It Might Be Perimenopause. Or, Could Be I’m Just Really Grumpy.

by anna on May 18, 2010

For a few weeks now I’ve been a real pain in the ass.

Actually, for several decades now, I’ve been a real pain in the ass. So what I mean to say is that, for a few weeks, on top of that general usual pain in the ass, I’ve been an extra pain in the ass — really super extra irritable, flying-off-the-handle at the slightest thing kind of pain in the ass. Enough so that even I’ve noticed it and felt compelled to think about apologizing for it, except that I’m not entirely convinced that it’s my fault, I think it might be somebody else’s fault, that somebody might be expecting too much of me, but I’m not sure because somewhere along the way I seem to have lost perspective on what is too much to expect from people around me, both real and virtual, self and Other.

It could be that I’m still angry about what happened the past few weeks on the internet. That would be the easiest explanation.

But I don’t think that’s it, because despite all the hand-wringing around here lately — despite all the processing I do here, I don’t actually take it that much too heart. I tend to write about it here so that I can avoid it bleeding out into my real world life too much. I like to self-flaggelate on the blog so that Mr. Right-Click doesn’t come home from work to a scene like the one with that priest from The Da Vinci Code.

Plus there have been some other . . . symptoms that I don’t really want to get into right now.

So I decided that what must be happening, at 36-going-on-37, is that I must be starting perimenopause. Because that has to be the only likely explanation. And I’m sure this has nothing to do whatsoever with my fear and semi ambivalence about the prospect of getting pregnant again.

Oh yeah. That.

Remember how I was talking about that a while back? And I had been convinced I was pregnant? And then I never mentioned it again?

Well, yeah. So obviously I wasn’t pregnant then. And I’m not pregnant now. Which is kind of strange, because with Mini, here’s what the process was — Mr. Right-Click said, “Hey, let’s have a baby,” and I said, “Hey, OK,” and then we were pregnant. And that was that.

Basically he walked past me a few times, and we were shopping for Bugaboo strollers.

This time, not so much.

And part of me is a little frustrated by that, I suppose. But also, part of me is like, eh. Fuck it. Because I think I’ve mentioned before that I fucking hate pregnancy.

Like OH MY GOD I FUCKING HATE PREGNANCY. It requires me to go off my medication or at least reduce it drastically, which really reduces my quality of life. It makes me sick. It gives me reverse claustrophobia. It makes me feel like a host organism. It makes me feel like I want to die. It makes me eat things like Spaghetti-Os and Chicken McNuggets.

And also, I already have Mini. And though I’ve been bitching about Mini’s new incarnation into a three-year-old lately, the truth is that we got really lucky with him. He’s a good kid. He’s healthy, he’s smart, he’s very good natured, and from the looks of it he’s going to be a heartbreaker with the ladies when he’s a teenager. What are the odds that I’m going to get that lucky again with another kid? Even if I make it through the horrors of pregnancy and the first three months of constant screaming and AYIIIYIYIYI whydidIdoothisagain? newborn colicky period . . . would another kid lead me to the same kind of ushy gushy lovey doveyness that is Mini. What if? What if?

What if . . . it were a girl?

So you see, if it’s perimenopause, then things get a little easier. Then me not getting pregnant starts to make a little more sense. And decisions are taken out of my hands.

But, you know, I’m probably just a little extra grumpy.

{ 34 comments }

Jenni May 18, 2010 at 8:06 am

Oh, tough stuff. Hope you things work out for you, woman.

anna May 18, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Thanks, Jenni. I’m probably just in a bad mood. But, you know.

patois May 18, 2010 at 9:58 am

Damn. Shall I remind you of Doris Day and “Que Sera, Sera” or will that just make you far more grumpy?

anna May 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I think anything has the potential to make me grumpy at this point. Even candy.

Kerry May 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Perimenopause makes you grumpy? Because I’ve apparently had it since birth then. I’m not sure how I’ll even tell when the real one starts.

