It’s been a while. Between moving to a new apartment, picking up freelance projects I left hanging before I left for Europe and Africa, and starting to plan a wedding, 20somethingcatholic somewhere along the line got lost in the dust. But I’m back. And don’t worry, I haven’t completely forgotten about my readers – I have to vent about fertility, faith, and feminism somewhere.
I had someone ask me recently if I was getting married to have a baby because I’m “always posting about fertility stuff”. Not that it would be their business if I was (I’m not) but to set the record straight, I’m always posting about this stuff because I am very passionate about it. And I support womanhood. Period. What does that mean and why? Well I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 reasons I support “fertility”.
1. Knowledge and Empowerment Fertility is a grossly misunderstood phenomenon that I’m willing to bet the majority of the female population doesn’t understand. I support fertility because I think the more knowledgable women are about how their bodies work – the more empowered women can be. In planning their families, in taking charge of their health, and in being in the know of their body.
2. Babymaking Fertility makes other humans. As Will Sacks, co-founder of Kindara explains, knowing your fertility is like “being a human 101”. We need to know the story our fertility tells. And on the flip side…
3. When Babymaking Doesn’t Happen The story our fertility tells can prohibit us from making babies. Some people are super fertile. Some people aren’t. Which one are you? Can you tell? When do you ovulate? How long is your infertile phase of your cycle? What about your fertile phase?
4. Biology I could write an entire post on this….a lot of times fertility is looked at as the greatest stumbling block to being a female. When there’s a pregnancy that everyone knows isn’t planned, we look at it as a failure. What did she do wrong? Did she miss a pill? Did she forgo condom use? What was she thinking? Biologically speaking, something went right! She didn’t do anything wrong – and in my opinion until we stop treating fertility as the female’s problem, the “war on women” isn’t going anywhere. I support fertility because I support women.
5. Options I had never heard of FAM until about a year and a half ago. I know there are other women out there looking for this option, but don’t know about it. Family planning that doesn’t involve hormones or plastic or patches or rings? Wait my body? That’s it? My hope is that someone, some day, somewhere out there discovers the FAM world and that maybe I could play a small role in giving someone that option.
6. Healthy Bodies When you’re in the know of your endocrine system, it opens your eyes to the story of your body. What vitamins are lacking? What dietary changes need to be made? What role is stress playing in your life? All of these things can be drawn from a fertility chart and then some. I support fertility because when women know their bodies, they can become healthier, stronger, more thriving beings.
7. Motherhood I am a sucker for supporting moms because I know how much stinkin’ work they go through to raise the planet. From babies to toddlers to teenagers, I’m kind of terrified to raise even one child in my lifetime. I have to support motherhood because they raise our future. When mothers aren’t supported communities suffer.
8. Encouragement Fertility can be a scary thing. We’re taught from an early age that we females are a pregnancy bomb. Cramps can hurt. (Although they shouldn’t and if they do, that means there is something wrong that can be fixed!) Acne sucks. (This, too, means something in your body is off.) We are scared of our cycles because they don’t look like the 28 day cycles that were overemphasized in health class. Going hormone-free, at first, sounds scarier than the alternative. I support fertility because I don’t think fear should have any place in a woman’s reproductive organs. The FAM world provides many places of encouragement, whether you want to avoid a pregnancy, conceive, or just chart to know. From Melbourne Natural Fertility, to iuseNFP to Kindara, people want to help you feel at ease and even self-assured with your fertility
9. Mythbusting I support fertility because there are a LOT of myths I have to bust day in and day out. “How many days can a woman get pregnant out of her cycle?” 6. (Although FAM usually has a window of ~7-10 days to be most accurate.) “Can you use fertility charting to effectively avoid or achieve a pregnancy?” Yes. “How effectively?” 99% effective*. “My mom knew someone who used the rhythm method and had 6 kids.” For starters FAM/NFP is not the rhythm method. Second, just no. Maybe she wanted 9 and only got 6. “Isn’t that just Catholic birth control?” No, it’s not. See what I mean?
10. The Awesome Factor Um…fertility is awesome. That’s why I’m always posting about it.
*The effectiveness rate is a widely debated topic. Obviously, some women are more successful at using this method than others. However, ‘it can be highly effective provided the appropriate guidelines are consistently adhered to.’ [cited from Oxford Journal of Human Reproduction]