When I was twelve-years-old I thought I was bleeding to death. From the bathroom in our apartment I shouted out to my brother, “Call mom NOW!” And he did.
“Tell her I’m bleeding!”
“Where?” he asks.
“From my vagina!”
My mother rushed home, kissed me, and told me now I was a woman. From that moment on getting my period was never an enjoyable event. It wasn’t like I didn’t know about girls getting their periods. Starting around age ten my family friend, Lauren, loved to pull out her Period Kit every time we had a sleepover and show me her sanitary towels and the Period Book that came with it explaining how a woman’s reproductive organs work.
“Kinda gross, right?” she used to say.
I actually was never grossed-out by having my period. Throughout the years I was often in awe of this monthly womanly rite. It’s pretty awesome to imagine how my monthly cycle is shared with so many “sisters” throughout the world. My spiritual, Goddess-self loved getting my period…feeling like it gave me permission to be a “wild woman” and howl with the moon.
But there was also a darker side to my period…the blood, the cramps…I had it all. I remember one day walking down the street in Nairobi, Kenya feeling okay and the next moment my period arrived and I could barely hold on to Tim and make it back to the car. We used to joke with our midwives that having a home birth presented no fear to me because I had so much pain with my periods that how hard could it be to push a baby out? (it was a piece-of-cake next to my periods!).
Despite this, and the last two years of non-stop flooding every month with my periods, and the diagnosis of multiple large fibriods (my uterus is 14 weeks pregnant), and a complex cyst on my ovary that keeps growing, when my doctor first suggested removing my uterus I thought: you’ve got to be kidding. No way. I’m not that kind of woman. I only started taking Advil a few years ago. I planted my kids placentas. There is no way I’m going to lose my womanhood.
But there was a voice inside of me that also said: what if? What if I could have no more blood every month, what if I could take a walk every day, take my kids to school without pain, wear my jeans again, go away for the weekend and have some fun.
So I sat with this question. After about a month I started getting a word: Freedom.
There was my answer.
And here I am now…at this moment…ready…imagining…wondering.
Life a journey. This is mine.
Thank you for joining me!