On the rest…I hate people who tell other people whether they should or shouldn’t have children, or how they should do it, or stuff like that. I think it should be 100% legal to smack them. So I’m not going to tell you what to do.

I do think it is easier the second time (and although my second pregnancy was even worse than my first, I was better able to cope because I knew upfront that it would be bad).

But it’s fine to have just one kid too.

Just so I can plan: if you DO get pregnant and eat Spaghetti-Os, it’s okay to mock you on Twitter, right? Or is that just for Lunchables?

anna May 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm

According to my research assistant, Mr. Google, it can make you very moody and anxiety ridden, as well as extra hormonal, and a host of other symptoms. But, as with everything, these could also just be caused by stress, which I’ve certainly had. So you know, I’m probably not having perimenopause. I probably just haven’t gotten pregnant, and I’m probably just trying to make excuses because I hate being pregnant and if I cannot get pregnant then BLAMMO it’s not my fault.

As far as mocking me on Twitter, that’s always allowed. But if *I* ever start making blanket condemnations of people for how they eat, or saying that they are killing their children by feeding them Spaghetti Os or Lunchables, then yeah, you’re going to want to have me locked up at that point because I’ve officially lost all perspective.

Alexis May 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I was actually trying to compose this exact post. I think I hate all the people in my life,and I reckon there must be a reason beyond how I have a miserable personality. While I think it must just be some kind of cosmic upheaval (we are not the only ones feeling this way I can promise you), I know that doesn’t make it less awful.

On the upside, menopause might be kind of cool. My girlfriend assures me that her hormone replacement therapy was the greatest mood elevator she ever experienced so there is that to look forward to.

Whatever the cause may be I hope things even out for your soon, this perpetual PMS-esque life-style is a killer.

anna May 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Maybe there is something in the air that is making everybody act like assholes. Yesterday I was at the gym and there was a girl there on a pair of crutches with a cast. And it’s like, maybe it’s time to stay home, honey. Maybe it’s time to get the fuck out of my way, when you already have a broken leg, and are on crutches, and take a break from working out. Is it wrong to want to beat somebody up for being at the gym when they are already on a pair of crutches with a cast? Because that’s the kind of mood I’ve been in lately. See what I’m saying?!

monkey May 18, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Oh God! I still remember when I was in law school and had the same workout schedule as a girl in *double leg casts*. She’d be hamstering away on the bloody frocking elliptical at the same time I would come in. Then one day I skipped a week or so and when I came back she was like “hey, where were you? If you fall off the wagon it’s SO hard to get back on!” I felt like asking her whether regular and vigorous elliptical with double leg casts was perhaps preventing her from getting off the wagon and walking on her own two feet (as opposed to crutches).

Alexis May 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm

I get it. I am infuriated because some woman was bitchy about my charity knitting group being “unable to properly clarify the desired hat sizes for Rwandan newborns.” Yup, I have been driven to homicidal rage by knitting…for charity. And I am now going straight to hell. Maybe we just need to form a support group.

As for the casts? That is really fucked up…

danish May 18, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Oh wow, we are in the same boat about the semi-ambivalence about kid #2. I am 37 going on 38 and my 4 yr old boy is just like your boy–smart, sweet, loving, gorgeous (if I do say so myself)….but we have no family in this part of the country and I don’t think I want him to have to be an only child.

However, the thought of having to go through pregnancy and the newborn/infant years again is freaking me out.

And I go back and forth about the whole thing. I convinced my husband to try for #2 (he is an only child and was ok with our son being an only also) and he caved….so we are on month 3 of trying. We are only giving it until the end of the yr and then we are done.

And you’re right, what if its a girl? Yikes!

anna May 18, 2010 at 2:07 pm

I think it probably says something encouraging about us that we are at least thinking about this with some serious belaboring, am I right? I mean, this is a serious thing, to have a child. Even under the best of circumstances, it is a serious thing. And now that we have kids, we know just how serious it is. And sure, pregnancy is only 9 months but when you’re encased in a prison of your own making, that can feel like sixteen lifetimes. OK, I’m being melodramatic. A little. A little melodramatic.

