And living with that message in my head really sucks , which is why I'm changing it now so that I don't have to feel yuck anymore!!
I first came across the definition of infertility during a doctors appointment where I happened to mention how I'd love to have another baby soon. She asked if we'd been 'trying' and if so, for how long and I said I thought about a year, though I hadn't really been counting at the time. She said, 'Well then, it looks like you could be infertile......' and I walked away with a whole new concept in my mind!
I'd never even considered the word before speaking with her! In me and my husbands universe it just wasn't the right time and a baby would come when it's ready and so far, I'd been happy with that.
Then I looked up the word a bit, cos I was slightly disturbed by the doctor's suggestion and found that I actually was infertile according to the dictionary definition...and that totally freaked me out!
The dictionary says infertility is : 'fundamentally the inability to conceive offspring' (wikipedia)
'the failure of a couple to conceive a pregnancy after trying to do so for at least one full year' (The Free Dictionary)
or even better
it's a 'disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse' ( WHO-ICMART glossary)
All of a sudden I felt 'diseased', and a 'failure'.......unable, incapable and definitely with something 'wrong' in my body! And this is without even having had any physical tests done!
I did get myself checked out to a degree after that...hormone tests to see if I ovulate, an ultrasound to see that everything's ok . And it was, as far as those tests could tell. I could have got more 'tests' done....but I started to find out my limits with it all....to the point where I decided that even if there was something 'wrong', I didn't want to do the 'fixes'. I have two beautiful boys already......I'll learn to be content with that.
And my man and his fertility? Same deal. If there's something not right...I just don't think we'd go down the paths of sperm donation or IVF or whatever else is available. I've resigned myself to coming to terms with not having more babies and again, being blessed with already having two kids, helps with this resignation. I'm sure things would be different if I'd never had babies before.....I'll leave that tale to the millions of women who've had so much more to deal with than me...
What I'm wanting to deal with here, is how the term' infertility' has so significantly changed my 'feeling' as a woman in the last few years.
Since being 'infertile', my mind (which apparently takes dictionary definitions pretty seriously!) has told my body it's unable to make life. It's said my belly cannot nurture, grow, sustain or nourish.....that I've 'failed to achieve' and my body is 'diseased'....... and as a result I've felt pretty damned lost as a woman....!!
I've chopped off my hair a few times. My small breasts have felt even smaller. My face has felt wrinkly, my belly felt cold and my voice so harsh with my children. For the first time in ages, I started trying to push things....make things in life happen when the timing's not right.......go against the flow rather than with.
'Infertility' has made me feel out of control, mad at my body, jealous of others and generally pissed off at the world for not letting me have what I want!!!
Every single month...going from hope to 'failure,' until reaching the point in myself where I'd just stick with failure and give up the hope. Convince myself I am not having a baby and just shut that part off from my dreams.
That would be ok if it had made me happy and content.
But it didn't. Inside I wasn't feeling female anymore. My belly wasn't guiding me through life like it used to. It felt all plugged up and stagnant... which for someone, like me, who has always lived by her gut, this is not a very nice feeling!
So what I've done to help remedy this feeling inside is to think about what else there is, apart from creating babies, that makes me feel like a woman in this world. What other image of myself, as a woman, can I create? The full - bellied- pregnant- breastfeeding one is just not happening for me right now so I've been finding out what else there is to replace it with instead...
Moving from a woman who's experiencing infertility, into a woman who is living In Fertility...
And a new definition accompanies this change....far better than the dictionary one I had inside me before!
"Being in a state of fertility. Every moment being a chance to create in."
"The ability to transform moments of 'hopelessness' into moments of great possibilties.....!"
( artwork by Su Berghuise-Garde - Tinkahill Studio and Gallery )