It is exciting to live in an era where there is a tangible shift in viral content – from breaking the Internet being an entirely narcissistic phenomenon, to a time when it is becoming the rapid distribution of food that many souls need to feed on. The latter is the perfect way to define the moment Nollywood actress Nse Ikpe- Etim bared her soul about her victorious battle against adenomyosis.
Adenomyosis happens when the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. The displaced tissue continues to act normally — thickening, breaking down and bleeding — during each menstrual cycle. The result is an enlarged uterus and painful, heavy periods.
What made the headlines was the story that Nse removed her womb, but that is barely the crux behind the significance of her experience and her journey of overcoming.
The validation of a woman can be an endless journey – are you Miss or Mrs? Are you Mom or Auntie? Are any of your children boys? The goal post is continuously shifting such that she is almost constantly chasing a milestone she has no control over.
The power in Nse’s story is that she faced what her society would deem a great failure head on, being realistic about what she needed to do for her own well being. There is strength and wisdom to be drawn from a woman who refuses to be knocked down by the toxic power of people’s opinions.
Nse’s story was trending on Mothers’ Day and in many ways this was perfect. Mothers’ Day this year saw a massive diversity in celebration – with communication redefining motherhood, because after all being a mother is much more than conception and delivery.
Were women born to give birth? Obviously not all of us, and that’s a reality that needs to be faced and accepted. Not giving birth does not render a woman useless, or unworthy. It simply means that her strengths, hers gifts and her legacy lie in other places, and Nse is the perfect reminder that this not a motivational speech, but a fact.