I saw more vaginas last week than I have my whole life. They’re amazing. Each one’s different, like noses, toes, kneecaps. One of my favorite ways to pass the time on public transportation is to look at everyone’s noses. Pick a body part in a crowded place and notice how everyone’s is similar but individual, a symphony of genetic variety.
So, vaginas. Between pelvic exams, Pap smears, and procedures I’ve seen about twelve or fifteen this week, women allowing us to see the softest, most vulnerable part of their bodies. It’s an underappreciated body part. It’s where we all came from! Before I go off on a tangent about politics and religion controlling vaginas and the people who have them, vagina books (even coloring books), let me tell you why I’m seeing so many of them lately.
This past week was week 1 of my practicum: 49 hours observing 12 pelvic exams, 6 counseling sessions, 3 procedures, 2 Pap smears. I have a renewed reverence for vaginas. They can accomplish things no other organ can!
I’ve been following every type of provider, observing the reception area, counseling sessions, procedures, follow-up appointments. Everyone has stretched and expanded to let me in, to warmly welcome me. I feel comfortable and grateful for my new home. I am surrounded by doctors, nurses, psychologists, researchers who respect, appreciate and help vaginas. And the women who have them. What an honor, this work, this project, this place.