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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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Additional Gratitude from RMACT Team Members

  
  
  

Thanksgiving Gratitude ~ Additional RMACT Messages

mittens and mug for thanksgiving gratitudeI'm thankful for working with a group of amazing people at RMA! Your warm greeting and big smile always make my day! With the support from all of you, I'm able to become an independent woman and have the ability to support my daughter's education. I can't say it enough, thank you, thank you!!!

 

I'm thankful for our patients who trust me and let me be part of their special journey. Every positive pregnancy, every baby's picture had given me a sense of accomplishment! For those who had difficult time during the journey, your courage inspired me all the time! 

 

I'm thankful for the challenges in my life, it makes me grow stronger! 

 

I'm thankful for love, health and food, it makes my life meaningful and joyful!!!

 

Wish everybody a great, great Thanksgiving! 

Jing Z.


 

I have so enjoyed everyone’s messages!

 

orange fall flowersI am thankful for you all being a part of my life.

 

We all experience, on a daily basis, the highs and lows of our patients in this sensitive private area of medicine.  I am thankful, that together, we negotiate those highs and lows with poise, science, and hope.  We have built something meaningful and helped thousands of patients over the past 12 years.

 

Truly there is much to give thanks for.

Mark L.


 

I am thankful for coffee in a pretty mug, time to go for a run with my husband, happy children in my bed at 5am, and the two pregnant mommas in my neighborhood that will both deliver RMA Ct babies next Spring!!!

Kristen H.

 

 

I am thankful for the dynamic team that I work with everyday. Not only are they hardworking, driven, conscientious, and supportive of each other-they also make me laugh every day until I almost cry, and then laugh some more. 

Christina D.

 

 

I am thankful for wonders that occur every day in front of our eyes—for the frozen water that falls from the skies to the warm feeling of the energy that hits our skin on a sunny day coming from the inconceivably large ball of burning gas that is the sun. I am thankful for all of the convoluted coincidences over countless generations that have culminated in my being right here at this very moment. And I think of one of my favorite poems as well, by e.e. cummings:

 

thanksgiving basketi thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Shaun W.

 

 

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Grateful Thoughts From Fertility Practice - RMACT Team Shares

  
  
  

Fertility Practice's Grateful Thoughts: RMACT Team Shares

Thanksgiving Gratitude   1We are grateful to you, our patients. You put your trust in us to help you create your families. For that we are grateful.

 

We are grateful to each other, here at team RMACT. We work as a team, to bring about your dreams. We like each other, we respect each other, for that we are grateful.

 

Here are some Thanksgiving wishes and words of gratitude from our RMACT team. ~ Lisa Rosenthal

Thanksgiving Gratitude

I am thankful that we are able to make dreams come true!! And for much much more!!!

Brigette A.

 

I am so grateful for my family and all of the wonderful people who share my world. I'm also fortunate to love what I do and to work at a facility that helps people every day and shares my value system. What else could a girl ask for?
Lisa S.


I am thankful for so much.  I am truly thankful to come to a place to work that truly changes peoples' lives.  I am thankful to be part of the RMACT team and for supportive co-workers and senior staff.

I am thankful for my mother and brother who are truly sources of unfaltering love and support. I am thankful for my friends who accept me for who I am and are always there for me. I am thankful for my extended family here at RMACT who throughout the years has been there for me. I am thankful for laughter because it gets me through the toughest of situations many times.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Soochi V.

 

Thanksgiving Gratitude   3The Miracle

Oh gratitude, speak, scream, cry.

Thank the Gods and the Goddesses for the miracle of life,

For the producers of seeds, the stars,

For the ever pregnancy of our mother earth,

For science and its doctors,

Their philosophy and curiosity that inquire them

To help nature in the process of evolution,

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be part of RMA-CT where I can offer my hand

To many humans beings in need of the gift of a complete family.

 

Oh gratitude, do not be silent,

Let us all gather during this Thanksgiving Day,

Call all our children, the diamonds of our lives

To celebrate the magnificence of our extended family

And while the world is lit on fire,

Let us light it with the flame of love.
Bea A.

 

The solid foundation of a supportive and encouraging family who have allowed me the room to dream big, aim high and catch me when I stumble is what I am most thankful for this year.  I feel incredibly thankful for my RMACT family as well – I know how lucky I am to be surrounded by these dedicated, generous, smart, and funny people and am incredibly proud to be a part of this practice. 
Robin M.

 

I am thankful for my health and the health of my family which allows me to “pay it forward” in this amazing field of reproductive medicine.  Whether it’s helping to physically build RMACT’s future, running a Ladies Night In session with Lisa or even answering a patient’s cry for help at 10pm on a Saturday night it’s what I live for and what I am thankful for every day. Thank you for taking care of me as a patient 11 years ago, for my two beautiful girls that will be 10 this May and of course supporting me through this most recent RMACT project.

For some lighter iPark related humor, I am most thankful for a brilliant team of architects, designers and contractors, the amazing wall covering that’s about to go up, the carpet in the den, the gorgeous, huge utility rooms, the paint color “smoked oyster,” perfect weather that kept us on schedule, and I will stop now.
Carrie VS.

