Friday, March 25, 2011

On the Plus Side of Being Negative

Anticipation. Anxiety. How all-consuming those two feelings can be in the short span of three minutes. And then, you screw up your courage, take a deep breath, and look into the mystic portal that has the potential of changing your life forever with a simple sign.


Checking. Re-calculating. Waiting. Wondering. Forcing yourself to think about anything except the only thing you can't stop thinking about.

Trying again, with the same result.


Unable to accept the answer before you, and all the ramifications of what it means, you search for another explanation. What ifs and maybes swirl through your mind until you find that last straw to grasp. One last chance. One last hope.


It's hard for me to believe that, just shy of my forty-second birthday, I've entered perimenopause. So hard, in fact, that it's taken three pregnancy tests to convince me. I'm still reeling a little from it, but I accept it.

Well-meaning people might be tempted to say, "What's the big deal? It's not like you didn't get to have any children." Or maybe even, "Good, you've had enough already!" And to them I would say the only polite response I can think of...

Bite me.

I am thankful to have ever experienced the joy of pregnancy. I'm especially thankful to have had that pleasure six times over. Each and every one of my children is a treasure, and I'm privileged to be their mother. Feeling their lives grow within my body and bringing them forth into the world has been one of, if not the, richest experiences of my life and I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'll miss that.

But it's not just the end of giving life that sits in my stomach like a knot. It's the knowledge that life itself is moving towards its end.

No, I'm not being morbid. I'm not bawling my eyes out in a hysterical fit, crying "My life is over!" But facing the final days of my father, after already losing my mother, puts a spotlight on the fact that our days are but a vapor and time is fleeting. Being ten days late for your period and not being pregnant just drives the point home all that much more.

Yet, the sadness of crossing the threshold between these stages in life is tempered by this reminder, given to me so lovingly by my older and wiser husband:

"We can't grow old together if you never grow old."

There is still much to look forward to, however long God gives me.  Graduations, weddings, grandchildren (I've got the cookie-thing down pat, so that's a plus, right?)  What lies before me is hardly an end, but many more timeless beginnings.  With my loving husband by my side, I can face it all.

With anticipation.


marye said...

Oh goodness, Wendy.. I am 51 and every month I thing...WTF? When am I gonna be FREE of this thing.
I started when I was 9. you would think 42 years would be enough.
I am sorry... but I wish it was me. :P

Wendy said...

Dang, and here I was hoping you could give me some insight about this whole thing. lol

And if I'd made it to 51 and was still "going with the flow", I'd be begging for it to end, too. Sorry, hun. :P

Liz Winterburn said...

Hi Wendy,
I've long suspected that I'm perimenopause since my mid-late 30's (I'll be 44 this year). However I never looked up the symptoms until right now. Wish I had sooner, heart palpations are one of them. They've had me worried for a number of years now. Even though my heart was checked in Jan & received the all clear, it was still at the back of my mind. What can I say except Doh! I should have looked it up sooner lol :-)

Thank you for being so brave to write this post on how you feel. It's not easy getting older, but God is so good to allow us to do so. :-)

Wendy said...

I'm glad you've got some peace of mind about that now, Liz (though I'm surprised your doctor didn't pose the possibility?)

It is bittersweet, but knowing God has a plan makes it better. :)

Mika said...

I haven't entered peri menopause yet, but I have reached the end of child bearing..and like you it's not just that it's over, it's being faced with the fact that you're getting closer to the end of your life than the beginning. Sometimes it hits me like a slap in the face "I'll never get to do this or that again!". It's very sobering, and I'm sorry you aren't faced with 2 pink lines!

Wendy said...

Thanks Mika, you really understand where I'm at. I think about the time I wasted when I was younger and want to go back and smack my younger self sometimes. Lots of missed opportunities. Mostly, though, I try to focus on the good things, like how thankful I am to have had my last child when I was already questioning if I'd get that chance again.

And who knows? I figure I've got at least a good 25 years to work on that bucket list of mine, right? ;)

Q said...

Oh Wendy . . .

I lost my uterus in an emergency partial hyst. right after the birth of my last bio-child 12+ years ago. Coming face to face with the finality of that part of my life at 31 was REALLY hard, and yes, I still battle it sometimes.

However - I do try to be content in every stage I'm in and see the bright side of where the Lord has me.

1. I have a beautiful daughter waiting for me in Heaven.
2. I had two more daughters before I lost my uterus.
3. The Lord blessed me with more children regardless when He gave me twin boys 3.5 years ago.
4. I haven't had debilitating cramps in over a decade, nor am I anemic anymore.
5. I don't have to spend funds on feminine supplies or do special loads of laundry.
6. There is no longer the question of 'am I', 'aren't I', or 'what if'.
7. I can now have the body I want if I so choose without a pregnancy undoing it.
8. Every member of the family sleeps through the night.
9. If something comes up everyone can grab their own things and we can be out the door in 5 minutes without a trailer full of baby/toddler equipment.
10. My husband and I can enjoy each other any. time. we. want.

The storm is tough to face, but there really is a rainbow on the other side of it. :)

Divapalooza said...

I was reading this post during spring break. I am moved. I can completely relate to what you wrote. All of life is bittersweet.

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