For those who are not familiar, most oral birth control regimens (fancy talk for pills) have three weeks of effective pills, and one last week of "placebo" pills or very low dose pills to take while you're on your period. I take the first placebo on a Tuesday. On Wednesday, I make sure I have pads. On Thursday, I expect my period to start. On Friday, I start to worry. On Saturday morning, I panic. This is the process.
Every month, I look up early pregnancy symptoms and begin to scrutinize the last week and go through a checklist.
Nausea with or without vomiting?Well...there was that one time last Saturday...when I ate that burrito...and I felt kind of nauseated...and I thought it was the burrito...but what if it WASN'T the burrito?Tender, swollen breasts?Not swollen, but remember yesterday when I was watching Emma instead of where I was going and I crushed my boob against the door frame? That hurt.Increased urination?I have been drinking much more tea than usual, but that probably has nothing to do with it.Fatigue?That couldn't possibly be attributed to Emma not sleeping through the night. It's definitely pregnancy.Food aversions or cravings?Now that you mention it, I have been obsessed with oranges lately...Slight bleeding or cramping?OMGracious, yes! Not my usual awful cramps, just slight ones! And I've been spotting. And it's light in color instead of dark like a normal period! Implantation bleeding!Mood swings?"Honey? Have I had mood swings lately?" "...Um...not too much. I mean, not more than usual. Yes, you have." And that couldn't be a normal period symptom either.Dizziness?I'm feeling dizzy just thinking about it!Constipation?Today and yesterday, definitely. Is that a normal period symptom? I think it is. Maybe. Maybe not.
Just to make this week more interesting, I have had the weirdest dreams this week, which is an unofficial symptom of pregnancy. Dreams like, all of my teeth are falling out at once and I'm upset because I'm going to need dentures and my grandmother doesn't even wear dentures. Or, I'm so angry because I missed the last day of class, so I lock myself in the bathroom and start screaming. (I actually woke everyone up the other night because of that dream. I was screaming in my sleep.) Or, most commonly, I'm looking for something, like my clothes or my room, and I'm so pissed off that someone took my clothes or moved my room that I don't even care that I'm only wearing a bra and underwear. (To give myself some credit, I don't think I have stretch marks in those dreams.)
This is how I torture myself each month. And so on the last Saturday morning of each month, I panic and wonder if it's a good time to have another kid and how would that effect Meng's career, and what would my in-laws think if I can't even keep from getting pregnant in their own home, as if that mattered somehow and everything gets blown into this big disproportionate monstrosity of emotion and THEN--
My period starts.