If you’re trying to navigate the emotional and physical battering of infertility’s rough waters, come ashore. The Fertile Female, Julia Indichova’s most recent book, is a verdant island of tranquility and hope. Indichova survived those waters herself years ago; her first book, Inconceivable, recounts her travails in search of motherhood. That search included standard pharmacological and technological interventions (just shy of in vitro fertilization)—to no avail. Instead of pregnancy, she got a diagnosis that her personal biochemistry would never support baby-making. But through her days of panic and despair, she continued to explore alternative approaches that might turn things around: excellent food choices, herbal support, exercise, spiritual discovery, emotional clearing, and other tactics that would “at the least,” she says, “give me the healthiest body I ever had.” And she trusted, for the first time ever, that she might know best how to discover what her body needed, and cultivated faith in her inner wisdom.
Now living in Woodstock with her husband and two daughters—both conceived without medical intervention—Indichova has compiled what worked for her into books, a CD, workshops, and supportive phone circles. She has done so not to be a self-promoting guru, but out of compassion for others. From across the US, Canada, and Europe, people call and write in distress after medical interventions have failed; they also call and write in ecstasy to tell her of children conceived after implementing her strategies. Those strategies have been endorsed by leading specialists in reproductive endocrinology.
Indichova never imagined such a role for herself.
A child of Holocaust survivors living in a small Czechoslovakian community, this humble woman has spent many years making the best of a difficult personal and cultural history. She emigrated to New York City at age 20 and worked as an actress, dancer, director, producer, and teacher of English to non-native speakers at Columbia University. During that time, her journey to become pregnant evolved. When she succeeded, word spread. “I found myself on the phone a lot,” she recalls of the people who sought her counsel. She had to help. Starting with support circles in her Manhattan apartment, today Indichova continues a support circle in the city and holds phone-support circles of international scope. She also has developed a seven-hour intensive workshop, The Fertile Heart Approach to Conception, which she offers locally in Woodstock at the Fertile Heart Studio—“a pretty, healthy place where I could teach.”
Medicine and miracles
Indichova is clear to not denounce medical technology when needed. “It is undeniably a powerful tool,” she says. “But because it is, we must be very conscious about how we use technology. If you do an in vitro cycle, my hope is that you do it once—not seven or even dozens of times.” She has seen couples try medical intervention over and over, driving themselves deeper into despair each time it doesn’t work.
And she also doesn’t promise a baby if you follow her guidelines—a promise many fertility books or gurus make, only to disappoint. “When we are lured into thinking that this or that thing will do it for us,” she explains, “and that all we need to do is yoga every day, or meditate, or drink wheat grass, we reinforce the false notion that we are less than a miracle.” Instead, The Fertile Heart tools are meant to guide people in choosing the remedies and practices that match each person’s temperament. She also believes we each are part of the great Oneness; miracles, magic, and deep wisdom are always with us. Some of us are out of practice experiencing those, or believing in them. Indichova teaches how to regain faith, not only for the chance of creating a new being, but to first birth a happier, more receptive self, as if our own life depended on it. During that process, a baby may come.
If you still don’t conceive a baby, don’t berate yourself. “We are cocreators of our lives,” says Indichova, “but cocreators only. Saying that our actions can make a difference doesn’t mean we’re omnipotent. Our lives have been shaped by countless forces, and we always do the best we can. To paraphrase a famous line of Winston Churchill’s: Never, never, never, never, never blame yourself. Never! You’d be giving yourself too much credit.” Sometimes parenthood means adopting, and people who have followed Indichova’s guidance know that that is a miracle, too.
Inconceivable to fertility
The Fertile Female explores physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual areas of one’s life that deserve attention in preparation for a new life, whether yours or a baby’s. With abundant exercises and supportive explanation and stories from clients, Indichova teaches imagery, dreamwork, listening to and supporting the physical self through words and movement, nourishment through healthful foods, and even recipes. Her experiential one-day workshops teach these, too, as well as chants that are “gorgeous tools in softening the heart—an important piece of the process.”