A girl could be fantastic. Or I could really mess a girl up royally. It could go either way.

danish May 19, 2010 at 3:46 am

No— I was thinking a girl could mess ME up royally. I’m afraid my mother’s threat that I have a daughter just like me would become reality! :)

kitchenMage May 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Ladies, ladies, ladies…

Just calm your pretty little heads *pats each of your heads in turn* you are clearly too young for menopause, peri or otherwise. I encourage you to avoid looking for this beast in the shadows, it will find you on its own…and all too soon. When it arrives, you will not be unsure of its identity. Trust me. Been there, done that, have the night-sweat-soaked t-shirt.

Also, I have a girl.

Love,
the crone

anna May 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm

LOL. Why did I know that somebody was going to come in and say, “Have you had any hot flashes?” Now, I have had something like that in the middle of the night. But it might be because I was under the comforter and I was super hot. I mean, it was in the middle of sleep and I didn’t wake up. So, I’m guessing that’s not it. I think that I would wake up for a hot flash, right? I’ve always pictured a hot flash being like those times during labor when you get super hot (god that sucked), and as far as I know I’ve not had anything like that.

But Mr. Google did SAY that perimenopause MIGHT include some of this stuff but not ALL. I’m just saying.

Mr. Google is never wrong. Mr. Google is never wrong because he is deliberately vague. That’s why I go to him with all of my imaginary health concerns.

kitchenMage May 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Ahem. Mr Google is a boy.He has neither been there nor done that and his t-shirt is pristine and free of womanly night sweat. Mr Google probably says menopause makes women bitches when we know our own bitch credentials are much older than that. In short, Mr Google can be a bit of an ignorant, sexist piggie boy at times.

Also, Mr Google says is you have a sore throat, you may be a terrorist.

Real hot flashes will wake you up, either immediately or an hour later when the sweat-soaked sheets turn cold and clammy. Hot flashes are internal, more like that labor heat, and inescapable. I have gone outside in winter at 4am in a light robe and had it be barely noticeable on my skin. HOT baby!

When you have one, you will laugh at the thing you thought was one…and wish for it instead. (Also, vitamin E is your friend, can even help symptomatically within an hour if you live right. Which I doubt any of us do.)

Heidi May 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I want to say something funny and reassuring, but I’m grumpy too. I managed to somehow spend almost $100 at the store today, yet still have zip to feed my family for dinner tonight. Among other things.

If I wasn’t nursing, I’d bust out the Zestra and celebrate hump day a day early. Because that stuff rocks your socks. Instead, I’ll just watch the DWTS results and wish my stomach looked like Nicole’s and eat more Pirate’s Booty. (Which is what we will probably have to have for dinner. Pirate’s Booty and Strawberries. Yum)

anna May 19, 2010 at 7:15 am

Zestra?! What is this? I had to go google again, which is never a good thing. And I don’t want to see the words “arousal” and “Dr. Oz” together ever, ever again, please. LOL.

Heidi May 19, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Sorry Anna. SHould have pointed you to my blog – where I did a review of it. Sans Dr. Oz. ::shudder::

LOL.

pamela dayton time May 18, 2010 at 6:28 pm

If you had posted this yesterday, I would have suggested running like hell to Russia to adopt an orphan. However, I poked my head out from the large rock under which I am apparently living, and it seems that such a suggestion is currently unavailable.

Fortunately, there are many other sources for un-mama’ed babehs. I will not suggest any as it is no longer my birthday and I no longer have any good ideas. That is all.

anna May 19, 2010 at 7:18 am

Not to stereotype, but I’m going to go ahead and stereotype, but aren’t the Russian orphans the ones that have had some problems with attachment disorders because they put them in cribs and just leave them there, don’t snuggle them or anything? You know, like I was as a child? (Sniff.)

