Say Something; I’m Giving Up on You

candleI started my period 10 days early. This is the third time in as many months that's happened. The first time I thought it was a fluke. The second time I thought it was because I had forgotten to take my bioidentical progesterone the night before. This time I had no explanation.

So I did what academics do: I went into research mode. Why do women short cycle? If you're my age – 40 – short cycling pretty much means one thing and one thing only: hello perimenopause, goodbye fertility.

So once again, I find myself in tears. Feeling betrayed by my body, shortchanged of my reproductive years by my endometriosis, by the 9 years my body was in menopause from the ages of 26 to 35, robbed of my Goddess-given right to bear a child to a man I adore.

And then I went to that dark place; the place where I'm flawed because I'm infertile. The place where no man wants me because I can't bear his child. It's a familiar place; one I've visited often in my 40 years on this planet. One I've been continually reminded of by the men in my life.

I don't want to believe it – that my reproductive years are over, that my train ride to Menopauseland has left the station – again. Only this time I harbor no illusions that I'll be able to heal my body back out of it. I'm not 35 anymore.

I found myself compelled to have a heart-to-heart with my body. But my heart-to-heart ended up listening to A Great Big World's “Say Something” on repeat. Not fair to my body, I know, but there it is. I also got a bit melodramatic in the process, but I chose to honor my feelings rather than forcing myself to be “rational” about it. So bear with me… there is a point to my ramblings.

I asked my body for a sign that I was mistaken about the loss of my reproductive years.

Say something, I'm giving up on you.

It didn't respond.

I'll be the one, if you want me to.

The one to bear a child, the one to be a mother to more than my dogs.

Anywhere I would've followed you.

To the moon and back if I had to; that's what you do for your children. You go all in.

Say something, I'm giving up on you.

And I am feeling so small.

So insignificant – the unimportant, flawed, infertile me. Wrong somehow.

It was over my head;

I know nothing at all.

I never understood the luck of the draw aspect of fertility; why 16-year-olds abort babies they don't want while 30-somethings would give anything for a child of their own that they can’t seem to have. Why children are born to those who don't want them or can't take care of them, yet those who have the means to provide for and want a child desperately can't have one. Why our most fertile years occur before our brains are fully developed and we are mature enough to handle being a parent.

And I will stumble and fall.

Repeatedly, over this and many other issues in life. I guess that's part of living. Life is but a journey. A lesson.

I'm still learning to love;

Just starting to crawl.

I struggle with self-love and self-acceptance, especially when it comes to my fertility. It is so difficult not to go into self-blame. After all I was blamed for my infertility for 20 years. It's difficult not to pick that torch up again.

Say something, I'm giving up on you.

I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you.

To the unborn souls wherever they go when they're waiting for a body to be born into, to a child waiting for a parent.

Anywhere I would've followed you.

Say something, I'm giving up on you.

My body responds with silence; the tears continue to fall.

And I will swallow my pride.

You're the one that I love,

And I'm saying goodbye.

Goodbye to my fertility, my reproductive years, the mother chapter of my life that I never truly got to experience. I give in, give up. Let go, release. To the universe, to all that is. I don't understand why some things happen but I do believe that everything happens – or doesn't happen – for a reason.

Say something, I'm giving up on you.

Say something…

And after three hours of tears, the Universe responded.

My man came home. He held me, held space for me, for my tears, my sorrow. He reassured me that everything would be okay, that it wasn't my fault, I wasn't flawed, broken. That I was beautiful and a wonderful mother to our three dog children. That the Goddess has and will continue to bless us. And that he still loves me.

And still the tears fell. Of pain, of sorrow. And of gratitude. Gratitude for this man who doesn't blame me or think I'm flawed or less of a woman. For this man who asks me what I need from him in this moment. Who draws my bath and tells me I deserve it and need it after what I've been through today. A man who lights candles for me and holds them steady as it feels like the flame of my reproductive years is burning out.

Say something…

Even in your darkest hours. Ask and you shall receive. There's always a light at the end of every tunnel. Even if it's not what you expect. Sometimes, it's even better.



  • Peggy says:

    Dear Goddess Mary,

    Please consider this a hug. Your words will speak to many.


  • Linda Joy says:

    Beautifil Mary,
    I’m stopping by with a virtual (((HUG)))) and a loving reminder that your worth as a woman is
    found in the essence of who you are, how you love and serve and how you live. You continue to inspire me with the depth I which you live and lead your life… Even when it’s hard and hurts like hell!

    Holding space for you!

  • Thank you for sharing your story, Mary. Sending you much love and support as you continue to shine and share your light with us 😀

  • Virginia says:

    Mary – it’s okay to not give your love to your own children. I’m 63 and my husband and I never had any. We shared a lot with siblings and nieces and nephews. We also gave to friends, co-workers, people in groups, and to ourselves. Your hurt is real and will be there a while but you know deeper inside that you are strong and with your man and friends this sad time will bring forth other elements into your life that will make you happy. Smile and keep sharing.

  • Ana says:

    Hi Mary… I am 47… I know exactly the feeling… No kids… But what if this experience should make you learn something more? What would it be? Mine made me learn a lot… Now I am grateful for not having kids, believe me… I know it’s not easy, but things change, when our perspective change. And what about finding the man who loves you anyway, with and for ALL you ARE? If you could have kids, would this wonderful experience be happening? Thanks for reminding me some of my lessons and thanks for the courage to show yourself like this, so open, I feel you write from deep in your heart. You are a brave woman. Thanks.

    • Mary E. Pritchard, Ph.D. says:

      Thanks Ana! I have learned so much about myself throughout this process and I keep learning every day! Some days are just easier than are others. 🙂

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