Trying to get pregnant sounds lovely. Certainly, prior to my own fertility journey hearing about others trying to get pregnant conjured up cosy images of love, commitment and shared dreams. Not any more. Now, it depends on what else I hear in a woman's story.
There are some practical pieces, of course, that will boost your chances of pregnancy. My intention in this audio and article is to approach the topic of trying to get pregnant from a deeper, more feminine place.
In it, I share my own struggle (and learning) with trying to get pregnant so that you can feel more empowered on your journey now.
Many of us embark on the journey of trying to get pregnant with our tanks filled with excitement. Having a baby seemed to be the natural, next step for us after falling in love and moving in together. (I had relocated from Ireland to Spain).
This was certainly true in my case. It was like "this is what we do next, right?". Then, with ever-increasing awareness of my cycles and making love at the 'right time', something began to shift. As my efforts around trying to have a baby resulted in loss instead, the excitement piece drifted into the background.
Because love-making had a purpose to it now. There was a goal - or absence of it - looming in the background. And all that mattered (in my mind) was reproduction. I wasn't using that cold word. Nor did Julian express anything of that nature (he just assumed it would happen for us). But that's what it boiled down to - in my head.
By the time I had my third miscarriage (Julianito), I was totally exhausted and completely depleted. But not only that, I was feeling like my value as a person and a woman had become dependent on me having a baby. Not that it was ever said to me or that I actually consciously thought "I am valuable if I have a baby".
No. It was far more subtle than that. A cloud of mist hung around allowing me to see only this narrow version of myself. And as I became less and less recognisable to me, I knew that something had to change.
Looking back now I can see what happened. I had accepted the idea that having a baby was the next, natural step. Because it was - from the linear, patriarchal perspective of life and relationship in which you get the guy/gal, move in/get married and have children. I was experiencing my fertility in patriarchy - our male biased world.
But it wasn't at all the next, natural step for me. The next, natural step for me would have been to ground myself, to discover what the reality of 'us' felt like and to begin to create a space that felt like home to me. So that I could feel safe, secure and ready for motherhood.
But instead of engaging my feminine wisdom by listening to my feelings and what was really going on for me as a woman, I was giving my power to patriarchy. I was in my head letting my mind - and other people's notions of what was normal - lead the way. Yes, I did want a baby and I stayed focused on that. This was true.
But I didn't understand enough then about my Creative Feminine™ to sit down with how I really felt. It wasn't until later that I allowed myself to take a break from my mind and admit that I just didn't feel secure or safe enough, at that point, to be the mother I wanted to be.
Having worked with families for years prior to that, I was so clear that it was really important for me to feel good as a mom. But in trying to get pregnant at this stage, I was ignoring this very deep desire and intention. My feminine wisdom however - as she was showing up in my fertility story - wasn't available for any such inauthenticity.
Why didn't I feel secure? There were some very obvious reasons for that including the fact that I was in a new country, dealing with a new language (not my forte) and trying to establish myself professionally. But there were other reasons that were equally important - if not more so.
They included not feeling welcome by Julian's mother - at least she was the most vociferous. (Suffice to say that it was to my advantage that I couldn't understand much!). But the theme was that Julian was a prize that I was stealing.
There was absolutely no sense whatsoever that I might have any value myself as a person. And the reality was that it took all my energy to protect myself from this until such time as we found a place of our own a couple of hours away - many, many months later. (Until then we lived just a block or two from most of the family.)
It is easy to judge her on this and I have done. But she was just being true to what she was taught and knew. In her world - and all over the planet to varying degrees - the masculine holds the value (her son in this case) and a woman's place is to care for the man and have children. The rules are plain and simple and she is very loyal to them.
A caricature of patriarchy in many ways, this woman taught me a lot about what it has been like for so many women over the centuries. And gave me some insight into why, in so many countries, women have been expected to bring a dowry with them into a marriage.
Because one of the basic tenets of our patriarchal world still is that the male is the prize. The prince. This, in my view, is the root of the mother/daughter-in-law issues experienced around the globe. It's another instance of patriarchy ensuring that women pour our Creative Feminine™ into what it perceives as important. And it cleverly distracts us from showing up in our true feminine power to co-create together a world in which each of us can flourish.
It is a very limited patriarchal understanding of woman that leaps so quickly to this conclusion that female infertility is a medical issue. In my experience, female fertility challenges often have a lot more to do with patriarchal pressures and expectations than imbalances in the body. (I have explored this in more detail in my article on preventing preeclampsia).
Because even if I was a healthy woman trying to get pregnant, I was not in a place (emotionally or physically) that I wanted to be for my children. My fertility energy was being drained. No fertility test would have revealed that. And no IVF or other assisted fertility technique would have worked.
Because the real issue was much more basic and that has to be resolved first. It had to do with me showing up as the woman and mother I yearned to be - not the overhwelmed version that sweetly satisfies our patriarchal world and maintains the embedded imbalances.
So after Julianito I decided that was it. No more. I was totally and utterly done with trying to get pregnant, being consumed by fertility stress and dealing with all the emotions of infertility month after month. Not done with wanting to or hoping. The trying piece was the bit I was releasing.
It bothered me the pressure of trying to get get pregnant after miscarriage because tied up in that was a dread of more failure - before I had a chance to really process my miscarriage grief. I just could not bare any more trying to cope with infertility or trying to pretend infertility is ok.
I was sick to the gills of trying and sicker still of believing the idea that I was running out of time to have a baby. Or, more significantly, that I might even be infertile. These conclusions just didn't feel like truth to me.
So, after much soul-searching, I declared to myself and creation that if this is what it takes to be a mother then I was not available. It was just too painful. As Anais Nin so beautifully observed:
And that day came for me after Julianto's birth (miscarriage). For years, my vision has been of sacred family - one in which everyone is thriving. And I found myself living the patriarchal opposite.
I was not thriving. I was trying. Big difference.
But now, instead of feeling totally powerless I was changing the rules of this patriarchal game. At least that is what it felt like for me. And here's what came up:
I didn't care. There was no more "care" in me. I was just about hanging on to the memories of knowing my value outside motherhood. Somehow, I knew deep down that something much bigger than me was involved in this.
I felt an urgency to grow above the patriarchal cloud of conditional mist that had been drenching my consciousness. The one that absolutely insisted on linking my value to being a partner and mother.
I just could not continue the way I was. If the value and meaning of my life was to be determined by my ability to have a baby then I was getting off that train. So, I began listening to my feminine wisdom instead of these old ideas about what a woman ‘should’ be. I was willing to take the risk.
When I did that, instead of being disappointed in my female body, I could feel the rush of life flowing through me again. Excitement, joy and possibility returned. I fell in love with life again. And I fell in love with me. I made other changes in my life that honoured what I really needed and would allow me to get pregnant and have babies!
And while enjoying my life and remaining open, became pregnant with our beautiful twin girls!
I hope you received value from this (and the audio below). Perhaps it triggered for you an awareness of issues that might be affecting your fertility. Please share below what these issues are or any other insight because your feminine contribution here really, really matters.
Let me coach you - so you can feel comfort and peace instead now.