Saturday, 20 September 2008

Well whaddya know?

The counter has been reset and on Thursday I welcomed my next cycle, my [insert favourite euphemism for period here] started.

For most people trying to conceive getting a period is a depressing, miserable sign that it hasn't worked once more and its time to start over. For me, I'm delighted. OK, so I'm not pregnant but at least it shows something is happening in there, no early menopause in this here womb.

I'm also pleased that it happened on Thursday because that was the day of my sixth acupuncture appointment. I haven't mentioned acupuncture for a few weeks because I was getting pretty disillusioned with the whole TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) thing.

Every week I went in and handed over forty sheets - or as I 'like' to think of it the price of a haircut, pair of jeans, a meal out, those cool silver shoes that I've got my eye on.

"Any change" he'd ask, eyebrows raised in hope and encouraging smile playing on his lips. "Nope" and I'd recite what cycle day I was on 68, 75, 82 ... His shoulders would slump and he'd try different things:

Pins in my wrists with strict instructions not to move or clench my hands. I lay there until the pins and needles in my finger tips were too much to bear.

He made me lie on my front and did quick jabs in my lower back. No. Not lower back. My arse. I was mortified because he had to roll my g-string over the top of my jeans to get it out of the way. My pink g-string. Yes, I was a bit tense.

He stuck an enormous plaster infused with strong smelling herbs over my belly button and told me to leave it on for two days. I had to take it off after a day and a half because it itched and stung a bit. The swelling took a few days to go away. My confidence decreased.

The last time he really went for it. He told me it might hurt. He described what he was doing as "thrilling" my chi. I always associated the word thrill with something positive, no more. I felt scratched internally, raw, fragile.

He talked me through why he thought my periods might have stopped. Had I had a shock, was I particularly stressed, a sudden change in my energy levels? I wracked my brain, really, really tried to think of something, anything that had changed. He assured me that my body's energy had to be realigned, reinvigorated but once my periods started again they would be easier, regular and fertile-er (that word coming to a dictionary near you soon).

On Wednesday I made the decision to go for one last time.

On Thursday my period started.

I don't get ill. I'm generally incredibly healthy. In the last year I have had two half days off work. Both of those were when I came in to work and my period pains got so bad I couldn't function and had to go home. Just before Christmas I couldn't walk down the stairs, my work colleague found me sitting on the stairs clinging onto the banister, white faced, in a cold sweat. I got a taxi the ten minute walk home. So its fair to say, I get pretty bad period pains.

Thursday then, as soon as I realised what was happening, I necked my super strong pain killers. And waited. Yes, I wasn't comfortable. But I didn't have to take any more drugs that day. Friday, only one pill. This is unheard of.

I'm not 'cured'. I'm not about to name and proclaim TCM as the answer to infertility woes. But once more cautious optimism is creeping in. I'm going to see what happens to my cycle, see if it starts to get regular. I'm not even thinking as far as getting pregnant yet (although womb, if you're listening don't let that stop you) but maybe, just maybe, things are starting to get sorted.


  1. Moving forward, if only one teeny tiny step at a time. You're still moving forward!

  2. That is good news.

    Both the new cycle and the fact the acupuncture might have helped.

    Stupid question now, (how) do you (begin to try to) gauge when the right time is off the back of those long cycles? Or just go for it?

    Squeee with excitement, best of luck.

  3. Finally!
    Tell me again why the doctor didn't put you on Provera? I forget.
    I'm thrilled that you have your period. Just so happy for you! One small step at a time!

  4. So glad to hear that AF has arrived!!! It sounds like the acupuncture thing might have helped - I share your skepticism, although I'm getting ready to start dragging over the my acupuncturist's office two evenings a week before I start this IVF cycle in earnest. So, this is good to hear right now.

    At least you're on your way now - glad you can turn off the ticker. :)

  5. Sarah, yup you might almost say baby steps. (Here's hoping)

    X, yes, jury's still out on the acupuncture. And as to your questions that's a whole post in itself. Squee!

    Pixy, I wish I knew! Basically no provera because they didn't think not having a period would be "a problem" and my next appointment wasn't due. I know, I know ...

    Leslie, Still not sure about the acupuncture, but, I am certain it won't do any harm and at least it is something we can control rather than being at the mercy of our doctors.

  6. Congrats on the period! (It feels so weird typing that on a IF blog).

    Lets hope the acupuncture has kicked started your periods so they come a bit more often from now on.

  7. That's wonderful news!

    As you know, I do think that acupuncture can make a difference. But I also think that it isn't necessarily something that produces results in the short term - sometimes you have to be willing to take a long term view.

    As you say, it's not a 'cure' - but it is a great sign that things are moving forward. I'm so pleased for you.

  8. YES!!!! Thank you AF for finally showing your ugly mug! Don't disappear like that again...GOT IT!

  9. Yay! Yay! Yay! Not that it's very fun, but I'm happy for you anyway. :)

  10. woo hoo for not as bad cramps! I've had the same thing, whitefaced cold sweats, horribly sick, and acupuncture helped me with that quite a bit. Still not knocked up, but I'll talk what I can get!

  11. Secret D, I know happy I got a period is pretty werid, but this whole thing is.

    Ms Heathen, I need to be more patient but hopefully things are starting.

    Decade, Got it!

    Fertility C, its good.

    Lovecomesfirst, we're getting there. Maybe.

  12. I agree with you. When we're as Effed up as we are, you have to focus on the "healthy" aspect first and try to at least get more regular cycles before you can be sure you'll carry a baby. sigh


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