But I had everything else: a weirdly short, light period followed by morning nausea, oily skin, heightened sense of smell, altered sense of taste, phantom smells, constant exhaustion, needing to pee every fifteen minutes, no appetite, heartburn, swollen stomach...if my period had been late this month I would've peed on a stick.
But I said if - I started bleeding last night, making it a couple of days early by my math (first time I've ever been glad to see it). It has, however, proven to be unsettlingly weird so far. My pad was covered in dark gray patches mixed in with the usual reddish stuff, INSIDE the absorbent fluff; not sitting on top of it like I would expect if it was tissue rather than liquid. I almost cut it open to see if the texture was any different than the blood. (I didn't, because I was pretty sure that would end in quite a mess.) A couple of hours later, I started feeling the hard cramps that usually mean a clot is coming through. I booked it to the bathroom (if I can avoid having to change a pad by heading a clot off at the pass, I will; those things get more and more expensive!) and let it do its thing, only to see that besides the usual maroon mucus and blood combo, I had passed a long, thin strip of what looked like dried-out flesh.
Being me, I had to get better acquainted with it, so I dabbed off the blood. It was grayish brown in color, maybe an inch long. It broke apart like wet paper, and the insides were bright white in spots, the same grayish-brown in others. I've passed bits of tissue during periods before, but they were always tiny pinkish bits, absolutely nothing like this. I tried Googling to find out what the hell just came out of me, and literally every result for "grayish menstrual blood" (I had no idea how to describe what I found in the pad earlier) or variations on big, oddly-colored pieces of god-knows-what was for a miscarriage.
I'm assuming that's not what's going on here. Either I'm a sexsomniac with really bad luck (and believe me, this is the situation I've convinced myself is the case, but let's leave my mental illness particulars aside for the moment) or I'm miscarrying something conceived without sex, which I'm pretty sure hasn't happened in the last 2,000 years (and that's up for interpretation!) So I'm going to assume that Google is failing me. So I brought it here to the internet's leading group of vagina experts. What the hell is coming out of my body?? (For that matter, I'd love to know why it was acting pregnant all month, but that's something I doubt y'all can tell me!)