I am a woman. Yup, female. When one is female, there are certain things that go along with the territory...cycles of hormones: menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, lactation...
Frankly I am insulted and offended by the way our modern culture tries to squelch these natural parts of femininity.
For starters, they tell us that having a period is dirty. It should be hidden, covered with perfumes and flushed or thrown away. Furthermore, a menstruating woman should behave exactly the same on those days as she does on any other day of the month--never mind that her body is letting go of blood, iron, and energy. What?! What idiot came up with these ideas?! It was either a man or a woman who wanted to be a man. A period is a symbol of fertility, not weakness! It should be observed, not ignored. No, I don't save my menstrual blood and use it to water my houseplants (although I hear that such plants thrive). On the other hand, I don't try to pretend that it doesn't exist. On the first day of my period I take a day off--I don't worry about trying to get much done. I make a simple dinner (often one I've frozen ahead of time). I accept that my body is taking a day off. It's all part of the cycle.
We have pills and drugs to counteract PMS. PreMenstrual Syndrome is partly caused by hormones, but actually mostly because of poor nutrition and lousy self-care. Take a nap, drink more water, lay off the sugar, avoid caffeine, and consider taking a little red raspberry leaf. You will most likely find that PMS is not inevitable, but is actually like most other pains--a sign that something is wrong!
Pregnancy is part of being a woman. If you are not willing to be pregnant, do not participate in pregnancy-causing activities. I feel very strongly about that. I am generally disgusted with birth control hormones and the havoc they wreck on women's bodies. Hormones fluctuate in a delicate balance, and 'the pill' (any of them) interferes with that. Most pills advertise shorter, lighter periods (I can tell you a safer way to get that!). One pill claims to 'beat' PMS with a commercial singing "We're not gonna take it" (take what, healthy fertility?!) One pill boasts of interfering so much that a period only comes every third month. Does that scare anyone else?!
Once pregnant, many women grieve their condition. Even if they are excited about having a baby join the family, they complain about the process. I've been pregnant: I know about the morning sickness, aches, pains, and exhaustion. It's part of the package deal. They schedule inductions and plan cesarean sections for the convenience of predictability, rather than out of any medical need. Even those who wait for nature's timing for labor are likely to demand medications which will numb their bodies and interfere with the natural process (and likely lead to other interventions). Giving birth is a rite of passage! I don't enjoy pain, and I'm certainly no martyr. I did not choose unmedicated birth out of machismo or a desire to boast to my children about how hard I worked to get them here. I chose it because it is how birth is meant to be. It is how our bodies are meant to work. It is what our Creator intended. And yes it is HARD work, but it is not bad. Sure, sometimes something goes amiss, and in those cases inductions, epidurals, and cesareans can work wonders...but they should not be routine. Intervening with nature should never be routine.
And when we do give birth to that tiny, helpless, baby, our amazing bodies know just what to do: they make nourishment for it. First colostrum, then milk. Milk which changes as the baby ages. Milk which has a high fat content and helps to mylenize the baby's rapidly developing brain cells. Milk which contains stem cells. How amazing and perfect is this?! And yet many women choose to take drugs to dry up their supply, or else wean the child long before he is ready. Instead they offer the child milk from another mammal--one whose genetic makeup (and milk) is very dissimilar to our own. Are we mad?! Where is the logic in this?
Why do women think they should be men? No periods. No hormones. No pregnancies. No labor. No baby at the breast... Is androgeny really so desirable? Throughout history men have always found a particular body shape more attractive than any other: a sort of an hourglass shape...a shape which indicates fertility. In other words, the most attractive woman is one who is not afraid of her body and what it can do.
Stand up! Don't be ashamed of your body and its processes. Be aware, and be proud! You are a Phenomenal Woman!