Fertility for Beginners

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Understanding fertility and learning ways to track fertility is confusing. Women must know their bodies in order to really know the fertility definition.

kir piccini fertility

The Understated Task Of Understanding Fertility 

Understanding fertility and learning how to track fertility can be overwhelming. As many as one in seven women experience infertility or secondary infertility, but not only does not everyone transparently discuss their experiences, but health information for women is often taught excluding the very real fact that many women will need to understand infertility thoroughly in order to understand their own bodies, and vice versa. We invited mother and writer Kirsten Piccini to take HelloFlo and VProud's Master Class Fertility for Beginners and reflect on her own fertility story below. Fertility for Beginners is a jam packed hour taught by Margaret Sikowitz, a board certified acupuncturist and herbalist, who has worked with thousands of women on their fertility journey. The class focuses on teaching how to read the cues your body is sending, how to know when you need medical intervention, and what that intervention may entail. Below, Kirsten peels a layer off of what getting pregnant messaging feels like when infertility is part of your story. Take a look at Kirsten's experience and see if you see your story within hers or if her story shifts your perception of the way getting pregnant information is presented and the way that it should be.

—The VProud Team

getting pregnant

Once Upon A Time, A Different Kind Of Happily Ever After Story

By Kirsten Piccini for VProud

Once upon a time in a health class far, far away I was taught, in the most basic terms, how not to get pregnant.

It was a fast, awkward course that left me with more questions than answers and sent me into my teen years confused about the emotions and feelings that were stirring and the need to quell them. I spent most of my twenties single and, like most of us do, trying to enjoy a sexual life without getting pregnant.

And then I met my husband, and for the first time in my life I craved a pink line. I wanted more than anything in the world to have a pregnancy test turn positive. Everything I’d learned in that class long ago said that I had beat the odds over and over again, that sex would produce a pregnancy, but it was wrong. At least for us. 

So at first we were disappointed, and then we were devastated as one year of trying turned into four and before I knew it, we had become a statistic; the one in seven couples who would experience infertility.

It was then I turned to other places to teach me about a woman’s cycle and then our sex life took on a life of its own. We soon learned terms like basal body temperature, charting, assisted reproductive techniques (ART) and reproductive endocrinologists (RE). 

Like most couples, we vacillated between sad and hopeful and desperate on any given day because our need to be able to create a child of our own was a dream that seemed out of our reach for a very long time.

We had wonderful resources but it took us years to get acquainted with all the jargon and lingo that would familiarize us with the various methods and medications. There were cycles of clomid and progesterone that led to three intrauterine inseminations; not one ending in a positive pregnancy test. 

It wasn’t until our fourth year that we decided to make an appointment to meet with a reproductive endocrinologist to discuss the option of an in-vitro fertilization. So our education and fall down the rabbit hole of fertility continued.

Discussing infertility now feels like I'm knee-deep once again in the trenches of “baby making” and, honestly, that’s a really hard place to be because you never truly forget those feelings. 

It has been almost eight years since our firsthand education in fertility began, and now what I’m knee-deep in everyday is taking care of our twin sons who were born after that in-vitro cycle. But I still live with the thought that I am an infertility survivor. 

All those years ago in that health class I wish that I had been given truthful and helpful information about our cycles, our bodies, and the very real possibility that we might not be able to someday get pregnant on our own. I would have been better equipped then to understand and cope with my story.

kirsten piccini vproud
About the author: Kirsten Piccini is a daydreamer and storyteller who loves books, (too much) TV, cupcakes and high heels. She also harbors a deep affection for Broadway musicals, NYC and romantic comedies. She is a wife to a great guy and mom to seven year old twins born after a 4 year journey through infertility. That diagnosis brought her personal blog, The Kir Corner, to life. Kirsten also loves fiction which led to her creating KirstenAPiccini.com where she gives life to stories and the voices in her head. Her writing has been featured on BlogHer, BonBonBreak, Brain, Child, The Mid and Scary Mommy. A proud alumnus of the 2012 NYC cast of Listen to Your Mother she is now the co-director/producer for the 2015/2016 LTYM-Lehigh Valley show and was recently named a  2015 Voice of The Year by BlogHer. Join Kirsten on the Fertility for Beginners discussion on VProud.

More Real Women Learn From 

HelloFlo & VProud's Master Classes 

This post is part of a brand new partnership between VProud and HelloFlo to solve the Dr. Google problem. Stop wasting time with Dr. Google and get your important health and parenting information from best-in-class experts. Details about our Master Classes can be found on HelloFlo.

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