Newly postpartum, I thought ahead to when my period would return. The thoughts in my head were of pure dread. How would I be able to take care of a baby and get through my period? My periods have always been hard. The first two days usually have me laid out in horrible pain from the cramps and bad diarrhea. I usually get a migraine a couple of days before I start bleeding and have some serious mood swings.
Fast forward to 17 months postpartum, and I still haven’t had my period return. Or, as I refer to it now, my fertility. Where did the term “period” come from anyway? Hold on a second, and let me Google that. Oh, okay. It’s because you bleed for a “period” of time.
Regardless of what I call my menstruation, there has been a huge shift in my perspective. I am always trying to be more mindful and conscious, especially now that I am mother, and this is one area of my life that certainly could use an improvement. I don’t want to resist any changes in my body. After giving birth naturally, I realize how awesome my body is. I want to receive each stage or cycle with openness.
A woman’s menstrual cycle has physiological, psychological, and spiritual significance. Ancient cultures celebrated each transition into womanhood, motherhood and menopause. But we have lost so many of these traditions. It is up to us to bring them back. How can we initiate our daughters if we ourselves have not been celebrated?
So with this in mind, I am now very excited for my return to fertility, for several reasons.
First, my health and nutrition are better now than before I was pregnant, so I am hoping that having all my nutritional needs met will mean less of the yucky symptoms like bloating, PMS and cramping.
Secondly, I feel the pull of our second baby’s soul. I can just feel her saying, “is it my turn yet?!” She wants to join our family. And now that I have my first daughter already, who I wanted so desperately for years, the pressure is off about when my next baby will come to me. I am looking forward to the luxury of completely surrendering; no planning, no protection, just fully giving it up to God about when our baby will join us.
Finally, I am excited to celebrate my return to fertility with my mama and women friends. I see it as an opportunity to have a do-over celebration of my first menses when I was girl. When I got my first period in 7th grade, my mother never even batted an eye. No ritual, no initiation, no reverence, nothing.
Here are some ideas of how to celebrate your return to fertility:
:: Throw yourself a party! Think of a party you would throw your daughter to celebrate her first menses. You can have all red food, like beet soup and red velvet cake. Have everyone in attendance wear red and red jewelry. Decorate with red roses. Drink some red wine or red raspberry leaf tea.
:: At the party, you can offer activities like drawing labyrinths and tracing them meditatively with a finger. Better yet, make one in your back yard to walk.
:: Find someone to share some yoga poses specifically for fertility, like Cobra, Bridge, and Garland Pose (squat).
:: Offer relaxing footbaths by filling a basin or big bowl with warm water, rose petals and essential oils.
:: You can provide supplies for painting, knitting or working with clay. Your reproductive organs are housed in your Second Chakra, which is the home to your creativity center. So anything that would be restorative, relaxing and creative is what you are striving for.
:: You can even bring in a massage therapist, a henna artist, or anyone who can offer nurture and ritual to you and your guests during your Red Tent Celebration.
:: The party should not only be about celebration, but also a time to restore and rest. Make sure to leave time and space for quiet reflection. Reflect on what you no longer need in your life, what you want to “shed” in preparation for the “birth” of something new.
I am so excited for when my fertility returns. Not only will I get to celebrate and do something wonderful for myself and my friends, but it will also mean I am one step closer to hopefully meeting my next baby. I will reflect about what a true miracle reproduction is and how blessed I am to be healthy and of child-bearing age.
The fact that we are able to create and nurture a life is amazing. Celebrate your return to fertility or your next cycle and give thanks!
Stephanie Brandt Cornais is a mother, wife, writer, yoga teacher, doula, parenting and childbirth educator, massage therapist and healer. You can learn more about her here. She is also the co-founder of Healthy Mama, Healthy Baby, a website dedicated to natural parenting, health and wellness. Join their mailing list here, to receive free monthly fitness/yoga videos for both mother and child.