 

I am thankful for so many things – my health, my children, family and loved ones. I am truly grateful for making new friends and keeping the old ones.  I am thankful for the smooth transition I’m making here at RMACT – I have found that my coworkers have really embraced me as if I have been a part of the team for years . . . That is not something you find at every job.  Not only has the staff made an effort to welcome me with open arms and warm smiles but so have the patients, even while going through their own ups and downs here.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of love, laughs and food.
Akilah M.

 

Thanksgiving Gratitude   4I cherish every day and I am grateful that every day is an opportunity to start something new. I am thankful for every person in my life that offers me support along my journey, those who bring me joy, the ones that make me laugh, the ones that listen to me and the ones that trust me to listen to them. I am thankful to RMACT, personally and professionally, and could not be happier for being part of the team.
Danna C.

 

I am thankful for my loving family!! Those here today and those that are no longer with us. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  My heart would certainly not be this full!! They keep me on my toes and always smiling.

I am thankful for laughing, for I feel it is the greatest medicine.

Last, I am thankful for my warm bed, the food to feed my family, and the loving hugs that I am so blessed to receive! Happy Thanksgiving all!!!!
Meghan S.

 

I have so much to be thankful for, a wonderful husband and my two beautiful children that give my life a purpose in a way that I never imagined.  I am grateful to work in a profession and at RMACT where coming to work is something more than “just a job”. 

I feel fortunate and thankful to spend time with family and friends on the holidays and to not take for granted that I have a roof over my head and a beautiful meal on the table.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Melissa K.

 

Here is a thanksgiving quote that I like by John Fitzgerald Kennedy: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” I am thankful for my friends, old and new. My family including my 80 year old parents…how lucky we are to still have them and their wisdom. My daughter who brings daily joy to my life. My pets who love me no matter what. My colleagues and co-workers who work hard and truly care about our patients as well as each other on a daily basis. Google who has taught me the difference between colleague and co-worker. My health – how lucky to be breathing, walking and even dancing.  Last but not least, God, who watches over and cares for all of us. Happy Thanksgiving!  
Diana D.

 

I am thankful for my dad who has not been in the best health, but still insists on bringing me coffee every morning :)  I'm thankful for my boyfriend who has helped me through all of my dad's health scares, and my family who always helps each other.
Melissa P.

 

Thanksgiving Gratitude   2I am thankful for a family that has taught me unconditional love, a husband who makes me lighter than I am, and a job that continues to teach me the power of hope and resilience.
Amy M.

 

I am most thankful for my family. I am beyond grateful for my dad and his health and his awesome recovery after having his heel completely re-constructed & being in and out of hospitals for over a year. He is the strongest person, mentally and physically that I know and still manages to do everything for our family. I am thankful for my mom for holding it together and always smiling, my sister for being her crazy self, and little brother who keeps me young. And my boyfriend who I recently moved in with and still loves me!
Jill L.

 

I am so thankful to be part of the process by which our patients can build their family, regardless of the outcome. I never take for granted how special I feel to be an integral part of someone’s journey and never tire of calling someone to tell them that they are pregnant.

I also realize that the staff at RMA CT is incredibly special and am grateful to be a part of it.
Monica M.

 

I am most thankful for my health, to be able to wake up every day and enjoy my time with my loved ones. I am also thankful for being blessed with a new wonderful marriage and 5 step children, whom I truly adore…. Being able to work for RMACT itself is rewarding. I love what I do and am VERY thankful to be a part of this family…May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Kim K.

 

I am thankful first and foremost for my family. My healthy, thriving children that are happy and full of love & hope for the future, my wonderfully loving & supportive husband that is a rock. Time and time again he proves there is nothing we can’t accomplish without each other, my parents, for their love not only for me, but my children; there isn’t a time they haven’t dropped everything to be there for us, my brothers & sisters and numerous nieces and nephews.  I am grateful for the memories we are creating for our children. They are all filled with such love for each other. My friends. I have the best friends in the world. I love our chats, I love that we are at a point in our lives that we can laugh and cry in the same conversations. And lastly, I am forever grateful for the work we all do at RMACT. I look forward to going to work everyday and for that I am grateful!
Alicia M.

 

Thanksgiving Gratitude   5I am thankful that each day I wake up in a place where nature’s beauty is easily accessible.  I am grateful for good health, my close-knit family, for all the people who have faith in me. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with people who are interesting, passionate and dedicated.
Elaine M.

 

This year is a tough year for my family. This is the first thanksgiving without my dad. So first off, I am so grateful for all the amazing time I got to share with him. I am so grateful that he was able to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day. He was my biggest supporter who always told me I am capable of anything I put my mind to. I am also grateful for my mom who has been such a rock for our entire family. My sisters and brother who know exactly what to do to make me mad and laugh 'til I’m crying but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. And to my wonderful husband who has been the one to keep me going every day. And to everyone at RMACT for your kind words through the toughest time of my life, thank you for being there when I just needed someone to cry to or a simple hug.
Janie D.

 

I am thankful for coffee in a pretty mug, time to go for a run with my husband, happy children in my bed at 5am, and the two pregnant mommas in my neighborhood that will both deliver RMA CT babies next Spring!!!
Kristen H.

