At the grand old age of 47 and 3/4 the menopause has started and in the last few weeks the hot flushes are real. It does make you consider your own mortality and dwell on the meaning or purpose of my life. My body ageing, though according to people I don’t look my age, something to be grateful for.
It makes me think of my body going into the next stage of life, I feel sad that my body didn’t allow me to have children. Now my body going into menopause makes that final. Infertility is an invisible grief. Take a moment to think about the grief that occurred for you after the death of a loved one. The relationship you had with your loved one was probably clearly defined, and you have memories of that person to look back on. The loss is easily identified and articulated, not only by you but by others who were aware of the death. You most likely had many people express sympathy and give you their condolences, perhaps verbally or by sending flowers. You may have taken time off work for bereavement and attended a funeral that helps the grief process. Your loss was likely recognised, acknowledged, validated and supported in a multitude of ways.
Now think about the losses associated with infertility. One of the major losses is that of the imagined or expected family. I am lucky that I haven’t missed out on the of the entire life stage of parenting, as I have my wonderful stepsons. Whilst I have missed out on pregnancy and passing on my genetic legacy, I have passed on family and holiday traditions and no pressure boys hope that I get to be a grandparent one day. With infertility, the loss comes from an absence of something that has never been rather than the absence of something that used to be.
I am only starting out on my menopause journey, when a wave of hotness washes over you it is awful. You feel as if you are going to combust. It is worse when you are in a supermarket and more so when wearing a mask.
Watching the Davina programme on this subject did resonate and it is always the big question HRT or not? For me I will see how I go. In the meantime I’m off to sit in front of a fan to cool down!