I’m not big on change. It’s scary and unsettling. The Bear’s not big on change either, and I suspect that’s partly down to me. Sorry, B.
I’ve never been madly impulsive, but I have gone out of my comfort zone now and then. I upped sticks and moved to Lithuania, for one. Started up an advertising agency. Chucked in my job to go freelance. So, I’m not a complete wuss. But I am getting more and more resistant to change. And there’s a lot of it about at the moment, so I’m feeling a little…unsettled.
I sold my house, and S and I bought a house together. Given we’ve been with each other for 10 years and have a child, it’s hardly spur of the moment but it’s a sea change nonetheless. We moved out of the city (OK, we were just within the city limits, but still) to the ‘Burbs. The new house is a collaboration, rather than a solo effort (although I’ve started calling S ‘The Client’). B has had to adjust to his new nursery. S has a longer commute, with 2 trains an hour rather than every 15 minutes, and a schlep to the airport.
Added to that, I’m not working at the moment. I know I have to get my finger out and hunt down some work, but I’m immersed in DIY and project managing trades. I underestimated the shock of moving from a home where everything was done to a house which is lovely but very much a project. Making some changes will make it feel more like ours.
Plus, it feels like the only thing within my control at the moment.
Today is my first day off for months, what with getting the old house ready to sell through to where we are now. I’m not working so it makes sense to get on with the house, although I know I’m delaying the inevitable search for work. And some of it is down to distraction. Focus on what you can change. Forget about what you can’t. Numerous people told me how good it was that I had the new house to focus on to get over the miscarriage. But, of course it’s not as easy as that. I try to forget about it, but it has a habit of creeping in. And there’s real life stuff to navigate, too.
A couple of months ago, I was out for a girls’ lunch. We’re all mothers. We’ve all had miscarriages. Some of them knew about mine, some didn’t. Someone asked me how I was, and I started crying. Not a surprise – I can bear most things until someone asks me how I’m doing, and then I dissolve into tears and snotters.
And then these younger woman started talking about being perimenopausal. I’m the oldest woman there. I’m trying to have a baby. I don’t want to think about the menopause. Not now.
It’s not a vanity thing. Trust me, I gave up on that a long time ago. I can go more than a week without shaving my legs, no problem. I’ve taken to leaving the house with frizzy hair and no make up. I’m not proud. But I am acutely aware of my age.
There’s been nothing picked up in my tests for the miscarriages so it’s a fair assumption that it’s down to age – and there’s fuck all I can do about that. So, I really don’t want to start thinking about menopause.
But, of course I am.
I have absolutely no idea of when to expect The Change. My mother had a hysterectomy after having my brother and me, so didn’t go through the menopause – so I can’t use that as a guide. A friend suggested I visit a fertility clinic to get a steer on my egg supply, but I’m caught in indecision – I can’t bear the thought of either knowing or not knowing. And we can’t afford IVF, and the success rate for women over 40 is pretty grim. I’m 42. So, I’m trying very hard not to think about it.
But I’m very much aware of my wrinkles and my body shape, the change in my skin, and the hairs sprouting out of my chin – I put those down to hormones after having B but finally I have to admit to myself that it’s down to age. I can’t hide from it any more. The hair colour I’m using is no longer hiding the greys. And I’ve started having to pluck great white wiry antennae from my eyebrows. Every time I pluck the bastards out I wince at the irony that this old bird is still hoping to have a baby.
So, I’m in a state of flux at the moment. Things are not quite as they should be. I feel out of control. And I know that I really ought to take a deep breath and just go with it. That change is good. That we cannot control everything, no matter how much we want to. That in the grand scheme of things, we’re doing pretty bloody well, actually.
And Carol Decker of T’Pau fame had a baby at 45. So, there.