A bit of a TMI post so apologies if this offends. But, I thought I would pop on and share my experience of what it is like for me each month when the dreaded time arrives as so many mums have told me they too experience horrendous periods after giving birth.
So before having children my periods were very hit and miss, I was always regular but the symptoms were either really extreme or minimal. I haven’t had a great experience with contraception and cannot take the pill due to migraines but I was on the Depo Injection for about 8 + years. The injection if you aren’t familiar with it is a shot you have every 3 months in your lower back/bum, which is great as you don’t have to remember to take a pill every morning and once the injection is done you can forget about it for another few months – just make sure you book your follow up appointment!
I loved being on the injection as my periods stopped almost instantly the symptoms I wasn’t so fond of were:-
- Mood swings
- Sore/swollen boobs
- Increased hunger which led to weight gain
These aren’t major issues but for me, I hated them.
When it was time to start thinking about having children I went to the doctors, explained I wanted to come off the injection and was told my periods should return to normal within 3 months, which they did. I stopped having the injection in September, by December I had my first period and by April I was pregnant with Amelie.
After I had Amelie I was breastfeeding so didn’t really think too much about when my next period was arriving. I think it was 4 months into motherhood I had my first cycle, oh my goodness it was horrendous and I still have terrible periods to this day.
I’ve always been a highly strung moody cow for at least 2 weeks out of the month, those that live with me will confirm that but I try and hide it and not take it out on everyone now. After having children your hormones are all over the place anyway but I think mine have never really settled down, I’m either very very emotional, sensitive and down or I’m like a crazy woman who hates everyone and everything. I’m not sure which out of the two I would rather be because being down and sad about life is horrible but being a bitch who shouts at her kids for the slightest (not really naughty) thing is just as worse, I have horrendous guilt and hate that I am like this.
With regards to contraception, I’m not on anything. I tried the mini pill but hated it I also tried the implant but that was awful too. My body responds better when I’m not taking anything to upset and imbalance it. I have found that this has helped my moods and how I’m feeling mentally but I do have an underactive thyroid so this can play havoc with my anxiety.
I use the period tracker app on my phone to record the dates of my cycle and it is always bang on. I know when I’m due on as about a week before I start the whole emotional rollercoaster, I’m utterly exhausted, ratty, hungry – like stuffing my face full of chocolate biscuits hungry or craving carbs. I can eat and eat but as soon as the dreaded day arrives I’ve gone off food, feel really sick, have a headache and get so so hot.
The first day of my period is the worst there is no denying it. I have stomach cramps to the point where I’m bent over in pain, I’m bloated, feel disgusting, have a headache and just feel generally crap. The bleeding is a strange one, for the first 2 days it is extremely heavy by day 3 I don’t bleed at all, day 4 I start bleeding again in the night this will continue for another day or so and by day 6 it is almost finished.
Usually the tummy cramps go by day 2 but the bloating, nausea, headache and tiredness stay for the entire time. When my period arrives I’m a bit releaved in that all the crazy bitch mum symptoms are justified and a little weight is lifted, much to my children’s relief as I’m back to happy, patient mum again.
I do think my periods have gotten a lot worse after having children especially the emotional state. I am still as regular as I ever was but I do bleed lots more. I realise this is a bit of a personal post but again, I think making others aware that it is quite normal to have a change in your monthly cycle is reassuring. I would be interested to hear whether your cycle has changed for the better or worse since children and also what method of contraception works best.