Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ponderings on Normalcy, Whatever That Is

Tonight in the shower I was pondering some things, and thought I would share with the great big family called the Internet.

I am a woman. For a woman, it is "normal" to have periods every month. Unless you are pregnant, which I have been 11 times. Out of those 11 times, I have birthed 7 live children, and had 5 go on before me, before birth (one set of twins), spending 63 months (5 1/4 YEARS) of my life, pregnant. From what I read, this is not "normal."

Most of my children have weighed between 7 & 8 pounds... this is "normal," until you consider that the ones that weighed that were anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks early. Then that's not "normal." The ones that went to term were 9.5# and 10#. Since I was NOT gestationally diabetic, again, this is not "normal."

I have spent 17 years breastfeeding 7 babies, which in my lifetime has relieved me of over 12 years of periods, and has spared my breasts 150 cycles of hormonal changes. Again, this is nowhere near "normal."

I have a period every month, like clockwork. I do NOT have PMS or PMDD or any other dang mood disorder over this fact. Apparently this is not "normal," (though my husband and kids are thankful).

Having a cycle every month is "normal," except for the fact that I am 48 years old. No symptoms of menopause. No hot flashes. No night sweats. No "Falling Hand Syndrome." You've heard it... Doc...
  • My hair is falling out
  • My head aches all the time
  • My eyes aren't what they used to be
  • My teeth hurt
  • My shoulders stoop
  • My breasts are sagging
  • My back aches
  • I can't hold my stomach in
  • and on down the body, a whole litany of complaints.

    I don't have any of those (well except for those red +1 readers). So apparently I am not "normal."

    Sometimes I long for the normal. I'd like to be like the other women, who know for sure when they're done forming a family. Who know that they'll never have to buy tampons again. Who can have sex whenever they want.

    But then, doesn't menopause bring its own ailments? Bones that are more brittle, skin not as elastic, dryness in unmentionable areas, etc?

    Perhaps, for now, I'll stick with NOT "normal." After all, it's what I'm used to.

    Melissa A. said...

    If normal is based on what's statistically average, then I bet lots of women are not normal. I usually get a period every month, but I never know when it's coming. Sometimes I skip a few months, sometimes I've had two close together. That is normal for me, I guess.

    - Tastyfishnchips

    SunshineofAutumnQuilts said...

    What an interesting post. A lot to think about for sure. Maybe it really is better to not be so normal.

    Thea said...

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who ponders in the shower...
    Also glad you're sticking with being not normal. Normal seems so boring.