Conceiving a child is one of the most miraculous and exciting events to occur in many couples' lives. But for 6.1 million women in the US facing infertility issues, the process can be emotionally and physically trying.
In an age where you can determine the gender of your child through sperm manipulation, have a woman be the vessel of your already fertilized egg, and the term "too posh to push" has become a part of the collective zeitgeist, it would not be unfounded to conclude that conceiving a child has become the first stop on a train of unnecessary medical interventions.
Couples are willing to do just about anything to have a "natural" child. However, it becomes painfully ironic when they seek treatments, injections, and hormonal manipulations-- conceiving their child is anything but natural.
IVF, or in-vitro fertilization, has become the immediate answer for those facing difficulty getting pregnant, or maintaining a pregnancy. But with success rates only around 30-35% in women under the age of 35 and a recent study published in the journal Human Reproduction showing that women who received IVF treatment were 2 times more likely to have ovarian cancer, perhaps we need to reevaluate our approach.
Julia Indichova is doing just that.
Nearly 20 years ago, after being diagnosed with an "untreatable" hormonal condition, 42-year-old Julia Indichova was told by doctors that she would never have a child of her own. Refusing to believe that this was the end of her journey she began to look outside the medical community to find a way to have the child she dreamed of. Not only was she able to have a healthy pregnancy and baby, but today she is a sought after author and leads workshops in Woodstock, NY, helping hundreds of couples achieve their own impossible dream through a Fertile Heart.
Yes, in 1992, at the age of forty two, I was diagnosed with an allegedly “untreatable” hormonal problem, At the time I went to see a number of reproductive endocrinologists and pretty much all of them agreed that my that my last good egg was gone, and there was nothing I could do about it. I think the most upsetting part was that they said it with such certainty; it paralyzed me for along time. But looking back, in many ways the fact that the medical world pronounced me untreatable, was really my saving grace.
It was the first time in my life that I dared to have an opinion on a medical condition that was different from that of the authority figures, experts and even more importantly, I followed through on that opinion by acting on it. In some way it feels as though that was the first time I really started to do my own thinking. And soon enough I was immersed in the most exciting research project in which I was the lab and the subject of the experiment, and the head of the project. In Inconceivable I wanted to take the reader through that experience with me--the progression from total despair to a place where I started to trust myself, and how that eventually led to conceiving my daughter without medical intervention.
Could you describe some of the things you did that helped you conceive?
It began with experimenting with food. Pretty much overnight I went from being a sugar and caffeine addict to juicing every morning. I started to become more and more aware of what I was putting in my mouth, and why, whether the food on my plate was going to help my body get stronger, or was it something that will deplete me of energy. That part was easier than I would’ve thought, mostly because I could see changes almost instantly.
The emotional and spiritual piece of the work took a lot more courage. It meant admitting to myself that as much as I longed for another child, I had a lot of “inner orphans” that didn’t think I deserved to have what I longed for, orphans that I later realized have been stopping me from moving forward in my life for as long as I could remember. I did a great deal of soul searching and later developed specific imagery and body work, that helped me change those self-defeating inner images I’ve lived with for so much of my life. And gradually I changed my views on what was possible. I realized that I had a lot of power to create changes in my body and in my life. And amazingly later I found that the same tools helped hundreds of other women to work through their inner obstacles.
What prompted you to write the Fertile Female?
After Inconceivable was published, women from around the world – Australia, South Africa, Denmark – began to write to me. Many of them used Inconceivable as a guide and now had miracles of their own and many others were asking for more guidance. The Fertile Female documents the work that emerged in response to those letters. It’s an in depth exploration of the tools I teach in the Fertile Heart ™ Conceptions workshops and weaved into the narrative are the many stories of the women I worked with. The book also has a detailed practice section with recipes, imagery exercises, guidance for dream reading, and movement sequences.
Could you give us an example of working with some of these tools?
Fertile Heart ™ Imagery is a very specific way of working with images, quite different from the popular "visualization" techniques, many of which are focused on relaxation. It is is about using images to identify the inner obstacles that contribute to our difficulties. It’s an effective way to change our inner reality, to recognize destructive behavior and self-defeating beliefs that so many of us live with without realizing it. For example, there is an exercise I call The Room of Fear, which helps people access hidden fears of pregnancy, or parenting. One of my clients who was adopted at birth, found that she had a lot of unresolved painful feelings about her own birth. As she allowed herself to move through those feelings and started changing her inner reality she conceived naturally after five years of unsuccessful medical treatment.
Body Truth ™ is also about physicalizing inconvenient feelings of anger, frustration, hopelessness, because it takes a great deal of energy to keep such emotions from surfacing. Sometimes we need to experiment with the movement before we can access the feeling. We’ve been conditioned, many of us, to view anger or rage as an unacceptable feeling. As they get expressed and released, a great deal of energy becomes available to create new life.
The idea of the mind body connection, of staying positive and reducing stress has become more widely accepted. How does the Fertile Heart work incorporate those principles?
There seems to be a great deal of confusion around the principles of mind body connection, and positive thinking. The term itself is confusing. There really is no mind body connection because there’s never been a mind body separation. So many people I meet say, I know I’m suppose to be positive but I can’t help feeling this treatment isn’t going to work and it’s going to be my fault. Real healing happens when we create a safe space to hear whatever truth rises up in us at any moment. Labeling our feelings as positive and negative means that is some way we are going to stop ourselves; that we will censor what we feel.
The Fertile Heart work is about allowing ourselves to be as truthful as we can and then choosing to act in our own best interests, to be militantly on our own side no matter what. When we don’t do that, the Truth will find expression through our dreams, or through physical symptom, or through events that will suddenly present themselves. And the treatment might fail in part because we become so “clenched” and spend so much energy on pretending that we’re “positive” thinkers. It’s true that we have enormous power as co-creators, and it’s important to harness our co-creative ability, but it’s a much deeper and more mysterious process than just “being positive.”
What are your thoughts on the fertility industry?