pregnant-woman-and-death-1911-artist-Egon-Schiele (1)

Pregnant Woman and Death, Egon Schiele, 1911


The embryologist played Sade’s ‘Your Love is King’ to Ovum and Speirin.  I reclined on the bed in the operating theatre in shower cap and gown. We watched an old black and white movie. Mind you, the tickets were £5000 a pop and they didn’t even give us flat, warm diet coke and unevenly salted popcorn.  I didn’t like to complain though, best not when someone’s got their hand up my Veronica.

A steam train catheter chugged onto the big screen and with one jerky jolt, two tiny white dots; two potential people, disembarked at Womberloo Station. They were swallowed up by the big smoke. Dazzled by bright city lights and a fast-paced, rat-race. But they couldn’t afford the real estate so they got the 17.17 to Burton Pidsea.  The third one was mistaken for a bit of fag ash. She was deposited in a rubbish bin and last we heard, she was on her way to a big, fuming, waste-recycling plant in Bermondsey and we haven’t seen her since. It is unexplained.

Nonsense aside, there is a rawness with me. It sits in the pit of my stomach. I wake up in the morning and for a moment, it is not there. Then it seeps into my day. I lost them; quite careless really. P’raps it’s for the best. I’d only fuck them up.

Trouble is, even though I am convinced I am still sixteen, my body is coming to the end of its reproductive life. Perry Menopause it’s called. Then one day, in a few years I’ll look out of the bedroom window and Impendia Menopause will emerge through a gathering mist and glide eerily down Scabbard Street. It will not be long before I hear her frightening, thud-thud-thud at the front door.

‘I’m not ready!’ I’ll shout.
‘No one ever is,’ she’ll reply.

She will break the door down. Her menacing footsteps will clomp up the staircase and the floorboard outside the bedroom door will creak under her impressive weight made of her prized Menses Collection. I will cower under the duvet. She will creep up from the foot of the bed, like that terrifying scene in The Grudge where a ghost with a wayward neck climbs into bed with a Japanese schoolgirl and fails miserably to enunciate the word ‘toast’.

‘Can’t I keep them a bit longer?’ I’ll plead.
‘No love, you’ve had them for over thirty years. I’m taking them away.’

And I’ll miss them. Periods that is. Menarche is a celebrated time in a girl’s puberty marking the beginning of her fertility. It marked my transition from girl to woman. I feel earthy during monthly or moon-ly cycles. I am connected to a natural order of things and other women.

Menopause, on the other hand, does not seem to come with a Happy Ovary Retirement banner or a flag-waving commemoration. Don’t my ovaries deserve a long service award?  A Royal Doulton lead crystal trifle bowl for the credenza.  Perhaps they don’t. My ova never made a baby or breakfast.

What was all the blood for? Just to keep Tampax in business. My capitalist ovaries contributed to the economy then. And at least I didn’t have to fashion papyrus into a cylinder and shove it up me thanks to Earle Haas’s unusual preoccupation with the discomfort of his menstruating wife.

I just can’t seem to get used to the idea of never having a child. Sometimes I think that I’m ok, then I see a pregnant woman rubbing her swollen belly in proud contentment and I am overwhelmed with the impulse to yell: ‘What’s so great about you? Why do you get to have one? Stop rubbing it in my face, walking around showing it off…Ooh look at me and my special bump, I am the creator, I am Mother Earth, bare-footed and bleeding pregnant!’  Fortunately, I keep the crazy in my head and turn away filled with yearning and envious sorrow.

I feel cheated. I feel like my biology is wasted. To reach the end of my reproductive life and not have made life leaves a gaping whole. I just cannot fill it.  I can’t ignore it any longer so I am breaking down my self-constructed glass wall of isolation on subject Ferre.

Is there anyone out there who feels like I do? And if so, does it ever go away? Your thoughts, ideas, musings are very, very welcome here.

Thank you for listening. 🙂

I find the best way to process things I don’t like to process is to accompany them with totally irrelevant irreverence.  So…watch Streetbands ‘Toast’ for a very funny lightner!!  I promise it will make you smile.


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