About four months ago I noticed something alarming.
My period was late.
Now since the crazy-ass fluke that we call Bo happened, we decided in a fit of hysterics that I should be on birth control (hear the psycho in that?) and so I went on Camila, a birth control pill that is ideal for nursing but apparently doesn't protect against pregnancy as well as some of the heavier dose pills. Whatever, it was good enough, since we DID go SEVEN years without a single pregnancy and my FSH was around a million when we stopped treatments. That alone should be ample birth control, but Random was spooked enough by Bo's unicorn-like existence (both of us marveling-- was something magically "fixed" now? Was my body feeling particularly eggy all of a sudden? Were the sperm no longer two-headed beasties?) that we could get pregnant AGAIN if we didn't watch out. We had just recently bought a modest 2000 square foot home in an uber-expensive area (outside NYC) that cost us a ridiculous amount of money and the mortgage payments were unreal (they still are. We still gasp every time we see them, and now our house is worth less). So the basic synopsis is this: we would, in an ideal world, like to have another child. We cannot afford another child, and we really don't have the physical space for another child. Therefore, we will prevent any possibility of another child, no matter how small.
So getting back to the original story: my period was late.
I vaguely remembered skipping a pill or two, because when you have two small children, remembering to take a pill every night is a hassle. A mixture of panic and raw excitement surged through me as I peed on a First Response HPT.
It was negative. It didn't surprise me, but yet I was a little flummoxed (love the word "flummoxed"!); my period had been like clockwork ever since going off hormones, and it had resumed 10 months into nursing, back to its old clockworkian ways. The only time I had been this late, I was pregnant.
In the next few days, I took a number of tests, all negative. I couldn't figure it out. The only thing I could guess was that I was starting menopause. That, coupled with my 39th birthday, was sending me into a gloomy pit of self-pity filled with laughing nubile young women full of fertile hope and non-saggy boobs all pointing at me. At about eleven days late, I called my OB/GYN. I went in for tests, including a pregnancy test.
"Well, you're not pregnant," the nurse called me back a day or two later. "But your thyroid is pretty low. It could be that." Then she told me that I had ovulated, but recently, and could expect my period in about ten days. (This would have put me at about 24 days late, almost an entire cycle).
I went to my thyroid doc, who reviewed the results and upped my Synthroid. He didn't know if my thyroid would cause such a late period, but he was open to the possibility.
A few months went by. My period returned, back to its comfy old self, on time and ready to go. Thoughts of menopause flew gaily out the door and I attributed it all to my thyroid.
And then July happened.
My last period was July 3. It's now August 9, and I've stopped counting how many days late I am. I've taken three tests, all negative. There is no sign of my period except for my incredible ongoing bad mood (I told my husband: It's like PMS but constantly--like it's all built up there waiting but not coming out). My thyroid doc called me last week with good news--my levels are stable and looking good. So my convenient excuse is no longer there.
I could be going through menopause. Right??! And: Fuck.
Or---and this is what I'm now trying to convince myself is happening--it's my continued nursing that's screwing up my cycle. I'm actually nursing more than I was during the year, as Bo likes to nurse for hours in the morning if she can (she is not on board with weaning attempts. Weaning attemps can go eff themselves). The last time I was late (four months or so ago), was right around a work vacation, so I was probably nursing more then too. Maybe? Maybe my nursing is messing with things?
It's plausible, right?
Anyway, I've bought this First Response Fertility Check-er thinger. It's supposed to measure your FSH and tell you whether you can have a baby. I felt ridiculous buying it, but I'm curious. If I really am starting menopause, I would guess that it would tell me I have suck ass chances of getting pregnant.
I know it's crazy, but I don't want to be going through menopause. Even if we are never going to have another kid by choice, the whole mid-life thing is starting to get frighteningly close. I googled "what age is middle age" the other day, and searched until I found a site that said "45-65." Just so it doesn't officially start with my next birthday. My husband told me he thinks I am having a mid-life crisis, and he's right. I haven't bought any sports cars yet, but I've got about four hundred pairs of leggings.
As soon as my period starts, I'm going to measure my FSH and post whatever answer it gives me. In the meantime, if anyone has any similar experiences--either to commiserate or educate--I'd love to hear them. I thought I was done with worrying about my nethers. Ha! They will never allow me that luxury.