 

I’d like to share a nice image from yesterday with everyone:

After a successful initial pregnancy scan in Trumbull yesterday, I watched through the big windows the couple walk out to their cars together and give each other a very tender, long and meaningful hug before they got into their respective cars.  I am thankful that we can give our patients these special moments together in their life’s journey.
Happy and meaningful thanksgiving to all!
Joshua H.

 

I am most grateful to my family; for my sister who has always kept my secrets, my father who has always made me laugh, my mother who always knows just what to say, and my husband who accepts me just as I am.
Kate D.

 

I am most grateful for my husband who has been by my side from when I thought I could handle things on my own and who has never given up on me.  For my parents and my sister – without them I would not be as successful as I am without their support from switching careers and have pushed me to never give up and go for the highest of stars. (Even if tears are/were involved).  Lastly, I am grateful for my twin daughters whose personalities brighten up any kind of day.  They are my pride and joy!   
Beth B.

 

Thanksgiving Gratitude   6I am thankful for another year with my wonderful family and friends.  I am blessed with the greatest sister, the most supportive husband, a mother with a heart of gold and three adventurous sons.  This year I have been given the opportunity to not just work but learn from the incredible team at RMACT.  I have always believed it is the little things in life that are important and that every day is a blessing.
Kelly L.

 

This year, I am thankful for the opportunity to join the RMACT team. I now look forward to coming to work every day, and being a part of an incredible team, so committed to our mission of providing compassionate and supportive care for our patients. I am also eternally thankful for my family and friends who provide me with ongoing support and encouragement. Happy Thanksgiving!
Matt B.

 

I am thankful for all the people who work with RMACT. They are so special and work tirelessly to help our patients meet their goals. Every person at RMACT is part of the puzzle that makes it all happen. And, I thank our patients for allowing us to be part of their life.  Thank you and have a great Thanksgiving.
Spencer R.

 

 

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TGIF - Or TGIT. Or Infertile and Still Grateful?

  
  
  

TGIF - Infertility and Gratitude

TGIF   infertility and gratitudeTGIF. Thank God it’s Friday. Watching TV last night, it was TGIT. Thank God it’s Thursday.

 

I kind of love it. Of course it can be teased out to TGIW, TGIT. Thank God it’s Wednesday. Thank God it’s Tuesday.

 

Anyone want to go for Thank God it’s Monday. LOL.

 

I actually do love Mondays. A bright, fresh beginning to the week, where anything and everything is possible. Lists are brand new and not overwhelming. Intentions are set and feel inspiring not plodding.

 

There are all sorts of days like that with understanding infertility too, right?

 

Some days feel like it’s all going right. Some days it feels like a perfect storm. And everything in between.

 

What if we had a TGIT, TGIT, TGIW, TGIT, TGIF, TGIS, TGIS2? It’s a revolutionary concept! Let’s face it; it’s all ready hit network television. It’s not a revolutionary concept. It’s not even a new concept. It’s just a really difficult concept in the middle of a tornado.

 

Yet another metaphor for infertility. Tornado.

 

Let’s get back to TGIT. What do I love about Thursdays? What specifically did I love about yesterday?

A Gratitude List and A Request

Here’s my short list.

 

  1. I woke up. If the Dalai Lama can appreciate it, so can I.
  2. It was a glorious day, cool and sweet at the same time.
  3. I was with my family.
  4. It was my sister’s birthday.
  5. There were berries for breakfast.
  6. There was chai tea in the cupboard.
  7. There was a hike in the woods.
  8. I heard about my mother giving birth 55 years ago, no medication or epidural. Go mom!
  9. My dog isn’t sick anymore.
  10. I heard from a lot of you lovelies out there, sending me love. So appreciated. Oh, so very appreciated. My Jen and Jenn, special call out to you both.

 

There it is folks. My gratitude list for yesterday.

 

Wonder what I will put on my list for today?

 

I think I will start with writing to you. One of my joys every day.

 

Thank you for reading.

 

Could you do something for me today please?

 

Could you send me just one thing that you are grateful for?

 

If you cannot think of anything, please know that’s ok. In the midst of huge pain and sorrow, fear and anger, sometimes gratitude is elusive, twisting away just as your reach for it. I know that. I know that in the midst of trying so hard for our babies that it can feel almost impossible to hold onto hope. I promise that I will find an extra thing to feel grateful for today, for all of you out there who can’t. Let me know that too.

 

Use this email address, knowing that it’s secure. Comes only to me. Won’t be shared with anyone else: FertileYoga@gmail.com

 

I could use a little inspiration today. Still, I have a little inspiration to share too. If you can’t reach across the span and find gratitude, email me. I’ll put something extra on my list for you.

 

Don’t just think about it. Email me.

 

Have a lovely TGIF. And so on.

 

 

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Fertile Yoga - Gratitude to RMACT

  
  
  

Fertile Yoga and Gratitude to RMACT

fertile yoga at RMACT resized 600Fertile Yoga is a mainstay in my life. I owe that to Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT).

