BY TANYA HARPER
This is a topic that I still find I ask my friends and anyone that has had a baby. Periods. Contraception. What the hell has happened to my cycles and what contraception’s are the best and possibly which surgeon is the best?!
You would think I would know this stuff inside out given my body has been through it so many times however I have only had one or two periods between each baby and then I was pregnant again. Prior to getting pregnant with my first I had an Implanon (the rod in your arm) for 4 years and after 4years I got another one put in (they last for 4years). After a year with my second Implanon I started bleeding for weeks at a time and so had it removed. A month later I saw Daniel for 2 days in 5 weeks and hello Noah.
During my adolescence I had never had any problems or pains with my period. I never liked it however it didn’t particularly faze me. I used the pill until I decided to move to Europe for a year in which case I decided to get the Implanaon. Backpacking with my period was not an ideal thought for me. This worked amazingly. Following the birth of Noah it didn’t return until 6 weeks when I finished expressing (I exclusively expressed my first 3 babies and each time it was 6 weeks before my period returned).
After Noah was born I tried the pill, which turned me in a psycho monster. I could feel myself brewing for Dan to walk in the door so I could rip his face off. We both knew that I was like this so Dan tolerated me quite well. A true testament to him. After a month we decided to try for number 2. We are incredibly fortunate and this happened in the first month so see ya periods. Following Noah everything seemed relatively normal and I was regular however after Scout it was heavy, painful, my pelvis hurt and it felt as though I was pregnant a few days prior. I even had my smell sensitivity increase!
Noah is asking for Van's, skinny Jean's and flat peak caps. Yet here I am rocking in the corner wearing my $10 target kid trackies muttering to myself "I'm still the cool one, I'm still the cool one". #hopefullytheyllletmesharetheirclothes #comfortisfashionableright? #thewordcoolisntevencoolanymore #idontthinkanyways
They became increasingly worse following each baby. I actually dreaded my first period after #3 and #4 because of the pain and how heavy it was going to be. I was physically and mentally exhausted. I wish I had known about the change in your cycle following childbirth! So ladies when they change drastically apparently it is quite normal! I had Harriet a year ago now and they are only just starting to settle back into normal. I never thought at 32 I would be feeling like I did when I was 15 and nervous about good old aunty flow arriving in public.
Whilst I was pregnant with #4 Dan and I decided that he would get a vasectomy for permanent contraception. We intellectually chose to have no more babies and after researching this is the most effective contraceptive available. Yet this doesn’t stop my periods. Whilst I know they are natural and part of life I actually hate them. I also feel dirty and hate the hormonal skin changes and mood swings that come with it. I have been looking into the Marina (this is the little Y looking thing they implant into your uterus). Has anyone had success with this? The doctor has looked at me confused as to why I would want contraceptive when technically my husband is infertile…trust me I have no energy for an affair haha.
I find it a funny thing how much we still have to learn about our bodies and the changes that we constantly go through. I never thought I would still be asking my mum and friends what do about my periods at 32. Yet here I am asking what it was like for them and what direction to go in with contraception. I also found the biggest shock after the crazy change in my cycles was the state of my skin tags aka boobs. They literally went from a 10D to a 10F (whilst feeding my first baby) to now becoming a 10A. WTF. I always guessed that these changes would occur but not as quickly or drastically as they did. Lets not even go there with the random stray hairs that crop up…I guess its just one more thing that is a ‘given’ and therefore not discussed as much.
The moral of my story is that our bodies all change, but I think it’s important to talk about it more so we can learn from each other. Even if we haven’t had any children our bodies are constantly changing and we need to learn to appreciate and look after them more. Well I certainly do. This is a confronting thing to accept. I know with my boobs especially that I struggle with the difference and I have no shame in admitting I want a boob job. I don’t understand why wanting to do something to make yourself feel better is looked down on? I honestly think that we are conditioned to feel bad about wanting our old bodies back following children that admitting that you will do something about it is shamed. I 100% agree that we should embrace our bodies and appreciate them but then we should also embrace when we want to do something about it.
Ultimately if we can find a positive mix, maybe we can embrace the things that are now different about us post baby making and also be okay if we want to change some things in order to make us feel more whole. In the end it’s all about making us, as mothers feel happy in our own skin so we can radiate that onto our children. It is something that you will never regret. True happiness starts from within.
About the Author | Tanya Harper is a mama to four and blogger at Fourlittlecreatures.com. She survives life with four children by looking for the humour in everyday. “I figure if I don’t laugh I’ll cry.” You can follow Tanya’s daily musings on Instagram @fourlittlecreatures