Trying to Become Pregnant - Nope, It's Not All About the Medications
A needle in a haystack. That’s what I felt like I was searching for while I was trying to become pregnant.
Mainly, it felt impossible after a while. Granted, I was in fertility treatment for a long time and, with each successive “failure,” I lost a certain amount of hope that it would ever work. If you looked inside me, you could probably see the faith diminishing, literally leaking out of the pores of my skin.
My possibilities of pregnancy were about 22%. At that time (a very, very long time ago), I was very young, twenty-six, and those were the highest pregnancy success rates around. They roughly equalled those of a “normally fertile couple” trying to conceive on their own.
22% didn’t feel high. Or lucky. Or even possible. They felt like a needle in a haystack.
How do you even go about finding a needle in a haystack? I supposed it had to do with being methodical. Making sure to take one step at a time and to make sure, while doing so that, it was the right step, in the right direction.
Pulling each piece of hay and putting it aside. Pulling the next piece out and laying it down.
Creating a new pile, with known answers. There was no needle; no pregnancy, no possibility in that pile. It was empty.
Next piece of hay. Next test. Next ultrasound. Next piece of information. A rather exhausting process. Done one piece at a time, though, manageable. It was not always easy to look up and see the huge pile in front of me, so I simply didn’t look up. Before I knew it, years had passed.
When you consider all the things that need to occur at the right time, in the right amount, in the right sequence, it’s amazing anyone ever gets pregnant. And so I kept trying.
Time and Painful Perseverance
I kept looking for that needle in the haystack, head down; kept processing what was in front of me. Rarely did I lift my head and see the bigger picture. It was mainly looking at the next step and taking it, slowly and methodically. Sometimes painfully.
Rarely did I notice what I was giving up. By not looking up, I operated with a myopic view. When I did take that furtive glance around, it was scary. Time was passing me by. I was no longer twenty-six. I had gotten older. Everyone had. My job had changed, my family experienced other losses and life was not what it had been when I started.
The needle in the haystack was more and more elusive.
When I looked up though, I realized what I had been unable to see before.
The pile was smaller.
Much, much smaller.
And so I kept hunting.
Until I was done.
And when I was done, I was done.
Needle or no needle, I was done.
The whole world opened up to me, in all its sweetness and light.
I left that pile of hay, with the needle unfound and turned towards the rest of my life.
Lisa Rosenthal's Google+
May Events Extend National Infertility Awareness Week
News, news and more news.
Reproductive Medicine Associates of CT (RMACT) has extended NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week) into May by offering seminars, classes, peer groups and more. Why?
Because we can.
Because we should.
Most of our programs are either low cost or free and open to the public. A few are just for current RMACT patients.
We're doing this to educate, advocate and support men and women experiencing infertility struggles.
It almost seems as if there is a group of people in our offices, whose sole purpose is plotting on how to offer more education, more services, and more compassionate support.
It seems that way, because in fact we are.
And here is the round up for this week.
Come join us. Especially for our walks this weekend.
“I am Pregnant, Now What?”
This seminar will discuss the key components of a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy including appropriate maternal weight gain, physical activity, essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, environmental toxins and risks, and food safety. Common concerns such as medications, sleep, diet, lifestyle, morning sickness, constipation, anemia, gestational diabetes and hypertension will be addressed.
Please Join Us on Tuesdays in our Danbury Office:
67 Sand Pit Road, Suite 300
Wed. May 1 or June 5
Please arrive 5-10 minutes early ~ PARTNERS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND
Kindly RSVP to Justine 203-750-7484, space is limited These medically based seminars are considered part of your treatment plan and will be billed through your insurance. Please bring your co-payment, if applicable. Patients who have high deductible plans will be billed through their insurance.
See events calendar or call 800-865-5431.
Ladies Night In: General Peer Support Group with Lisa & Carrie
Come and meet a terrific group of women that gather monthly to share their stories, feelings, questions and laughs. Experience the relief of talking with other women who understand what you are going through. Build friendships that will be by your side throughout your family-building journey.
Wednesday’s 6:00-7:30 p.m.
March 6, April 3, and May 1st
Wednesday’s 6:00-7:30 p.m.
March 13, April 10, and May 8
This peer support group is free of charge. It is facilitated by Lisa Rosenthal & Carrie Van Steen. Carrie and Lisa are both former fertility patients and offer the support and suggestions many of our patients are looking for and really need. If you have any questions, call Carrie at 731.2520 ext 289. Or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dinner is provided!