 

From Medical Director Dr. Mark Leondires, I got my beginning. Now support flows in from all directions. Drs. Richlin, Hurwitz, Murdock and Williams all encourage their patients to come to class. Our PA, Diana D’Amelio, our nurses, medical assistants, patient navigators and even our financial team members often bring up Fertile Yoga as a way of relieving stress, finding companionship, soothing frantic thoughts and finding a different way of being.

 

Infertility can cause irritability. It can cause sadness. It can cause hope to rise and deflate and rise again. It can cause isolation. It can cause feelings of shame, regret, hurt, jealousy and more. You name it; you may end up feeling it.

 

Enter freedom.

 

Choices.

 

We have them. We may not like our choices. We may hate our choices. Still, we have them.

 

Gratitude.

 

We can have that too.

 

We can appreciate what we do have. It doesn’t negate what we still want in our lives. Noticing what we are grateful for can fill our hearts even when our hearts feel broken.

Trying to Conceive and Finding Reprieve

Me, I’m grateful for Fertile Yoga. I’m grateful for being an agent to help support men and women who are feeling bruised or overdone from the stresses of trying to conceive.

 

I’m grateful for being able to provide a safe haven to speak the truth of the moment. To be in on recognizing that our feelings recede and fade and reemerge. That we can just be. Release attachment to the past and anxiety about the future and just breathe into the present moment.

 

I am very grateful for Fertile Yoga and RMACT supporting it and all the men and women who participate. I am very grateful to work for people who understand the importance of taking care of the whole person and not just their reproductive organs. I’m very grateful never to have to explain that to the people that I work with.

 

Fertile Yoga tonight in Norwalk, CT is from 5:45-7:00. No class tomorrow night, I’m sad to say due to the holiday.

 

May we all find something to feel grateful towards. Please do read tomorrow’s blog about freedom and gratitude.

 

 

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Infertile Insensitive Me! I'm Sorry and Thank You | Infertility Emotions

  
  
  

Infertility Apologies and Gratitude

flowers for infertility apologies and gratitudeAn overdue apology. And a thank you as well.

 

I was an insensitive clod while I was in fertility treatment. I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I didn’t ask more about what you were going through. I’m sorry that I wasn’t interested in your life or your experiences or your hardships. I’m sorry that our relationship was mainly about me.

 

Here’s what I believed and understood.

 

I believed that all my friends and family members and co-workers had to be sensitive and concerned about what I was going through, infertility--yet I rarely expressed interest or concern in what they were experiencing. Especially if it had anything to do with pregnancy, childbirth or parenting. I was not able to attend baby showers or if I did, it ended badly. (See blog about baby showers on PathtoFertility.) It was hard for me to attend birthday parties for my friends' children or to hear about first steps, first teeth, and first illnesses. While it doesn’t make up for my absence, I’d like you to know that it practically took my breath away to try to attend gatherings and so I made excuses and stayed away.

 

I apologize that I wasn’t there for you. I apologize that I really couldn’t be there for you.

 

I didn’t have any extra to go around. I didn’t have more brain cells than what it took to understand the medical procedures and medications that I had to organize around fertility treatment. I didn’t have the physical energy, after being at the doctor’s office at 7:00 am, four days in one week, before going and working a full day. I didn’t have the emotional energy after being on the roller coaster of managing my expectations about becoming pregnant or not, getting good results to tests and then disappointing news and then hearing yet more possibly good news.

Infertility Emotions

I felt crazy. Crazier than I ever have in my life. Crazier than when I was in the midst of finals and couldn’t see straight for having stayed up four days in a row. Crazier than when my beloved grandmother died. Crazier than when my daddy died unexpectedly. Crazier and more out of control than all those things put together. An infertility roller coaster is a good visualization and metaphor for fertility treatment.

 

I am sorry. Regardless that I still feel to this day that I probably couldn’t have done it any differently, I am sorry that I was not your friend while I was in fertility treatment.

 

And thank you. Thank you for sticking by me anyway. Thank you for saying what you thought would be helpful, hearing that it wasn’t the comforting comment that you thought it would be and trying again. Thank you for realizing that you couldn’t actually say the right thing because there wasn’t any one right thing but there were a million wrong things in any given moment. Thank you for continuing to be my friend, for loving me anyway. For having faith that the relationship would right itself again, at some point.

 

Thank you for loving me despite my turning into someone you didn’t recognize and possibly would not have chosen as a friend. Thank you for holding onto the memory of me and keeping it steadfast in your heart. I appreciate that more than I can say.

 

Carrie Grossman, devotional singer, Kirtan singer, a wonderful light, shared this at a small intimate concert I attended:

 

I’m sorry,
please forgive me,
and thank you,
I love you

 

So I do want to also say I love you. All my family, friends and colleagues out there who had my back and front and sides throughout my infertility ordeal.

 

And who continue to be a light in my life.

 

 

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Infertility - What I Am Most Grateful For Today

  
  
  
Infertility Blog- What Are You Grateful About Today?

 

 

Gratitude is the heart's memory ~French proverb 

 

I would rather be able to appreciate things I can not have than to have things I am not able to appreciate ~Elbert Hubbard

 

gratitude in understanding infertilityTwo quotes about being grateful for today. I couldn't pick just one so I'm giving you both.

