Monday, October 6, 2008

Celebrate Fertility!

I think our ancestors were onto something. They celebrated fertility and fecundity. A round belly was something to proud of... for both mother and father. In some cultures, couples did not marry until the woman was pregnant.

Today, we have a twisted sense of fertility. During our most fertile years we are urged to abstain. We suppress our fertility with fake hormones. We install foreign bodies into our wombs to make them inhospitable to growing babies. Sex is recreational rather than procreational.

Suddenly we find ourselves older. Everyone begins asking if we'll ever have a baby. Now, however, it isn't so easy. Our most fertile years are behind us. Every cycle becomes a stressful wait for ovulation and then another even more stressful wait to see if we conceived. After months of unsuccessful trying, we go to fertility specialists who load us up on drugs and run expensive tests. More often than not, they return with a diagnosis of "infertility from unknown causes." Then we're told of the options... all of which range from expensive to outrageous. And they offer a very slight chance of success.

We've got it all wrong. We're missing out on all those fertile years. We're set up by society's and our own expectations. Time is fleeting, and before we know it, so many of us are left with that indescribable yearning for a baby. Before it is too late, think your plans through. I think our society needs to rearrange priorities. Let's celebrate some fertility.


Anonymous said...

What a fantastic post. Thank-you. Very thought provoking.
How shall we celebrate our fertility?

When trying to conceive our child I devoted time to working on artworks that celebrated pregnancy, birth, women and nature.

When my cycle returns (baby now 7months old) I plan to make myself a necklace to wear during my bleed out of different kinds of red coloured beads.

Toni said...

I think those are great ideas, Lith. We need new rituals to mark these times in our lives. We are taught to ignore these things in our lives or take medications to make them less obtrusive. I think finding ways to mark and celebrate our cycles and womanhood is a great thing. :)

Tina said...

I couldn't agree more!!

I have a friend who is 42. I know she wants children and recently I (kind of in jest) asked her when she might get onto it. Her reply? "I'm still not where I want to be in my career. There's plenty of time." Our fertile time is a relatively short time in a woman's life. Why are we hiding it, burying it, controlling it, delaying it, or doing our level best to outright ignore it? It saddens me to see us so far out of touch with ourselves.

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