Here’s the deal: I wanted to write this as a controlled, logical description of how cruel Aunt Flo can be to those who need that type of torment the least. I wanted to be an adult. I wanted to be mature.
But I can’t. I just…can’t.
Because Aunt Flo is a bitch who can go to hell. You know I’m right.
Not because she unleashes a torrent of blood every month or causes your reproductive organs to contort in debilitatingly painful ways. Not because she turns you into a raging monster one moment and a tearful sap the next. Not because she transforms your skin into a pock-marked minefield or your body into something resembling a flotation device.
No, none of that.
She’s a bitch because she’s a harbinger of death—the death of a dream.
That dream is another child. That dream is an expanded family. That dream is another child for your husband to teach, for your son to play with, for you to love.
What Aunt Flo doesn’t realize is you rejoiced when she didn’t rear her ugly head a few months ago; instead, your heart fluttered. Could it be? you wondered. You had just gone off birth control and knew you were ovulating, but it couldn’t have been that easy—again. You got pregnant with your son so quickly that you figured it was just dumb luck.
But there you were trying to conceive: No Aunt Flo and a positive pregnancy test. And yet, something was amiss. Just a week after that faint line appeared, you did bleed. But it wasn’t Aunt Flo. It was your dream of another child slowly slipping away. The nurse you spoke with was kind, understanding. She said when you do get pregnant again, call right away so tests could be conducted to make sure everything was developing correctly. She said to wait a cycle to let your body reset, but then you could try again.
That was four months ago.
And in every one of those four months of trying to conceive, your body has been a cruel and deceptive liar. You meticulously track your basal body temperature, charting every detail. You wait, holding your breath, for those agonizing weeks after ovulation to pass before allowing yourself to hope. As the days tick by, you wonder when you can take a test. Is it too early? You Google things like, “when to take a pregnancy test” and “how early can pregnancy be detected after ovulation.” You end up in forums where hundreds of users explain their unique circumstances that allow you to believe you’re pregnant this time.
Suddenly, everything about your body screams “early pregnancy symptoms.” That strange bout of nausea the other morning? Must have been morning sickness, you rationalize. Smelling something funky from across the room? Clearly your senses have spiked with the early surge of hormones. Achy breasts that seem fuller? Your body knows a baby is on its way.
You keep quiet. You don’t say anything, to anyone. Because you can hope and believe, but you don’t want anyone else to just yet. You spare them that. You spare your husband until you have concrete proof. You wait until Aunt Flo is a few days late, and you pee on a stick, waiting…
It’s negative. What?!
You jump back onto forums, frantically Googling “late period still pregnant” or “negative pregnancy test still pregnant.” You exhale when you read that so many women have had a negative pregnancy test but get a positive pregnancy result later or actually bleed but are still pregnant.
There’s still hope, you think.
But then, Aunt Flo arrives. But you remember those forums. Maybe you’re still pregnant. This could be implantation bleeding after all.
But it’s not. Another negative pregnancy test tells you it’s not.
You curse Aunt Flo. You cry, silently. You scream, silently. You don’t tell anyone you mistook PMS symptoms as early pregnancy signs. Realizing it on your own is embarrassing enough. Admitting it to others would just be humiliating.
But despite that humiliation, you soldier on. Another cycle starts, so you bury all the frustration and disappointment you just felt. You bury it deep. Once Aunt Flo has made her retreat, you allow yourself to hope—again. Maybe you’ll see her again in a month. But then again, maybe you won’t.
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