 

In honor of it being Friday. That way you can pick the one that resonates for you.

 

While I've always know the phrase TGIF, until today, I have never appreciated it quite so much.

 

Because today, I'm so unbelievably grateful it's Friday.

Understanding Infertility and Cultivating Gratitude

I'm grateful for my experiences in understanding infertility, today and last night. If it weren't for my experiences with infertility, I would not have the honor and privilage of sharing Fertile Yoga with the very special and dynamic women who come to class. I would not have the life I have right now, if it weren't for infertility.

 

I'm grateful for my husband. For his strength, grace, sense of humor and his presence. I remember things like the night he came home, exhausted, physically sore and still had it in him to fix the fuse box and go back outside in the rain for the dental floss.

 

I'm grateful for the people that I have in my life. I'm grateful to be as healthy as I am.

 

I'm grateful to do work that I believe in and that means so much to me.

 

I'm grateful for the ability to love the way that I do. With my full heart. Regardless of whether I should, I do.

 

I'm grateful for my wonderful colleagues that offer help and a smile. That truly work as a team, helping and supporting each other as well as all the men and women who are struggling to conceive. I have mentioned it before, but it's overdue, the RMACT team is a family that I feel grateful and blessed to have in my life at this time.

 

I'm grateful for my family.

 

I'm grateful that right this minute, I do not hear any rain!

 

I am grateful for those friends in my life who are there in real ways. Who I can tell the truth to, who I can answer honestly. I'm grateful that they see all of me, the good, the bad and the reallly awful and love me anyway.

 

I'm grateful for those in my heart, in my past, because I do remember. And I do believe that gratitude is the heart's memory. I appreciate those no longer actively in my life. And I miss some of them tremendously.

 

My heart remembers.

 

And I am grateful for the love. For I am truly loved.

 

What are you grateful for today?

 

 

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My Sister Shari - Her Life Was Full of Children

  
  
  

This is a blog I never wanted to write. That I don’t know how to write. That I’m not even sure I should write and post on PathtoFertility. Maybe it’s not appropriate to share such personal information here.

 

Except if you are a regular reader that might make you laugh, because of course I share personal information here all the time. It’s really one whole, big hunk of the blog. By sharing my experiences of infertility and fertility treatment, you, my reader, see that your own reactions and responses are well within the range of normal, even expected feelings. My gift, as I see it, is that even though I have not been in treatment for a long time, I still relate to how it feels to be in fertility treatment and struggling to conceive. Part of that is my connection to patients and Fertile Yoga students. Part of that is because of your wonderful feedback here on this blog. Part of that is how I see things in the world; that I know so much of life is relatable. That how we see things, the glasses or lenses that we look through, affect who we are and how we are in the world. And I feel connected to you, my readers, so I will share.

 

Lisa Rosenthal and her sister ShariDeep breath. And again.

 

On March 19, 2014, one week ago today, my older sister died.

 

Pause.

 

Breathe.

 

I remember how much she wanted me to have children. How much she hoped and dreamed that I would. Because she could not.

 

She never talked about her longing or sadness about not having children. Certainly not in her later years.  I will ask her best friends, identical twins, whether she spoke of this earlier in her life. I hope at this moment that she didn’t feel sadness about it. She was not a sad person. She was a very brightly alive person.

 

She loved children. Absolutely loved them. We have six cousins and she knew all of their children. She knew their birthdays and she always made sure to send cards and little gifts. I was reading one of her books last night and came across an envelope with her handwriting on it, with one of our cousin’s children’s names and birthdates, as well as anniversaries and more.

 

Even as she became more disabled and in more pain, she taught after school art programs to children. We found so many pictures and cards from the children that she taught. Loving cards, in carefully crayon written words, addressed to her, with comments only she would have understood. Pictures of children with smiles from ear to ear, showing off the carefully designed projects that she helped them create to feel proud of themselves. They were her children, her connection.

 

She always had children in her life. There are more pictures of her sitting, with her huge smile on her face, holding a baby than almost any other type of picture. Babies were always pretty calm on her lap. Shari was not a saint, but her gentle spirit and playful connection to the very young was genuine and readily apparent to the little ones. She was soothing and spoke to them in a way that they understood.

 

She understood bunnies and teddy bears and baby dolls. She really got that they had a life of their own. When I look, I see a stuffed animal collection. That is not what she saw. She saw her friends, her companions.  And her babies. I had to reread the Velveteen Rabbit to remember. She never forgot. Her well loved companions will have a home with my younger sister and I. They will stay part of the family.

 

Shari was perhaps the best role model ever for taking childless, moving through childfree and coming out on the other side. She was an aunt, a cousin, a second cousin, a teacher, a motivator, and a friend. She was a sister. And she was a daughter.

 

She was pretty inspirational in those roles. When life circumstances prevented her from achieving a goal, she circumvented the obstacle or created a new goal. She let very little do more than slow her down and she did what she needed to, with a smile on her face. She was unstoppable.

