It’s very common for women who are breastfeeding to live menstruation-free for several months after the birth of their babies. Well, after nearly ten months (the first, after birth, is a bloody business too), my body is getting back to its cycles. It’s annoying, but the female body menstruates for a reason. I know that’s not something that resonates with everyone, and I say that with a certain understanding since I’ve never had very regular periods.
This has been an area of intense emotion and pain for me because, for years, it meant great inconvenience, discomfort, and embarrassment. Right up until I conceived my daughter, I was largely convinced that I might be unable to have children because of it. But, somehow, life had plans for me, and here she is. Prior to even having my child, I had come to a certain peace with the inconveniences and pains of menstruation. Much of that was through the use of medication – something I’m not sure I want to go back to yet. While trying to conceive, and therefore free of birth control hormones, I started to feel like maybe my body was adopting relatively normal cycles after growing up. I felt really good – physically and spiritually. My period became something less painful and I started to learn through it as I attempted to track my fertility.
Now that it’s returned, I am trying to pay attention to it again. The female body sheds its uterine walls in a mostly monthly cycle as a way of purification. I don’t know what this will mean for menopause, but for now, I embrace the purification – cramps and all! It’s a good excuse to further my herbal studies as I experiment with ways to naturally lesson the discomforts. Having felt successful with cloth diapering, it’s really driven home a realization that I should embrace the same zeal for reusable cloth toiletries for my feminine needs. It is also a good reminder that we women need to retreat every once in awhile and tend to our own needs.