June 07, 2011

The Early Boat

As some of you know, I went through menopause on the early side. All menses came to a halt for me on my 48th birthday... When it stopped I was like "Can this be? Is it coming back?"

But it was gone for good and to be honest, I haven't missed it. I know for many women there is sadness about reaching menopause and entering into the chapter of our lives where we are no longer able to conceive. A time that clearly signals that we are growing older. It was not this way for me. I guess reaching menopause was easy for me because the years leading up to it were not.

Tom and I had planned on having a larger family but after our two daughters were born, I never got pregnant again. I was 35 when we began trying to conceive our third child. Looking back, I was much more stressed then. We had a three and a five-year-old and I was commuting into Boston to work 32 hours a week as a knitwear technician at Susan Bristol. They were very hectic years and I was always on the anxious side. Dashing from here to there with two kids in tow, not a lot of sleep, and without the wisdom of taking better care of myself. You know what I mean.

All my fertility tests said that things looked normal. I was just getting older. So we tried and tried but nothing happened. The midwives kept suggesting I take "just a smigin of Clomid" to help with ovulation. I decided not to, thinking that we were lucky to have two healthy kids and if it didn't happen it was just meant to be. But it was hard, and sad. My heart goes out to women especially who aren't able to conceive at all.

For five years we tried without success. When I reached forty I knew that my chances were very slim and that it was mentally and emotionally time to move on. To this day I wish that I had tried acupuncture because it can help fertility problems.

And, to this day, I still miss that child that never came.

Photo by Alfred Borchard, Germany
Luckily for me, menopause wasn't difficult. I had heard such horror stories about other woman's transitions. I did have lots of hot flashes, and still have some, and I had a handful of crying jags, but for me menopause was relatively smooth sailing.  I credit this to having exercised almost daily throughout it.

Since then I’ve noticed that I'm traveling on a more even keel emotionally. I am enjoying the calmer seas. Dr. Christiane Northrup has said that PMS (and I assume menopause) is a time when what needs adjustment in our life gets highlighted. Kind of like the things that we need to work on get put under a magnifying glass. PMS and menopause are actually a gift, when all along I had been thinking them as something that I needed to disregard!

Hormonal fluxuations can make what is bothering us about ten (or even a hundred) times bigger wouldn't you say? The thing is, I no longer have this alarm system to alert me to what needs work in my life now. So I am trying to remember to get quiet enough and remember to listen to my inner voice. I also find exercise really helps with this.

I have some of my biggest realizations when I am out for a run, or in the pool swimming, down under.

Have a good week dear readers of mine.
xo, Louise