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Sheepwalking into Fertility Fog or Waking into Awareness

By on January 9, 2015

Unconsciousness is contagious

Sheepwalking is a term coined by the brilliant author/teacher Seth Godin (my new heartthrob).

Sheepwalkers, as the term suggests, are people with no ability to do their own thinking, thus they follow the instructions of an Authority. The job of the Authority is to instill enough fear in the sheepwalking masses to make sure they don’t ever dare to wake up from their somnambulistic fog.

Sheepwalking into Fertility Fog

Sheepwalking is highly contagious, which is why recognizing the symptoms and attempting to wake each other up is essential to our survival as a species of sentient beings.

Seek and you shall find experts to validate your reality

Here are some quotes from the most recent article by Fertility Diaries columnist Amy Klein. The piece, titled: Fertility Fog is published in Aeon.

“There is a declining rate of fertility strongly tied to age – but the exact numbers have recently come up for debate.”

After this startling piece of information, Klein cites the newly debated statistics about age related infertility. The statistics quoted by one of the experts she found to validate her reality, are panic- inducing or encouraging, depending on which side of 40 you find yourself.

Because, as the studies quoted by the expert suggest, it’s at 40 when the “huge” drop off happens.

And this invaluable piece of information, is then another opportunity for this journalist’s self-flagellation and an invitation to join her in singing the “if only I had known” tune.

“Had I known that 40 was the real age when fertility generally takes a dive – and not that I’d long passed it five or 10 years’ prior – I might have rushed into baby-making. I might have saved myself from a hellacious IVF journey that still hasn’t ended.”

Amy Klein has been sheepwalking through the revolving doors of fertility clinics following the instructions of medical deities, rabbis, and statisticians.

She is free to do so. She is also free to write about it.

Choosing the possible

The choice you and I must make, is whether to join Amy Klein’s sheepwalking line and feed the dragon of regret, self-blame and fear. whether to feed the collective hysteria of the last good egg, or…wake up.

We can sheepwalk into the reality of seeing ourselves through the reductive lens of graphs and statistics: the reality of the “hellacious” experience of not getting what we want when we want it.

Or we can see our fertility challenge as an invitation to wake up to the reality of the possible; the reality of seeing ourselves as agents of change; the reality of the human journey as a mystery to be lived with humility and gratitude. We can then keep co-creating a reality of cleaner air and water and food; a reality in which countless women around the world give birth to healthy babies long after their 40th birthday.

In my 65th year I’m too fertile and busy with new creations, to gather all the over-forty Fertile Heart success stories. So for now, here are just a few, to read on days when you find yourself lost in the fertility fog of the Amy Klein Neighborhood.

Fertile Heart OVUM

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24 Responses to “Sheepwalking into Fertility Fog or Waking into Awareness”

  1. Veronica says:

    Thank you for this article Julia.

    For me, when I started this baby journey, I was not (yet) feeling desperate. 6 months into this journey, I got pregnant (chemical) so I wasn’t scared. I actually felt hopeful I was able to get pregnant.

    The doctor I was seeing, wanted me to get started on Clomid right away, and I said no way. I knew what I wanted, which is to have a natural conception without man-made chemicals, but as the months and years went by, I got more and more sad, angry, desperate, etc. I believe I did begin to start sheepwalking, looking for the next cure through acupuncture, herbs, acupressure, etc. They all left me feeling empty afterwards. For some reason, I never lost the strength in my conviction to have a baby naturally. After exhausting ideas, I just didn’t know what to do next with having this conviction yet feeling all these negative feelings. Thankfully, I came across Julia’s books and veeery slowly, I began to see what to do with my feelings, putting them in action in a positive way.

    I haven not gotten another positive pregnancy test since then. I keep hoping one day I will look back on this journey as a positive experience, with a baby in my arms!

