Is It Pregnancy or Menopause?

Pregnancy or Menopause Image via Shutterstock

I’m 47 years old and (possibly) pregnant. Pregnancy or menopause? That is the question.

All I knew yesterday was that I haven’t had a period for three months. No, I hadn’t taken a test because I’ve been really busy and only realized how long it’s been when I received an offer to do a giveaway of a fabulous new brand of tampons. While musing over the potential humor value of a ‘pon contest on my blog, I suddenly started doing a bit of mental math. Uh oh. I’ve been really busy.

So I sat with this information all day. Sat with all the possibilities. Is this a beginning or an ending? Am I going to bear another child or am I getting my child-bearing walking papers? Is my uterus waxing or waning?

I went through the full gamut of emotions. My 5 year old son and 6 year old daughter were cavorting to some insipid Disney tune and I found myself getting misty-eyed. “Look at them, the little darlings. I could do one more, couldn’t I? These two are growing up, they won’t be cavorting to insipid Disney tunes much longer. Oh, to feel a sweet babe a-tuggin’ at my nipple once more! “

Score one point for possible pregnancy.


Score one point for possible menopause.

And it went back and forth like that for the whole day. Adorable moments led to thoughts of booties. Awful moments led to thoughts of my own bootie being saved from the scourge of further breeding. I couldn’t even bring myself to tell my husband for fear that he might faint or yak. For the whole day, it was my little secret, treasured up in my heart to be pulled out when I wanted to delight or terrify myself.

This morning my two best friends came by for coffee. I dropped the news casually, as if I were saying, oh, by the way, I might be buying a new dress, or I may never be buying dresses ever ever again because all my money has been returned to the Big Bank in the Sky. They were stunned, to say the least. Within two minutes, we were out on the street, walking to the CVS to purchase a stick for me to pee on. They sat outside my bathroom door as I peed on said stick. And as I peed, a thought went through my head.

Please let it be positive, God.”

It wasn’t. And I cannot tell you how relieved I was. It was hard enough giving birth at 40 and 42, much less pushing out a watermelon from my very very tired 47 year old body. And we are so broke, we can’t even afford the kids we’ve got. And I already have a new baby, my blog, which requires so much time and care that I might as well be letting it suck on my boobs. But still… I did have that thought.

I’m a woman, after all. And for all of our emancipation, strength, and gurl power, we still are the only sex who has this special ability of bringing a human being into the world. And to have that potentiality taken away hurts. I have to admit, today I’m grieving a bit.

But then again, the thought of not having to try that fabulous new brand of tampons kinda rocks.


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  1. 1

    Carolyn (temysmom) says

    This post is mirroring my life. At almost 45 I’ve been regular my whole life, but I find myself almost 3 weeks “late” and all those thoughts are going through my head. I so don’t want to be pregnant again… but… the thought of having a newborn again that I can nurse and cuddle and rock makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

    But… my DH has had a vasectomy so this couldn’t be possible, right? Unless something happened and the “clip” got dislodged… or broke. I don’t even know if that’s possible.

    Or… the more likely story… the start of menopause. Ugh! Not yet, I’m only 45.

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  2. 2

    Rachel {at} Mommy Needs a Vacation says

    I long for the days of no tampons. My favorite line of your post was that your new baby, your blog, might as well be sucking on your boobs!!! LOL!

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    • 9

      Ashleen says

      That’s how I feel, but that’s just me. If others want to reproduce at that age, I’m happy for them :D
      Being a young mom I more than understand why a woman would want to wait until they were older (aka more established financially) to start a family. Sometimes I wish we had waited until I was older, like my mother, to start a family. My mom and dad were married 10 years and my mom was 32 before they had me (the oldest). Then other times I’m glad that I won’t be 50 with kids still in the house.

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  3. 10

    OHN says

    Yep. I did the same thing at 45. I felt like I had an angel on one shoulder and the devil on another. Irony would certainly mean I WAS pregnant after a lifetime of having incredible difficulty getting that way. Alas, it was the beginning of the end for me. While I love have an entire drawer in my bathroom free now, there is a part if me that sighs when I see a baby…..then fortunately their toddler brother or sister snaps me back to reality. Now I have chosen to embrace that week every month when I normally would have been housebound. I asked the same question *could I be?*,on and off for 5 years and (my gift kept coming and going) and the rational answer was always…..oh shit, I hope not.

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    • 11

      dusty earth mother says

      Yes, it’s always the toddler version of that sweet baby which snaps you back. What was that quote by Wilde, something like “There is no child in the world so sweet, but that his mother doesn’t love when he is sleeping.” That’s not quite it, but you get the gist.

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  4. 12

    By Word of Mouth says

    Oh do I hear you, I have a bff, friends since we were six yrs old, makes for adding the years when you tell your kids you’ve been friends for over 40 years!
    Well, she had a new baby girl a year ago, a real surprise with her 12 and 14 yr old boys – she is adorable, but boy, its a lot of work having just visited with her. (but she is enjoying every minute I might tell you)
    Having struggled with infertility, I have peed on more sticks than I care to remember, in fact, still have one unopened upstairs. It seems as tho I longed to be pregnant forever, and suddenly out of the blue – I feel too old to have another one and enjoy that my two can get ready and head anywhere we need to go & my older one can babysit them when I need too.
    But I do believe that a part of us will always have a hankering, a just maybe, a what if …
    but if it were down to tampons or cloth diapers … then I know where I am heading :)

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  5. 13

    Mrs BC says

    This post – exactly. With my cycle all over the place, every month I go through the whole delighted/terrified teariness…I even had a blood test recently to see if I was approaching menopause & the result was “No, fertile as ever”. I’m not sure if I want another baby (the 3 I have are exhausting & wonderful) or if I am just not ready to close that door. I don’t want to have regrets either way…
    Love your post, especially the comment about your uterus waxing or waning. Do we clutch onto the maiden years or embrace the crone? Ha!

