Fertility stress (or infertility stress) is a very real experience. (For the purposes of this introduction I am going to assign a male persona to 'fertility stress'). Due to the fear of time running out to have a baby, fertility stress often introduces himself to a woman even before she is ready to consider having children.
And then he hovers quietly in the background waiting to make a dutiful appearance in conversations such as the biologcial clock after 40, eggs reserves running out and questions like "should I give up or try with donor eggs?
By age 40, fertility stress has become a familiar visitor and, having established squatting rights in your mind, this character moves in. Often going as far as sharing your bed.
Ever ready to snatch the joy of love-making and any signs of curiosity or wonder about creating new life, he enjoys introducing ideas like "I can't have a baby". After which he sits smugly back, hands behind his head, watching you struggle with the emotions of infertility while trying your best to stop feeling too old to have a baby.
It's a good life. For him. Because everywhere he looks his "rightness" and importance is validated. And with every passing year he becomes more pompous and self-assured.
(I'm writing this during the holiday period which can induce a fertility stress peak. You might like to check out my previous article on coping with infertility during the holidays. And this one that helps you to discern if you are hurting your fertility during the holidays ...with all the additional fertility stress.)
While researching fertility stress, I came across ways to de-stress when trying to conceive. While this audio and feminine wisdom below were inspired by a message I received from Anna. Here's what she shared:
Deirdre, I went on holidays alone, which was exactly what I needed as I was exhausted physically and mentally, and my period showed up on the third day! (which hadn't shown up naturally in 8 months).
I needed this break so, so much and my body responded...
I know deep inside that I can make it. I just feel that I may sabotage myself with stress.
Thank you for sharing this Anna. Here is how I would like to respond with the intention of supporting you now.
Your body has given you a very, very clear message. Stress (fertility stress) doesn’t work for you. And even if you have felt, at times, disappointed in your female body - your beautiful body is really on your side.
It's trying to help you achieve joyful motherhood. But being exhausted is just not compatible with you showing up in your full creative power Anna. And your body is not going to lie to you and pretend otherwise. Even if our patriarchal world would be happy for you to continue with your exhausting regime.
Let's look a bit closer as the feminine wisdom that has emerged here. What I am seeing in your story is that you took a Retreat From Patriarchy®. And you did so in 3 different ways:
And your body responded with a big, fertile thumbs-up! Anna, I feel that the mother in you is asking me to emphasize the impact of this kind of retreat for you. Because, it will help you to be a confident pregnant woman.
And a happy, fulfilled mother when your child is a baby, a toddler and teenager. Rest and private, feminine retreat is and will be important for you.
Take heed of this powerful feminine wisdom from your body. Decide that you no longer need to arrive at exhaustion in order for feminine retreat to become part of your life.
Intend to enjoy a new relationship with your body, with rest, with retreat and with time out for you. Instead of only allowing yourself to have it when utterly exhausted - let it be part of your life. Indeed, allow it to be part of your every day in small ways (e.g. meditation/pilates etc).
You don’t need to know, at this point, how that can possibly happen for you. What matters first is that you intend it. Because your creative feminine needs this re-charge so you are no longer feeling overwhelmed by fertility, can set yourself up for preventing preeclampsia and show up as the woman and mother you were born to be.
When we begin to Retreat From Patriarchy® on a regular basis, fertility stress loses his power. And we see that, even if he has been a huge player in female fertility, his substance is lacking. Akin to patriarchal flatulence. Because he doesn't understand the role of the feminine in the creative process or the power of retreat. But you do!
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