Several months ago, Empowered Birth Project posted my raw, detailed birth photos on their Instagram feed.
Between that post, the petition that came from it, and the several articles that came from that, one thing is for sure—thousands and thousands of people have seen my vagina.
And every couple days, I get someone asking me how it makes me feel that my vagina is out there with people responding to it in a myriad of ways.
Birth photos are now allowed on Instagram and Facebook—uncensored, and yes, full of vaginas.
I hope this helps any mothers who have shared their uncensored photos and are getting similar questions. For those who have asked, this is my response…
To those who want me to cover up, I am not ashamed.
To those who tell me it is disgusting, look away.
To those who do not understand, open up your mind.
To those who have never seen, allow yourself to be in awe of my body.
To those who have borne children, allow yourself to be in awe of your body.
To those who want to sexualize me, you do not have that power.
You do not have the power to take my story from me, to make it something else, something less raw and real and beautiful.
You cannot diminish my pride, my joy, my strength.
You will not.
Giving birth was the single most real thing I have ever done. I lay, vulnerable and powerful, in between the world of the Is Now and the Is Going To Be, and I brought forth life.
I felt the fear and the power and the uncertainty of every mother who has birthed before me.
I moaned alongside other mothers on different soils, none of us knowing each other and yet pushing and roaring together as one.
I felt fire and continued on.
That is my story and you cannot have it.
I openly share it, but you will not take it.
You have a similar story, somewhere in your life, because birth touches us all.
Birth is meant to be embraced, like a new babe fresh from the womb.
Yes, you have seen my vagina. But moreso, you have witnessed my power.
It scared me too, once.
It doesn’t scare me anymore.