I come from a culture where there are certain things you just do not discuss, as they are considered base topics that genteel people do not ever talk about. One such subject is the female reproductive system. In years gone by the thought of even mentioning the above topic would have made my skin crawl with embarrassment.
“Sugar and spice and all things nice.”
Even acknowledging that certain parts of my body existed was extremely difficult for me. This mentality led me to feel shame about my body and has not served me. I now speak openly about how traumatic my first birth experience was and mention details about my physicality that I would never have dreamed of before. I can still feel the burning shame I felt when my broken waters created a mess, how little I understood about the process of birth, the organs involved and how awkward I felt about what my body was going through.
By my second birth I felt empowered. I felt proud of what my body was doing and amazed by how powerful it was. I did not burn with shame and I felt protective of my right to experience this physical experience without seeing it as an illness that needed to be treated. Shame made way for wonder and curiosity at an experience that I’ll likely never experience again. My new found respect turned fear to confidence. Shame and hurt made way for healing and empowerment.
This is just one aspect of my life. Let us not even begin to discuss how different my breastfeeding experience would be had society not mystified and over sexualized breasts the way it has.
I am still me. I still cringe at sharing certain information that I was raised not to discuss. But I am making a point of discussing the female body because it is not some shameful thing that needs to be veiled in mystery. It’s a beautiful powerful thing. Maybe if I had been less afraid of my body. Maybe if discussing my bodily functions had felt less shameful, I would not have experienced such trauma. Maybe I would have been allowed to experience the beautiful, intense empowering experience that I was lucky enough to feel with my second birth.
For this reason I will share details that I struggle to share. For all the women that follow after me in life. If just one woman can feel the healing that I have felt it will all be worth it.