If you’ve been reading this blog since the beginning (and if you have, I love you, mwah!), you might remember me mentioning Julia Indichova. She is the author of two books, Inconceivable and The Fertile Female, both of which I read and loved when I was trying to get pregnant with Lettie. The short version is that Julia had trouble conceiving her second child and a billion specialists told her that getting pregnant would be medically impossible without donor eggs. She was 42. For the next eight months she changed her diet, tried every alternative treatment in the book and, most importantly, in my opinion, focused on the mind-body connection. She basically used her longing to have a child to change her life for the better. Eight months later, she was pregnant—completely naturally—and carried that pregnancy to term.
For the past twenty years, she’s been teaching what she learned on her fertility journey through workshops and phone sessions. This past weekend, I got the chance to attend one of those workshops. It was called Meeting Your Child Halfway: An All-Day Workshop With Julia Indichova. The all day thing was no joke—it started at 11 am and ended at 6:30 pm.
When Tim and I pulled up to her house in Woodstock, New York, I had no idea what to expect. Upon arrival, Julia had us take off our shoes and then escorted us into her studio. Inside, the floors were covered in carpet and oriental rugs. The walls were decorated with birth announcements. Outside the high windows, I caught wisps September-blue sky. 14 other people sat in a semi-circle—four solo women and five other couples. Julia separated the couples—eek!—so I was on my own. Tim was all the way across the room.
Shit got weird really fast. First we observed a moment of silence. Ok, cool. No big deal. Then Julia said, “Ok, you’re going to repeat after me. Do exactly as I say and do.” She started waving her hands and moaning. She covered her face. She whimpered. It was awkward city.
Then she said, “I don’t want to be in a workshop.”
And we said, “I don’t want to be in a workshop.”
“I just want a fucking baby,” she said.
“I just want a fucking baby,” we said.
At this point everyone was laughing, and even though we’d just had to endure seemingly endless minutes of moaning and moving like we were in some sort of improv warm-up, the ice was broken.
Next we went around and introduced ourselves. Immediately people started crying. Crap, I thought. What have I gotten myself into? I’m kind of an anti-crier, at least in front of other people, especially in front of strangers.
But guess what? After those initial introductions, I had tears in my eyes the whole time. Tim did, too. There was just something about being in a room of people who were all experiencing similar things. It felt safe. For once, I didn’t feel the need to justify or defend my dream to add another child to our family. Every single person there got it. Some were trying for their first child, some their second. Some had unexplained infertility, some low sperm count. It didn’t matter. Every single person wanted the exact same thing.
The day consisted of visualizations, one-on-one exercises, body movement (which Julia calls “body talk”) and even a lullaby. Picture a room full of people who want nothing more than to get pregnant, signing a lullaby to their unborn children. Only a robot would not tear up in that situation. Just sayin’.
Julia had a lot of great things to say. One of them was that it’s ok to not think positive all the time. “As a society,” she said, “we’re in danger of positive thinking ourselves to death.” She said that we should let ourselves feel the negative emotions—rage, cry, be jealous, get pissed off, whatever—but at the end of the day we should be moving forward in what she calls the current of the truth and life. Those emotions should be felt, but it doesn’t serve us to get stuck in them. This was such a relief for me. There’s a lot of mumbo-jumbo out there in infertility land that says you must think positive or else. I got sucked right on into that—I would often feel guilty for not being able to think positively every second of every day.
I won’t bore you with the nitty-gritty details of exactly what we did. And even if I tried, I don’t think I would do it justice. Bottom line, though? The workshop was pretty amazing. It was just what my soul needed at that time, on that day. I left there feeling clear-headed and hopeful. I felt alive. I felt, with certainty, that my baby was waiting for me, some day, somewhere.
And yes, I am totally ready to meet him or her halfway.