The M-Word – Bye Bye Fertility, Hello Menopause

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I was a little unsure of whether to write about this publicly. But, when I started my blog I made the decision to share things that were personal. I’ve just found out that I passed through peri-menopause and straight into menopause. My hormone levels mean I have no follicular activity, so basically, no eggs left. 

It’s a weird physical feeling and a strange sensation emotionally. I’ve been completely regular “in that department” since I was 15 (I was a late bloomer) until I feel pregnant with my late son Max, at 30, and then my period returned almost immediately as I couldn’t breastfeed my poor little man as he couldn’t suckle due to the VCFS symptoms. Then, like clockwork, I feel pregnant almost immediately with Charlie within a month of the return of menstruation. Charlie, at 10 months old decided breastfeeding wasn’t the go, and it all started again.
Until I was 45.

My period stopped suddenly, and then 12 weeks later I had a miscarriage. I was leaving work and went to the loo and discovered a miscarriage. It was unmistakeable, I won’t go into details. I didn’t know I was pregnant, not did I want to be, but it broke my heart nonetheless. It was at work and I had to walk 2 km to the bus stop and get myself home. I took a day off and kept going as if nothing happened.

Now here I am at 47, my period stopped suddenly, 3 months ago, but I didn’t have the symptoms I had when I was unknowingly pregnant. I felt nothing, clear. I took a pee-on-a-stick test and it was negative. I suspected it was perimenopause so toddled off to my GP Mr Mac, and he organised all the blood tests.

A week later after a week of stress at home and work, I headed back, and my hormone levels are exactly what you would expect from a post-menopausal woman. The doctor said, “you are officially over the hill”. I was a bit taken aback, but he’s right. My baby making days are over. 

It feels bittersweet. I am glad not to go through my monthly ritual, but at the same time, it is an undeniable sign that I am getting older. I still feel young in my head. I don’t feel like a 47-year-old woman. Menopause is a turning point. The fertility train has left the station. I feel different though. It’s a clear feeling, I feel lighter. It’s just one less hassle in life. 

I also recognise that my daughter, who is 15, is just entering her fertility years, and I am passing on the torch of womanhood across to her. I watch her beauty blooming and feel my beauty waning.

That’s not to say that menopausal or post-menopausal women aren’t beautiful. It’s just a different kind of beauty. It’s a knowing and powerful beauty. A woman with age under her belt has a brave, bold kind of beauty and we can get away with wacky fashion choices, and no one really judges us. 

I’ve decided to take HRT, despite the health side effects because my hot flashes and fatigue are extreme, and I just want to feel normal. I’m on a low dose, to see how I go. I’ll update this post when I can or if I can report any symptoms or thoughts. Wish me luck as I enter this new phase of my life. Somehow menopause makes me feel empowered, not being a slave to my body each month. I’d love your comments.

Di

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