In October 2019, I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure and was told that I had gone through menopause. I am 33 now and was 32 then. None of my friends is experiencing anything like this, and I sometimes feel like that word "failure".
I have been desperate to be a mum my whole life, and now, when I thought I had years left to plan and prepare, I am told it is too late. I am trying to deal with my new identity as a 34-year-old menopausal woman, and feeling like I cannot participate in the world of my peers. I never realised how much fertility is tied up with femininity until now. Even underwear seems like it highlights our bellies, the centre of our womanhood.
I am currently undergoing treatment to become pregnant using donor eggs. It is invasive, uncomfortable, and clinical - not at all how you picture becoming pregnant - and sometimes I am angry at how little privacy I get in these moments. Other women get to do this in a way that feels natural, sexy and intimate, and it feels unfair. But resenting other people for what I thought I was supposed to have only leads to regret, and I have to find the beauty and the miracle in the path that I am on, and be so grateful that I even have this option. I may not have the answers I want in terms of my fertility, but at least I have them, and some solutions, which allow me to move forward in my journey towards "other-motherhood."