Why I Recommend Writing a Letter to Your Postpartum Vagina. Yes, Really.

Writing a letter to my vagina– it’s an exercise that I do periodically and suggest to other mamas frequently. You can imagine the reactions I get. The nervous laughter, shifty eyes, and shocked faces that I said vagina out loud at my regular volume (read: loud). And yet, I return to this exercise over and over again because each time I do it I am blown away by what I uncover.

We hold a lot of stuff down there. And when it comes to becoming a mother, our vaginas play a very important role. Not just the having sex part or the birthing part, but in the evolution of our relationship with our sexuality, our bodies, and ourselves. During a huge tectonic shift like motherhood, we are cracked open wide and anything and everything comes up once again.

Our vaginas remember…

The recurrent yeast infections as a teenager from sweaty dance tights. Being coerced into sex by an ex. The intimacy with my forever husband which I feared would never be the same. She knows me better than I know myself. She tells me when something is off and she gives me the green light when everything is good. I don’t always give her the credit she is due and it’s why I return to this beloved writing exercise. 

This is obviously the part when I encourage you to write a letter to your vagina too.  Since I don’t believe in oversharing or TMI, I’m going to include the letter to my vagina below just in case you need an example to get the ball rolling. 

Dear My Vagina,

You keep me honest. You really do.

I know I have been slacking on my PT exercises. I know you’re not happy about it. I’m sorry that these scars continue to cause you pain. And thank you for reminding me to not forget to care for myself. To tend to the physical pain and the emotional. 

I know I still haven’t fully processed Everett’s birth. I think with Covid and lockdown happening so soon after, I had to compartmentalize to survive.  I am scared to move toward my birth story without the comedy and the jokes to cut the edge.  If it’s cool with you I will take it slowly.  I promise that’s not an excuse to not deal with my emotional pain, but I need to take it one step at a time.

You know, it’s interesting. When the tearing happened the pain was so localized to my butthole. You didn’t cry out in pain then. You let my anus take center stage. Why? And why now, when I can successfully hold in my farts, do you need more attention? You don’t have to answer, but you can. I promise I will listen.

As I write this I wonder if you were mirroring my story? Hear me out. After Everett was born, everyone was focused on him. And I went inward and silently cared for myself.  Everything was about Everett. And now he is older and more independent. And with each milestone of his independence, I get back a little bit more space for myself.  

Is there finally space for you? Did you feel forgotten and discarded too? I’m sorry.  I’m here now and I promise to create and keep space for you when you need it.  And even when you don’t.

I love you.

Xo, Alissa

Thank you for indulging me as this exercise was once again very cathartic and therapeutic for me. I hope it also created some space for you to look at your experiences through a new lens. 

If this resonates with you and you want to pay it forward and help create space for other and future mamas by sharing your “Dear My Vagina” letter, click here to submit your story for submission. 

I, my vagina, your vagina, and a mama we don’t even know yet, thank you.

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