I’m going to try and stay away from the gory and the medical but basically I woke up this morning in a pool of blood. As you can imagine it was a bit of a shock; there is history to this but it’s so complex and also personal, so I’d rather just skim over that, for the sake of my male readers especially.
I rang NHS direct for advice and the advice was to stay in bed, take it easy and drink plenty of fluids, plus very specific advice about how much was too much when it came to losing blood. I’ve followed said advice and am now feeling much better, and the blood has slowed to a sensible amount.
But while I was sleeping this afternoon I dreamed I was looking at birthday cake candles, the kind you put on a cake for a baby. I found one that was shaped like a letter one and as I was lighting that, I burst into tears. I woke up crying bitterly.
On Thursday, as well as it being a hospital visit to the gynae department, it was also the 2oth birthday of my only child. On my hospital visit, I was asked if I had had all the children I wanted. One of the possible routes to ease some of the problems I have was also something that would also end any thought of future children.
Well, I’m 43, and while I don’t actually want more kids, I also don’t want to make a decision that totally and for all time rules that out. The clock is ticking anyway, and I’d be very surprised if I could ever conceive again. But even so, it’s a question I don’t want to answer and this morning, amid the pain and anxiety, I was also very afraid I might have to answer that question and make a decision.
You see, when I was younger, I did want a big family. At 19, I thought 10 was a nice round number. It’s silly, and I knew it then, and by the time I did have a child I knew how absurd it was. I’m not a motherly sort; I had to do everything by logic and research, trial and error.
There’s a line in a Paul Simon song, Further to fly… “tired as a dream that wants to die”. It sums up how I feel right now. I’m not able to make that sort of decision but I want to be free of the pain and illness too. I don’t want more children and yet I don’t want to rule it out.
I’m so confused. I’ve read a lot from Retired Eagle about the midlife crisis; now obviously his is from a male angle. I’m wondering if my current soul searching is a female equivalent, whether my recent reminder of my reproductive sell-by date is a part of what all of us face at a certain age, but narrowly focussed on the most basic of human drives.