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  6. 15

    Kim says

    My husband had the snip-snip after our 3rd was born, so while I don’t worry if it’s ‘me’ that’s going through the ‘change’ I’ve had a couple times where I’ve thought, “my god, did he have some swimmers left??” At 37, with a 7 1/2, a 5 and a 4 year old, plus major PPD and clinical depression I need to be done! But then the thought of that tiny baby snuggled close to me enters my mind . . . that sweet sigh of the happily fed infant. Those first stirrings in your womb. *sigh* And my uterus actually feels a baby move. Then ole Auntie Flo comes and I thank God!

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  7. 18

    Jennifer says

    This post made me laugh… and I totally get it. I am *only* (??) 37 and my periods are still regular, but I have started experiencing other hormonal fluctuations… the hot flashes, irrationality.. the things that come with pregnancy and post-partum, but I’m neither of those. And my doc said “perimenopause” and I got depressed. I hate thinking it’s the end and I CAN’T do something anymore.. even though I really don’t WANT to do it! So, I guess, for me, it is the beginning of the beginning of the end.

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  8. 23

    Ann's Rants says

    We’ve decided definitely no more kids. I have an IUD and don’t get periods.

    But my body thinks I’m pregnant sometimes. I’ve learned not to listen to it anymore, but it used to be mental torture.

    Beautiful post (and PERFECT transcription of 5 year old scolding)

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  9. 24

    Brittany at Mommy Words says

    Oh to have another baby to snuggle. I am 32 and I have 3 but my husband is done. And if I am done, I am ready to toss periods out the door. I don;t think I could handle the late periods and the hope that I might have another. This was a great post. So honest and I do think that no matter what age I am as long as I still get periods ever I will have a small hope that another baby is coming….and I will probably ask my friends first.

    I’ve got a baby and a blog on my bewbs. Haha Loved that!

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  10. 25

    Queen of Feisty says

    I guess the decision to not have more kids has pained me too. Not in a depression or funk for days. But that little twinge of sadness that I have made two beautiful people, and our decision that not only finacially we can’t afford more, but mentally my postpartum was wicked and my DH fears me going back to that sad place just for one more. I can see where you would go back and forth. Nice title, it got me over here… FAST.


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  11. 27

    Raquel says

    Woohoo to you. Baby=bad
    Menopause= dealable

    By any chance were those tampons the new Kotex click because serioulsy they do rock! But not so much that I’d want an extra period just to use them. Funny Post!

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  12. 29

    Sunday says

    I feel the exact same way. I am 34 years old and when I was 30 I had my tubes tied.
    I was in a bad marriage, had 2 sons diagnosed with severe autism, and I just knew I couldn’t take on a difficult pregnancy (because mine always are) and deal with the boys and their needs, that of a newborn, and a dead-end marriage.

    So, I got a divorce. Then I got remarried. And now I wish I hadn’t had that tubal ligation…and yet we aren’t financially able to have it reversed and really we’re not sure we would if we could.

    Its all rather heartbreaking at times.

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  13. 33

    Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip says

    Oh Shari, what a beautiful post. I could feel your every emotion. After, and I mean RIGHT after, we had Diego my hubs rushed off to get the snippety-snip. He was done. I was kinda done, but not as done as him. At the time, I was okay. I didn’t want another baby immediately. But a year into it, I began to feel sad. I longed for a baby to hold and cuddle. I wished we hadn’t made such a final decision. But now, as I watch my 3 and 6 year old run around the park while I sit on the bench (not for long, but still) I reallize I am happy to be where I am at. If the vasectomy failed and I got pregnant, I would be thrilled. But since it probably won’t, I am happy that I have my 2 healthy kids. And happy to be entering a new stage of motherhood. Sucha wonderful, touching post, Shari. I heart you!!!! And I am sending big huggles your way. xoxoxo

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    • 34

      dusty earth mother says

      Thank you, sweet Naomi. And seriously, I am going to tell my husband tonight how many women responded that their husbands got the snip-snip. What’s he so scared of anyway? It’s only a knife touching his most treasured possession.

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  14. 35

    Megan (Best of Fates) says

    I love huge life changing options that don’t require a decision – baby or menopause, you just have to wait and see.

    It’s like when you’re approached by a guy in a parking lot – dropped something or mugging?

    The possibilities require no action.

    And I’m quite indecisive. So I approve.

    (Though I would prefer having dropped something, if given the choice.)

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  15. 37

    Flawless Mom says

    Funny how even when we’re “sure” we’re done having kids… There’s a part inside us that doesn’t want to be. I’m 38 with a three-yr-old. We’ve said we’re done, but there’s that tug… I understand the little prayer you said, and I understand the relief. Dear God, is there anything we can just be 100% SURE about? Lovely post.

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  16. 38

    Kortney_Fitness says

    Ironic how when we all pee on that stick we send up that prayer for it to “please be positive”. Then after and it is negative we are still saddened by what we can’t have. The yearning for more even if we know we are done.
    I hate that feeling. I just wish we could be content with our feelings.

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