  2. FindingFaith21 says:

    I always fight this! Sometimes I don’t even know I’m sheepwalking until I’m in the middle of the flock. I see so many people doing the same thing, and I begin to think that if all of those people are traveling that path, it must be the right one, right? I mean, how can so many people be wrong? But then I remember history and all of the times when the common belief was so dangerous and backward. And I even remember Disneyland. How many times have we all been there, watching as everyone chooses one line to stand in…but the other line is wide open with no wait? Why does everyone just follow the masses to stand in a long queue when there’s another much-shorter line right there? I found myself getting very, very anxious reading Amy Klein’s latest article. She quotes stats! Lists all of these “facts!” I mean, holy crap! I must be missing something! Orphan much?? Articles like hers really set fire to my orphans in a bad way. But then I clicked on the over-40 pregnancies, and it was as if I had a tall glass of lemonade on a blistering hot day. It was exactly what I needed to refuel my belief and calm my orphans. Those stories show me that anything is possible on this journey, and statistics, percentages and charts have nothing to do with the final outcome.

  3. Katy says:

    It is the sheepwalking that lead me to walk through the RE office without consulting my own inner authority. I found Julia and FH probably a year after going through the motions of this walk and now I feel much more comfortable consulting the authority in me! It is definitely a learning curve I continue to walk everyday. I do feel though with the help of the community when I voice something I able to see a O for what the O is. I do feel myself walking down orphan alley as J calls it. ha! but I am able to notice it sooner that I did before and just knowing what to do rather than feel completely helpless is a large comfort! When I was bombarded with the “when are you having a baby” questions at work the other day just knowing I could do some body truth that evening help me feel better!

    Also I just have to say:

    I just clicked to read a few of the over 40 success stories and there was Anna’s at the top! I feel so hopeful reading these and to see someone who was actually part of our circle and her children just thrills me! I am so glad on this journey to have found FH and the community of ladies I feel like I have gotten to know through our circles.

  4. Lori says:

    I was such a sheepwalker! I had no idea where to turn so I just kept within the herd and followed their lead. So disoriented and confused most likely because when in a herd of sheep it’s very difficult to see the path ahead. You sort of feel “safe” bumping up against the other sheep and all of you move along hoping not to encounter any danger. How silly I didn’t realize the danger was the actual sheepwalking. If I hadn’t found FH and the OVUM practice I I would still be in that herd.

    • MiracleHope says:

      So beautifully explained Lori !

      I was getting goosebumps as I read your message, imagining myself in that herd few years back and not realizing of the eminent danger ahead, which we couldn’t see to your point

  5. MiracleHope says:

    I am so glad I was helpful FF !
    Even when I am having a bit of low moments, I am reading some of these posts, just to rejuvenate the energy :)

  6. pineapple says:

    This post is perfect. Its reminding me that I must never ever be a sheep paddling around with the flock, conceding just to make everybody else’s life easier. Not so long ago the huge drop off in fertility was 35, now its 40 ….? Their newest revelation being we don’t run out of eggs, we just stop responding to the chemical signals. So are eggs ever ‘old’ – follicular genesis lasts a full 12 months, they are completely dormant until recruited. I haven’t found any research pertaining to what condition eggs are in at at the beginning of follicular genesis during varies stages of life, if anyone has please let me know, its an area of interest to me. It leaves me believing its the ovarian environment that’s my biggest age related concern, probably not reversible, but improvable. There is so much that goes into compiling statistics, in a previous vocation I would compile data on drug abuse and depending on how I filtered that information I could turn up shockingly different result, seriously different. I’d love to know who collects this information, who is included in it. Are they including all women over 40 who have conceived naturally and had a live birth, and never been to a fertility clinic. I personally know 6 such women – more than I know who sought fertility support over 40 and had a live birth – now that’s interesting!

    • FindingFaith21 says:

      Great questions, Pineapple. I have heard that we do continue to produce eggs throughout our lives, but it’s the ovary (or egg house) that gets old and can fail to protect eggs from harm. But then doesn’t it make sense that if we do things to keep our insides healthy, we can be setting the stage for healthy ovaries too? I haven’t seen any studies of the type you mentioned, but I would be interested in them.

  7. Openhearted says:

    A beautiful blog post that I personally needed to hear. I could hear myself saying a few things in this blog that Amy has written. This week it was the wanting what I want now and not waiting any longer. Then today it was like I felt some um love and visionary tugging at the heart strings reminding me of what happiness is despite of not getting what I want. I was happy and peaceful and small thing where helping create this!
    Fist pumps to awakening!

