Why Getting My Period Back Felt Like A Huge Victory


It was a day that filled me with a lot of happiness and a spark of enriched hope.

I was elated.

I couldn’t believe what I saw.

I felt like a “real” and rejuvenated woman.

I loved the extra squishy and bloated belly staring back at me in the mirror.

I yelled for my husband and when he walked in I started jumping up and down with joy.

What made this day so special? It was the day my period came. I had never been so thankful for lower back pain and cramps than I was at this moment. In fact, feeling cramps was rewarding and in a weird way, relaxing; purchasing AND using tampons felt victorious! My husband was just as happy as I was about “Aunt Flow” visiting and continually asked me every day “are you still flowing?” and I proudly said back with a huge smile on my face “Yes. I. am!!!”

A little bit of background

You may be wondering why I was so excited about getting my period. Well…it was the first time I had gotten my period in about six years without the assistance of fertility drugs. My husband and I endured quite the journey trying to establish a family and were repeatedly heartbroken over many unsuccessful infertility treatments. As we “moved in” to our second home, also known as our infertility clinic, a diagnosis of hypothalamic amenorrhea defined me. This is just a big medical word basically meaning that I was unable to have periods on my own and because of that I wasn’t ovulating, and we all know what it means when you can’t ovulate…you can’t get pregnant!

As a woman unable to get my period, I felt broken. Why was my body unable to function the way a woman’s body was biologically meant to? Why was my body failing me? Of course, several years ago when I wasn’t trying to get pregnant, I celebrated the fact that I didn’t have periods, but when my maternal instinct kicked in and I was ready for children “yesterday,” it was devastating. Fortunately, my body gave me a glance of hope because I produced a lot of eggs; however, because of not having a menstrual cycle for so many years, it was likely that my egg quality was poorer than it would have been had I been able to have periods. So after hundreds of shots later and 3 failed IUI cycles and 3 failed IVF cycles, it was pretty apparent that my egg quality may have indeed suffered from not having a period.

Fast-forward to today and I am blessed with two miracle babies—one through adoption and one through another IVF treatment. While I am happy that “Aunt Flow” has moved back in town, I wonder how long “she’ll” stay. Will “she” continue to come regularly or will she disappear into the shadows again? Could I actually, possibly get pregnant the good ole’ fashion way? Whatever “Aunt Flow” decides to do, I am prepared and cautiously optimistic because I have been through it all with “her.”

My husband and I would love to have three children and are taking advantage of currently trying to get pregnant for free and without pills and needles. If we’re unable to conceive in the bedroom and need to revisit the oh so familiar exam room, we’re happy too, since IVF is our “natural” way of getting pregnant; it is all we know. Who knows what next month will hold? Who knows if I’ll start having a regular cycle or if this was just a random occurrence, but whatever the future holds, I know it’ll be great because of the current dream I am living in being a mother to two incredible blessings!

A message to all women

To all my fellow sisters who have the opposite reaction to their period coming, I have been there too, and it down right stinks! The disappointment and heartbreak associated with feeling those first twinges of cramping, signaling that your period is on the way or seeing the home pregnancy test that stares back at you with negative results month after month is excruciating. For me, this pain quickly grew into periods of mourning. I mourned the thought of never being able to hear my baby’s heartbeat or feel kicks in my belly. I mourned the thought of thinking I would never experience the joy of cradling my baby in my arms and rocking him or her to bed. I mourned the fear of never being able to hear the words “Mom.” I mourned the loss of something I never even had.

For those of you who are reading this article and maybe wanting to slap me in the face because all you want is for your period to be absent, I totally get it and I pray that the heartache you’re experiencing is short-lived. I humbly ask you to please take a quick second to hug yourself and tell yourself that you are loved, you are strong, you are persevering, and you WILL be a mom. There are so many options available and your special little one is waiting to be in your life. The journey of the two of you finding each other is worth every detour. I am always eager and happily available to chat, just PM me. I remember how comforting it was to talk with someone who was or who had gone through infertility. While it never took away the pain, it provided temporary relief, it reignited my hope and eagerness to begin our next treatment cycle, and it provided me with a level of relatable support that was invaluable. I am here if you want to chat!

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Melissa recently resigned from her career in higher education and was promoted to her new title as Dr. Mom to two-under-two. Her quest to have a family involved a long road of infertility struggles. She has a son named Rowan who is 21 months old and a girl named Ildi who is 6 months old. There is never a dull moment in the Butcher house with two-under-two. Their days are fast, dirty, silly and tiring, yet also imaginative, magical and memorable. Melissa is passionate about conquering every great moment as well as the challenging moments, with love. She truly embraces the Beatle’s philosophy of “All You Need is Love” especially in moments when she finds herself gritting her teeth and taking deep breaths during the blissful chaos occurring in her home. She enjoys reading, baking, decorating cakes, walking, biking, spending time with her family and friends, and cheering on the Clemson Tigers. She also enjoys writing for infertility and adoption focused organizations, striving to serve and support families pursuing assisted reproductive technologies and adoption to achieve their dreams in becoming parents. In writing for Charleston Moms Blog, Melissa hopes to bring Moms together in enjoying and laughing about the special and comical moments of being a mom as well as providing the comfort and support that all Moms need on this journey we adoringly call Motherhood.