Path To Fertility Blogger Lisa Rosenthal  

Lisa Rosenthal has over twenty-five years of experience in the fertility field, including her current roles as Coordinator of Professional and Patient Communications for RMACT and teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a class designed to support, comfort and enhance men and women's sense of self. Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association, where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director

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Infertility, guilt, serenity and forgiveness

I've been thinking about Dr. Murdock's blog from yesterday. The one about guilt. I loved it; it was a great wake up call. I love being reminded about those things that I can control and those things that I cannot. I get a tremendous sense of freedom in letting that in. Here are some thoughts around that sense of control, what it is, what it is not and how it fits into the fertility journey.

It reminds me of the serenity prayer used in many 12 step programs, starting with AA.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

What does this have to do with infertility?  That depends. On where we are, what we're able to look at, what we can let go of.

Many of us will be spending time with our families tonight, tomorrow and through the next week. That brings me back to guilt. Dr. Murdock reminded us yesterday that our infertility is not our fault, not something that we need to feel guilty about, not something that we did something to deserve. Even those of us who feel somewhat responsible for choices made in the past that are contributing to our trouble conceiving can let go of the guilt. We all make the best choices that we can, with the information that we have at the time. Second guessing ourselves can lead to more guilt, which is a way to self blame.

What about thinking that our families are also adding to our feelings of guilt? The questions asked, the comments made. How do we keep in mind that often those questions and comments come from a place that is deeper than curiosity or even concern for us? Our parents, siblings, often long for grandchildren, nieces and nephews. I realize, quite well, that not every comment is well meaning, nor at all well thought out, especially in regards to our feelings. I wonder though, how many of those questions and comments are said with an intention to hurt us.

So what can you control in the next week, in the heart of the holiday season, bringing in the New Year? What can you let go of? New Year's Eve without the child you were hoping for in your arms can feel very empty and hollow. Christmas may feel the same way. How do we make the burden feel less heavy?

Lessen the load of guilt is my answer. Go back to the serenity prayer, read it carefully. Turn to your family members who are supportive. Hold on to your partner and keep them close. Take a walk, get some fresh air.

Lessen the load of guilt. Forgive yourself for those things that need forgiving. Let go of those things that you cannot and could not control. Know the difference.



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