Conception, Babies, Feminism – Sequencing Your Life by Understanding Your Body
Timing is purported to be everything.
While it may account for some things, even a lot of things, it most certainly is not everything.
Sequencing accounts for things also in life.
That’s a term I heard recently about women, careers, relationships and of course family building.
As a staunch feminist, I was astounded to find myself attacked over a decade ago for “pushing” motherhood on women when they weren’t ready. For not supporting women in their dreams and reality of careers.
Same old, same old.
Feminism & The Theory of Intersectionality
I also heard and then read about a theory recently that resonated right besides sequencing, also in regards to feminism. Intersectionality. My interpretation of this theory is that within the scope of feminism, there are sections that we relate/belong to more fully. That white feminism and black feminism, for example, have a core center that they share but that they part company in specific unshared experiences. To explain further, experiencing the world as a black woman or a white woman, and as children, is necessarily going to affect our understanding and definition of feminism. My understanding of this very complex situation, in one sentence, so please forgive my over simplifying it.
As a feminist, one of my core beliefs is that women need to be educated. Maybe it’s true that we don’t all get the same education. Some would say that it’s really obvious we don’t all get the same education. I agree with that. When you examine how we grow up, we all learn different things about being a girl and then a woman. Even my sisters and I, who grew up in the same family, learned different beliefs about being women. Certainly it makes sense that girls growing into women in vastly different atmospheres, cultures, and geographical places learn different things about what it means to be women.
We all need to understand a few simple, basic, scientific and biological aspects about ourselves as women. Especially when it comes to conception and babies.
Sequencing the Events in Life
Back to sequencing; many women still believe that there is an order to things.
We grow up, we begin to menstruate, we go to college or get a job, we have a career, we find a partner, we get married (maybe), and we have a baby. Or two. Or more.
A fairly common belief that women, heterosexual or lesbian, have in regards to our lives?
That is the sequence that many of us believe we will follow.
If all goes right.
If you’re over two years old, you probably know that all doesn’t always go right. If you are under two years old, you probably know that as well.
Everything doesn’t always slip into place. Even with really hard work, life doesn’t always follow the choreographed movements we dream of, plan for and even count on.
Women Need Fertility Education
The attack on me decades ago came from a well-known group that stated that within an organization that I worked with at the time, we were baby mongering. That we were pushing women to have babies before they were ready. That we were scaring women because we were revealing that there was a understood time period in which women could have babies more easily than other time periods.
That wasn’t playing on fear. That wasn’t pushing women to have babies when they weren’t ready.
That was education. That was understanding how our bodies work. That was educating women that waiting for a sequence of events to occur might not be in their best interests if having a baby was in their plans.
That was biology. Pure and simple.
There’s been lots of conversation about egg freezing and I will let you go to these very good sources to read more about that. In case you haven’t heard of egg freezing, this is a scientific and medical technique that allows women to press a pause button on the biology piece of things.
Understanding How Our Bodies Work
We need to understand, regardless of what race we are, regardless of what socio-economic background we come from, regardless of how we identify ourselves, how our bodies work.
We need to know that we should be menstruating between the ages of 10-15. Some still do menstruate earlier or later than that and that’s fine. We need to know that we should be menstruating regularly, between every 26-35 days. Again, some of us menstruate more regularly than that and some less. And that could indicate a problem by the time we are in our later teenage years.
We need to know that we should keep track of our menstrual cycle. To start by counting day one as the day we get our period all the way through to our next period. The next time we get our menstrual cycle again, that’s our next day one and all the days between is how long our “period” is.
We need to know these things because understanding how our bodies function is a fundamental right that we all have, regardless of ethnicity, geographical location or household income.
Understanding how our bodies work is fundamental to creating a sequence for our lives. To choreographing how we would like to live. To spinning our dreams out, lavishly, boldly and with confidence.
And while nothing guarantees that everything will go as planned, it’s the most solid, and most grounded way to start.
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.