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Dear Womb

After Two Abortions, The Pill, and an I.U.D., It's Time We Talked

Dear Womb,

I’m writing to you because …. Well, I was going to say because we need to talk, but that implies that we have a relationship.

So let me start again.

Dear Womb,

I am deeply and incredibly sorry.

It’s been six years since I last checked in on you; I’m sorry it’s taken me so long. I’m sorry for all of the hurt, the sadness, and the loss you went through. If you’re feeling scared and alone, please know that I’m sorry for that, too.

If it gives you any comfort, it hasn’t been easy for me, either. Lately, I’ve needed you more than ever. I’m craving a connection and a synergy with you, a relationship we’ve never really had.

   I was eight weeks pregnant before I finally acknowledged that my body was screaming at me—that you were screaming at me—showing me signs I just couldn’t see. I was eighteen.

Six years ago, I had a doctor place an I.U.D. in you because I couldn’t trust my body not to get pregnant again. Do you remember how that felt, deciding to get an abortion? Do you remember the room as well as I do?

It was cold, sterile. My feet were in holsters, my legs spread. My knees were shaking. I felt embarrassed. The room was full of unfamiliar people, unfamiliar men, all about to see parts of me I didn’t want them to see.

I was eight weeks pregnant before I finally acknowledged that my body was screaming at me—that you were screaming at me—showing me signs I just couldn’t see. I was eighteen.

I couldn’t help but wonder what the doctors and nurses thought of me. Irresponsible was the word that came to mind. But I’m on birth control! I pleaded inside my head.

The doctor told me to relax. I was distracted by the sounds of clanging metal tools and shuffling feet on the clean tiles. The nurse looked at me, and she asked me to breathe. She was an older woman, and she had a very kind face. Tears were sliding down my cheeks, one after another. I was usually good at putting on a brave face, but this felt out of my control.

She took my hand and smiled gently as she placed a mask onto my face. “It’s okay,” she said. “Count back from 100 now for me.”

100… 99… 98… 97…

I woke up in recovery. Still coming off of the anaesthetic, I couldn’t feel you. The entire room was a blur. They asked me how I was feeling, but I didn’t ask you how you were feeling. I can’t imagine what it felt like to have those metal tools scraping at your flesh. How violated you must have felt.

   I skipped the sugar pills in the birth control pack to avoid having a period. Instead of seeing my time of the month as sacred and beautiful, or, at the very least, completely normal, I just skipped it all together. I never allowed you to learn your cycles or find your rhythms.

I spent some time recovering and pushed you aside in my mind. But one afternoon, I felt something happening—something that made my vagina clench and my heart drop. I ran to the bathroom and tried to pull my pants down but I wasn’t quick enough. Caught in my underwear was a blood clot the size of my fist. I gagged, hyperventilating. What was happening to my body? What was happening to you?

I ripped off my pants and lowered myself onto the bathroom floor. I cried for a couple minutes until I felt it again. I sat on the toilet seat and passed another very large clot. As it slid out of my body, I heard it drop into the water. I was overcome by feelings of utter horror, confusion, and disgust. I felt so alone.

After the pregnancy, I went back on birth control and went back to my life. Somewhere between finding out and the day at the hospital, my partner and I had broken up. I just wanted to forget about it all.

Just like I had done before, I skipped the sugar pills in the birth control pack to avoid having a period. I punished you; I shamed you. Instead of seeing my time of the month as sacred and beautiful, or, at the very least, completely normal, I just skipped it all together. I never allowed you to learn your cycles or find your rhythms.

It was easier that way.

Until pregnancy number two. It was different this time. I was older, more mature. I knew the signs; I could tell my body felt different, and I had a wonderful partner who I trusted.

He and I took our time. We sat together and talked. But twenty-year-old me was not ready to be a mother. I remember his head resting on my chest as we lay in bed and I cried. He rubbed my stomach gently and reminded me we were in this together. That pregnant feeling was familiar, but that loving support from my partner was new.

So there we were, not long after, back in that room. That cold, sterile room with the doctors and the nurses and the clanging metal tools; that room with the foot holsters and spread legs and the feeling of loss sitting heavy in you, like food I hadn’t chewed enough times.

After I healed from the procedure, I decided to get an I.U.D. As I cried on the table in her office, a doctor stuck a hormone-filled piece of plastic into you so I could forget about everything. So we could forget about everything.

And we did.

Six years later, my I.U.D. needs to come out. It’s been expired for one year. Making the appointment to have it removed has been remarkably hard. I’ve been scared of opening the floodgates between my legs, the floodgate of trauma and memories I have long suppressed.

I know you’re hurting and I know you’re lonely. I know you’re scared, scarred, and I know I’ve hurt you.

But I also know you’re ready: ready for me to remember what it feels like to know you, to celebrate you, to understand you, and ultimately, to love you.

I am honoring the losses. The loss of innocence, of play, and my connection to you, but also the loss of the two souls who chose me but who I chose to release. I’ve never really allowed myself to acknowledge that until now.

I think it’s time I choose you, Womb, and see you as a safe space, a warm place filled with love. If so, then perhaps I will muster the courage to remove my I.U.D. and welcome my period back home.

To be honest, I’m nervous. I don’t know what to expect or how having a period is going to feel after so long. But, after years of ignoring you and pretending you weren’t a part of me, I think I’m ready. I’m ready to invite you back in, let you grieve, and let you heal. I’m ready to let you bleed.

With love and patience,

Jenny

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Jenn River
About the author

Jenny is an intuitive coach who curates soulful gatherings for like-minded women in Vancouver, Canada. If “Don’t Forget The Lyrics” still aired, Jenny would for sure win the million and likely start a commune in the mountains (or a winery... still deciding).

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