health

'A farewell letter to my uterus, you gave me the greatest gift I could have asked for.'

Dear Uterus,

I have spent many years condemning you, cursing you and generally uttering my disgust at your sheer existence. However, for all the shooting off at the mouth I have been doing about how I have no emotional attachment to you, turns out I do.

Sure we have had some rough times. But we have also had some awesome experiences leaving us with some mind-blowing and wonderful memories.

I should have known you were going to be a challenge when I first found out you were ‘tilted’. Oh how many times have doctors, with that quizzical expression rummaged through you looking for Lord knows what and uttered those five words, “you have a tilted uterus”.

Of course it was almost always followed with, “but that’s not a problem”. I figured it just made us a little more unique, only 20 in every 100 women share our condition. I must confess though, the only time I experienced any real emotion around you being tilted was the elation I felt when I found out Suzi Quatro was also blessed with one. Kindred sisters and all that…

However, long before I found out you were tilted, our first issue was you were a ‘late bloomer’. It seemed like every other girl in high school was getting her periods, enjoying the right of passage into womanhood which it turns out, amounted to nothing more than the joy of blood loss every month or so for at least five days or so for the next 40 years or so. Ah yes, I love being a woman. Anyway, I digress. I must have been around 14 when you exploded onto the scene. Finally!

I had blossomed and joined the sisterhood. It all went well the first time (my mother had prepared me) but after that, unlike most uteri, you kept it interesting. No regularity for you. Oh know, you decided to just pop and release whenever the heck the mood took you.

This proved to be somewhat challenging. Would it be 24 days, 30 or maybe even 40? I think your personal record was about 63 days.

Tell me, what teenage girl, or woman for that matter, doesn’t want to spend most of her waking moments from about 20 days after her last period just waiting for that familiar ‘seeping’ feeling followed by that internationally renowned internal chant, “Please don’t let it have gone through my knickers and onto the seat”. Slowly you rise from your chair, your lungs pause, ever so subtly you glance down. Oh praise the lord! No stain! Breathe! Now where’s the nearest toilet. Ah good times…

Then there’s the pain. Oh the pain! But, I have to say, from the horror stories I’ve heard from other women, you were actually quite easy on me. It didn’t really start to get bad until after I had children and if I’m honest, it was both you and the ovaries that gave me grief. Of course, it was at different times during my menstrual cycle so that was great (she says facetiously). And, unlike some, it wasn’t a continuous ache for days on end. It was a sudden and prolonged stabbing pain that would happen at any given moment.

I recall paying council rates at the local library one day and BAM! The poor woman serving me didn’t know what to do as I buckled over and accosted the counter with a white knuckled grip. She was offering assistance, bless, but I just had to breathe through it and sure enough, after a few minutes, it left as quickly as it had arrived. Now don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful that you did not give me as much grief as others have had to suffer, but it still hurt like a b*tch.

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And though not directly your fault, you are an integral part of the hormonal tornado, commonly known in our house, and I’m sure in houses internationally, as ‘That time of the month’ syndrome. A time when men silently tiptoe around the house, their heads lowered ensuring they never make eye contact and women scream, cry and throw random objects simultaneously. It really is a joyous time.

So at this point, I would imagine all my commentary has left you feeling somewhat deflated (not literally of course, because you are actually quite enlarged). So in the interest of fairness, I must point out that I have not always been the kindest to you. Over the years, I have had you dilated, scraped, cut open and foreign objects inserted into you (and I’m not referring to vegetables or chocolate bars either, although I have heard of those that do). It’s no wonder you have started to rebel.

Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. On the upside, you have taught me fabulous life skills.

Resilience.

I refuse to allow pain, bleeding or wildly fluctuating mood swings stop me from living life. Well, except for those times during high school when I unashamedly used you as an excuse to get out of sport.

Organisational skills.

I am always prepared for that unexpected surprise whether it be a bleed, a chance meeting or a hormonal headache. In fact, you’d swear I was a Girl Guide I‘m so bloody prepared. A glance into my handbag and you’ll find the following items, carefully compartmentalised depending on frequency of use, size and level of embarrassment should they topple out unexpectedly at a dinner party – various sanitary items, a sewing kit, band aids, a variety of painkillers, pen, paper, tissues, splinter removers, CPR face shield, a comb, mints, lip balm, dental floss, St Christopher medallion, and of course a calendar. Nowadays the calendar is on my phone but since the early 80’s until the iPhone came into being, I purchased a mini planner every year to track the ‘possible’ due date for my next period. I kid you not.

Fashion sense.

Well, when I say fashion sense what I really mean is the wisdom to never wear white pants. That’s about the extent of it really. Fashion has never been one of my strengths.

But, and this is a HUGE but, you have also given me the greatest gift a woman could ever wish for. And I’m not talking about multiple orgasms, though you gave it a red hot go.

No, I am talking about the gift of life. My beautiful children. If not for your incredible durability, flexibility, strength and nurturing I could never have done it. It can’t have been easy for you. You had a very restricted work area due to my shorter than average stature but still you managed to safely protect and nourish my somewhat larger than average babies. Scott, a whooping 9lb 3ozs and Amy at 8lb 5.5ozs (2 weeks early). I will be forever grateful that you were able to bless our lives, so many are not so lucky.

So there it is, the emotional attachment I didn’t think I had with you, is in fact stronger than I could have ever imagined. I am crying as I write this which surprises me but at the same time it doesn’t. Our time together is coming to a somewhat abrupt end but your gifts to me will always far outweigh any heartache you caused and you will always, always be treasured.

Goodbye my old friend, it’s been memorable.

Love always

Rexina xx

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