Path to Fertility, Taking First Steps
I hate the first step, whether it’s on a walk, a run or a hike. Just as I detest getting out of bed in the morning. And I can’t stand going to sleep at night. Sitting down generally will mean that is where I will stay, longer than I should or than I had planned. Sorry if I blew any image of me that you have, I can be a real Debbie Downer.
It seems like it’s about the change from non-movement to movement. That shift is more emotional than physiological.
Simply put, I don’t want to move.
I stayed with a “fertility specialist” for over a year because of this characteristic of mine. I didn’t even like him. He was brusque and kind of non-communicative and always in a rush. But he was what I knew. He was what I was comfortable with; even though he wasn’t a great fit for me.
Why See a Reproductive Endocrinologist?
I was scared to make an appointment with a board certified reproductive endocrinologist (REI- Reproductive Endocrinologist & Infertility). You see that phrase often in this blog. Because I know firsthand how important it is for infertility problems to be treated by someone actually trained and experienced in the field. And yes, I want them to pass the boards--tests that they have to take to be board certified. Yes, I want them to be the best of the best of the best. This is all that REI’s do. Day in, day out, they treat infertility. Its why sometimes certain programs get the reputation of treating people like numbers. In fact, I had a Fertile Yoga student tell me the other day that in a program other than RMACT, she was actually handed a number so that she could be called in for her appointment! No one wants to be treated like she or he is just one more in a long list of numbers.
So yes, I was scared. I wanted the best of the best, but I didn’t want to be treated like just one more person in a waiting room. So I procrastinated. I stayed longer than I should have with a “fertility specialist”. I waited in waiting rooms that included many pregnant women, and not from fertility treatment. I wasn’t treated like a number, but then again, I wasn’t really being treated very well for the infertility I was experiencing either.
Finding Motivation - Waiting vs. Taking a New Approach
My younger sister says it best, in a way that I can understand and respect. She gets up at the inhuman hour of 4:30 am to work out before work. To me, that’s the middle of the night. When I complain to her that I don’t want to work out/walk/do yoga, etc., she reminds me that I don’t have to wait for the feeling of desire to come over me. She reminds me that she doesn’t sit at her dining room table, drinking her coffee and waiting for the urge to wash over her to go to the gym. She just gets up and goes anyway.
My hero. I don’t have to want to. I can even complain, whine, moan and groan while I do it. The point is that I do it. And yes, I do often whine, moan and groan on my way. Interestingly enough, I rarely complain while I’m out on that hike/run/yoga, etc. About thirty seconds into it, I am enjoying myself.
It’s really just the getting there that’s the problem.
So maybe, could I gently suggest that you stop waiting until you want to call the REI? You may never want to. I know I didn’t.
Do it anyway. All you have to do is call. We’ll help you the rest of the way, I promise. And we won’t treat you like a number, I promise you that too.
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There is an assumption that exercise is always good, including when you are experiencing infertility; in fact, we are seeing evidence that too much is too much. That, just as an example, too little body fat can cause all sorts of problems, including disruption of your menstrual cycle.
On my infertility journey, I felt so out of control when I was in treatment that eventually I decided that food and exercise were two of the things that I could control. And so I did. I altered my diet to vegetarian, with very little cheese or other dairy products. I added beans and nuts and seeds to make sure that I had what I felt were enough protein. I started yoga more seriously and as something fun, I added racquetball. It’s hard to imagine anyone worse at racquetball than I was. I am not being modest. Ask my husband.
When you think of it though, how brilliant? I had my yoga, bringing me into the present, vigorous and calming. Challenging and soothing. Ah, but the racquetball. What did I care about what the score was? I got to take a racquet and hit a ball. As hard as I wanted. And I really wanted to hit it hard. I visualized people that I was angry at when I hit the ball. I released in a physical, directed way, my disappointment, frustration and rage about my infertility. It’s safe to say that my inadequacy in playing racquetball was not in the power of my swing. (It had more to do with my aim, due to the wind up of my swing.) I took the intensity of my rage out on that little white ball and didn’t have to apologize to anyone for losing my temper or breaking down.
I lost weight, felt fit, more in control. My doctors did not approve. They wanted me to modify what I was doing. So I did. I found a balance that fit my fertility treatment and my temperament. I collaborated with my doctors and compromised to make sure that everyone was happy with my exercise and nutritional plan. I was eating well, exercising safely but happily, and found a place in treatment where I actually felt ok. Even more than ok, I felt sane. That was a first, after 5 plus years trying to conceive, I felt sane. I was not pregnant, but I felt sane. Less angry. More present to the moments in each day. That was an unexpected gift.
I felt sane.
I was not thrilled that I was still not pregnant, but I felt whole.
Complete and whole, just as I was.
This coming Saturday, we are pleased to offer a new seminar. Dr. Mark Leondires, (Medical Director of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut) and Carolyn Gundell, MS (Nutritionist) will be discussing how the interaction of nutrition, exercise need to be balanced so that you can achieve your goal of a successful pregnancy. Finding the right amount of exercise and a way of eating that feels comfortable can make it so that you are fully engaged in your fertility treatment.
Exercise, Nutrition and Fertility – The Balancing Act
Is it actually possible to be too physically fit to conceive? Medical education and nutrition tools to support exercise, balance body composition, and optimize health for conception will be shared. Led by Carolyn Gundell, MS and Mark Leondires, MD.
This seminar will take place at:
10 Glover Avenue, Norwalk, CT
Saturday October 2nd 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Seminars are $10 per person or $15 per couple
Please visit our website or call to confirm date, time and/or location as they are subject to change
RSVP to Cori at 203-750-7492
Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut