Baby Fat: Phantom Pregnancy Symptoms Courtesy Of My Stupid Period

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I think of my period like it’s a friend-of-a-friend who insists on crashing on my couch for about five days each month (and who rudely beats on my door for a solid 24 hours ahead of time demanding to be let in).  And, like with most unwanted houseguests, the dread that leads up to her visit is usually much worse than the actual visit itself.  Don’t get me wrong, there have many been times when I’ve actually been super happy to see her.  But others where I’ve been beyond annoyed because she’s insisted on tagging along when I went camping/to Europe/really wanted to wear white jeans.  However, usually her presence is just a minor annoyance and she’s forgotten about as soon as she leaves the key under the mat.

But now she’s acting like such a little bitch.  She’s NOT sticking to the houseguest arrangement we worked out years ago and is taking WAY too many liberties with our set routine.  She’s showing up early, she’s leaving late and now she’s prank calling throughout the month to ”just remind me” that she’s coming.  What is this chick’s deal?!

The first month we starting trying I was convinced I was pregnant.  I was downright smug about it.  I just ”knew.”  I ran all my symptoms past every friend that had a baby and they all agreed it sounded very promising.  I mean, I’d never felt thosesymptoms before.  (Okay, most of them I hadn’t.)  Right?

For example, what is this weird swarming stretching feeling I now feel in my uterus?  Or the low side crampy feeling that I like to think is an ”implantation cramp” (that is, until it switches sides).  Or the stabbing feeling in my vagina that I’m pretty sure I would have noticed at some point in the past 20+ years of having my period?  Am I going crazy here??  (Although my dire need to wash a king sized Kit Kat down with a Coke and a bag of Cheetos each month is one symptom that has remained constant.)


After a few months of being tricked by my ”phantom symptoms” I think I finally figured what’s going on.  I forget that every five years or so my houseguest renegotiates the arrangements for her stay a little bit.  For instance, the debilitating cramps I had for three days each month when I was a teenager have been streamlined down to one day that can just be managed by taking enough Advil to choke a horse.  Progress!  And the monthly tumor-like zit I’d get on my cheekbone in my 20’s has now been replaced with night sweats that can frizz a $40 blowout in record time.  It’s a give/take situation.

So I’m guessing she’s in the middle of renegotiating our arrangement once again and of course has just failed to let me know.  But come on!  Could this have come at a worse time?  Now that I’m trying to get pregnant I’m like a hyper-sensitive guard dog that must investigate every sound/smell/twitch in the night air.  Which is just perfect because every early pregnancy sign is also a symptom of PMS (now who’s bright idea was that?) and I’m just experiencing new ones.

I’ve decided the best course of action is to completely ignore my tricky houseguest’s ”phantom symptoms” each month and just wait and see if she actually shows up.  It’s not worth the mental energy and pricey, low accuracy early pregnancy tests to find out.  If all goes well she and I will be taking a nice long hiatus from her visits soon enough and I can occupy myself with all the all-too-real symptoms of actually being pregnant.  Now that’s going to be a demanding houseguest”¦

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