    • FindingFaith21 says:

      OH, such a great point! I too must have heard some V or UM voice in me. I was doing “Out of the Trap” last night, and I’m trying to picture my ideal life. And while things are not perfect, I realized that yesterday was pretty darn awesome. We all stayed in our pjs, watched some (OK, a lot) of football, had a fire, ate soup, got some control over a disastrous laundry situation. I had all my family with me, safe and sound. And I realized I just needed to ADD a baby to this life, which felt pretty ideal yesterday. I didn’t NEED the baby to make me have a life. Then I felt guilty, as if I didn’t really want a baby bad enough (ORPHAN!), but then I realized I was hearing the UM tell me I’ll be OK in this life and a baby will only enhance it. Felt pretty good.

      • RubyJ says:

        FF, thanks for sharing your ideal day story about not needing a baby to have a life. Wonderful point. And thank you for sharing the ‘I don’t want a baby bad enough’ orphan. I have that one too!

        • FindingFaith21 says:

          Thanks RubyJ. I’m still pretty shaky in that revelation, because for the better part of 18 months, I’ve been so convinced I couldn’t deal with a life without more biological children. I honestly believed I would never be happy again after my miscarriage and all that followed. So this new path is great, but scary. I’m still learning to trust it. But it feels much better than how I felt before.

  8. Heather says:

    This post hit home in a big way as I found myself falling into the self-defeating act of feeding my dragon- I should have… I should not have…. I wish I had…. I really feel the pull of the blog as I struggle with the idea of going down the ART path again. I feel this desire and longing to do this as naturally and as grounded and holistically as I can.

    I struggle daily with that self-loathing, blame and regret. I know Julia has stated (paraphrasing here) that doing so is a terrible act of self-hate and I agree. I have been really trying to surrender to this journey I am on with an open heart and open mind and lift my burden up.

    And simply put the reality is the women give birth over 40 everyday all over the world. We have visible proof on the forums, webpages, and in our own daily reality. It’s always so amazing to me when statisticians explain how low the rates/stats. are and yet I can tick off names at the top of my head ladies who had babies after 40.

    Thanks for this timely post, it puts many things into perspective.

  9. AnnabelL says:

    Thank you Julia! This post is like manna to my ears, especially after our conversation last Monday when you invited me to really see myself, beyond the label of an age. Since then I’ve been working with Mirror of Truth, seeing my body during the first part of the exercise stamped with big black labels stating 44 & ‘too old’, but at the part at which you say ‘Ask yourself, is this who I am?’ I’m pleased to say a ‘No way’ rises up from inside and I am able to see myself vibrant and pregnant. My ‘You left it too late orphan’ is a recurring one, but thanks to your work I am able to remind myself that this path, the one I am on right here and now, is indeed my path rather than a wrong turning I took. And I know deep down that neither I nor my husband were ready to start trying for a baby any earlier than we did, and had we done so it would have been a choice that had been made from our heads rather than our hearts. So I keep walking this path, always grateful for the support you offer.

    • Veronica says:

      Annabelle,

      I’m about to hit the 4-1 mark soon and hoped I’d have a baby by now. As you stated “that this path, the one I am on right here and now, is indeed my path rather than a wrong turning I took.” Thank you for reminding me of this, it is beautiful.

  10. Katy says:

    It is so interesting waking up from sheepwalking! In the past year + knowing the FH tools and experiencing woodstock and the teleconferences I am waking up more and more! It is wonderful. Also being a part of this community seeing some of the ladies who walked with us have their babies (Anna and Summer). It is exciting to see the journey unwind in a way that is supportive and healing for ourselves. I think of the forums I used to frequent for fertility issues – it was fearful and full of despair! Although we may feel fearful and have despair at times on these forums we all know where it comes from and we ALSO know how to use those feelings in order to heal. It feels really good! I am pondering whether to move forward with a RE. However the decision is coming from a much more calm place then last year when I was trying my first IVF with tears and fears. I am asking my body are you ready? Are you ready to bring this baby in? I feel a little more patient with myself- which is quite huge for me. It feels visionary and wonderful!

