My Story: Claiming Back My Sexuality and Body

By Saniya Ghanoui —

L discusses some changes she felt after deciding to stop taking hormonal contraception and choosing more natural methods.

Note: L is a native French speaker. Instances of improper English grammar are not typos of the transcript processor. 


OBOS Today: After decided to get off the pill and deciding to follow what felt more true to yourself, how has that impacted your, I mean you’ve talked about even the midwife, you said that she changed your life have you felt more empowered or confident, or what has goes at change of decisions and mindset how has that affected you? 

L: Yeah, it’s sense of, of claiming back, claiming back my, my sexuality and my body. But it was not like a one just like one decision and then it’s changed and then that’s it as, as I said, like I’ve had abortions and I didn’t want to have a baby at that time and if I, if it was just me, I think it would have been different. 

But I also, um, compromise in my relationships and, for example, that that time that the first time I, I became pregnant I knew that if I had sex I there was a high risk of me getting pregnant but knowing that and like feeling that and saying that I still like agreed to have sex. For example, knowing all that, and then I had, I became pregnant and I, I think that if men were also more educated around all that what I’ve, like I’ve spoken about earlier and if men were also given like this knowledge of, yeah like knowing how, how the cycles of a woman work.  

And also, me being stronger in my boundaries certainly. All that like built up during the years, but it was like little step and then three steps back and then one step and like again it’s—I think that empowerment and claiming ourselves is, it’s a long path, and it’s, yeah, there is still like a lot of way to go ahead of me. 

But definitely when I, I really wanted to have a natural birth, or unmedicated, and I talked about it to my midwife for hours and hours and then, when it when the time came, and my, I gave birth for two days. Like labor was two days, two days long. And at the end of the two days, I was begging her, I was like please, kill me, or open me up, or give me all the drugs that you have. And she knew, she knew that I could do it, and she, she didn’t say no I’m not going to give you the meds or whatever, she would come to me and say, “Okay, well I’m going to go look outside for someone who could come and help you and I’ll be back in like 45 minutes.”

And then she would do that and go and then come back, check-in with me and say she because I think that she could see that I could do it, and she knew how important it was for me that she really respected that during the whole process, even when I was like, broken down. And I am so, so, so grateful today that she, that she respected what I wanted, and I expressed before being like in pain and, and after that, when it was over, and I had my daughter on my chest, I was, yeah, it was such, it really changed me in the sense that I, I felt a connection to woman for millions of years. I could feel that women had been doing that for millions and millions of years up to this point, up to like me being here and doing that and I, like the strength that I got from feeling that connection was something that is so powerful I could, I don’t think I could ever experienced that strength anywhere else than there.