Does your menstrual cycle trigger fertility heartbreak month after month? That probably depends on several factors. But if you fear that you are running out of time to have a baby, the signs and symptoms of menstruation do more than elicit fertility stress.
A cramping sensation or a glimpse of the red reminder often trips the alarm of fertility doubts - which escalates in volume and pitch with each passing month. Does that ring true for you? I have explored the issue of monthly fertility heartbreak from a different perspective in this post on getting your period when trying to conceive - which can also help if you are seeking support around this time of your cycle.
But this audio and article below came about in response to a comment Annie made on the post in which I shared documented evidence of ovulation at 57. What follows is an extract from her share.
"Hi Deirdre... It's just heartbreaking each month with nothing….
It takes so much strength to get back up when being emotionally knocked down month after month..."
Thank you Annie for sharing. When dealing with negative fertility emotions like fertility heartbreak, there is the idea that they will be the same or similar for all women.
But that is just not true. Fertility heartbreak is actually a very personal experience and unique to your own fertility journey. Each month will be different too and sometimes there won't be any heartache at all. (Yes, even if you are aching for a baby).
There are, however, dominant themes that feed into a swelling of fertility heartbreak month after month. I share them with you now as Tip 1 is to be aware of these themes so you can come into your feminine power with the emotions of infertility - especially around your period (menses).
I will address two of these here. The first that adds to the swell is the one which deals with not getting pregnant. Comparable in some ways to miscarriage grief, there can be a very real sense of baby loss when your monthly blood begins to flow.
That probably sounds preposterous in our male world. How can it feel like loss if there was no baby or if it was just an embryo? But these questions simply reflect a male understanding of female fertility and overlook the fact that the creative process starts long before egg meets sperm.
The second theme that emerges is less obvious perhaps but present nonetheless for many of us. Over time, I recall my fertility heartbreak becoming infused with relationship heartbreak. Allow me to explain.
As time passed, I noticed myself beginning to mourn, in ways, my relationship with Julian - as if it was going to end. I found myself doubting our future together, doubting my value as a woman and fearing he would leave me. Not my usual train of thought, but the menstrual flow reveals the deeper beliefs that shape your experience as a woman.
Even if you are alone and want a baby, similar ideas can feature - often along the lines of "I am not worthy of true love" etc. Because the silent truth in our patriarchal world, is that a woman's value is still inextricably linked to having a baby (producing an heir as it were).
And when this is not happening, the other measure of our worth (marriage or relationship) is dragged into the game. Like a witness in a trial, it's used as evidence of our value - or the very opposite - and frequently accompanied with a fear that love might be lost (or not found in the first place). Perhaps you can relate?
Tip 2 is to look at the exact thoughts that sweep through this fertility heartbreak. They might include:
I've left it too late, I can't have a baby at my age, I won't be able to have a baby with him/her, my mother will never be a grandmother, I'm a failure, I will grow old alone and on and on.
There are no logical limits to the ideas that contribute to these emotions, but by taking the time to observe the exact thoughts involved, you will be able to identify the theme most influencing your fertility heartbreak.
When you address the thoughts in this way, they don't have to siren so loudly to receive your attention. Ironically indeed, in the process of listening to them you begin to lower their volume and still them somehow.
Tip 3 to support you with fertility heartbreak Annie, is to walk this path arm in arm with your own deep feminine wisdom. I will share some very simply ways you can do that while you menstruate for example.
Let's start with being aware in each moment what you would love and choosing that. It could be that you'd love a hot cup of tea for example (I am a tea person) or a nice long stretch. Perhaps a deep inhale of fresh flowers would do it for you or a satisfying snooze.
As you become aware of what - in this very moment - would feel nice, you are engaging your feminine wisdom on this travel. And even if this seem irrelevant or a waste of time, as you show up in this way you are plugging back into your Creative Feminine™ - the part of your fertility about which patriarchy knows nothing.
As you practice this more and more, her presence will become more palpable and you won't get knocked down month after month. But since we have been trained into a male relationship with our fertility, practice is necessary Annie. In time though, you will come to understand the power of honouring your tiny preferences and desires and how deeply that nourishes your feminine.
Fertility heartbreak can then be replaced with a soothing sense of self-worth regardless of what is happening on the outside. And you will come to view again your menstrual flow as the powerful expression of fertility that it well and truly is.
(When you have played with these 3 tips, I invite you to read these posts (IVF failed and then marriage crisis after IVF) as they explore a deeper, feminine meaning in the feeling of heartbreak which can serve you now aswell.
I hope there was value in this for you and would love to hear your experience around fertility heartbreak and what helps you. Please share below because your feminine contribution here really, really matters.
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