  11. RachelSF says:

    Well said, as usual. This can be a journey of despair, self-hate, and obedience to experts, or through the OVUM tools, it can be one of awareness, self-compassion and ‘trusting the authority within’ Might even look like the same journey, but I am sure it’ll FEEL much different. Thank you Julia for being an activist

  12. MiracleHope says:

    I just loved this blog Julia ! I can feel the energy flooding through my body as I read and re-read this blog. I am not a sheep, I am a LION, i chose my way, I am the king and queen of my jungle and I believe in my ways and in my supreme body and in this life.
    Somehow I feel I have an answer for why I was chosen for this difficult journey and why am I not with others taking that easy route. I guess difficult challenges can be given to folks who can endure, shine, come out with flying colors and in turn support the humanity to think of the less traveled road that takes you closer to your own self……the toughest thing to realize in the world. A diamond is also a normal stone, but only when it is put in high temperatures and extreme pressure then it turns out to be the most precious jewel. So I think we who have been offered this challenge are in fact GOD’s precious diamonds, who knew that we have the strength and the courage to come out with flying colors and also support the humanity and each other. And your guidance & Fertile Heart OVUM tools have become the unique medium for folks like me to gain the enormous strength and look at this challenge as an opportunity and this road as a SCENIC road.
    Thank you again !

    • Heather says:

      MH- what a heartfelt and beautiful statement you made about being a lion… I would say you are the lioness, a beautiful, powerful hunter and mother warrior! And I adore your statement about the diamond- so very true and poetic.

      • MiracleHope says:

        Thank you Heather…..in fact doesn’t it feel miraculous to get connected to this work in the first place? i just keep thinking, what would have happened if I wouldn’t have connected with this work.
        The other day I saw a person at 9pm in the night running outside in -30s F (I live in MN). My instant reaction was is he crazy and before this thought completed I immediately felt in a way he is like us. He is taking a path that no one even thinks of, that’s his commitment towards his longing to run, which made him forget about the brutal temperatures outside. It really made me to think differently and not make loose comments about such people, which is what I always did, thinking “Are they mad”? what makes them to chose this path vs staying at home? I am sure the outside world has similar thoughts about us who have embarked on this road towards our baby. Its a personal choice that we made and I am glad I am realizing the gifts it is bringing home :)

        • Heather says:

          MH- I agree with you wholeheartedly. I have a tendency to make judgmental comments when I perceive other people doing something I find unusual- instead I should remind myself that each person’s chosen path is just that, THEIR chosen path. I keep thinking to myself that 5 years from now, with a baby or toddler in my arms I can say , ” what a path I was on.. because it led me to this… and what a gift that path was…”

          P.S.- I think you need to plan a trip out to San Diego, California- it was 80 degrees and sunny this week! ;)

    • pineapple says:

      I love this image, I shall think of myself gradually beginning to sparkle!

    • FindingFaith21 says:

      This is SO brilliant! And so right. I totally had one of those Oprah “AH-HA!” moments here, MH. Practically forever, I’ve been pretty pissed off and bitter about the way life has unfolded for me in many ways. I had a very rough childhood and have since hung on to every single bad thing in my life with both hands. It’s as if I was raising up all of the crap life threw at me and screaming “See?? Another sh** thing on my plate! AYFKM?? I’ve got too much!” I was paralyzed to move; my anger froze me in place and I figured if I yelled loud enough and long enough, God would figure out enough was enough. BUT…reading your post, I’m starting to see things differently. Maybe I’ve been chosen for these challenges as not a punishment, but a stepping stone to get me from here to there. I was chosen for this as a favor, not a burden. It would be far too easy for me to further my family legacy and make a mess of my life, my kids’ lives, my husband’s life, anyone’s life I touched, etc. And they in turn could keep this lovely legacy going. Yet by taking this scenic road and enduring all of the pressure to further peel away the layers and become the diamond, the person I was supposed to be (and not the one that the environment tried to create), maybe I am breaking the patterns and birthing someone brand-new and awesome. I know this is rambling, but I felt so excited reading your words, MH, and felt another big-ass snowflake land on my branch. I just had to work through it as soon as I read this. So thank you!

      • Paula says:

        Findingfaith. Thank you for your beautiful post. It really resonated with me. You are right perhaps we have to overcome this hardships to give bith to the better aspects of us.



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