I was 14 when I got the first message.
My mom had warned me about it for years, explaining the why and the…BUT SERIOUSLY, WHY? She told me not to be afraid, and that she’d walk me through how to respond. This, however, did not stop me from screaming in a bowling alley bathroom stall when it arrived.
Uterus: Hey, what’s up?
Me: Who is this?
My mom cried after I told her. She ran the back of her hand along my cheek and pulled me into a hug. I shrugged and nodded, feeling more uncomfortable in my body than ever before.
Over the next few months, even as I accepted that her messages had become a regular part of my life, the awkwardness failed to lessen. I had inherited a uterus capable of Niagara Falls-esque menstrual cycles, and she never liked to be predictable.
Me: You again? Already?!
Just when I thought I had her figured out, she’d change.
Uterus: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Me: So not the surprise party I was hoping for.
And she was never one to take responsibility.
Uterus: Woops, sorry.
Me: In the library…on cloth seats…are you kidding me?!
Uterus: 4 hours since our last bathroom visit, are YOU kidding ME?!
But like any relationship, we eventually reached that level of comfort that comes with a deeper freedom of speech. A type of sass reserved for those who know more about each other than the average set of organs.
Me: Did you ever get the Advil I sent you? Pretty sure it should have arrived like four hours ago.
Uterus: Yeah I saw it, but I’m not really in the mood. Let’s find some Aleve and watch Titanic.
Me: What is up with you today?
Uterus: I just need some air. Quit it with the tight pants today.
Me: But these are cute…
Uterus: Put on some sweatpants, or I’m popping another button
Uterus: What’s the plan for tonight?
Me: Headed out to dinner with friends.
Uterus: OMG WE SHOULD ORDER DESSERT.
Me: No, I’m trying to watch what I eat.
Uterus: Right, so two desserts plus 90% of the chips and salsa.
And then one day, as I lay curled up into a ball on the couch, watching far too many episodes of A Baby Story on TLC, I had somewhat of a uterus epiphany (totally a normal thing.) I thought about that first message in the bathroom stall, and every ill-timed one since then. I thought of all the lost underwear and the “I need find a bathroom now” paranoia. I remembered all the cramps and the fatigue and every other symptom that Midol commercials tell you about between rounds of Wheel of Fortune (as if you really need them listed). And I thought of all the conversations I’d had, longing for days before I constantly touched my butt, praying I would find nothing but dry jean pockets.
For 14 years, my uterus had been there, quiet as a mouse. Rip Van Winkle-ing her way through my childhood, only to burst onto the scene at adolescence like the red-hot drum major of puberty, and I had hated her for it.
But as I watched those new moms cry hysterically into the bellies of their slimy newborn aliens, I realized that my uterus, while at times temperamental, has the capability of being pretty badass. And with that, I raised my glass of green tea and my pip of Hershey’s dark chocolate, toasting to the day when I would receive the most beautiful message she would ever send.
Uterus: Baby on board.