TGIF - Infertility and Gratitude
TGIF. 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.
- I woke up. If the Dalai Lama can appreciate it, so can I.
- It was a glorious day, cool and sweet at the same time.
- I was with my family.
- It was my sister’s birthday.
- There were berries for breakfast.
- There was chai tea in the cupboard.
- There was a hike in the woods.
- I heard about my mother giving birth 55 years ago, no medication or epidural. Go mom!
- My dog isn’t sick anymore.
- 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 and Gratitude to RMACT
Fertile 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.
We have them. We may not like our choices. We may hate our choices. Still, we have them.
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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Infertility Apologies and Gratitude
An 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.
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:
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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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
Two 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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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.
Deep breath. And again.
On March 19, 2014, one week ago today, my older sister died.
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 Gift of Children
What 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:
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?
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.
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Gratitude from the RMA CT Fertility Team
It'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
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.
I’m grateful for my family, friends, and the men and women who serve our country!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m thankful for everyday things in life that bring delight, relaxation, and peace to the day.
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.
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…
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.
I am thankful for my husband, children and my grandchildren, who are all a joy.
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
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.
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)
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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+
A Thanksgiving Offering to Fertility Patients
PathtoFertility 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.
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 MSN, RNC
Thanksgiving thoughts, during the days before the holiday.
Preparations are in full swing. Travel arrangements are also being commenced or coordinated, whether driving, flying or picking people up.
Cooking or meal planning has started and shopping for ingredients is obvious when you walk into any grocery store.
Expectations are high. We are to be thankful, grateful, happy, content.
Uh, huh. Except for when we're not.
Infertility and Gratitude
Today's blog is about infertility and gratitude and thanksgiving.
So many of us experiencing infertility do feel gratitude about so many things. I know this because I get to speak to so many of you.
Here's what I've heard lately, from you, about gratitude and thanksgiving, in your voices:
- "I'm grateful for the strength and foundation of my marriage"
- "I'm grateful for the support and help my friends have given me"
- "Every single day, I find things that bring me joy"
- "I'm so thankful for my job, which is so fulfilling"
- "The support that I feel from my family holds me up"
- "How interesting to see where support comes from, unexpected people who understand what I'm going through"
- "I love noticing the things that make other people smile"
- "Music brings me joy, even on the worst days"
- "Knowing that my husband is there for me, means everything"
- "I know that a child will enter my life, one way or another"
- "My faith sustains me"
- "I'm so grateful for the medical care and attention that I get from my doctors and medical staff"
- "Infertility has deepened many relationships for me, including the one with myself. Who knew I had the strength to go through fertility treatment, with shots, and medication and more?
Just little tidbits that I have gotten from all of you. You may recognize your words or your sentiments. Or you may be inspired by someone else's words and thoughts.
Thanksgiving is a time of hope and expectation.
That can be a lot tougher to create than a Thanksgiving dinner.
Would you please tell me what you're grateful for this Thanksgiving?
Lisa Rosenthal's Google+
What RMACT's Infertility Doctor Asked and Why I Listened
How many shopping days are there until Christmas? Dr. Leondires, RMACT's Medical Director and lead infertility doctor, asked that question the other day. It was in context with how fast time it flying; that the summer is almost half over already. Still it was a shock to think about Christmas, cold weather, and snow, while in sandals and a short-sleeved dress.
I was reading about thankfulness this morning as part of my meditation routine. It was an older book; the term more commonly used these days is gratitude. Reading about thankfulness brought me back to Dr. Leondires' question the other day. In quickly looking up the definitions, thankfulness and gratitude are very closely related. Both are connected to the idea of appreciating a benefit that is recieved.
Love that idea.
Seeing the Benefits of Fertility Treatment
With infertility and being in fertility treatment, benefits recieved are abounding. There are so many moments of things going just right. So many positive indications that conception will occur and that a pregnancy will be healthy and to term. Do you see it that way? Is it possible to shift your gaze and notice those possibilities?
I've decided to start a new count down. Instead of counting down to the holiday season, full of gift giving and receiving, I'm going to count down to Thanksgiving instead.
120 days until Thanksgiving. November 28 this year.
I have a challenge for you. How about waking up every morning and writing down one thing you are grateful for? Starting my day that way is very appealing. Especially when the alternative could be feeling anxious about what needs to get done for the day.
Infertility is a challenge that can be met in many ways. One possibility is fear. Another is grief. Yet another is anxiety. There is that possibility that we meet it with thankfulness. Thankful for all the tiniest and mightiest of things that have allowed us to come to a place where we are considering children in our lives.
I had a hard day yesterday. Just did.
I looked up at the sky, saw the sun, the clouds, the shifting between them. The simple movement in the sky made me smile.
Found a way to be thankful. For a smile.
Thanks Dr. Leondires for the reminder to countdown to gift giving. Whether it's the holiday season or, for me, Thanksgiving. The benefit that I received by hearing about the Christmas season was a deeper appreciation of these:
- summer weather
- open windows
- lighter clothes
- the smell of the earth after it rains
- thunder storms
- the ocean
- cool breezes
- hot sun
- lying on the grass
- skys that stay lit until late in the evening
- dinner on the porch
- breakfast on the front steps
Thankfulness--appreciation of benefits received.
Lisa Rosenthal's Google+