How do you cope with getting your period?

Gunce • Head of research at Glow. Unwilling infertility expert. 2 kids after 6 IVF treatments.

I spent 4 years trying to get pregnant. Which essentially meant that I had about four dozen times when I was hoping to NOT get my period…and I got it anyway. Getting your period is never a pleasant pastime. But as anyone who is trying to have a baby will tell you: Getting your period when you are trying to conceive is an all new level of hell.

To keep my sanity, I developed the following four day ritual to get me from “devastated” back to the point where I was ready to try again:

Day 1

Cry. It was gonna happen anyway, so I always felt it best to simply get this over with. The crying either started at the first sight of blood, or sometimes even earlier with the telltale cramps. I cried wherever and whenever I could. In office bathrooms. In department stores. Like a crazy person walking down the street. Talking to my sister. Talking to my mother. Talking to the checkout person at the local Fairway. At the sight of a cute baby. At the sight of a pregnant belly. At the sight of a half-eaten sandwich. And especially when someone asked me the loaded question of “How are you?” I firmly believe that crying is good for you. Kinda like a way for your eyes to hydrate your soul.

Day 2

Rage. By the second day, I usually moved swiftly from self-pity to anger. The anger came in many forms. Mostly it was directed towards people who made statements such as “I have no idea how I became pregnant, honestly, we were not even trying and I had stopped taking birth control pills just the previous week” while rubbing their glorious bellies.  It was misdirected, sure. But it felt good.

Day 3

Indulge. Usually by the third day I had finally come to accept that I was not pregnant. Again. With that acceptance, came an urge for sushi and same very large glasses of wine. I don’t normally drink. But I almost always did on Day 3. If I had had any other bad habits, I would have indulged in them too - unfortunately I do not have access to any drugs and smoking makes me feel ill. So I made do with copious amounts of alcohol, deli meat, unpasteurized cheese, sushi, oysters, and anything else you are not supposed to have and do while pregnant.

Day 4

Recommit. On Day 4, usually the final day of my period, I had gotten to the point where I could recommit to the task at hand. Initially that was just getting frisky with my husband at the right time and enduring the two week wait. By the end of the four years, that involved a battery of shots, exams, procedures, doctors visits and all else that <a href="">IVF</a> entailed. The fourth day was always crucial to my journey because that was the day that I would come to accept that the only way for me to have a baby was to TRY to have a baby. I couldn’t quit. I just had to push forward.

I wish I could say that this process became easier with time. But that would be a lie. It became infinitely harder with time. But I also developed a strong network of other hopeful mothers who held my (virtual) hand, cheered me on, and cried with me. That's why I think the Glow Forums are so important and I am so heartened by the support Glow users show each other. (If you are new to the TTC world - it might not be obvious....but the Glow forums are the "nicest" ones I've ever come across. Thank you all for making it so....)

So tell us - What makes you feel better when you get your period? Any tips for our users?