Eliz May 19, 2010 at 8:08 am

There’s quite a problem with fetal alcohol syndrome among Russian babies. But, you know me, always seeing the silver lining, SUCH a Pollyanna, that might work for your family. I’m envisioning a little blonde girl, wise beyond her years, with a smart head and a smart mouth to match who has a problem with alcohol. It could be your Mini-Anna! (Though you’d have to call her something else online.) The two of you can wear mother-daughter Lululemon outfits and get your pale brows waxed and drink Diet Coke and fight over the Kindle! It would be too, too adorable.

(Before anyone jumps in and accuses me of making flippancy out of international adoption or special needs children, save it. I’m simply keeping in the spirit of this post. Because if I weren’t, I’d straighten out Pamela over the so-called abundance of “un-mama’ed babehs” so fast her head would spin – Three years, Pamela! We’ve been waiting three years so far … wait, where was I?)

Becca May 18, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Oh, I’m so sorry! I would say stick with one because it has to be easier, but I cried when C and I decided not to have more. And I hope it’s not perimenopause cause that scares the crap out of me!! Hopefully it’s just grumpiness, for your sake! :)

anna May 19, 2010 at 7:19 am

See, the people who don’t think about it, I don’t see how they do it, they just keep having kid after kid? How do they do that? For me it’s agonizing, the back and forth. Such a tough decision, pros and cons both ways.

Eliz May 19, 2010 at 6:20 am

I was going to comment yesterday, as the issue of perimenopause and child #2 is intimately linked for me, since I’ve already been told to expect an early arrival of menopause because the fertility drugs that are supposedly so fantastically safe (and effective! for everyone but me and the millions like me who never get pregnant, that would be) have aged my ovaries. But I was distracted by a phone call asking if I’d like to travel to the other side of the globe and pick up a little dude who by the looks of things could be my husband’s best bud in the world (other than his current child), drive my daughter batshit crazy by touching her superhero stuff and allow me to turn him gay with my overdemonstrative affection and proclivity for pink polos. In short, the perfect child #2.

Seriously, I have never received a call like that, and I want to imbue it with all sorts of meaning, but there are a host of things to consider and the hard truth I really don’t want to face is that simply wanting a child might not be reason enough to have this one. What does this mean for you? Fuck if I know. All I know is that I’ve been a raging bitch for two years, and it started right around the time that I was told perimenopause was circling my neighborhood and the restaurant opened. But the fact that I got a call – what could have been The Call – on the same day you write about perimenopause and the debate over child #2 AND the same day a 47-year-old Kelly Preston announces she’s pregnant (huh? Can’t even sputter something snarky about the biological improbabilities about that one) makes me want to believe there’s a cosmic force at work here and everyone will get their heart’s desire even if they don’t know exactly what that desire is right this minute.

anna May 19, 2010 at 7:25 am

Ooh! I’m cautiously excited for you about that phone call. Actually I’m very excited for you, because it costs me nothing to get very excited for you. And I know exactly. what. you. are. saying. about with the pregnancy announcements. I am struggling to write everything I want to say here, but I really cannot because let’s face it, you’re treading a very delicate line when you weigh in on somebody else’s choices with having children. So. yeah. Anyway. Best of luck to them.

Jenny May 19, 2010 at 6:59 am

Hey Anna,

I have a 10 year-old (that went through a lot, being born 8 weeks early), and also thought I was pretty lucky he turned out OK and why tempt fate, you know? So we went on with life, happy to just have one kid. Then, surprise! Sixteen months ago, along comes Miss Em. I’m 38 and had 10 years between kids. I had to learn it all over again, and we’re muddling through. I think you’re lucky, because you’ve still got it all fresh in your head. I don’t know what your PMEN symptoms are, but I thought I was going through early menopause too, RIGHT BEFORE I GOT PREGNANT!!
Damn hormones! I can’t think of a time I wasn’t pregnant, pmsing or (now) pmis!
Good luck. And keep us updated!

anna May 19, 2010 at 7:26 am

Well, this may well be me. Who knows? I do have kind of a que sera sera attitude toward it *at this point*. Who knows if that will continue, though.

