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 and the movies-just when you thought you could escape

I've seen two movies in the last 5 months. Well, actually I saw two movies in a month, just hadn't seen anything before that for two months. In each of these two movies,infertility was touched upon. In fact, in each of the movies, it was a defining point in the movie. The two movies were "Julie, Julia" and "Up".

In "Julie, Julia", Julia Child's sister gets married after her, pregnant before her, if not on her honeymoon, within a very short time afterwards. Sound familiar? Julia reads the letter to her husband, Paul, (who is a lovely, loving man, as portrayed in the movie) her face contorted in the effort not to cry and finally succumbing to tears, repeats over and over again, how happy she is. Sobbing into her husbands arms, saying how happy she is. Anyone been there, done that? (Or gone to a baby shower, putting on a "happy face",  visited a friend in the hospital having her second child when you are still longing for your first, listened to a co-worker complain through 9 long months about her pregnancy, heard about the "accident" that results in yet another child for a friend.) In at least 2 more incidents in the movie, you see the sadness break through regarding Julia and Paul's inability to conceive and create a family that includes children. We also see in this movie, (based on a real person) a real couple, their love affair with life, each other, and yes, food.

"Up" is an animated movie and ultimately a love story, a story of human triumph. Again, a defining moment in the movie; the realization that there will be no children, in the doctors office, a miscarriage, pictures with the couple only, no children. We see the husband lose his wife, and realize he's alone, not what anyone of us want for ourselves or our spouse. Not to ruin the movie for you, we also see how this changes, and joy emerges. And a child comes into his life in an unexpected way. 

In case you think this is a movie review, let me assure you it is not. It is my taking the opportunity to point out to all of us how prevalent infertility is in our society. And how it is coming out of the shadows and hitting the silver screen. In both of these movies, one fiction, one most definitely not, the human beings in the movie go on to live happy, fulfilled lives.

If  you think I am turning into a pollyanna and making light of your infertility or singing the theme song of "Annie", (the one that goes, "the sun will come out tomorrow", etc. ) let me assure you, I'm not doing that either. What I am saying, very definitively is that infertility does not have to define you or define your life. While it feels like, and perhaps does, take over your life, that will be for a relatively short time. It may even define your life, if you remain childfree (wonderful book written about childfree living, "Sweet Grapes, by  Jean and Michael Carter- a book about choices and making one in any situation, even when you feel you have none to make).

Infertility does not have to define how you will go on to live your life. Whether you find ways to feel empowered in fertility treatment, (making choices about IVF, IUI, donor egg, types of fertility medications, acupuncture, yoga),  take a break, a vacation, foster a child,  move on to adopt or live childfree, you are taking the steps towards defining your own life, in your own terms, in your own way.

 I am the first one in line to applaud you for taking this journey one step at a time, consciously.




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