Here’s an idea. Every young woman should be assigned an older, reproductive specialist as a mentor. A post menopausal female (or really, anyone who broke up with their ovaries before their ovaries broke up with them) willing to have an honest conversation when the “journey” towards projected procreation begins. A quick side note here. This person cannot be your mother. I repeat. Cannot be your mother. For those of you who think she can fill this role, just remember the talk you had about the birds and the bees. Awkward? Unpleasant? Short on necessary details? Contributed, in part, to that pesky counseling bill you pay each month? Need I say more? I didn’t think so. No, let’s leave the mothers out of this and let them continue to do the two things they do best: ask us how our day went in six different languages and also . . . worry.
No, what we all need is someone who can explain why, in an unforgettable moment in time, we are transformed from carefree little girls with shining faces into pubescent, raging Medusas. She can look us directly in the eyes and tell us that each month for a very long time, our bodies are going to be upset, mainly about all that work for nothing, and they are going to use every tool at their disposal to make us painfully aware of that fact. Shovels, pick-axes, backhoes. You know, whatever is handy. She can tell you that for an extended period (pun intended), your life will revolve around a steady regimen of anti-inflammatory drugs, heating pads, hot baths and a more than healthy investment in the Kleenex empire. It’s going to be a blast.
Then, one fine day (or not), your body will reap the reward of all that consistent struggle (or not) and you will feel that stir of life within your womb (or not) and for just a moment, the skies will clear and you will hear the blessed announcement that you are going to swell in places you didn’t know you had. In fact, that backhoe is going to be necessary in a completely different way during this season. And if your womb indeed activates (or not); either way, you are still going to be on the board of directors for the Kleenex empire. You could also potentially be a paid consultant for the anti-depressant industry. The possibilities are endless.
Then, our mentors could call an intermission before the final act. They really should, as little information exists outside of girlfriend chatter and the infrequent pep talks from our gynecologists. This time, she would need to look directly into our souls and tell us that for a relatively brief period, anywhere from 5 to 15 years (cause who really knows), we are going to be mentally deranged. Yep, that’s right. Lunatics. We are going to feel mostly unhinged . . . on our good days. We are going to wake up in a pool of perspiration at all hours of the night. We are going to be standing in a snowstorm with a thin line of sweat on our upper lip. We are going to keep the healthcare industry in business with all the fake diseases we discover during this time. That’s right, ladies. Everyday you are going to wake up with lupus. We are going to yell at our husbands and our children. And then we are going to cry and beg them to tell us we are not crazy. And inside, our reproductive system is taunting us, taking us for one final ride, the denouement, Thelma and Louise style.
Chin up, ladies. One fine day, we do eventually wake up with clear minds and bright eyes. Granted, we no longer fit into our pants due to expanded waist lines and hips that just won’t quit, but we valiantly grasp our estrogen IV poles and somehow learn to live again. And the reason why some of these strong survivors need to be designated as reproductive specialists for the younger generation? Because by that point, the majority of women look back at all those blissfully ignorant little girls, laugh and say, “Good luck with all that.” Then we book a cruise, call our girlfriends who understand and race out of town . . . indefinitely. And that, my friends, is what it means to be a woman. Now, I’ve got a plane to catch. You’re welcome.