As I’ve gotten older, ovulation has become that time of the month for me. Yeah, I still get grumpy during PMS, but ovulation is coming in a very close second. Maybe it’s because I don’t have time to embrace my inner fertility goddess. Maybe it’s because my aging body just can’t handle the onslaught of hormones. Either way, I’m a bloated, moody, lustful, nauseous hot mess during the middle part of my cycle. Add in a full moon, some sleep deprivation, a house empty of chocolate, and you probably want to stay far away from me (unless you’re my husband, who can’t seem to get his hands off me).
Here’s what happens to my body and soul when my eggs get popping.
1. My Moodiness Is Off the Charts
One minute I want to hug and kiss everyone I know. My children are the most lovely, precious beings on earth. Love and peace and joy all around! Then I’m in overdrive. My cup runneth over. All that fertile energy that makes my heart beat faster and my face get flushed has nowhere to go. So it turns to madness, but not the kind I had when I was a love-struck teenager and couldn’t wait to make out with every boy I saw. Now it’s mom-madness. I spend every waking hour wiping butts, cleaning up toys, making meals—I have no time to feel all the feels. So when I do, I really feel them. It’s like the floodgates are open and everything turns to tears. Or crankiness. Or blind rage.
2. I Get a Ridiculous Burst of Energy
Along with an increased sex drive comes a general fervor and industriousness. I want to clean out the coat closet! I’m going to start that novel I always wanted to write! Let’s get those spring flowers into the garden! All these lively ideas are driven by the same hormones that propel you into your husband’s arms, but which are impossible when you have kids. I can’t remember the last time I could put away a bag of groceries without a bunch of food-grubbing whiners at my feet. Why did I think reorganizing the pantry was a good idea? All that ovulation energy can just suck it.
3. I’m Sick to My Stomach
When my friend was trying to conceive her second child, she’d wake up, vomit, and then nudge her husband to get up and do the deed. I don’t know why women don’t talk more about the seasick nausea that often accompanies ovulation, but it’s very common indeed, and has gotten worse for me as the years tick by. My nasty gastrointestinal symptoms are often accompanied by a migraine. Sometimes even the kind of migraine where spots of light get caught in the periphery of my vision, making me seasick and blind. Yay!
4. I Get a Bloated Belly
Need I say more? As the egg gets ready to burst from my ovaries, my belly seems to follow suit. I can’t close my pants. Sitting down is less than comfortable. I don’t understand how I’m supposed to feel sexy and free when I look like I’m four months pregnant.
5. I Experience ‘Mittelschmerz’
This is that German word (somehow fitting that it’s German) for that concentrated zap of pain that some women experience around ovulation. It doesn’t happen every month for every woman and for some it’s brief and mild. But for others it can be quite debilitating. Add bloating and nausea and you have a lovely afternoon ahead of hot water bottles, Motrin, and Lamaze-type breathing. Fick dich, mittelschmerz.
6. I Could Get Pregnant
Well, this is a loaded one. Some of us want to. Some of us don’t. For anyone dealing with fertility problems, ovulation can feel like a slap in the face. But for most of us, it’s just confusing! I spend the rest of the month certain I am done having babies and then ovulation hits and even the puppies on the way to school give me baby cravings. Don’t go see your friend’s new baby while you’re ovulating unless your significant other is out of town or you are open to the idea of another baby entering the mix.
7. I Want My Husband, But…
I spend the days while I’m ovulating thinking of all the things I want to do with my husband when he gets home. I even send him sexy little texts during the day. But then he comes home, and we’ve got a house full of kids. And the hours between him walking through the door and them falling asleep are the worst hours of my day. It’s “get off the computer!” Then “eat your dinner!” Then “do your homework!” Then “stop clobbering each other over the head with fire trucks!” By the time the kids are asleep, I am either asleep myself, or standing in front of the fridge wanting to eat everything I didn’t have time to eat all day. And when that’s done, I am just not in the mood. All the lust just fizzles away, and I’m lucky if I get a little cuddle with my husband in front of the TV.
So there you have it. I know I am lucky that my body does this amazing thing each month—selecting a beautiful egg and sending it forth into the world (and I know my years of this happening are numbered). But I wish it would happen a little more gently. And I wish I had time to enjoy it all. Especially the sex part—that sure would be nice, wouldn’t it?