 17 and suddenly my periods stopped. At the time I suspected it might be a result of shock and stress, and this persisted for a year before I saw my GP. They assumed the same, but did nothing except test my hormone levels – all normal. So I continued my life having no period for years. It didn’t bother me since I didn’t have to deal with the pain and fuss of a period and I wasn’t sexually active or wanting kids either.

At around 22-23 my life started to move forward and that moving forward relaxed me immensely. I felt much happier too, and not surprisingly there was a return of my heavy periods. At 24 I met the love of my life and my happiness levels soared.

The Mirena Coil

We had a pregnancy scare early on, and after raising my siblings for the last 7 years I was dead against having my own children so soon into this new relationship. We discussed various kinds of contraception – I’d already been on the pill since we started dating. I found out after the pregnancy scare that my mum had been sick because of the pill and I apparently had the same malaise. In the end as a couple we opted for the Mirena Coil, but not because Simon was refusing to be responsible for all of this. Neither of us were comfortable just using condoms – we’d doubled up on the pill and condoms so we were equally responsible. The fact was that the Mirena would help me with my heavy periods and cramps too so medically it made the most sense. It was weird getting used to, the “threads” of the coil take a few months to move either side of the cervix opening in the vagina so sex was sometimes a little… scratchy for him. It was never painful though (as far as I know at least!) and we were very happy to have no interruptions to sex during the month.

When I was going into my final year of my degree we decided it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if I got pregnant, so decided not to have another Mirena put in. However, a month before it was due to come out I got pregnant and had a miscarriage.

TM and a Return to Normality

Between 30 and 32 I had normal periods, again I was relaxed and happy. Then the TM hit, and my body once more went into shock. From 32-36 I had virtually no periods again. In November 2016, after a couple of years of trying for a baby my period finally came back and has been regular ever since. At least, until last February when it became irregular again. Just before we were offered a move I had a miscarriage. Now I say it’s been an irregular period, that’s not exactly accurate. I bled for about 7 days after the miscarriage, then 2 days later bled for another 10 days…though this time it was spotting. Both lots of bleeding had a lot of clotting, the spotting was a lot of brown blood.

After having a relatively normal period in March, I bled mid-cyle, bang in the middle of my ovulation phase. It was so frustrating and I told myself that if I bled between periods again then I was going to the GP, so go to the GP I did. She ended up referring me to a gyno at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and I have an appointment there for the 1st May.

April’s period was 2 days late and even then was brown blood day 1, a little bright red blood day 2 and thus far zilch on day 3. Does that even count as a period, or just a very light one? I am so confused… Thankfully I’m using an app on my phone to track and record all of this so can give the specialist detailed information.

Wish me luck!

To Conceive or Not to Conceive?

Finally, on the note of having and raising children – I fully intend to adopt a 2 year old in the next few years regardless of whether or not I conceive. Being a parent is about raising the child, not being biologically connected. I don’t want to be a professional teacher, perhaps a mentor in some capacity, but I do want to teach a child. Whether male or female I want to raise a person from as early as possible and pass on the things I think are important, as well as making the child happy and balanced. I want to do this with Simon and I want adopt as well as have a child naturally. This is a part of my life plan, I’ve thought about it a great deal, we’ve discussed it as a couple over the years as well. We want to be responsible, loving parents.

So wish us luck, please?