Two weeks ago I had two quick conversations about sex and labor and all those fun things with women who’ve never had children. They were work meetings and I get very passionate about that small piece of skin that lives between our vaginas and anuses… I swear they were appropriate business conversations! Anyhow, what was extremely surprising was that neither one of these women knew what the perineum even was!
Once I explained they were like “oh, that, yeah, of course…” they do know that area of their bodies exist, but they didn’t know what it was called…
And needless to say, they had no idea it is a part of your body you have to protect with your teeth and claws from overly eager OBs who either want to impatiently cut through or just don’t really give a rats butt and sew you up in a hurry without thinking they are ruining your sex life, your sexual self image, the possibility of another natural birth and even the way you walk!
What I am most aghast by that experience is that two women of a middle, educated class, (one was a business owner, the other a freelancer) with university degrees, well traveled, experienced, sexual encounters under their belts, exposure to the world… and yet they didn’t know what an essential part of their bodies was called.
Last week I had a session with a Hypnobirthing goddess. I am quite pregnant, my human fermentation weeks are coming to a close and that makes me think about labor and birth more and more.
I was telling her how most women and practitioners when talking about labor and delivery have their bar set at: healthy mom and healthy baby. I feel that is a given and of course I want that but I want so much more!
- No back labor (see the story of my first birth to understand)
- Intact Perineum
- Orgasmic Birth (if that can go beyond myth!)
All of that? You say? And why the hell not? Why shouldn’t I aim high? Why shouldn’t I aim for an intact perineum? I was born with one and I only get one. No exchanges, replacements allowed. So why shouldn’t I want it as intact and healthy as possible after I spit out a human out of my vagina? Why, instead of it being the norm, is it a special thing I’m asking for.
Going back to the conversations I had this week, what baffles, troubles, and even inspires me to do is the ignorance about our own bodies and health that abound. If we don’t know what certain body parts are called, how can we tell our practitioners to take care of them? If we don’t know that they exist, how can we tell the people who will be down there making sure baby comes out, to take care of them because they are important to us?