Monday, September 19, 2011

A Letter To My Uterus From Another Uterus!!

My uterus has received a letter from my friend's uterus in France. I think it is AWESOME and her story is also beautiful. She (Alix, home of my uterus' penpal) is such a great mom and now I know exactly why being a mommy is so important to her! It is written in the point of view of her uterus and how it is and has effected Alix, her husband, Hocine, and kids Naim, Eliot and Jasmine (who I haven't met yet) . Please read:

Dear Anisa's Uterus,

Let me introduce myself. I am Alix's Uterus. I knew Anisa when you began to give her trouble in Toulouse. But she never talked about you then. Shy? I'll tell you about me now.  I am 42 years old, and although I've always existed inside Alix, she only got acquainted with me when we were 11. The beginning of her periods was not a shock to her because her mother had explained the whole "nest" thing for having babies, and had bought her pads, the ones you had to tie to a belt (old fashion). She quickly moved to adhesive ones, much more convenient. The only problem during the first year was that she always forgot when our period would begin. It always started when at school (last year of elementary school) and she had to go to her teacher to ask for pads. She remembers socked underwear and trousers very well, and thanks long tee-shirts fashion in that time.

She was lucky in the first years : her periods were painless and regular. Pain began when  14, lasted a few years, then disappeared as it came without leaving an explanation. When she was 22 she began to want a child. She had been dating Hocine for 6 years and she had a steady job. Then began a long and hard struggle. Having been raised like every little girl in the believing that "they living happily ever after and had many kids", she thought that there was nothing more simple than becoming pregnant. She discovered that fairy tales don't give details. After a year she went to her gynecologist and asked him to run some tests. A few hours of torture later, she discovered that one of her trumps was clogged and that she was not very fertile. She began popping pills before ovulating, taking her morning temperature and writing it, and popping other pills after ovulation. Two years later she finally became pregnant but very very very sadly lost the foetus after two months : feeling of emptiness inside. Another year crossing her fingers if not her legs, she became pregnant again. She had a wonderful pregnancy : no more periods! No illnesses, no dizziness, wonderful skin, few pounds, and the fun of feeling a little life inside me, and wonder of wonders : to grow a penis (it was a little boy and is now a young man). Giving birth was much more painful than periods, but it was worth the effort. After that first pregnancy she was bored to have periods again, a whole month of periods after Eliot's birth! Only good thing : no pain.

When Eliot was two after a few months popping more pills, she felt a new life growing inside. But an echograph when the foetus was three months old revealed the clogged trump was swelling dangerously. The gynecologist's reaction was frightening : you'll have surgery tomorrow morning!
A night of nightmares later, a open-belly surgery  later, the baby started kicking again. Phew! A few months later little boy Naïm (second penis) was born.

Pain come back the year after, very acute, very socially destructive, Alix would still go to work, but ache all day long. Evening were devoted to trying to find a painless position. It went on for another year, then stopped.

She had been on the pill for 26 years and was getting tired of it. So she decided to stop, husband said ok we'll use condoms. But you know how it goes... Therefore a few months later, a little before our 40th birthday, Alix, who only had one trump left, thought she was un-fertile, became pregnant again! She remembers vividly buying a test, peeing on it, and peeking 10 seconds after although she had to wait for 60 seconds, and seeing the pink lines, two pink lines! She told herself to wait. And a minute later, at the same time smiling in surprise and happiness and telling herself "oh shit, too old, too small apartment, husband not willing another child, but.... happy! " Decided not to let herself be told to get rid of it. Husband after a few minutes of surprise accepted it. And on it went for months of glorious health, beautiful skin, no dizziness, and... a little uterus growing in her! How funny to think this baby you feel inside is growing the same equipment! Hope her uterus will be charming.

After the most painful birth-giving she experienced, Alix has a beautiful little Jasmine. And periods again... Irregular cycles, very painful ovulations, and painful periods... Back to the same shit...
Always wonder why sometimes periods are ok, and sometimes for years in a row they're painful.
Women have a complicated equipment. No wonder they're so complex.

