No womb? No less woman, and no less worthy

Passing the mic to our sis Ellamae Fullalove to learn about “stigma-shaking” her way through MRKH syndrome to body empowerment

gynaecology | health | motherhood
Illustration: Ellamae Statham

I will never bleed but I will grow and I will glow.
I will never grow a child but I will indeed carry all the love in my heart that I will ever need.

I don’t define my womanhood by my double-X chromosomes or bearing my child in their first home because I don’t have a womb so I can’t provide them with their first room.
Does my lack of ability to bear my child have any bearing on my ability to be a woman, a mother, a lover.
I know I have ovaries in the vicinity of my anatomy but they will never, ever, define my femininity.
My body and its different sections and connections and inevitable imperfections don’t make me a woman or less of a woman.
I just am a woman.
I am a woman.
– Ellamae Fullalove

I’m Ellamae Fullalove, founder of  Va Va Womb and Mind Over MRKH
I have turned my own experience into a stigma-shaking, anti-shaming superpower. The Va Va Womb community is here to encourage conversations about Gynae health and promote self-love.

When I was 16 (12 years ago now), after not starting my period, I found out that I had a rare condition that affects 1 in 5000 female babies worldwide called Mayer Rokitansky Kuster Hauser syndrome, or MRKH. Essentially, it means I was born with an underdeveloped reproductive system so I while do have functioning ovaries, I have no womb, no cervix and as a teenager, the upper part of my vagina was underdeveloped.

gynaecology | health | motherhood
Illustration: Ellamae Statham

I felt completely broken, unfinished and unwomanly.
I was heartbroken that I would never carry a child – something I was digesting as just a child myself. My body and mind didn’t get on so well. I went through the majority of my teens and 20s in hiding – I couldn’t bear to let people in to my bare reality. My shame led me to silence. The words womb, periods and vagina gave me unavoidable heart palpitations, for all the wrong reasons.

 …Until I grew with MRKH, and started building a community of MRKH’ers here in the U.K.

I found my worth, my wholeness. I was womb-less, period-less and vagina-less, but I was no less worthy, no less of a woman. I found my sisterhood through advocacy, and I’ve met younger me’s. I’ve been inspired by those who owned their truth before I did. I’ve let MRKH become a beautiful part of me, and it’s now my superpower. I cannot wait to have children through surrogacy or adopt. My children may not grow under my heart, but love is what matters.

MRKH still hurts, but it’s made me into who I am. Va Va Womb was born when my openness opened my heart and mind to so many other voices that are trapped between the four walls of shame, stigma guilt and pressure. My message to everyone is that we are all limitless, courageous and brave human beings, we aren’t defined by our genetic makeup or our ability to reproduce. Our body parts are not dirty – VIVA LA VULVA! We are whole, we are enough, we are powerful <3

gynaecology | health | motherhood
Ellamae Fullalove / Photo: Va Va Womb

You can learn more about Ellamae and her work on her Instagram. Also, connect with Va Va Womb through their Instagram and website, and visit MindOverMRKH’s Instagram and website to help spread this important word.

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