Guest Blog Post: Perfectly Fertile Timing: An Antidote to the Panic of the Last Good Egg by Julia Indichova
As an aspiring actress I spent most of my twenties and early thirties struggling to support myself. My elderly father, a recent emigrant, propelled by his own powerlessness and a wish to see me settled, never missed a chance to remark, “You know, once a woman hits thirty, something happens; somehow the flush of youth just isn’t there anymore. “Well,” he’d add, mournfully, sliding his reading glasses back over his eyes and turning to his crossword puzzle, “maybe having children is not all that important.” After each of these exchanges I would return to my one room studio apartment, and stare at the fine lines under my eyes. My growing desperation made all able-bodied males run for cover.
The one thing my father didn’t tell me was that unless I learned to love and take care of myself first, I was less than likely to end up in a happy union. By a sheer act of grace, in the form of extensive therapy, a few good friends, and countless consciousness-raising adventures, I began to follow my own truth. My father’s voice grew more faint, and a new voice emerged inside me, a voice I slowly came to recognize as my own.
Ultimately, one of the wisest and most courageous thing I’ve ever done was to resist my my father’s and societal pressures to marry and have a child before I was ready. At 38, I met a man of my dreams and at 41 gave birth to a beautiful blue-eyed baby girl. Then a year later, a diagnosis of irreversible secondary infertility threatened to fulfill my father’s prophecy. According to the medical dogma of the day, my soaring follicle stimulating hormone levels signaled the end of my childbearing years.
Initially, the diagnosis sent me into a tailspin of self-flagellation and a frantic search for a more hopeful prognosis. After a year of a futile search for a more hopeful prognosis, I was exhausted, broke and not the slightest bit pregnant. Still unwilling to let go of my wish to give my daughter a sibling, one day it occurred to me that the experts could be wrong. After a lifetime of abdicating all health related decisions to outside authorities, for once I resolved to seek the counsel of the expert within. None of the items in my self-healing protocol were validated by double blind studies, although each one of them made perfect sense to me. My younger daughter was conceived the old-fashioned way eight months after a physical and emotional overhaul. Only eight months after I became the subject and the principal investigator of my own fertility research project. Ultimately the diagnosis and the subsequent journey that led to the uneventful pregnancy and birth of my daughter, was yet another reminder to raise the bar on self-compassion,
The idea of time as a woman’s greatest enemy is pervasive not only in the fertility world but in our culture in general, and it’s a no-win game It’s a game that is continuously fuelled by studies on declining ovarian reserve. Telling ourselves that we are falling behind schedule is hearing the roar of the fire-breathing dragon of self-loathing. We can choose to feed that dragon or stop, take a breath and choose to know that we are in a perfect place at a perfect time to live our singular story. From that place of equanimity, we can then move toward understanding as compassionately as we can what it is that keeps us from moving forward in life.
As I see it, my fertility challenge allowed me to birth the not-yet-born Self that could not have been born any other way. It allowed me to acquire the wisdom and skills I needed, to “stay busy being born,” rather than busy dying.
To any woman wishing to someday parent a child I’d say, Harness that wish as you learn to be exquisite mother to yourself first. Get to know your body and heart, the beliefs imprinted in muscle and marrow. Use your energy in a way that enlivens you. Pay attention not only to your lifestyle and the food you eat, but more importantly, to the ideas you choose to ingest. Learn to hear and stay loyal to no other master than your own deepest truth.
When in doubt, speak out loud these words of that supremely qualified fertility specialist, Walt Whitman: “Dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body…”
Julia Indichova is the founder of http://www.FertileHeart.com, the author of The Fertile Female: How the Power of Longing for a Child Can Save Your Life and Change the World & Inconceivable: A Woman’t Triumph over Despair & Statistics The Fertile Heart™ OVUM Practice is an original fertility enhancing program that emerged through a decade and a half of counseling. Julia Indichova’s work has been endorsed by leading reproductive endocrinologists and her story and program was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, Oxygen, Discovery Health, Huffington Post, and other outlets. Julia’s profile is featured in the 9 People to Watch This Year (2016) Cover Story of the Hudson Valley Magazine. After 9/11 Julia initiated The 9// Bowing Project focused on applying the tools of her fertility program to the peace efforts.