 

I saw evidence of all of this in a simple expression of her art. While going through her home and starting to pack things, we found art work we had not seen before. Some of it was unfinished and looked abandoned. Starting with the tiniest of needlepoint, then larger pieces with bigger holes, then bigger canvases. She moved to plastic canvases and then painted frames. She started out with the tiny seed beads, where the holes were almost imperceptible, and then slightly larger beads with larger openings, to larger beads still, finally to wooden beads.

 

These weren’t abandoned pieces. This was her accepting that it was time to move on to art that she could see and work with more easily. She worked with her abilities and found the medium that would accommodate her.  I don’t know if she had regrets about putting the previous work away. I do know that she moved on to what she could handle, a place where she could still express herself through her art.

 

Shari believes that she is with my father, uncles, grandparents and beloved animals. I believe Shari is where she needed to be next, where she could be her most capable and able. I believe that she is now, finally, pain free. I believe that she is whole and complete.

 

But then, she always was.

 

 

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The Real Gift We are Waiting for ~ Our Children

  
  
  

The Gift of Children

the gift of childrenWhat are you hoping to find this holiday season? An end to fertility treatment with the best gift ever? 

 

Is it a gift that you can unwrap? A gift that you can be surprised and delighted by?

 

Gifts come in packages that are most unusual and unexpected.

 

The last several days of warm weather were a gift to me. Yes, I know, they shouldn't have been warm; it's snow season. Does that mean I shouldn't have enjoyed the balminess in the air? Being able to move around outside without being bundled up, without hiding every bit of exposed skin, was a pleasure that I had not anticipated and that I enjoyed thoroughly. 

 

I considered it a gift. 

The Meaning of Giving

I'm a word nerd. May be silly, nonetheless, true. Here's the dictionary defintion of gift:

 

Full Definition of GIFT

1:  a notable capacity, talent, or endowment

2:  something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation

3:  the act, right, or power of giving

In this season, number two pops out at me first. The piece that warms my heart as a reminder of giving in a loving way, is "without compensation".


It's not about what I get back. Or what I get first. It's about what I give or what I receive without "compensation". 


Gifts are not all bought and paid for; some are offerings of time and energy. Making food, doing an errand, doing someone else's chore; these are all gifts that cannot be unwrapped yet are enjoyed as meaningful expressions of love.


Did you notice that love is not mentioned in that definition? 


I did.


Yet, that's what makes a gift most meaningful. The emotion with which it is chosen and delivered and the feelings it evokes in the person who receives it. 

 

Without love, a gift has very little lasting meaning. It's just an object. It's not real, even if it can light up and do all kinds of extraordinary things. 

 

A beloved children's book, The Velveteen Rabbit, says it best:

 

“Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'

'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.

'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'

 

To Become A Parent: Waiting for a Child


For most of you reading this blog, that is the real point, isn't it? What we're hoping for? To become real, become most alive, in the role that we are yearning for: to become a parent. 

 

The real gift would be to love a child in a way that makes us real, in the way that we want to become real. To love so truly and completely that sometimes it even hurts, because we don't mind. 

 

That is the gift many of us are still hoping for; to love a child and to become parents. 

 

Until that happens, we become real in our quest, through our pain and disappointments. You are already real through your love for a child that has yet to be. 

 

So we will wait. Together. For that child. 

 

May you find that gift soon. 

 


Follow Lisa on Google+

 

 

Gratitude and Loving Thanksgiving Thoughts from RMA CT Fertility Team

  
  
  

Gratitude from the RMA CT Fertility Team

Thanksgiving Thoughts from CT Fertility Team   1It's been four years since the PathtoFertility blog started. From the very first year, on special occasions, we collected the thoughts and sentiments of the Reproductive Medicine Associates of CT fertility team members to share with you. 


This Thanksgiving, we celebrate the fourth anniversary of PathtoFertility and we continue the tradition of sharing what each one of us is grateful for. 


For me, that one is easy. I'm grateful for you, my readers, sharers and inspirers.


Read on to hear from the other members of the RMACT team.


And Happy Thanksgiving ~Lisa Rosenthal


Thanksgiving Thoughts and Love

Thanksgiving Thoughts from RMA CT Fertility Team   2Carolyn G.

I am thankful for my Mother and her unconditional love.  No matter how difficult her day was she saw beauty in her life.  She taught me the importance of listening and learning and I am thankful for all that I do learn from my patients and co-workers every day.   

 

Jill E.
I’m grateful for my family, friends, and the men and women who serve our country!

 

Jocelyn C.
I am thankful for my girls. Their infectious laughter makes me smile. They are the best of friends and that relationship with each other is what I am most thankful for.

 

Peggy B.

I am thankful for my family including my furry boy, Jake, and his unconditional love.  I am thankful for my friends and all the wonderful times we share.  I am thankful for all the great people that I work with and their help throughout the year.  I am especially thankful to the RMA patients that I have had the good fortune to meet-please know that you are truly an inspiration to me.  Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

 

Brenda S.
I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends.  I have truly been given a blessed life and hope that I can give back some of the joy I have received.  Thanksgiving should be every day!

 

Thanksgiving Thoughts from RMA CT Fertility Team   3

Brigitte A.
Today and every day I am thankful for my family, health and everything I have been blessed with….


