Letting the world know it’s that time of the month is not something I would usually do, it’s a little bit too personal, even for me! But after months of worrying about potentially not being able to have children following my completion surgery, I have finally had my period. I don’t think I have ever been so relieved to get my monthly visit from mother nature. I was starting to worry that with all the scar tissue, pelvic infections and other horrible side effects, something irreparable might have happened during my surgery. But yesterday when it finally returned I felt a massive weight lifted off my shoulders: it feels like I’m starting to finally see a real end to everything that has happened over the past 14 years.
The truth is I haven’t had a period in over six years. Mostly this hasn’t really bothered me. When I had them they were a pain in the arse, and they were irregular to say the least. But having a regular monthly cycle feels like I am finally on my way back to something resembling a healthy life. I feel like I am finally getting back on track, and while I am already sick of the entire thing – as it is especially heavy and painful this time – I know this is a sign that I am getting better and the most well I have been in over a decade.
Ok, so one of the reasons my period vanished was due to having the Implant fitted. But the main reason was my Ulcerative Colitis and my fluctuating weight, which has always been low but has sometimes been frightening. In the past I didn’t even think about the absence of my monthly cycle, but in the past few months I’ve started to get more and more anxious about it. I was becoming frightened that something had gone badly wrong; that I would never be able to have kids; that my parents would never get to be grandparents to my children, but now I feel hopeful again. I know that after all that my body has been through that I may never be able to have children, I have already accepted that, but I now feel that there is a chance. I guess my body is starting to recover from this awful disease and it just took time to get used to life without a colon; without disease and without a daily battle to survive.
Before you start trying to find a replacement for me in the office, or rush out to by baby grows and prams for me, don’t panic, I’m not even thinking about having kids yet. I’m talking years down the line. But it is nice to think that one day I may have the choice and that my illness may not deny me that pleasure. If it does, I will be devastated, but I have already decided that I would love to adopt. Obviously in the end it wouldn’t just be up to me, but I hope that I one day can have a family and be an amazing mum (obviously I need to cook better first, hmm and maybe a few other essential skills).
Now that I am well, kids feel like a realistic option. Before I was so exhausted I didn’t even have the energy to get out of bed some days, let alone look after a tiny person. I really don’t know how new mums or dads with IBD or other chronic illnesses do it; how they cope; how they manage to put a smile on their face during periods of such crippling pain and fatigue while they are having a flare. Parents are superhuman anyway, let alone parents battling illness and still managing to bring up their kids. I don’t think I would have coped. I struggled enough just with myself, I think it would have killed me to miss one second of my child’s life due to being in and out of hospital – I mean it was hard enough being away from my job, my family, friends and partner, let alone children or a new born baby.
I’ve seen mothers in hospitals sitting up all night worrying and crying for their children. I’ve seen the pain the separation causes. I hope now that when I have children they will never see me that ill. I hope they never get to see me in agonising pain or collapsed on the bathroom floor. I hope their father never has to bring them to hospital to visit me. I hope and wish that I will have the energy to play with my children, run, dance, sing, jump and swim with them. And that nothing else gets in my way – actually that’s not a hope, It’s a fact NOTHING IS GOING TO!
I’m terrified that my children will have IBD. I don’t think I could cope knowing the pain they were going through; knowing that I couldn’t take it away. My mum has been a rock throughout my years of pain, but I know it has broken her heart into tiny pieces and I don’t think i could go through the same. Seeing my child like that would kill me.
So to all you mums out there with IBD or with children with IBD, I take my hat off to you. You are amazing people. I hope one day to follow in your footsteps and become a proud mum. But I just hope that my IBD doesn’t stand in my way or try to ruin things – it is a proper party pooper after all.