Lisa May 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm

This sounds weird, but ….I love hearing that you hate pregnancy. I’d kind of like to hug you right now for it. I’m pregnant, and I hate it. And most people tell me I should love it. It’s still fairly early, but so far, things have been easy. Could be much worse. AND I STILL HATE IT.

jonniker May 19, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Dude, Lisa, you want to talk about hating pregnancy, come sit by me. It was the most miserable time of my life, bar none. I HATE being pregnant. HATE IT. Dread it, in fact, and hate that it’s the route to take to have another kid for us. Hate it. I was NUTS. I was sick! I was crying all the time! EW EW EW. My body was someone else’s! GROSS.

It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean you don’t want to be a mom, or that you’ll be a bad mom, or that you’re ungrateful or any of that shit people give you when you talk about how much you hate it. It is not not NOT the most special time of your life. HELL TO THE NO. Having a kid is nothing like being pregnant. Do not feel guilty. It blows.

As for you, Anna, I can’t decide how you really feel about this. I’m sensing, now and even though we talked about it separately, total ambivalence. I just hope when you end up swaying in one direction that it’s the one that works out for you. Ugh, this shit is hard.

(I also really don’t think you have perimenopause.)

anna May 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Well, first of all, yes to all you said about the hating of the pregnancy not meaning ANYTHING about how you will be as a mother and what BS that is, OMG. I always wanted to smack the people who would talk about how much more womanly they felt or whatever when they were pregnant.

Here’s the difference between me now and before I got pregnant with Mini: now, I know how awful pregnancy is for me, and now the commitment of parenthood is more real to me. By the same token, the amount of love and fulfillment I get from being a parent is also real, so that makes it even more difficult, because that makes me want to have another kid, but then I go back and forth because I tend to overthink things (if you haven’t noticed). Some days I think, “Ah, fuck it’s only 9 months and I did it once, I can do it again,” and I want to get pregnant, and then other days I’m focusing on the tater tots in my carpet and I’m like I don’t have enough time to breathe AS IT IS. How can I possibly have another child?

That’s the back and forth, you see. I think and think and think and think. And then I haven’t gotten pregnant, so I convince myself that maybe it’s not “in the cards,” when really it’s probably just that we got really lucky the first time and that’s not how it works usually.

anna May 19, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Lisa, don’t feel bad about hating it. It doesn’t mean anything. Your body has turned into a host organism, and the baby is totally leaching calcium and nutrients away from you. It’s a parasite. Literally. There’s no reason you should like the experience of it. Now once the kid is there, that’s different. But while you’re actually pregnant, no, that part sucks ass. The people who like it have some kind of crazy hormonal thing going on that helps them or something, because that shit isn’t normal.

Heidi May 19, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Yes – definitely do not feel bad about hating being pregnant. It is quite loathsome for many people (me included). The outcome is a joy (until they turn 3, apparently) however. Both of my pregnancies sucked major ass. I do have to say though, that if I had a prayer of carrying to term, I would consider going for 3. But the first two were both preemie, and I don’t want to risk going through all that drama again. Not to mention not being able to bend over and tie my own shoes.

Alias Mother May 21, 2010 at 7:33 am

All this discussion makes me very happy that my #2 was an unplanned pregnancy and thus I never had to go through all this hand-wringing. Because I also loathed being pregnant and I certainly would not have wanted to do it again. But when one is not given an option, one muddles through.

And what’s with all the girl hate? I have a girl and come from an all-girl family. Girls are awesome. Just don’t put them toddler pageants and all will be fine.

This boy, though. I don’t know what the hell to do with him.

Comments on this entry are closed.