I am thankful to work with great people that touch many lives and bring happiness to many families…


I am thankful for being able to say I love my job!

 

 

Kimone N.

I am thankful for life, family, friends and my many blessings!  I am also grateful for laughter because it fills me with joy and love it makes me feel what is means to truly be alive!

 

Tina C.

I am thankful for each beautiful new day when I awake and that I am healthy to enjoy each day.  I’m thankful for the love and support of my family and that they too are healthy.   I’m thankful for having a wonderful medical office to work for and with.

 

Laurie P.

I’m grateful for my DVR which allows me to record my TV shows to watch without commercials. I’m grateful for the Empire Szechuan restaurant which delivers and gets the food to you within 20 min. I’m grateful for my home which greets me with warmth every time I walk in. And I’m grateful for my family who loves me, supports me, protects me and encourages me.

 

R.M.

2013 has been a challenging year – so I am most thankful for getting through it stronger and more patient than before and grateful for what I have learned along the way. I am hoping for all of us to have a more peaceful and joyous year ahead.  

I am also grateful for the more lighthearted and enjoyable moments and whimsical discoveries I made this year – the eggplant frites at The Little Pub, dancing in the kitchen with my son to 80’s dance music, swimming with dolphins, renewed love of all things Andy Cohen,  tank tops from Yummie Tummie, Dark Chocolate almond milk, and my Laura Mercier Caviar eye liner sticks.

Happy Holidays!

 

Thanksgiving Thoughts from RMA CT Fertility Team   4

Amy M.

i am grateful for my family, good health, great friends, and for a job I love that feels meaningful.

 

Shaun Williams, MD

I am grateful for the opportunity and trust given to me to help provide care for the individuals I see, and I am grateful for everyone at RMA who helps make that care as successful as possible.

 

Also for many other things: those that teach us and our families, the wonderful new office we have in Trumbull, and the recognition that just being in the here and now is an amazing thing—just to name a few.

 

Eloise D.

I’m thankful for everyday things in life that bring delight, relaxation, and peace to the day.  

 

Beth B.

I am most thankful for the team who gave me my beautiful twin daughters through RMA and for the support I received.  I am also thankful for being able to “pay it forward: for others who are going through treatment and I am able to share my experience to help make their journey less stressful.  Also thankful for my family who is extremely supportive who taught me to never give up amongst other life lessons.  Last but not least, I am thankful for a wonderful husband that stands by my side through the toughest times.   

 

Mark Leondires, MD

I am grateful and honored for the opportunity to work in such a wonderful field, with such wonderful colleagues, and with patients on their fertility journeys.  While not everything works out in life how we want, working through the peaks and valleys is what living is truly about. I am thankful that I am always able to keep hope on the horizon as my guide.

 

Thanksgiving Thoughts from RMA CT Fertility Team   5Kim R.

I am thankful for life… Waking up every day and having the energy to work, so I would  be able to provide for all my kids as a single parent… I am thankful for working for a great place and helping others create a family…

 

I am reminded every day to be grateful  for what I have (even through the struggles) I am able to go home to those smiling faces who depend on me to lead them in the right direction in life… I am thankful for my kids who made me who I am today…

 
Nora B.
I am thankful for my children, my family, and my dog who takes Prozac (literally).
On the shallow side, I am thankful for my fireplace, The Grinch, and my Vitamix blender.
I am also thankful that the people I work with make me laugh all the time.
 

Janice P.

I am thankful for my husband, children and my  grandchildren, who are all a joy.

 

 

Dalia D.

I am greatful for my position with RMA!

I am blessed to have my daughter who just made High Honors with her (7) A’s and (2) B’s

I am thankful that I found a doctor and my daughter’s physical pain is easing up

 

Diana D.

I am grateful for my health..the ability to get up and get out into the world every day is heaven. I recently had a scare with corneal abrasions which made so thankful for  the ability to see and to function.

 

Carrie V.

I am thankful for my beautiful children who wouldn’t be here if not for what we do every day. I am thankful for what I had to endure in order to get them in my arms as that gave me the courage I never knew I had and that it ultimately put me on the path I travel today with RMA.  (I didn’t mean for that to rhyme, lol)

 

Janie D.

I am grateful for my husband and family. Through all the struggles I have had, their constant support helps me to be a stronger person.

 

Spencer Richlin, MD
I am thankful for working with such a talented reproductive staff. Their talent and expertise helps our patients become pregnant and makes my job easy and successful

 

Justine H.

I am thankful for my amazing husband and wonderful family. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. They give me so much strength, happiness, love and support. I just feel so blessed to have them in my life. They are what truly matters to me.

 

Alicia M.

Thanksgiving Thoughts from RMA CT Fertility Team   6

I am thankful first and foremost for my health, and the health of my family. I am grateful for all the blessings in my life; a loving husband, the family I always dreamed of, a warm roof over my head, friends that care for me, the opportunity to work in a field where I am a small part of a team making a difference in people’s lives. I am also thankful that although things haven’t always been the way I have planned in life I have the support network and capacity to hope for a better tomorrow.

