Ladies, last month I told ya’ll about a not-so-great run in with a nurse-practitioner when I told her I was using FAM. By the way she was talking, this woman was basically asking me, “Have you bought your maternity jeans yet?” Uh. No.
Can a sista’ get some support here?
So, I want to take a couple of minutes and share with y’all positive reactions I’ve gotten from people that I’ve shared my FAM-life with. It’s about the support and the community you build…you know what I’m sayin’?
We all need a little support, right? Especially when we do something that’s different from what the people around us are doing, like eating fresh vegetables in the Mayonnaise and Fried Foods World of the South (a battle I fight everyday living in rural North Carolina) or being the first one in your family or community to go to college, get divorced, or breastfeed. When we make empowered choices in our lives, it’s nice to have a little back up or network of social support, right?! Some people call this “building your village.”
Here’s how I’ve built my FAM village of support:
FAM Village #1 – Friends who have supported my seemingly crazy choices before. Last summer I stealthily bought “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” after I had had quite enough of the Pill. After a few months of hard work, I needed some friends (outside of my partner) to give me some love for going down this seemingly singular path of birth control. The first friends I went to were either the ones that I had seen make empowered healthy decisions themselves or ones with whom had supported me before when I went against the grain to do something I believed in (like hyphenating my last name and deciding to become a midwife). Sure enough, when I told these friends about my journey from the Pill to FAM, none of these women batted an eyelash. I even found out that a couple of them were experimenting with FAM themselves!
FAM Village #2 – Colleagues who support women. I study and work in the public health world, which is focused (for good reason) on what prevents diseases and supports the health of populations. When it comes to birth control, this is usually best done by providing condoms, IUDs, and hormonal contraception to women free of cost. So, I was a little worried that my colleagues would think that I had jumped ship on the whole public health thing. And, some did. As I (carefully) shared what I was trying out, some people raised their eyebrows in skepticism. That’s to be expected, right? I did, however, find a lot of women who saw women as individual with the capacity to make the best decisions for themselves. These colleagues were (not surprisingly) the most supportive.
FAM Village #3 – The internet. Oh, the interwebs. You can anything, including supportive communities for FAM. I’ve gotten emails from other women who have been trying out FAM, who study it, and who write about it. Although I can’t just grab a drink with these women whenever I want, connecting with them via the internet has been cool to see what others are doing and why they are doing it. I can also send them messages to tell them what a kick-ass job they are doing preventing their pregnancies and knowing their bodies. Here are some fun blogs to check out.