So, I gotta tell you, lady parts, I think we need to have a talk. Because this? THIS? THIS is unacceptable.
I believe we’ve had a pretty good relationship over the years… wouldn’t you agree? I mean, sure, there was that birth control I put you through when I was a teen because I just COULD NOT GET MY COMPLEXION UNDER CONTROL, or all the times I wore tampons too long. But, all in all, we’ve usually gotten along.
So, I have to say… WTF, postpartum menstrual cycle???
First, though, since we’re having this talk, let me say… thank you for my babies. Really. They are the pinnacle of my life, my purpose and reason, the light which breaks through the darkness and reminds me of kindness and joy and the whole range of wonderful emotions that mark the spectrum of human experiences.
But now? Now? Now that I’m DONE having babies, and my menstrual cycle has returned… well, that’s where I’m having an issue.
And, a sidenote… you gave me one month? ONE FREAKING MONTH? One month off from bleeding like a stuck pig, cramps, PMS, headaches, bloating, irritability? One month since my daughter was born, and I have my period back already? Like… can a mom get a break, here?
But, anyway. Yes. Now I’m back to menstruating like an evolutionary hero, and there are a few things we need to discuss about this.
First, is it really even necessary? Isn’t there, like, a waiver I can sign or a switch in there somewhere where I can turn off my period, because I’m done having babies? Oh, there isn’t? Not without major surgery and a hormone massacre victimizing my already unstable mood? Ok. We can move on, then.
Secondly… and this is the big one… WHY IS MENSTRUATION SO TERRIBLE NOW??? I mean, really. I’m not going to get into uncomfortable details, both because they make me uncomfortable and because you already know, but this… THIS… is not going to work out. Do you know how many pairs of underwear I’ve ruined, all because you can’t commit to a start and end date?
Yes, I know you just came back, but let’s not forget after my first baby. Let’s not forget the three years in between. You’ve been acting up ever since I became a mother, and, I have to tell you, postpartum body, things aren’t looking to improve this time around, either.
AND, on this side of it, it’s all the more frustrating. Now that I’ve entered my last postpartum phase, knowing I’ll never again be pregnant, knowing this is the last newbornhood I’ll experience, and the surplus of emotions that comes with that knowledge… you think needing to add ultra-absorbant tampons to my shopping list every other day for, like, EIGHT days is appropriate? It couldn’t be, like, FOUR days, like before I started procreating?
Well, then, I think this is the point at which our relationship sours. Allow me to recap:
We’ve always been on good terms. You allowed me to conceive, grow, and deliver two healthy children, with a minimum of angst, who now exist and are flourishing and owe it all to you and your Darwinian efficacy. You also jacked my menstrual cycle, apparently FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY, and appear to continue to be making life particularly miserable for far longer than you used to, far more intensely than you used to, far more noticeably than you used to, and for what? Bragging rights? Work ethic? Compulsion? Whatever it is, postpartum menstrual cycle, you’d best figure it out, and right quick.
I’d like to think this talk will make a difference. After all, like I said, I respect you, I appreciate you, and I really get where you’re coming from… really. After all, as the Origin of Species taught us, your duty is offspring. Just offspring. Nothing but offspring. Offspring to grow, offspring to adapt, and offspring to produce more offspring, and on, and on. So I get why you’re so eager for more offspring. I get why you’re trying to convince me to keep going, kind of nudging me along with your super-fertility and your baby fever, while the voice in my lizard brain sings along like a Greek chorus that I want more, more, ever more children.
So… STOP THAT. We’re done. I need another child like I need a hole in my cranium, and couldn’t afford a third even before the cost of cranial surgery, so you need to CALM THE FUCK DOWN.
That’s it, postpartum menstrual cycle. That’s what I got. Thanks for listening, I suppose. Let’s sit back down in 28 days and see where we are. Good talk, and all, and you’ve got some actionable items, so… we’ll see.
Hell, no, I don’t want to go for a run. I’m going to take some Advil, binge eat miniature chocolates, and fall asleep in the middle of the day. Thanks, tho.
Shannon Frost Greenstein resides in Philadelphia with her children and her soulmate, who keep things from descending into cat-lady territory. She is a former Ph.D. candidate in Continental Philosophy who now has no use for a philosophy degree. Shannon harbors an unhealthy interest in Game of Thrones, Nietzsche, Mount Everest, and the Summer Olympics. Her work can be found on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency (https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/an-open-letter-to-my-anorexia), Scary Mommy (https://www.scarymommy.com/not-planning-to-breastfeed/), Spelk Fiction (https://spelkfiction.com/2017/11/24/joseph-smith-in-i-absolutely-did-not-promote-polygamy-just-to-have-sex-with-a-lot-of-women/)…actually, you know what, just Google her.