...when Aunt Flo came to visit for the first time at 12 years old. My periods were heavy and painful, often debilitating and embarrassing. My period came at a time when many other girls hadn’t yet experienced the monthly visit. I would often bleed through tampons, pads, and my clothes at school. I ended up being the center of jokes in the immature halls of elementary and middle school, and was labeled, “Tampon Girl” in 6th grade. This began the shame I associated with womanhood.
Fast forward a few years to me at 18, right before I started college, when I experienced a sexual trauma that deepened the shame I felt about myself and the part of myself that is female. Although becoming sexually active for the first time was not my choice, not long after it happened,
I met the love of my life, Mike Gordon, at a college football tailgate because of his sweet dog son, Jameson.
While dating Mike, I was so terrified of becoming pregnant and missing my shot at becoming a doctor that I started taking the birth control pill.
The pill, along with the unprocessed trauma, led to depression during my first year of college.
My libido had vanished and intercourse became incredibly painful.
Again, the parts of me that were unique to the
womanhood experience became my greatest sources of suffering.
As I continued to journey through my womanhood seasons...
I continued to suffer from painful periods, digestive issues, zero libido, and painful intercourse.
Despite all of that, I graduated at the top of my class with a degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition. After 4 years of dating, three of which were long-distance, I married Mike, my best friend and favorite person in the whole world.
We had been through so much already, but I had no idea what was in store for us. I couldn’t have predicted how much we would be challenged as individuals and as a couple.
...for what was coming next.
A year after our wedding in 2012, I began Naturopathic Medical School at Bastyr University in San Diego, California.
In 2015, two years into the four-year program, we started our semen analysis class.
While evaluating Mike’s sperm sample under the microscope, I discovered he had NONE!
I had to break the news to the love of my life that we may never have children together.
It was one of the worst days of my entire life.
I was training to become a naturopathic doctor and finding the root cause is at the core of my medical philosophy. I had hope, so we began a half-decade investigation into trying to figure out what was going on with his fertility.
Fast forward to 2020 when we finally came to terms with the fact that IVF with testicular retrieval and ICSI was our only shot at becoming biological parents together.
To top it all off, I had polycystic ovaries, a uterine fibroid, and a uterine polyp.
My womanhood imbalances continued to rear their lovely little heads.
However, after surgically removing the polyp, we did a natural transfer of one of our four embryos in January of 2021.
And it worked! We were pregnant!
And then…my pregnancy was really rough.
I figured that since it was hard to get pregnant and my pregnancy was so tough, our birth must be the thing that would be easy.
We planned a home birth, but our beautiful miracle baby girl was born two weeks late via C-section after 52 hours in labor due to an unknown “failure to progress” situation.
My dream was to once and for all heal so much of the trauma I had accumulated in my womb and vaginal canal, but instead my womb was cut open and I had an unplanned belly birth.
From painful periods and shame from sexual trauma, to low libido, and painful intercourse, to uterine polyps, polycystic ovaries, and infertility, to a challenging pregnancy and an unplanned C-section, there were many moments when I broke down and cried, wondering,
“... that has to do with being a woman have to be so hard for me!”
The Doctor I Have Become
Because of it all
My womanhood journey, although challenging for many, many reasons, sculpted me into the mother my daughter needed me to be and the doctor and natural medicine educator that so many women need right now.
The knowledge, wisdom, and deep understanding I now have of the complexity of many key seasons of the womanhood journey, from navigating birth control all the way through infertility, is invaluable and I feel blessed to be able to share it with the world.
My passions are in educating, supporting, and bringing healing to women along their womanhood journeys as they prepare for and move toward motherhood.
I love highlighting the womanhood seasons that I personally struggled with as well as those that I feel are under-talked about that I have seen while supporting hundreds of women in my private practice over the years.
Learn more about how I am doing that atWomanhood Wellness