I was late. Not for work or an appointment, but my period was over a month late.
I decided it was time to take a pregnancy test and got into my car to go pick one up. I remember feeling extremely overwhelmed by all of the different tests on the shelves—rapid result, early detection, there were so many to choose from I didn’t know where to start.
I did what any logical first timer would do and bought three.
I went to the cash register feeling like a guilty teenager with all of my tests, half expecting some kind of judgement from the cashier but nothing came. It made me realize that I was no longer a child, but an adult potentially with child. I grabbed the bag and off I went to pee on a stick. Glamorous.
I read the packaging and sat down to take the test, panicking. I remember those two minutes feeling like an eternity as I waited for the results. I thought about all of the things that would change—my body, my relationship with my boyfriend, our home. When the result came back negative, I was relieved and somewhat sad. But thought nothing more about it.
Until another two weeks had passed, and I started to have pregnancy symptoms: nausea, headaches, cravings, mood swings, cramping. So I took another test. Negative. I thought maybe it was due to stress. We had been through a lot already that year, maybe my body was saying it needed some attention. Well, I was right.
My body did need some attention.
A week later, and still no period, I went to the doctor where they took urine and blood samples, and upon my request booked me for an ultra sound. My blood test detected HCG, which is known as the pregnancy hormone.
I tried to stay calm as she poked around inside of me looking for evidence of a baby.That day, I found out I had an ovarian cyst and that I had miscarried.
I walked out feeling strangely calm, until I went home and called my mother. I cried, hard ugly tears. I suppose I didn’t realize how badly I wanted that child or how badly I wanted to be a mother some day until I was told it wouldn’t be that day.
It was all made worse by being told I had a cyst. My mother had a full hysterectomy and oophorectomy when she was 36, and I was fearful that I had just lost my only chance at having a child. Ever.
This experience taught me something though—the importance of listening to our bodies and taking the time to dig deeper into those messages that our body sends us.
There is so much intuition within our cells, but we have forgotten how to listen.
As women, we ignore our bodies’ signs and our intuition because we have taken on more roles than ever before. Mother, daughter, sister, wife, cook, cleaner, employee, friend, student—and sometimes we do these all at once. We are brilliant multi-taskers, and very bad at slowing down, listening and taking the time to care for ourselves.
This lesson that I learned: to slow down and listen is integral to how I treat my body now.
Can you imagine how many illnesses could be prevented if we slowed down and listened? How many sick days could be saved? How many late diagnoses could be turned into early diagnoses?
As a woman, one of our greatest gifts is our intuition. We should never overlook it or ignore it. But rather, embrace it.
If you feel like something isn’t right, you are probably right. If you feel like you need to slow down, you probably do. To help you out, here is a beautiful prayer or affirmation to strengthen your intuition:
Allow me the courage to listen to the words no one else can hear, and the strength to take action. I have one of the greatest tools and I ask for the power to tap into my intuition as the ultimate form of self care.
Take this as a lesson to listen to your own body, you never know what it might be telling you.
Author: Jedrah Allen
Apprentice Editor: Sarrah Chaouki / Editor: Travis May
Image: Flickr/Banana Phone Girl