 

Elizabeth M.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my loving family.  We are all very busy  between work, school, and sports and it’s very easy to get lost in our crazy lives.  Taking the time to think of my family truly makes me feel loved

 

Cori C.

I am grateful that I have options; that I am free to make choices.

Being a woman.

Conversations that make me think and the people I have them with

My wrinkles because they are evidence of my laughter and wisdom throughout the years

Love, and that I am loved

The taste and smell of coffee. Also, my new favorite smell…Expresso candles

A great pedicure

The kindness of strangers

Surviving storms of 2013

The hard times: Because they've made me stronger and wiser, and the good times even better.

Friends I've yet to make: I look forward to meeting them! Hmm, I wonder who they'll be.

 

Kate D.

I’m grateful for all of the disappointments, failures and tragedies that I’ve survived in my lifetime. They are proof that there is no obstacle I can’t overcome and that as long as my feet are pointed in the right direction, all I need to do is keep walking.

 

Joshua Hurwitz, MD

Reproductive Medicine shows us the best and worst of times for our patients.  I am always thankful that the worst times are followed by the best, and that our patients trust our team enough to help them through their medical and personal journeys to help build their families. 

 

Lisa Rosenthal's Google+

 

 

Grateful for Fertility Patients Letting Us In~Monica Moore, MSN, RNC

  
  
  

A Thanksgiving Offering to Fertility Patients

gratitude to fertility patientsPathtoFertility is a team effort. A Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut team effort.  Here's a blog by one of our most beloved team members, Nurse Practioner, Monica Moore. One of the most read blogs in the last four years was a blog that she wrote about how it felt to be "on the other end of the negative pregnancy test phone call". Today's blog is about gratitude. Me, I'm grateful for Monica for putting together her thoughts in such an eloquent and poignant way to share with us all. ~Lisa Rosenthal

*************

 

It’s Thanksgiving week, and I was speaking to one of my sweet and beautiful patients who had just been told that she had no normal embryos to transfer post Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS) cycle.

 

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

Of course, we were both upset at the results, but, true to her character, she accepted the results graciously, even taking the time during this difficult and emotionally charged conversation to thank me and Dr. Hurwitz for our role in her care. Unbelievable that she would think of us when our role lately seems to be only that of harbinger of bad news.

 

First, a little background. (She was asked and gave permission for me to share her story anonymously.) She married late in life, not finding her true partner until she was 39.They quickly realized that they would need help creating their family, so she came in for her initial consult at age 40. Luckily, she was able to achieve a pregnancy as a result of an IVF cycle, and her little boy is now almost 2 and the center of their busy lives.

 

Knowing that she wanted more children, she returned to see us at age 42, and was told that she “had the ovaries of a younger woman,” that is, she had many follicles and blood markers that indicate good ovarian function. She completed her first IVF cycle with CCS and it was found that she had no normal embryos. She wanted to do another cycle right away, but it was financially a challenge as her insurance was not covering any of these cycles due to her age. She was able to ask for a loan from a family member, and completed another cycle, where the embryos made never made it to the blastocyst stage and were unable to be biopsied. The most recent cycle was only able to occur as a result of her taking out a loan against her 401k in order to finance it and, as stated above, no normal embryos.

 

Apparently her “younger” ovaries were deceiving us. They looked younger by clinical markers but were not making good quality, chromosomally normal embryos.

 

What next? This is a smart lady in the medical field, able to easily understand the language of fertility treatment. Dr Hurwitz has reviewed all of the stats and the numbers with her, she knows the chance of achieving a healthy pregnancy with her own eggs is low and, at this point, she and her husband do not want to utilize donor eggs.

 

Problem is that she is a person, not a compilation of numbers and statistics. An amazing, giving person with feelings and desires who is also a great mom. She deserves to have another baby. We discussed her options and she realizes that if she went to a bank to ask for money for an investment, that her “rate of return” would be low in this case. But what is the risk of not trying? How do you quantify that? Would she always wonder “what if?” It’s just money, right? What about the fact that she is using money that she would be using for her existing family (college funds, home repairs) to finance the potential for another child. How does she reconcile that in her decision-making process?

 

At the end of our conversation she asked me the question, “What would you do if you were me? If I was your sister or your friend”? I actually consider her a friend, we have known each other a few years, shared feelings and thoughts and my suggestions are important to her decision-making. I can hear her pain and understand that she doesn’t feel that her family is complete, but I also know the financial and emotional investment that she has made for the past 2 years and see the toll this is taking on her.

 

I told her that I honestly didn’t know (not helpful, I realize). I can’t possibly know what it feels like to have to make this kind of decision, but what I do know is how it feels to be inadequate. All my years of experience and degrees from school haven’t prepared me to make her dream come true. What I can do, though, and what I plan to do, is to help her through this process, regardless of outcome.

 

It takes courage to open up and share feelings and experiences.

 

I will admit that even if we are not experiencing your exact experience, we share your sense of helplessness.  

 

So this message is a tribute to her and others like her who let us into their lives and invite us to be part of their very personal journeys.

 

We are grateful.

 

Monica Moore

~Monica Moore MSN, RNC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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