marilyn

For those that have been following my journey with post-pill amenorrhea and PCOS, this is for you. To catch up, read this post and this post. Either way, please join me in the celebration! 

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I’ve imagined what it would feel like to write this post so many times. The excitement. The relief.

The thought that – maybe this is too much to share – because that fear is definitely there. But gently reminding myself why I show up on this blog, brings me back. To connect with you. To share my journey and (hopefully) empower you as you go along your own.

So, without further ado. The time has come. The day has arrived. *squeal!*

I’m throwing a period party!!

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Finally, after 12 months (almost to the day – freaky) after coming off the contraceptive pill, my period has returned. I got my period back!

Holygoshwowthankyou.

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But let’s back track, shall we?

Since I last filled you in, I’ve been trekking along with my fortnightly acupuncture, Chinese herbs, diet and lifestyle adjustments and focussing on my digestion, blood building and stress reduction.

Around the end of November, my skin was looking amazing and although it’s extremely hard for me to admit this – and I do miss him terribly – my stress levels decreased massively in the last quarter of the year when my brother (who was in a rehabilitation hospital in Perth) was transferred to Melbourne. A retreat to Bali probably helped a bit with that one too! My digestion was humming along nicely and from a holistic perspective, I was Doing All The Right Things.

But, no period.

I made the decision at the start of December that if I reached a full year of not menstruating (which would have brought me to the end of January), I’d seek out a referral for a Gynaecologist. I’d consider my options. I researched the fertility drug Clomid and became open to the idea that perhaps this man-made problem (10 years of contraceptive pill use), required a man-made solution.

December was December. Christmas. Heavy food. Champagne. A bit (a lot) less yoga. I kept taking my herbs, but mentally I had let it go. I signed off on ‘trying to get my period back’ for 2013 and put it in the ‘deal with in January’ basket.

Then, something happened…

Around New Years Eve, my nipples became unbelievably sore. Like, ridiculously so.

‘Shit’, I thought. ‘I’m pregnant’.

But I knew I wasn’t. I had a suspicion that perhaps, I was ovulating. I hadn’t ovulated in well over a decade (thanks to the pill), but I intuitively felt that was what was happening. I had two dreams that week about getting my period. My skin broke out. I was bloated and ‘puffy’ and I knew something was going on. I marked it in my calendar and waited…

The nipple pain subsided, my belly went flat again and my skin cleared up.

And then, last Thursday morning, I woke up to the most welcome period I have ever had in my life!

I cried. I called my Mum!

I felt whole, feminine and fertile.

I sent out texts and emails to my girlfriends and sisters and I walked around with the widest grin on my face all day!

Until the killer cramps kicked in – not that I’m complaining, believe me – so I spent two days on the floor of my lounge room, surrounded by pillows and blankets and books and I retreated, released and reflected. Oh, and I finally got to buy some TOM organic tampons. Yes!

 I had an undeniable urge to tell the world, but stronger than that was the need to keep the past week as a sacred, personal experience.

I journalled, sat in silence and I said no – alot.

I rubbed my sore belly and I thanked it a billion times over. I practiced yoga at home, focussing on poses that relieve cramping, create space in the uterus and encourage flow.

It was truly an amazing few days. And now, it feels like new beginnings. It is a special, important time and it deserves respect. I never in a billion years could have imagined I’d feel this way about having my period. Seriously!

I can’t wait to start tracking my cycle to not only assess when I am ovulating for contraceptive purposes, but also for my creativity processes and connection with the earth. Check out the soulful eBook Spirited (written by two beautiful friends of mine), for more on how to tune into your creativity fluctuations during your cycle.

Which reminds me, did I mention the night my period returned was a full moon?! Many women find their cycle is aligned with the moon’s. Check it out – yours might too. Go Mother Nature, GO!

I can’t help but laugh at the fact that as soon as I let go of the idea of getting my period back – there it was. And that’s just the magical nature of life, isn’t it?

I’m so crazy-thrilled to be beginning this next chapter. I’ll still be supporting my body’s own healing power with acupuncture, herbs, food, exercise and rest, but I’ll be keeping in mind that it’s important to trust the process, enjoy everything in moderation – and yes, to let go.

Thank you for being on this mad adventure with me and for allowing me to share my joy and excitement and celebration with you – it means the world.

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To those still struggling with balancing hormones, PCOS, infertility and post-pill amenorrhea, know that you are not alone. As a health coach, I work with women on a daily basis who are taking steps to nourish and rebalance their body after coming off the pill. We’re all in this together.

As always, you know what is best for your body. You always have a choice and if you love your body with good health, space and time… It will love you back.

A few other thoughts to leave you with…

+ Many cultures and traditions have historically grouped women together when menstruating – how can you create a sacred space and celebrate with your soul sisters next time you have your period?

+ How can you honour your body by resting and reflecting at this special time in your cycle?

+ Where can you pour some gratitude into this divinely feminine experience? Yes, there may be cramping and bloating and all you want to eat is chocolate (yep!) – but how can you be grateful for your body’s ability to release the past month and create space (literally!) for new beginnings?

+ If you’re looking at making positive health and lifestyle changes, I have loads of recipes, personal anecdotes and insights in my She Is Radiant eRangeCheck it out here. I also recommend this eBook Healing Hypothalamic Amenorrhea by nutritionist Kate Callaghan.

+ Finally, if it’s PCOS specific information you’re looking for, I’d love to point you in the direction of Dr. Nat Kringoudis’ eCourse Debunking PCOS.

Please remember to speak to your own health professional team before making any significant changes to your lifestyle. 

Share with me in the comments below. And please, share this with your ladies. 

All my love,

Claire x

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