Here I am, wondering about balance, again. Too much medical information for one week in the blog, not enough personal/spiritual/emotional writing? Lots and lots on egg donation
and infertility and more to come tomorrow from very well respected experts in the field. So, yes, today, a little less medical, a little more personal.
Last night I attended "Ladies Night In" at our Danbury office. Jane Elisofon, MSW, led the group of men and women who were courageous enough to take a look at the communication between them. Jane was wonderful, set a relaxing, non threatening atmosphere and even made it fun.
It touched so many memories about how my husband and I coped and didn't cope through the process of trying to conceive. I remember the frustrations that we had with each other; about coming to decisions about treatment, choosing who to share information with, how much time we should spend talking about infertility and finally expressing our feelings. Where was Jane when I was going through this?!!? I listened to her normalize how people were feeling last night and I watched relief wash over their faces. Giving permission to share or not share information, Jane allowed everyone there to fully live in making decisions that they were personally comfortable with. It was outstanding and so helpful, to me even though I was attending as a support person! I also got the full benefit of a professionally led support group. There was tremendous power, validation and empowerment that fueled the evening. I felt very honored to be a part of it.
I have often said that infertility is not for the faint hearted. That this is a challenging path that you are on, one that demands courage, insight and ability to rebound from disappointments. There's a reason that a roller coaster is a fitting image. Watching Jane support these lovely couples, seeing how she knew just when to step back, when to offer a suggestion, when to ask a question, reconfirmed my belief that facing infertility can make your marriage or relationship stronger, more steady, more loving.
And how better than to find a wonderful mental health professional like Jane for some guidance. If you have never gone to a group with your partner, if you're not a group person, if you feel that you're "fine" on your own, there's a whole other world out there. Without revealing what went on last night, I will just say that there was healing, listening, understanding, forgiving and communicating on a level that was, to use one of Dr. Leondires' favorite words, magical.