Fertile Yoga: Thursdays in Norwalk, CT
From 5:45-7:00 p.m. at RMACT 20 Glover Avenue, Finance Dept. Norwalk, CT
Fertile Yoga is free!
Classes will be on-going; come every week or once in a while, whichever suits you. Come alone or bring your spouse, partner, friend or family member. Yoga, meditation and deep relaxation can help men and women experiencing the challenges of infertility. Fertile Yoga helps couples relax and relaxation can help one make more satisfying decisions, communicate more clearly with their doctor, and sustain treatment with a more positive perspective.
What you need:
- Comfortable, loose fitting clothing
- a yoga mat
- bottle of water
- two pillows (optional)
- avoid eating one hour before class.
In Norwalk, we have a peer support group for the first 30 minutes where there will be a chance to share experiences, lend support and find comfort from those experiencing similar feelings. You are always welcome to join us at 6:15 if you would prefer only Fertile Yoga. Fertile Yoga was created and is taught by Lisa Rosenthal RYT -200 (Registered Yoga Teacher). Lisa is a former fertility patient, who has been working for over 2o years as a national patient advocate for couples going through infertility. Lisa is uniquely qualified to understand the specific stresses and challenges that couples trying to conceive encounter. Fertile Yoga is designed with different diagnoses and treatment plans in mind. It is a gentle, restorative class that includes meditation.
A Pre-Conception Wellness Seminar Tools for Fertility Success
Have you ever wondered if you or your partner were eating, sleeping, managing stress, or exercising differently would it improve fertility success? How about the affects of alcohol consumption, smoking, pesticides, plastics, and body composition on sperm and egg quality?
Please join RMA of CT for an interactive discussion on the benefits of healthy preconception with a fertile lifestyle. We will share how to create a fertile lifestyle and The Fertility DietTM tips that will improve conception success and also help to support a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Partners are Welcome.
This one session class is conducted by RMA Nutritionist Carolyn Gundell, MS and RMA Nurse Eloise Downs, RN
Class Options: SATURDAYS
May 4th or June 1st 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Free Admission and Open to the Public.
Location: RMA Norwalk at 10 Glover Avenue, Norwalk CT RSVP required. Space is limited. Please call Justine to reserve a seat at 203-750-7484. Please visit our website or call to confirm date, time and/or location as they are subject to change.
March for Babies with the RMACT Team - Walk With Us
For the fourth consecutive year, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) is sponsoring the March of Dimes and its annual fundraiser, “March for Babies.” LikeMarch of Dimes, RMACT believes in the power of education and necessity of research for widespread healthy pregnancies. Along with its sponsorship and overall fundraising efforts, the RMACT Team will walk in Danbury, CT on May 4 and in Fairfield, CT on May 5.
“The March of Dimes does important work, and we are proud to support their efforts,” says Dr. Mark Leondires, Medical Director of RMACT. “Each year I am struck by how powerful and emotional it is to see hundreds of people gathered in hope of giving babies a healthy start. By walking together, we remember the babies that have been lost and recommit ourselves to overcoming prematurity and birth defects in the future.”
Aubrey Keely, community director for the March of Dimes Connecticut Chapter, says: “The March of Dimes thanks RMACT for its commitment to ensure that all babies are born healthy and strong. The support of our partners and sponsors is crucial to our success and helps maintain vital research, education and advocacy efforts across our state and throughout the nation.”
To make a pledge to March of Dimes through the RMACT Team in Danbury or Fairfield, please go to either of these websites:
Lisa Rosenthal's Google+
A reader of this blog posted a comment on a blog from earlier this week, concerning National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). And she shared an incredible video, thank you! The video had a message that was delivered in a way that brought me to stillness. So moving, so poignant, so right on target, I actually stopped doing the other 6 things I was trying to do at the same time. I feel honored to share it with you here, I feel grateful that Adriana took the time to share it with me. My intention is to keep the blog short today, because I want you to take the time to watch the video. "What IF?" Keiko Zoll is a fellow blogger with a blog called, "Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed". What are your What IF's? Which reached out and grabbed your heart? For me, it was the question about childfree, with a smile, possible? Not possible? Perhaps you will share your reaction with us?
