I walked out of my then-gynecologist’s office, only to look next door and see that it was right next to a crematorium. I walked faster to my car. “What were they thinking building one right next to the other?”I thought.
We live in a world that does not value life as it should. We often see life being treated as a commodity, or an ends to a means. Rather than honor womxn, life givers, and their wombs, we treat them as a necessary inconvenience. For years I treated my own womxnhood and moon cycle the same way. Can we be surprised? A world that does not honor its Mother Earth properly is unlikely to honor her daughters.
In “War on Our Wombs pt. 1,” I briefly touched my personal journey dealing with womb health issues as well as stories shared at the Ancestral Womb Wellness event by the Cihuapactli Collective. In this part two, I will be elaborating on various womb health related experiences I’ve had including encounters with western medicine, traditional remedies that have helped me, and other observations I have made along the way.
Everyone is different. Please consult your own higher powers, matriarchs, and health care providers before making any changes, whether from what I share or what you may hear from other sources. You know your body best. And the best way to make decisions is to have more information and choose the path(s) that feel right and true for you.
I have personally spent much time and resource learning about womb health: what different conditions were, symptoms, possible outcomes, and, most importantly, how to heal. My purpose was personal healing, but also, as I spoke to more sister friends and family members, I realized that many, many womxn are having the same or similar experiences, especially Indigenous womb carriers and womb carriers of color.
Indeed, I learned that symptoms I have experienced were linked to real health issues, symptoms that my mother, grandmother, great grandmother and so on have suffered with for generations. But their pain was denied because they were Black womb carriers and Indigenous womb carriers.
I attended workshops such as Cihuapactli Collective Ancestral Womb Wellness event, and others, where I was not only educated on womb health, but gained an even stronger sense that my pain was not imaginary or invalidated, and that I was not alone.
I connected with a womb worker that advised me on the herbs, remedies, teas, vitamins, and cleanses. And it was working. Up until this point, I was unable to work service jobs, because I was unable to hardly stand during my moon time. The summer of 2017, I was working at El Pollo Loco. I drank a dandelion and nettle tea blend* every day, sometimes twice a day, during my moon time: and the cramps subsided! Upon waking up, I would definitely feel the cramps. But after drinking the tea right away, an hour or so later, I was able to go to and work an entire shift!
I also learned how very sacred, precious, and resilient our wombs can be, and, like the rest of our body, how sensitive they can be to stress. How toxic relationships and constantly being under a state of duress can cause dis-ease and worsen inflammation within the body.
I learned how important an organic, Indigenous foods diet free of preservatives, soy lecithin, pesticides, hormones, and excess sugar is to overall wellness. How talcum powder and polysorbate (very common in beauty and wellness products from everything such as makeup and lotion to baby wipes) are linked to cancer. Talc is directly linked to ovarian cancer. How these affect our bodies as womb carriers and as people. How poor sleeping habits (i.e. too much, too little, or an improper circadian rhythm) can decrease melatonin, which protects the body against excess estrogen.
If our wombs are affected by our personal stress, how much more so are some of us effected by the stress Mother Earth is enduring? Our animal relatives like the bees who are being killed by pesticides, the same pesticides covering our foods? Even corn mother is being affected by genetic modification, creating corn strains and other crops that cannot self-reproduce. How much more so do those mutant cells within her make changes to our own bodies and effect our ability to reproduce?
I learned about the power of Elderberries and castor oil to shrink cysts, and how liver cleanse can balance hormones. How endometriosis is still seen as a rare disease, and is very rarely diagnosed without surgery, leaving many womxn in the dark and without answers. How trauma can manifest itself into physical ailment. I learned how a personalized, active lifestyle can help keep ones estrogen levels in balance.
We may not all want to share our stories with the world: and that’s okay. Because what we carry is sacred and special and should be protected. But what I can say, is that by opening up to even trusted friends and family, and other womb carriers who have been through it, has helped me to cope and has given me hope and direction. By opening up, I started noticing womb carriers with very similar stories. I never realized until then, how many of my sister friends, family members, and others were suffering. Like me, they too for so long suffered in silence. We need to change that.
There is so much more that I have learned and would like to share. Perhaps that will be in a future blog, or I will continue as I have: sharing through one on one conversations.
My story is but one of many. My hope is that we can make changes for the better, for womxn around us and those growing up after us. A world without shame, disbelief, isolation, and pain dealing with the War on Mother Earth, which has brought the battle field into our wombs.
For now, stay safe, stay blessed, and remember: you are loved, and you are not alone.
Dominique (Afro Sappony/Norse-Irish/Polish descent) is a poet/spoken word/hiphop artist, short story writer, clothing line boss babe, + aspiring recreational therapist. She is also the co-founder of Indigenous Womxn In Solidarity Empowered + Rising. She is currently working on her B.S. in Nonprofit Leadership Management with an emphasis in American Indian Studies, and lives between the southeast + southwestern U.S.