I finished the equation I was working on, then went to use the bathroom before moving on to the more complicated word problems. I was minutely startled but largely unimpressed to discover that my first period had started.
"My period started," I said flatly to my mother.
Even back then at the age of 11, I understood why from my mother's perspective, this was such an exciting event. However, I personally did not feel like the situation warranted the tippy-toe hopping and frantic hand flapping she displayed.
"Oh! Ohmygoodness! My baby! Ohmygawsh!," she tweeted as she gripped me in a hug.
That weekend, she took me out to lunch at the restaurant of my choice to celebrate my crossover into womanhood.
"You're a young woman now, and your life is forever changed. Do you have any questions?" she asked, reaching around the stack of IHOP's finest to squeeze my hand and still looking at me with those happy/weepy "you're all growed up" eyes.
"Uuummmm…could you pass the blueberry syrup?"
I didn't have any questions, as I'd long been well-versed in all subject matters related to "the talk."
So five years later at the age of 16, I wasn't entirely concerned about the fact that it seemed my periods had begun spacing out. I also didn't care much that my cycles never seemed to last for more than 2-3 days and the flow was always more like heavy spotting. It was less work, so at the time it seemed to work to my advantage.
By the time Frank and I started trying to conceive when I was 20, my cycles had stretched out to 40-50 days in length. By the time I moved to Clomid 2.5 years later, my cycles were 50-80 days apart.
Most infertiles/subfertiles (or anyone trying to conceive, for that matter), look at the arrival of AF (or whatever other nonsensical term you call it) with disdain. I looked at the absence of my period with disdain. The days of endless waiting dragged hope through the mud until I was begging for one answer or the other. I'm clearly not pregnant pregnant on this cycle, so please, PLEASE let my period start to put an end to this tormented suspended animation. Either that, or let me be one of those impossibles who got a positive test on CD 68. I usually felt mostly relief once the customary 1-2 days of breakthrough bleeding occurred. Not having a period just felt like pressure and tension. It still does.
Even though I'm now regulated with BCPs, I want to throw a little party and hi-five myself for having a timely period. Especially now in the pre-IVF cycling days, when timing is of the essence and the arrival of your period signals the start of the transfer countdown timer.
Yesterday was cycle day 1, and hopefully this will be the second-to-last period for a very, very long time. I was the one who went all tippy-toe and finger-flappy happy.
I wonder if I can convince my mom to take me out to lunch to celebrate.