When you watch the video, be prepared to sit down, put aside the other things that you are doing. Listen, watch, let it sink in.
What IF? A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.
In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week
, (NIAW), a young friend of mine read me a beautiful poem that began with "I wonder". Hearing her lovely, excited voice repeating the poem, remembering many lines, nothing written down, I was inspired to look it up and share it with you. It really spoke to infertility,
to the cyclical nature of treatment and hope, and it definitely spoke to me. However, when I looked it up on the internet, I found many poems, none of them the one she spoke to me.
I am embarrassed to admit that I don't usually understand or appreciate poetry, most specifically Rumi. As a yogi, that's just this shy of disgraceful. (Not that it would be called disgraceful, something a tad less judgmental, such as "unaware".) Many of my friends send me Rumi poems and wax philosophical about them, almost gushing about the meaning and messages and I again admit, they leave me cold. I find the Persian poet depressing, often, confusing even more often. In looking last night for a poem that starts with "I wonder..." I came across the Rumi poem below and I got it. And I especially got it as it relates to infertility, positive thinking, what to do with negative thoughts. We often talk in peer support group about what to do with those negative thoughts; shame, embarrassment and fear are often associated with them. We are often full of shame when envy, jealousy and resentment come to visit. We are embarrassed that we have those feelings; we associate them with lack of generosity, with being mean or unkind.
We fear that these feelings say something deeper and more essential about us, that we are mean, unkind, ungenerous, and something baser than we thought about ourselves.
My young friend who spoke so beautifully to my heart last night, who shared a poem that touched her helped me find the Rumi poem below, which made me think of you. You, me, all of us who worry that our unkind thoughts make us unkind. That our resentment and frustration is an essential part of who we are.
So for NIAW, I share with you the first poem by Rumi that I understood and I got. And I hope that on your fertility journey, you find this poem and many other ways to remember that you are not your infertility and your infertility is not you. That you are not your unkind thought. You are not your resentment. These are feelings that come to visit, that perhaps clear the path for the brightness and vibrancy that are waiting just beyond.
In yoga class, we traditionally close, with "Namaste". The light in me sees the light in you, the light in you, sees the light in me.
This Being Human is a Guest House
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
We are so lucky to have our first guest blogger this week to continue our observance of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). Kristen Magnacca is ithe award winning author of several important, incredibly helpful books. One, I was lucky enough to get to reveiw while it was still in galley form and really, I was blown away. "Love and Infertility" is a book full of strategies that work for life and it's challenges, outside of fertility problems. I found, and still find, the book helpful when I'm struggling with problems that have nothing to do with conception.
Aside from being a wonderful author, speaker and presenter, Kristen is a good friend. She is here to help, support, and encourage you. I know she did all those things for me and by writing here, for us, she is offering those things to you as well. Lisa Rosenthal
When my husband Mark and I were in the middle of our journey to try to create our family I had one rule: Don't call us infertile!!!
Instead, using the words ‘fertility challenged' just resonated with us.
Words are so powerful. The ones that we use internally and externally are invisible but they carry a great impact on our mind, body and soul.
I am so appreciative of Lisa Rosenthal's invitation to use my words through her blog during this important week.
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after unprotected sexual intercourse over a twelve -month period. But, what if we could change the association from the medical definition and create our own meaning?
Instead of making the diagnosis focusing on inability, shift it to be in the process of creation? Give it a definition that defines the process?
How about creating our own definition?
"In= expressing the situation of something that is or appears to be enclosed or surrounded by something else"
"Fertility = capable of becoming a new individual or creating many new and inventive ideas with ease.
Shifting the association and mantra to:
"I am dressed in my fertility" or "I am surround by my creative energy".
What seems to happen to a great number of us during the trials and tribulations of the "journey to create our family" is that we forget that we are powerful and possess unabashed feminine and male energy. We get bruised and battered and we disconnected.
Then, through our words we start associating how we feel to who we think we are and forget how truly powerful we are.
We should use NIAW (National (don't call me infertile) Fertility Week) as a spring board to remind us that there is a beginning, middle and end to the creation journey and we are divine power in action.
In honor of NIAW (National (don't call me infertile) Fertility Week), I am offering complimentary copies of Love & Infertility: Survivial Strategies for Balancing Infertility, Marriage and Life through a raffle held on May 1st. To sign up for the raffle please email email@example.com and you will be entered.