After making my decision to use intrauterine insemination (IUI) and fertility acupuncture and herbs to get pregnant semi-naturally before moving forward with the IVF, I immediately stopped taking the birth control pills the fertility clinic put me on in preparation of starting the IVF cycle. I was a week into my second month of pills, and I just didn't want to take the rest of them. There was no point, and I wanted to be able to get pregnant as soon as possible. I wasn't sure what stopping at that point would do to my cycle, but I supposed it would work itself out eventually.

I almost immediately had bleeding and some cramping that lasted several days. It was almost enough to be called a period, except for the blood was very dark, almost black, indicating old blood, not the fresh, bright red blood of a normal period. Also, I'd only just had my real period the week before, so I wasn't sure if this counted as a real period or not. Still, you can never be sure when you're messing around with taking any kind of hormone, including birth control pills.

I didn't even want the pills in my house anymore. I felt like just having them there was sending some kind of message to the universe that I wasn't prepared to get pregnant. So I threw them away, letting the universe know I was open to receiving a baby.

After a few days, the bleeding stopped. I figured my cycle would even itself out quickly, since my periods were always so regular. Though I'm not a fan of having my period (who is, really?), I was a bit chagrined when my normal start date passed without my period starting. A little over a week later and it still hadn't started, and I was starting to get a little concerned. What if messing around with my hormones like that at my age had messed up my cycles? How would I know when I was fertile if my period didn't start or became irregular? This would not do at all.