Hot Chicks

*Disclaimer: Female reproductive stuff following….*

HOT CHICKS, The Fishbowl, Sherry West Sherry West Art, Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.

35 years.

I’ve been WAITING 35 years for this day.

Every single month for 35 freaking years I’ve been hoping, waiting, begging and praying for IT to COME, and for IT to GO.

Menopause, Menopause,


I’ve waited for years,

Now you’re here to STAY!

Years of misery,

Now IT can GO.

I don’t have to suffer

the flow NO MO’!

That’s NOT an over-exaggeration, trust me. Anyone who knows me well enough will tell you this is very true.

I had heard of the horrors of hot flashes my entire life, and I KNEW it wasn’t going to be comfortable, but I figured it just HAD to be better (ANYTHING had to be BETTER) than the monthly misery that is termed “female productivity.” That’s my euphemistic phrase to delicately describe the monthly misery females of every shape and size world-wide have to survive til they just about croak. (I wouldn’t want to be “T.M.I.,” now, would I?)

I’ve never been a fan of the monthly visit from “Aunt Flo,” as those of us from Southern California humorously refer to this regular and very unwelcome guest. Or, “Aunt Flo came down from Redlands.” Redlands, CA, that is. When you live in So. Cal., this is very close to home, and everyone there understands exactly what you mean.

Yes, I realize it’s necessary so one can have kids, but since I never planned on having any, I wasn’t terribly happy about being stuck with this normal biological necessity endemic to the female portion of the human race.

Being late to the romance and marriage scene, I didn’t marry til I was 30, had Kid No. 1 at 31, Kid No. 2 ten years later at 41, lost one at 44, then had Kid No. 4 at 45. (For those of you who aren’t math majors, that’s 4-1=3.)

My first birth was supposed to vaginal but with all the meds they would allow me to stuff into my system to render me as unconscious as humanly possible – I had always been terrified of giving birth (I’m highly pain intolerant). That was the plan, anyway.

And me, being me, and it being my life, that didn’t happen (Of course not.)

I guess it was a good thing that I went into that delivery room at least BELIEVING I was going to go through it pain-free. They DID hook me up to an IV for the first little while. But after they repeatedly checked my vitals, they grew concerned, and shut that thing right off. We went through the rest of the ordeal “au natural.”

The cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck, and they feared the negative effects of the pain meds would harm it. So, they turned it off. And that turned the pain ON. She came into the world safe and sound, albeit, with the help of a vacuum on her head. And I got to experience natural childbirth, which was definitely NOT my intent. (But I did survive and live to tell the tale. I’m here, aren’t I?)

The second birth was considered “high risk” since I was in the over-40 age-bracket, but I was still scheduled for a vaginal birth since I had safely delivered the first baby this way.

No one has ever accused me of being stupid, and I put it to very good use and VERY CAREFULLY PLANNED OUT every little aspect of this birth so there was ABSOLUTELY NO FREAKING WAY I would feel ANY pain. I made ABSOLUTELY SURE I knew ALL of my options for insuring I would be medicated out of existence on this one. I questioned, requestioned, then questioned the doctor and nurses AGAIN, on every possible kind of medication I could get and type of delivery. I was in control. And, I made DOUBLY SURE by having a birthing plan written out and handed to the doctors and nurses in the event of any eventuality. This one was IN THE BAG. (I was so proud of myself.)

Would you care to take a wild goose guess about what happened?

Yep. That’s right.

Well, being MY baby, this one had some complications, too.

So, after hooking me up to every available machine in the room to monitor our vitals, since the medication was affecting the baby, they took me off of it. I spent quite a few hours in extraordinary pain while they monitored the baby without the influence of the dangerous medications.

And, after a few hours of misery, they finally determined he needed to be delivered by C-section. (Of course he did.) The only OTHER thing in the world I was terrified of, besides the pain of childbirth.

Since I was 45, the last pregnancy was Really considered “high risk.” So, when it came time, I was accordingly trussed up like the proverbial Thanksgiving Turkey served up on the delivery table with a claustrophobic, panic-inducing oxygen mask over my face, terrifying IV’s coming out my orifices, straps, wires and monitors going across just about every square inch of open real estate available on my large bulky form, effectively cinching me in and down like an extremely unhappy horse in a saddle a size too small with the girth pulled even tighter. And no amount of begging and pleading would convince those nurses to get those things off of me.

I was Supposed to deliver with PLENTY of meds in my system, enough to MAKE SURE I was OUT OF IT for the entire ordeal. But, with my luck in the pregnancy and birthing arena, that, of course, did not happen. Since they had to monitor the baby, I got to experience every little awful bit of the horrible labor pain right up until the very moment they said, “Hey, NOW we’ll wheel her into the delivery room for that C-section.”

And, true to form, even while the doctor was cranking up the stuff to knock me out (or directing the anesthesiologist to do it) and asking me thought-provoking questions like “Can you feel THAT?” which I could, so obligingly responded, “YES, I CAN!” as she cut into my uterus.

“NO, you can’t,” she replied. (My Doctor wasn’t shy about telling me what she thought when it really mattered.)

“Oh, YES, I ….” I retorte….

Lesson for that Day: Never argue with your OB/GYN when they have their hand on the valve of the stuff that knocks you out, cuz they will ALWAYS win that particular argument. ALWAYS.

(But, I just HAVE to insist, for the record…I did, too, feel it!)