What have I done to my womb?
For the past few days I have been acutely aware of my womb. Much more so that usual. Not only because of the dull ache that persists into my consciousness, just a mild discomfort really but different enough to continually bring my attention to that triangular area below my belly button, the exact shape of which I only began to appreciate very recently, not only because of the slight pain that reminds me that my womb exists and is recovering from the unaccustomed intrusion of a tiny camera investigating its inner secrets, but much more compellingly, more poignantly, more terribly because I am faced with the possibilty that I may be about to lose it.
There it is in black and white. These may be the last weeks that I have the opportunity to feel that magical, mysterious maker of man and womankind, that incredible cauldron that has created life within my very own body. Naturally I hope that wont be the case, but the possibilty lurks in my mind and draws my attention again and again and guides my hands to my belly. My hands send their healing warmth to soothe the ache and my mind tries desperately to understand why this is happening to me, what my body is trying to tell me.
I cant deny it. I have ignored and abused my womb. Now as I try to send it love and healing energy in a desperate bid to save it the contrast between that and the denial, the frustration and downright anger that I have felt towards the centre of my wombanhood becomes so very clear.
Telling, that until my recent visit to the gynos office I had no idea how big my uterus was or should be. Now I know exactly from the ultrasound report. My uterus is bulky, 10cm by 4.5 by 7.5 cm and from the releif diagrams on the specialists desks I can picture that intriguing triangle nestled in my lower belly that is nagging into my awareness.
Forgive me mother for I have sinned, it is maybe a whole life time that I have not given thanks for the incredible gift of my body, the ability to create life within it. I have abused this gift and maligned its source. For many years I have felt embarrassment and shame about the blood that flows from my womb each month. I have wanted to hide it and deny its existence. I have felt frustrated at the limitations I felt it imposed on my life rather than honouring and glorifying the gifts and the wisdom that my bleeding time can bring. How insiduously must all those thoughts of disgust and denial have worked on the tender centre of my bodies creative power. How effective all those cries of I wish I was a man, they dont have to deal with this. Who is wombman with out the womb? How I wish I could uncry them.
Mother I am guilty of having wished that I didnt have womb that made such a nasty mess each month. But that is only layer one of my confession as I unravel it.
Worse still is the fury and hate that I lavished upon my womb each time that nasty mess was half a second late in arriving and the paranoia set in (even in advance)that a tiny unwelcome embryo might have settled in to those comfortable folds of flesh.
I have vivid memories of pounding at my belly, desperately trying to dislodge an imagined embryo, to precipitate my period, to rid myself of the inconceivable inconvenience, the threat to my freedom to my (largely unfulfilling but possibly just about to become so) lifestyle, of an unwanted pregnancy.
How hard must it be for a body part to stay healthy when it is bombarded with a persistent painful psychic NO ? NO - dont do your job, dont be there, dont bother me
But mother there is more. Not only am I guilty of shame and denial about my womb, of fear and hatred of its natural functioning, but I am also guilty of physical abuse. Three times I have sent in the surgeons with their scalpels and clamps to cut out the precious foetus that lay in my wombs nurturing care. Ooooyyyyy!
Three attacks, twenty years of psychic and emotional abuse and still, thank you mother and all that is good, my compassionate, forgiving womb was willing to try again, to welcome, to protect and nurture and finally to deliver to the world my beautiful child, bringing love into my life and changing it in a way I had never dreamed possible.
And even as my son grew in my womb I was aware of its marvellous ability to expand to accomodate the brimming bundle of new life within it, but my delight, my love, my attention was on those ever multiplying cells that it contained, not on the container.
How much worse would it be, as it is and has been for many women, to contemplate losing my womb without ever having experienced the wonder of birthing life through it.
I have much to be grateful for. But oh how I wish with the wisdom of hindsight that I had been able to sit in a circle of women to welcome my first blood, my menarche with the reverence and celebration that it was due; that I had had the woman culture, the mentors and elders, the books, the rituals and the support around me in the earlier years of my wombmanhood to honour my womb, its power, its mysteries; that I had been willing and known how to listen to my body, to my womb, to hear its messages, to take notice as I do now, sitting at the computer, hearing it say, enough for now, rest now, thankyou for sharing, I love you and I forgive you.
The day after writing this I went to the follow up appointment with the gynocologist who performed my hysteroscopy (an investigative procedure to determine the extent of my uterine fibroids). As I had feared he might, he suggested that a hystorectomy was the best option that he could offer for solving the problem of my extremely heavy periods. I a state of gloomy resignation I booked a date for the surgery and signed the consent forms but luckily a little voice inside insisted that I ask the doctor to wait a few days for me to sit with the decision before sending the paperwork through to the hospital. In the days that followed I realised that I was not ready to give up on my womb yet. I needed to know more, much more, about the subtle functions of the womb, the effects of surgery, the other possibilities for healing or reducing fibroids and why I had created this symptom in my body. I cancelled my surgery date, and settled down to some serious research ......
.... stay posted for more of my journey
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