They started out subtly in the last month or so. At first indistinguishable. Am I hot? I am never hot. I always run uncomfortably cold so to be hot is pleasant for me. Something I seek with a warm blanket, socks, sweater and a hot cup of tea. A brief experience that could have gone unnoticed if I hadn’t been tuning in. When I had my first orgasm in high school I wasn’t sure. The first few were like that until they became more intense. I remember even asking my mom. What does an orgasm feel like? And do you know that you are having them? She said, “oh you know.” That is how the hot flashes seem to have progressed. Subtle at first but they are now getting more intense and stronger.
I was sitting with a client the other day. A new client with many woes. I interrupted him and said, “Is it hot in here?” He said no that it wasn’t. He wasn’t hot at all. I announced proudly that I was having one of my first hot flashes! Announced like I had placed in a race. His sad face for the first time turned into a smile. He seemed proud of me. Like I had just had something spectacular happening to me and he could be a witness.
I have never liked my period. Always painful. The motrin, the hassle, the mess. Pregnancy was difficult. I didn’t see it as enjoyable. The morning sickness, fatigue, cravings. Bill seemed to engender it more than me. He even had morning sickness and gained weight along for our first one. My deliveries difficult and painful. My mom almost died the day before my daughter was born so there is some trauma there. With my son, my OB guy was off somewhere and I ended up with someone with a less than a stellar reputation. I knew too much about him working in the same hospital as he. I think I halted the labor process that weekend so hoping for Monday when my regular guy would be back from vacation. It was not to be.
I want to remember both as beautiful experiences. There were moments that were but overall not pleasant at least as it is logged in my memory bank. I overall felt better with my pregnancy with my daughter and my friend, Robin had said to me when I was pregnant with Liam that I was calm and peaceful. Maybe it was all-better than I remember.
When women tell me about their amazing pregnancy’s and the wonderful food that they ate and how it was the most blissful experience and how they didn’t gain weight or lost it quickly postpartum or their water birth experience at home, I feel envy. I was in the hospital and needed Pitocin for the first one and opted for an epidural with the second. I craved McDonald’s with my son and after work I would sneak there and get a burger and fries before I got home to the lovely dinner my husband would make. I would guiltily throw the bag out before entering the house. I remember the terrible heartburn I got from lamb that we had one night. I haven’t eaten lamb since and doubt that I ever will being vegan now.
Yes, it seems that menopause is something different. Maybe something for me to behold. Something unpleasant for my Sisters but not for me. Kind of like that perfect wondrous pregnancy in which each moment is logged.