Bye, Anisa's uterus, let's hope you give her rest.

Alix Allalou: Mommy, Wife, Librarian and My Friend (and my Uterus' new penpal!) Lives in Toulouse, France Basically Being Awesome!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Hypophysis: Continued I've been writing some more on this section of Dear Uterus. I think it makes sense. I need to insert references and sources, etc. That will be soon to come. It's just that this part has felt a little more involved...anyways! Here we go!

I decided one day that I should think about making my uterus into a zombie by getting a prescription for birth control. Not because I was getting regularly laid, but because I wanted to control my cycle the easy way. My uterus couldn’t do anything about it anyway. I could sneak to the lady doctor and get my stash as my uterus took a nap in my abdominal cavity...and it would never wake up the same. I would think about this from time to time with a Grinch-like grimace crawling across my face. Convincing my uterus that it didn’t want babies, I think, was the biggest form of mind control (and perhaps, stroke of genius) I could possibly inflict on my body. My uterus wants nothing more than to have me walking around barefoot and pregnant throughout my fertile years. I always wondered what exactly birth control would do to my body, and because of how my mind works, I needed a technical explanation. Of course I got some research in.

    The basic breakdown of what birth control actually is and what it does is this: birth control is an artificial hormonal contraception and is a synthetic estrogen and progestin. These artificial hormones trick the body to either not ovulate or to hit the ovums off at the pass and prevent them from being able to attach to the uterine lining. Gross, right?

    Not so long ago, scientists and birth control advocates decided that this whole inevitable pregnancy nonsense must come to an end. For women to take control of their own bodies and their own sexual pleasure, the pregnancy factor had to be at least controlled to some extent. When it was clear that douches were not working, along with other primitive birth control methods, major research on an “easier,” more effective way to prevent pregnancy became a focus.

    Enter Margaret Sanger, nurse, activist and major feminist badass, who founded the American Birth Control League, aka the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She wrote to obtain research grants after it was discovered that certain hormones hindered pregnancy in lab rabbits in the 1930s. After years of study, in the 1950s, Frank Colton invented the first oral contraceptive, Envoid. This was modernized by a cluster of scientists, namely Carl Djerassi, in the 1950s and made into tiny pills, conveniently taken, concealed and easily utilized. These scientists and activists blazed a trail that eventually put out a product that not only secured a woman’s liberal sexuality, but made the prospect of an inevitable pregnancy almost null and void. Of course there was resistance coming from those men and women who think that people shouldn’t be able to choose what to do with their reproductive gifts, and that controversy is still present. Well they can bite me. Despite all of that, I can go to my ob/gyn and get fun things like pills, patches, vaginal rings, shots, etc. to put my natural bodily processes to a temporary stand still until I figure out what I want to do with my awesome ability to procreate. So there.

    On the other hand, what can all of these artificial hormones do to my body? First of all, hormonal birth control can possibly put the circadian rhythm all out of whack, which is a major cancer risk. There goes my follicular development. Most pills will induce an entirely different ovulating schedule, if there is any ovulating at all. It sometimes makes the ovaries release the egg at different times, making it inconvenient for the body to house a fetus. The hormones also change the consistency of the mucus that the cervix produces, which confuses the sperm so that they cannot find the egg at all! The fake estrogen and progestin effect the uterus’ hospitality and any developing ovums become very unlikely and unwelcome house guests.

    Hold on, though, that doesn’t make any sense at all, right? The uterus being inhospitable to an ovum? That has got to be some major zombie shit right there, and I decided it was. I am supposed to have around thirteen periods a year. If I take the birth control, I would probably end up with about 3 or 4 a year, and as tempting as that seems, I really find that to be incredibly undesirable. Knowing my raging hormones, extra fake zombie hormones would probably do more harm than good anyway.