Pain, suffering and raspberry leaf tea

OK, so those who menstruate and read this blog probably know what’s going on as soon as I mention raspberry leaf tea – or maybe not.

I didn’t post at the weekend, I was suffering mightily. Still am, but it’s easing a small bit. Y’see, it looks like I’m heading into menopause now, which is a shame, since we did want to have a family. It now looks like adoption and/or fostering are the way to go for us. Which is Brigid connected, let’s face it, seeing as she herself (in her guise as saint) was fostered out for definite from her father’s home anyway (little info on the mother here again!)

But anyway, it had been a good 10 weeks since my last period and with the mental health things that are going on right now, I had kinda a) lost track other than to think “it’s been a while” and b) kinda forgotten to do the pre-menstrual pain relief stuff I usually do. So that was increased pain both from length of time and from lack of self care.

It also means my flow is a lot heavier this month than usual – again from both issues. So I’ve been lucky enough to be able to do a lot of sitting on the couch, napping, having hot baths and sipping raspberry leaf tea. Husband is well trained really – he knows at this time of the month there is ONE tea I really want and he provides it on a regular basis. (He also provides food, chocolate, water, hugs, etc as needed. He’s a good man!)

I’ve never been overly found of bleeding – my periods have been usually irregular and heavy. When we went through fertility treatment, we found out my hormone levels (particularly progesterone and oestrogen) are extremely low and while undergoing treatment, I was taking supplements and injections to address that. Unfortunately, once treatment stopped, it was not possible to continue with those prescriptions so back to normal I went. Well, normal for me.

My usual pre-menstrual care involves more meditation, dance meditation, gentle movement, that sort of thing. It kinda eases the muscles around the uterus (this is based on no medical knowledge, just my experience in my own body, by the way) and sort of pre-eases the cramps. Even so, I usually have at least one full day in bed, either before, during or after my period. If work permits, I try to do it on the first day, it makes the rest of the period a lot easier. Otherwise, it’s dose myself with painkillers and keep going until I can collapse for a day. And it’s usually a lot harder, more painful, when I have to do it that way.

So, it’s not that I’m going to miss this part of my life. Not really. But I feel over the last year that I need to do some mourning for the hopes we had of having our own family, because even by my standards of irregularity, 10 weeks is a long stretch. Last time I went that long, it was a miscarriage, not a period. And it got me to thinking about the habits and rituals I have around my period and the rhythm that gives my life, the drumbeat of my body. What will replace this monthly shedding of the uterus lining?

As ever, I don’t know the answers. And I’m talking to herself about how I will manage this and guidance around the whole adoption/fostering thing. It may or may not be for us, but it’s worth trying, right?

As for now, well, now I’m off back to the couch, with Buffy and yet another mug of raspberry leaf tea. I don’t know if it’s scientifically proven, but it certainly helps my aches and pains at this time of the month! And Buffy helps too!

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