Every since I can remember, I have always counted the month by my cycle days. It has always been on my radar where I am in my cycle. I have never been someone who would be surprised when AF showed up, completely unprepared. Even in my teen years, I was always acutely aware of when that was going to happen. I knew when I was ovulating based on all my signs, especially in my later teens when I had a recurring problem of hemorrhagic cysts, amoung other things. I became familiar with all things cycle and fertility related very early on, and had my first transvaginal ultrasound when I was 16, my first lap at 18. I have been in some form of TTC mode almost continuously for over 16 years now. It is so ingrained that it's almost subconscious in that I probably could never truly cop to a totally surprise pregnancy, because whether I am aware of it or not, tracking my cycle and BDing accordingly likely always happens. I don't know how to NOT be aware of this and shut it off. No, this post is not some sort of weird announcement, not at all.
Now 3.5 months postpartum in my later 30's, waiting for my cycle to return and see what my hormones are going to look like this time, I find myself thinking about whether we will ever TTC again, and if I can handle all that comes with it once more. Only time will tell, which is what I tell all the ridiculous people who feel the need to ask if I'm done having kids. While I am in my own limbo, I still find myself at the lab, getting cycle day 3 bloodwork, along with a host of other labs as well...thyroid and iron panel amoung others, for my teen. At almost 15.5, her cycles have decided to creep closer and closer together, until they are now under 2 weeks apart. She is tired, moody, and just generally out of sorts. She is getting a crash course in all the things women go through just so we can maybe have children someday. And she is silently thankful I insisted on knowing her CD1s so I can keep track for her and know when there is a red flag. We see her doctor Thursday.
It is a really weird place to be, having a child old enough to have the same hormone imbalances as me, and seeing doctors to straighten them out for two totally different reasons. It is also weird to be thinking so much about this at a time when my own body is on breastfeeding hold and the issues at the moment aren't mine. I also have my other daughter who is close to starting her cycles for the first time. So lots of wonky hormones in my house right now.
My teen just wants to feel better now, which I want, too. But I also want to identify any potential issues now, so that maybe when her time comes she doesn't have to struggle to have a child if she wants one. This is really some of the weirdest deja vu ever. We will see what news Thursday brings. I suppose for the next several years, I will be counting cycle days for all of us.