Helping women who were previously "infertile" concieve their babies is very rewarding work. I'm a theatre director by trade (and was once a professional child actress), but becoming a fertility expert/herbalist/healer was originally just a matter of survival for me. For my own life. My own health. My own fertility.
I, like many of my ladies, was told that I was infertile. I, too, went through the invasive procedures, trying to figure out how to "cure" my own ailments. When I was living a life of constant pain and agony, I realized that the western medical model was simply not working for me...and I moved on. First to TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) and then into drastic changes in diet. And the next thing I knew, I was giving public lectures about what I had learned and continued to learn along the way.
But I'll leave all that for another post.
For now, I want to share with you a common complaint that many women experience once they do become pregnant.
Nausea. Fatigue. Mushy brain. Indigestion. Depression. The list goes on and on. Typically, these are all within the rhelm of normal early pregnancy symptoms, but for a woman who has so longed for a child, they can often bring up feelings of guilt, fear and confusion.
"But didn't I do everything to have this baby?" My clients have told me. "Am I terrible to be this misrable?!"
And this reminds me of my own battles with early pregnancy symptoms. Except I had Carole.
Carole is a midwife. A gifted and talented woman, I came to her for council during early pregnancy.
"I'm exhausted, Carole." I heaved. "And I'm constantly feeling sick. I think something's really wrong with me."
Carole, in her infinate wisdom, reassured me that there was nothing wrong. In fact, she assured me that everything was right.
"You are growing a baby," she emphasized.
And with that, she xeroxed a page for me from one of her special books. It was a chart that she mounted onto red construction paper and handed to me with instructions to look at it every day to be inspired. Yes, there were things I could do and take for the sickness. Teas I could drink. Slight changes I could make in my diet. But that was not what I came to Carole for. Carole was able to supply me with something women need in pregnancy, and that is to be listened to. And to be appreciated.
The herbs that I suggest to my clients are helpful, but there is something more that we need. Unfortunately, not everyone can have Carole in their lives. But you can have that little piece of magic that was on Carole's xeroxed paper.
What Carole gave me were pictures of a developing baby. She would remind me often to look at it whenever I had a complaint and realize that I was growing a new human being and this was mighty powerful and important work. Does it make sense that when you are creating a whole new brain, heart and lungs in your body with only G-d's Help and the foods you eat and the way you treat yourself...does it make sense that that should be easy? That it should be anything BUT exhausting?
Pregnancy is a process. Perhaps the most important of any of the many processes that constitute our lives. Being able to get a glimpse into the present and future is a great meditative gift.
A Child Is Born by Lennart Nilsson is not an amazing book, textually. In fact, I can honestly say that if I did read it, I tried to forget everything I read almost instantly. But I have yet to come across a more stunning book for visuals in and out of the womb.
Nilsson literally goes inside the mother's body to take breathtaking photographs of the baby at the many ages and stages of development. I just can't say enough about this!
Recently, I had a client come to me quite depressed. After discussing the specific complaints with her and suggesting some herbs and dietary/lifestyle changes she might want to make to remedy the issues, I realized that there was something more. She was looking for hope. Not feeling or looking pregnant from the outside is tough. Particularly when you are feeling so bent out of shape emotionally, physically and spiritually on the inside. So, remembering how Carole was able to help me, I pulled out this book and flipped through the pages with my client. I could see the sense of awe wash over her face and bring tears to her eyes. We marveled together at the experience and blessing of pregnancy. Shortly thereafter, she returned and asked me, straight away, if I couldn't bring out that book again so we could see where the baby is now in it's development.
I highly recommend that any woman about to embark on this amazing journey add this book to her collection. No need to read it. Just look at it. And pull it out often when you need that extra dose of inspiration.