I slept from 8:30 last night until 6 a.m. today. It's now 9:55 a.m. and I can hardly hold my eyes open. It's as though I can feel the hormones draining out of my body. And here's the kicker...this isn't even the worst part of it yet.
It's like when you give birth. My little sister told me to give birth with dignity and not be one of those women who you can hear screaming down the halls. I vowed to her and to myself not to be that woman. Then you get in there and the action starts and suddenly it's like holy shit. What the fuck have I done?! There's no way around what's coming!
The contractions hit and you work your way through them. Focal point, breathing, someone there whose hand you're about to break because they offered it and thought they were helping. Little did they know that the inside of your body has turned into The Terminator with titanium rods and gears and the ability to reshape anvils into rosebuds.
Then you have to start pushing and that's a whole other level of deep, searing pain. Aside from the commitment I had made to my sister, I didn't scream because you experience so many levels of pain that you don't want to waste a scream on what isn't the worst pain yet.
You push and think it can't get any worse than this, can it? and then you breathe for a second or four and them BAM! you're pushing again and son of a bitch if it didn't get worse. You're lying there completely out of control while your body takes over and does it's thing and you realize it CAN get way worse. Way, way, way worse and you better hold on because it's coming.
So you stifle the need to cry out. You breathe and focus knowing that with each push you're getting closer to the end. You realize that the end is going to be both the worst part in terms of pain and the best part in terms of relief.
Three hours and fifty-six minutes was my labor with Auburn Aries. I had it easy. It pays to be tall because giving birth is easier. Or so they say. For 3:56 I worked through it and I didn't make a sound. I spoke when I needed to but I didn't cry out in pain.
With menopause all these crazy things start happening. The symptoms you read about but don't know which are going to be your experience start to manifest. Sadly, I'm not handling this as well as I did labor and delivery. I feel out of whack. I hate to complain about what's going on now because there's potentially way worse still ahead. But dammit, man, this shit sucks!
I spent yesterday afternoon feeling out of sorts. I finished my work day just fine but within 30 minutes of it I was dragging ass. Not a little. Full-tilt boogy draggin' ass. I needed sleep but rather than go lie down and take a nap, I fight it. I'm not a nap person so it's not something that occurs to me to do. But I may have to change that.
The problem with that is doing so seems like I'm giving into it. I should be able to gut it out.
I've been so lucky so far. I have friends who are having night sweats and hot flashes. God knows how I'll complain when/if those hit. I feel like I'm being a big baby right now but this is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm not a complainer, I don't ask for help and I always believe things will work out. BUT THIS SUCKS; SOMEONE HELP ME AND well, things WILL work out so there's that silver lining.
I think what I need to do is acknowledge that I'm going through changes and do whatever I can to take care of myself. The women I respect who've gone or are going through this aren't really talking about it. I know we all have different versions of what "normal" is for us individually but hearing other experiences might help. Goddess knows I'm worst person in the world about taking care of myself or putting myself first. Pigs might sooner fly out of my ass.
My reality is these changes are very real and no amount of trying to tough it out or slapping iron to it is going to work. Rub dirt on it and move along is what I'm saying to myself in my head and my body is pumping the brakes screaming "KNOCK IT OFF AND PAY ATTENTION! GIVE ME WHAT I NEED OR ALL BETS ARE OFF..."
You know, it's a real kick in the taco if you think about it. Women are responsible for populating this planet; we're able to give birth pushing something the size of watermelon out of something the size of a garden hose; we bleed one week a month and don't die; we raise children that aren't serial killers, and our reward for being the life source for all things is menopause. Years and years of it.
Being a woman isn't a job for the weak. Just sayin'.