Welcome from Founder Julia Indichova
The Fertile Heart™ way of baby making and birthing a family
Chances are, few of us would consider a fertility challenge to be a gift you’d want to receive or give to anyone. And yet, my own story and my work with thousands of women and men in the last two decades of counseling and teaching has shown me beyond any doubt that “infertility” is one of the most immense opportunities for healing. And as I see it, the only sane choice is for us to insist on turning it into a life-saving gift.
I founded Fertile Heart in 1997 soon after the publication of my book Inconceivable (Three Rivers Press, 2001) the first book written about infertility from the patient’s point of view. Although we will use the term “infertility” in the resources of this website, we usually place it in quotes because in the Fertile Heart land there really is no such thing as “infertility.” You might enjoy my revised definition of fertility in one of the earlier blog posts.
So if you need a bit of reassurance, I hope you’ll hear me when I say that in the last eighteen years of teaching, learning and working intimately with hundreds of people, I have yet to meet someone who was “infertile.”
I have met women and couples who, for a myriad of reasons, had difficulty conceiving and giving birth to a biological child. Not because they were infertile. As I see it, they were facing this particular challenge, as I faced it almost 20 years ago, in order to grow stronger physically, emotionally and spiritually. Their bodies were not fighting them. They were protecting them and their future children from harm. Their fertility might have been dormant but still very much alive.
Though I didn’t know it at a time, my own diagnosis of “irreversible secondary infertility” was a gift that continues to unfold each day. The journey that began with trying to conceive my younger daughter at the age of 42 with an FSH of 42, sparked a pilgrimage that led to me re-claiming my fertility in the most awe-inspiring ways. Perhaps the most compelling reason for conceiving this community was a deep knowing that a similar pilgrimage and gifts await every single person longing for a child, no matter what obstacles their latest fertility test revealed.
The Fertile Heart™ Ovum Fertility Program (aka the Indichova-Baum-Ovum-Work that makes a nifty acronym, IBOW)—developed in the last 20 years through my personal experience and through counseling and research—is an original birthing practice, which has helped bring thousands of babies into the world often after years of failed medical treatments. The program centers on the idea that as useful as it can be to engage a counsel of experts, our most powerful fertility-enabling-ally is to be found deep within each of us. The tools of the Fertile Heart™ Ovum practice are meant to help us awaken and access that guidance.
The Ovum Program does not in any way exclude the support of a wide range of fertility treatment tools, such as fertility foods, fertility supplements, mainstream and holistic treatments, such as craniosacral therapy, classical homeopathy, massage, osteopathic manipulation for waking up sluggish ovaries and more. You can find out more about each of these on our Holistic Fertility Treatments page.
In fact, we have wonderful Guest Teacher Teleconferences with both mainstream and holistic fertility practitioners, and e-books with transcripts of past sessions. Many of my clients have found inspiration listening to the Holistic Fertility Treatment Options CD that features a wonderful panel discussion with a nutritionist, an herbalist, a craniosacral therapist and a classical homeopath.
We also have an extensive off-line referral service which we hope to activate online in the near future. The only thing that I don’t find useful about engaging fertility experts is giving over all responsibility for our healing to outside authorities. (Take a look at the Whacky Hormones blog post and the comments from our sisterhood to illustrate my point.)
Since we are free of infertility industry sponsors, you will also find here an honest questioning of the misuse of medical technology. Our brand new e-book What to Expect from a Fertility Expert: Conversations with Three Prominent Fertility Specialists reveals some sobering observations about the misuse of assisted reproduction and poor diagnostic practices you want to know about before your next consultation.
Sadly, in the last decade I’ve also seen the misuse of such popular healing modalities as fertility acupuncture and fertility yoga, both of which are now routinely recommended by IVF clinics worldwide. Even these wonderful, fundamentally healing tools can be exploited and cause harm if we use them to slip into denial rather than fully engage with our own healing.
Take a tour and look around. If you are searching for companions on your journey, say hello on one of our fertility forums; chances are, someone will hear you and offer a word of encouragement.
I hope you’ll join our mailing list and visit often. We’ll always have some soul-filling treats for you! Welcome again and congratulations on following your longing.
After all a longing would be a terrible thing to waste!
Julia Indichova, Founder of Fertile Heart™
P.S. We are in the process of placing our offline referral service online, so if you know of a practitioner who has been particularly helpful and who is also aligned with and open to supporting our mission, please let them know about us and let us know about them. Thank you!
Julia Indichova is the author of Inconceivable: A Woman’s Triumpth Over Despair and Statistics (Three Rivers Press, 2001 ) and The Fertile Female: How the Power of Loning for a Child Can Save Your LIfe and Change the World (Adell Press, 2007), and the e-book . She is the director of the Fertile Heart™ Studio in Woodstock, New York, which offers daylong workshops. Julia also leads an international fertility phone support group, and a monthly open circle in New York City. Her work and story have appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, Oxygen, Chicago Parent magazine and in Health magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle. After 9/11 she founded the Birthing a Child-Friendly Earth Project, with an ongoing series of seminars meant to inspire individuals to give birth to healthier bodies, books and businesses, all in the context of repairing the world.