Fertility Awareness Open Thread, Brought to You by Anais Mitchell

I know a woman, possibly also secretly a superhero, who is training to be a doula (a non-medical point-person for general support during pregnancy and childbirth). This means, among else, that she gets to terrify men on the subway with her doula training book featuring women in various states of undress and dilation.

I am very jealous.

I was also struck, as we talked, by the vision of an alternate reality in which my convent school (open thread soon for recovering and nostalgic graduates of convent schools?) did not abandon its flaccid “health” curriculum after two semesters, but had an entire senior year dedicated to our reproductive systems. We’d learn the latest methods and technologies for fertility awareness, we’d learn how to chart our cycles; we’d have doulas and gynecologists give guest lectures, we’d read Woman, an Intimate Geography together; we’d hate it and say it was gross and protest with all the force in our kilted bodies, but dammit, we’d face the wide world with a new-found respect for and confidence in them.

Unfortunately, the closest we got were routine public service announcements asking us to please, stop changing in the hallway.

The idea of learning the mechanics of NFP when one is about to get married or has just gotten married seems insanely stressful to me; more importantly, even if I become a nun or confirm my spinsterhood in cats, I want to know how my body works.

So tell me, what do you know about fertility awareness/NFP? What do you want to know? What frustrates you or makes you curious? What are some good resources, especially for people who are not yet forming families or maybe break out in hives at phrases like “couple to couple”?

Specially petitioning Kassie, the queen of knowing cool stuff about fertility (also the queen of putting up people who were planning to sleep in Port Authority), married ladies who Know Things, doulas in training, Addie who is both a married lady and writes for this blog what??

We’ll set the appropriate ambience with some Child ballads. “Child” actually refers to the compiler, though given the recurring motif of pregnancy, it could as easily to subject matter. Thanks, William!



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