Play with me here for a moment. If I was to ask you what your fertility history is how would you respond? What words, feelings, images and experiences come up for you?
(Before you go any further, it's worth taking a few minutes to jot down what actually does surface for you with this question). Why? Because important information will be revealed by completing this exercise.
For starters, you will gain insight into your perception of your fertility history and how that has been encoded into your consciousness. More significantly perhaps, you will also get a glimpse into the likely home for your future fertility experiences - unless you make changes.
Bear with me....
Making Sense Of It All
A bit of background first. Because there is so much data to process in each moment, you automatically filter out most of what occurs.
As a result, when reflecting back on the day's events, you will probably omit the infinite images that reached your eyes, the unending stream of sound that accompanied you and the millions of other sensations that soared through your body.
What you will recall, are events related to the principal matters for you - like work, relationship, money or fertility for example. For efficiency, the mind sorts your experience into the most important themes because otherwise making sense of it all would be an overwhelming, if not impossible, task.
To illustrate this point, unless 'weather' is something that really affects you, a meteorological comment is unlikely to appear in your day's review. But if your body is super sensitive to fluctuations in temperature, references to that may receive mention in the very first line of your text.
So What Is Your History?
What does this have to do with your fertility history? Well, on top of categorising experiences into important themes so that you can get a handle on them, a further filtering occurs - tied into the assumptions that hold our 'knowledge' together. (This is less complicated than it sounds but really important if you want to have a baby and have been coping with infertility).
Let's explore this further in terms of your fertility history because your sense of that doesn't just happen out of the blue. It's sieved through the beliefs that are most prevalent in this area. Because we live in a patriarchal world, male ideas about female fertility are the sieve through which our fertility history must flow - in order to be included.
What we see then is the notion that in 'normal' circumstances, what matters in your fertility history begins more or less when you actively start trying to have a baby - during your fertile window over a period of time. We are given one year to try to conceive naturally or just six months if over 35 years. After that, even if those time frames are arbitrarily assigned, fertility becomes a medical issue we are told.
And The Problem Is?
Another thread of wire in that patriarchal strainer is the problem-focused bias that permeates the world. Broadly speaking, men seem to be naturally designed to fix problems (as opposed to reflect on them or explore how they feel). So it makes sense that identifying the problem and solving it would be a priority - given that men have held the power and made the rules.
However, when wondering "why am I not getting pregnant", the fall-out of this partiality for working-out problems means that a woman's fertility history quickly transforms into an infertility history.
In this version, the main events are miscarriage or other loss, whether you have tried ivf, evidence of chromosomal abnormalities etc. etc. As opposed to your hundreds of healthy ovulations or proof of successful conception and motherhood - even if your baby's life was all too short.
With this flavouring the background, getting your period when trying to conceive can be devastating - even around menopause. Because we mistakenly interpret menstruation as evidence of infertility rather than fertility. In other words, we develop the habit of seeing the problem as opposed to the vitality - and these become the milestones we report in our fertility history.
Over time then, we come to see our fertility as something damaged and running out. We begin to resonate more with words like infertile, deficient and defective - even if difficulties getting pregnant have been unexplained. So that giving up on having a baby becomes ever more inevitable.
Complete Fertility History?
Although narratives that focus on the challenges have come to be seen as the norm, they are based an understanding of the Creative Feminine™ that is extremely lean and profoundly lacking.
But still they control how we process our fertility experience and make decisions about same. Why? Because we learned all about our female fertility in a patriarchal world and really believe that accounting one's fertility history in this way is the most accurate, useful and relevant - even if it demands that we forget years of a positive past.
While there is value in this approach for sure, to transform infertility to motherhood, it behoves us to emerge from this patriarchal version of what our fertility history is and begin engaging our feminine wisdom here.
Your Feminine History!
What might that look like here? The following are 3 ways of Engaging the Feminine® in your fertility story.
(1) Remember first of all, that you come from a long, lush, line of fertile women - all of whom have become mothers. Fertility is part of your DNA and you hold within your cells the memory of this truth.
(When I was struggling with my fertility, it felt good to recall this fact and imagine that these wonderful women were supporting me into motherhood. The video below is recorded in the room where my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were born!).
Rewriting Your History
(2) Realise that your personal fertility history starts long before you ever actively started trying to conceive. It began when you declared your first preferences (whether consciously or otherwise - to yourself or the world) about what you really wanted for yourself and your children.
I'm not referring to gender or eye-colour here, this is about the deeper stuff of your purpose, relationships and how you want to feel as a mom. So while a patriarchal approach is focusing on the 'getting the baby' bit of your fertility, your feminine wisdom is also pouring her energy into bringing about the situation in which you can thrive as woman and mother. Because that is core to the co-creation you really desire.
Often that means making changes in your life first that seem (through patriarchal eyes) to have nothing to do with your fertility. But they do. (I share some of the adjustments I had to make in order to get pregnant and have babies).
Your Fertility History Is YOURS!!
(3) Recall that your fertility history is no list of problems. It's a journey leading you to your preferred destination as a woman. Your feminine wisdom is inviting you to see how your story and experiences are helping you to create the life you truly want.
By imaging that each step (even the sad ones) is guiding you into being the kind of woman and mother you really want to be, you will be able to see them as gifts and successes - even when others can't. (An example of this is an experience during my second miscarriage that touched me deeply - I wrote about this in 'What to say after miscarriage'.)
Your fertility history belongs to you and you alone and how you feel about yours will have an impact on what can show up for you in the future. Give yourself permission to allow your fertility history to feel meaningful and inspired because then it will be the marvelous adventure of you coming into your feminine power. Just as you really want to be as a mother now!
I hope there was value in this for you and would love to hear what comes up for you with this. Please comment below as your feminine contribution here really, really matters!
Video - Your True Fertility History
This was the first video I recorded and took all my courage at the time! Although the quality could be better, I felt it important to share...