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I’ve been practicing some form of fertility awareness since I learned about the concept in 2006. I actually stopped hormonal birth control (HBC) in 2004. I’ve never had an IUD. I stopped HBC before the birth of my second born, but didn’t learn about fertility awareness until I had a surprise pregnancy in 2006. I wish I had learned about fertility awareness when I was struggling with infertility before I was able to get pregnant with my first born and second born, but that’s life, I suppose. You do better when you learn better. Since 2006 I have had three more intended pregnancies. My last birth was just over four years ago in 2013 and I have not been pregnant since that time. This has been without using HBC or IUDs and only using Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABMs) and Intercourse Dependent Birth Control (IDBC).

In the last year my interest in learning more about fertility awareness has grown beyond simply what’s needed to effectively fertility chart for myself into something much bigger. I would definitely say it’s now an obsessive, passionate interest of mine! It’s been really interesting for me to think of this interest in the context of unschooling, to give myself permission to follow this rabbit trail and the many varying threads of interest that have become entangled in this overarching interest. For me, it’s also been an exercise in exploring and better understanding self directed learning, being able to look back and see all the learning that has taken place just from my own curiosity. It’s also been interesting to think about whether or not I want to take more formal courses in fertility awareness to extend my learning beyond resources I’ve been able to obtain on my own. I’ve long had an internal conflict about the role of formal credentials in education. So, it’s interesting to once again be in the position of deciding if formal credential courses are the right choice for me moving forward.

I’m really loving following this interest in fertility awareness for its own sake, however looking at my experience as it intersects with my knowledge about unschooling and self directed learning has given me a whole new appreciation and trust in the natural process of learning. It really does show me how things you wouldn’t normally think of as being connected can have beautiful and interesting connections when you just step back and trust in your natural human ability to learn and make sense of the world.

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