I’m 36 years old with four kids (ages 7 to 11) and earlier this year had to have a big surgery to remove a BIG ovarian cyst, which I named Gilbert. While they were in there taking Gilbert out, they were like, “Eh here’s some suspicious looking things on your uterus/ovaries, let’s take them all out.”
A-OK with me, I don’t need them anymore.
All that to say I am now menopausal. Post-menopausal? I’m not sure. BOOM. I am ecstatic to a) not have ovarian cancer and b) not have to worry about birth control and c) not have to have periods.
Like you, I am befuddled and annoyed by the hush-hush mentality around all this.
People ask me in whispery tones, “How are you doing? What happened? Are you okay?” And I start answering in normal tones because why should I be embarrassed about any of this? Sometimes they shush me. “We can talk about it when the kids aren’t around.”
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. All these organs in my body — that are now no longer IN my body, and whose absence is now causing all these weird menopausal symptoms — are what created these children. Well, not all the children. Just my children. But the other children were created by, you know, similar organs in other women.
Let’s talk about them! They’re so weird and wonderful, and when they go into retirement (or are forcibly removed) they do weird and mostly not-wonderful things to our bodies.
I will not display shame or embarrassment about my own body. I won’t teach my daughters to feel ashamed: not of their bodies, or of their emotions, or of their ambitions, not anything. No shame.
I won’t teach my sons to be embarrassed, and shy away from the real truth — all of it, weird, wonderful, terrifying, and amazing — of women’s bodies. They do shy away, but that’s because they’re 9 and 10 years old and prefer fart jokes and feel weird about boobies.
I will not hide my suffering because it is related to my fertility. I will continue to dramatically swear and complain about my discomfort. I will cool myself with unnecessarily huge fanning motions. I will not smother my sweat! I can’t anyway. I’m a pale ginger, and when I have a hot flash, my entire face turns a volcanic shade of red. There may be actual smoke. Not sure.
I’m with you, sister.