There is a prerequisite to the mandatory course that is my period. I call it my cramping 101. During my actual period I have cramping that is akin to contractions. The kind you might have if you were pregnant with a 25 pound two headed godzilla like creature with razor sharp teeth that bite you from the inside. This is not an over exaggeration, in fact…I may be sugar coating a little. So obviously…THAT sucks but what sucks even more (if you can even believe it’s possible to up the scale of sucky at this point) are my cramping 101 pains. I have described the KNOWING that my period is coming. I talked about this in my “Tales of a Regular girl” post but the cramping itself…it deserves it’s own post. So, here we go with the 101s, the alpha, the beginning. What makes them so awful is that they are the SAME…always. They bring with them some diarrhea and nausea. I can actually feel the uterus contracting, not with the excruciating pain that it will have as a partner in a couple of days but...with a feeling I can only describe as "Yuck". I always feel like someone poured a bucket of water into all my pores and the 101’s are attempting to run them through some kind of collision course with all available exits. It’s an awful overall feeling and it occurs every single month, on time, and without fail.
I would add that I have pretty high tolerance for pain. With the twins, I remember women telling me “Contractions are like cramps but ten times worse”. I thought, “oh well, surely I’ll die or pass out then”. At that time, I didn’t know my period was any different from anyone else’s. I learned later that most of my friends pitied my monthly blood and guts horror show. That people actually use panty liners as pads (I sincerely thought this was a myth) and that girls take tylenol then cramps disappear like bunny rabbits into a hat. I’m not bitter…ok, sometimes a little. The beginning of this revelation was my labor with the twins. I kept waiting for The Pain. I dilated 6 centimeters before baby girl turned breach requiring a c section. I mean I felt something but it wasn’t even a distant blurry comparison to my period cramps. According to the doctor my contractions were “intense” enough for both babies to be delivered vaginally (had they both cooperated with the plan) but I was asking could I please have a burger right up to the operating table. So not ten times stronger than MY period pain, not a tenth OF my period pain, just a vaguely uncomfortable feeling I liken to having a decent amount of gas. That was 13 years ago and I've given birth painfully and bitterly to only a uterine lining ever since. Of course, I'm not alone in the pain of giving birth every month to only a uterine lining, and though I wouldn't wish IF on anyone...not being alone helps.
I said all that to say, there is no mistaking 101s for round ligament pain or early pregnancy cramping. When the 101s begin…it’s already over.
P.S. Of course I had to create this post while 101s are in session to make sure I captured all their glory.
Till next time