While I experienced my first miscarriage-birth as a powerfully transformative experience, my second miscarriage in 2010 was a terrible blow that brought me into a very dark and distressed place. I still have never managed to write much about this, even in my miscarriage blog/book. Following the second loss, I started reading a really wonderful book called Wild Feminine by Tami Lynn Kent. It contains many visualization exercises centered around healing our “pelvic wounds” and connecting with our “pelvic bowl.” One exercise was about visualizing the “guardian of the womb.” As I read the phrase that night in bed, I immediately experienced a strong, clear image of a black, stone goddess figure with upraised arms and a stylized jackal head. At first, I was saddened by the image, feeling that my subconscious had identified my uterus with Anubis, the God of Death, rather than a place of life and birth. I felt shaken by this spontaneous “vision” and felt like my body was perhaps telling me I would never have another living baby. However, I also intuitively felt like the figure I had seen was not, itself, threatening, but was actually serene and beautiful. After thinking about it for several days, I did a little internet research, wondering if there was a female Anubis or Goddess Anubis, since the “womb guardian” with the jackal head that I had seen was distinctly a female figure. I then discovered that apparently Anubis had a wife, not well known or much explored, named Anput. As I read about her, my heart eased and the message from my body about my womb’s guardian became a deeply meaningful message of comfort rather than despair—Anput was referred to as, “Guide and Guardian. A Bringer of Life and Order.”
I felt like maybe I should put a caution on this post–Warning: approaching woo-tastic territory–but then I decided that there was no need to denigrate or joke about something that was profoundly meaningful to me, even if it doesn’t involve language or imagery that speaks to everyone. Because it feels so personal and private, for a long time I kept the experience to myself. Then, I ended up writing about it for a class and found that I did feel ready to share the experience with others. It is interesting to me how there are some topics that require a significant amount of distance before I feel brave enough to write about them “out loud.” (I still haven’t managed to publish my part two article in my series on postpartum experiences/feelings and the things I wrote about in that post happened over four years ago! I also feel an urge recently to try to write about my experiences with tearing during my births–another one of those topics that is emotionally complicated and makes me scared almost to explore in writing.)
So, why did I bother writing about this womb guardian experience now? Well, because this weekend I felt moved to add to my birth art sculpture collection again, that’s why. I am extremely pleased with my new figure and I wanted to share her via my blog, but didn’t feel like she would make any sense without some explanation 🙂
She’s beautiful. And you’re brave.
Thanks! I’ve been thinking perhaps I should try to make my “Torn” and postpartum posts as guest posts elsewhere, rather than spilling my guts here. I don’t really want prospective clients reading about the type of tear I experienced. Too bad I missed the opportunity to contribute to Kristen’s pp guest posts series!
I bet you haven’t–send her something!
Oh, and p.s.: you’re welcome to guest post at First the Egg anytime–I’m more than happy to share my space if there’s something you’d like to say.
This post lit up a little light inside me. I’ve not long had a first miscarriage, it really shook me. (I was intrigued that you commented that the first was transformative, but the second hurtful. Through my first pregnancy I had several ‘threatened miscarriages’ but somehow I felt so calm and trusted that my body knew what to do for us. The miscarriage (my second pregnancy) seemed so different and dark, even before I knew what was going to happen – I lost that feeling of trust altogether and everything seemed to cut into me. ) Reading this really warmed me – she is so beautiful, and it sounds like she has helped you reclaim some of that trust. Really comforting story. I can see a glint of healing light at the end.
I’m so glad you didn’t disclaimer this post too – this is something far too inspiring and important for that, and you should be proud of your journey and of who you are – these thing make us. It resonates with me, and I’m sure many other women.
I never leave comments on things I come across, but I just had to this time.
Your sculpture is amazing. You made her? (Sorry, I’m not sure whether you might be a sculptor or you’ve spotted her somewhere.) She is beauty.
[ Incidentally, I almost wanted to cry a little when I went to read your ‘about Molly’ page afterward. You’re amazing! ]
With love. x
Thanks for commenting, Naomi! Yes, I made her. I made a series of figures during my last pregnancy (which followed the two miscarriages and resulted in my lovely daughter who is now one!) I’m glad my experience and my words meant something to you during your own dark time. It tells me that I was right to share my story after all! I’m sorry about your miscarriage and I hope you find peace and healing.
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