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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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National Infertility Awareness Week: "Did You Know?" Fertility Quiz

  
  
  
National Infertility Awareness Week Fertility Quiz

One last word or two, on National Infertility Awareness Week. Here’s a quiz for all you fertile people out there!

 

I like to call it, “Did you know?”

 

Let’s just jump right in.

 

 


Fertility Quiz for Those Who Are Fertile

 

  1. Did you know that 1 in 8 couples are affected by infertility or trouble sustaining a pregnancy?
  2. That men and women are equally affected by infertility?
  3. Infertility can feel as emotionally challenging as cancer or other life threatening illnesses and diseases?
  4. Chances are someone in your book group, workplace, place of worship or other group has been having problems but has not felt comfortable asking or receiving support?
  5. Infertility can make maintaining friendships with others who are having babies nearly impossible and at the least very painful?
  6. Infertility can become all that your friend can focus on? Given that fertility treatments can be time intensive; including lots of doctors appointments, requiring medications taken at specific times (including injections on a daily basis), and limits daily activities, your friend may have a very different schedule and availability than he or she used to.
  7. Your friend is afraid, at her/his very core, that they will not be able to have children, even if the statistics are in their favor?
  8. This might be the first very large life obstacle that many people face?
  9. That relaxing, taking a vacation, adopting will not help? But suggesting those things can make your friend feel more isolated and even irate.
  10. Your friend may be unable to discuss his/her treatment with you because of their own feelings of inadequacy and shame?

 

If you did not know those things, could you please share this with another fertile friend? Chances are they didn’t know it either.

 

Bottom line, I believe that people want to be kind. Especially to their friends. I would like to believe that if you knew the things above, that you would be more sensitive and kind to your friend who does not have children yet. It’s very possible that if your friend is married for a significant amount of time and does not have a baby yet that there’s a problem, even if they aren’t telling you.

 

So please pass this on. It’s hard to unknow something, so please keep what I’ve shared with you uppermost in your mind when you are in a relationship with someone who may be having struggles with infertility.

 

 

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NIAW Guest Blogger, Author Stephanie Fry, "We Are Not Alone"

  
  
  

Ever find yourself a week behind? I sometimes find myself a day or so behind. It's more unusual to misplace a whole week.

 

None the less, that has happened. When I read the wonderful blog below last week, before National Infertility Awareness Week began, I asked Stephanie Fry, the author, for permission to republish it here on PathtoFertility. She was gracious enough to have said yes. Because I had already written blogs for NIAW that were pending, it was pushed back to now. I would have loved to have started the week off with Stephanie's encouraging blog.

 

Better late than never. 

 

the ivf journal guest blogger

Stephanie's message for me is poignant. The reminder that we are not alone is crucial and can make the difference between fertility treatment going well and fertility treatment being an isolating and scary place. We hear this from women all the time in the peer support group, Ladies Night In. We need to talk, to share, to see and hear other women who are experiencing this particular pain and hardship.

 

Thanks to Stephanie Fry, a longtime RESOLVE activist and author of The IVF Journal for allowing me to share this with you and for sharing the message.

 

We are not alone.  

 

“Courage Doesn’t Always Roar”

by Stephanie Fry

National Infertility Awareness Week starts in just a few days. And for me, it’s nothing short of thrilling.

 

Thrilling to see, feel and be a part of the surge of hope, support and the coming together that happens during the week.

 

In the media, on social networks and in real life, women and men, patients and doctors, advocates, best friends, mothers, grandmothers and sisters are shouting from the roof tops – all in the name of infertility. It brings me such joy to know that women all over the country and the world who are suffering in silence will hear the message loud and clear:

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

 

Sharing this message, for me, is really what National Infertility Awareness Week is all about. It’s about talking about infertility, sharing information, stories, hope and support. It’s about educating those people who still don’t get it.

 

But what if you are not ready to share your story? What if you just found out about your infertility and are still processing it? What if you have known for years and now feel like its too late. What if it just doesn’t feel right to talk about it now? What if it never does?

 

Here is what I have to say to you.

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE EITHER.

 

Infertility and going through IVF treatment is hard enough without the added pressure that can come with sharing your story. So if discussing your infertility doesn’t feel right, please know that is OK too.

 

Like so many others in the infertility community I’ll be posting about and promoting sharing during NIAW but before I do I want to directly address the many strong, brave women who are not comfortable with sharing their struggle. I am here to say to them and maybe you, the  following: If you are not ready to share your story, if never have or never plan to, you must know this: You are part of the infertility community too.

 

Even if you don’t share it publically, your struggle is no different, no less important and not undefined. You are courageous and strong. And what you are doing is absolutely enough because it is the right thing for you.

 

Those of us who are ready to talk about it are happy to do it for those who are not ready. Most of us, including myself, were not always in this place and no expects you to be either.

She holds her own truth

What I will ask you to do is to pay attention this week. To find hope and strength in the movement. Hop on social media – just to look. Visit Resolve.org and check out what is going on. I promise you will be uplifted. You will feel the love and support that the momentum of NIAW creates. And in its wake, as it does for me every year, I hope it will refuel your hope and give you strength to battle on, in whichever way you choose.

*Title quote from Mary Anne Radmacher

Courage Doesn't Always Roar

 

 

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Infertility Myths? National Infertility Awareness Week - NIAW

  
  
  

Seeking Truth During National Infertility Awareness Week

national infertility awareness week (NIAW)

I’m doing a lot of reading these days. There is so much really helpful, well written material out there to read, it’s a delight that I am truly enjoying. I read a great blog published on April 16, 2014, about the myths of pregnancy in your 40’s, written by Heidi Hayes. (Full disclosure; Heidi is the CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA.)

 

One way I am honoring and observing National Infertility Awareness Week is by bringing in other resources for you, my readers. And so I will share what this blog evoked in me, why I found it compelling.

 

Myths are intriguing things.  Here is the Merriam Webster online dictionary definition:

 

myth

 noun \ˈmith\

: an idea or story that is believed by many people but that is not true

: a story that was told in an ancient culture to explain a practice, belief, or natural occurrence

: such stories as a group

 

One way that myths are perpetuated in our day and age is not only by the media, but also by social media. In other words, us.

Infertility Myths and Truths

Here are some ideas that I hear constantly regarding infertility, fertility and fertility treatment that waver on a fine line between myth and truth. Truth being different than fact in that we are all individuals, with our own specific diagnoses, financial resources, insurance coverage. Where we live can make a big difference as well in what health care options are available or affordable.

 

The following statements can have some truth to them, depending on your unique circumstances. Realistically, we do run out of resources sometimes before we are able to conceive. Important to remember, these statements are not chiseled in stone, they are merely possibilities. They hold a bit of possible truth, the positive statements, and yes, the negative ones too.

 

  1. Fertility treatment is accessible
  2. Fertility treatment is unaffordable
  3. If you find the right fertility treatment program you will be successful
  4. I’m too old to have a baby
  5. Persistence pays off when trying to conceive
  6. I need a partner to conceive with
  7. This should be so much easier

 

Here are some emotional statements that often do have truth to them. Sounds like a pretty outrageous statement, doesn’t it? We do feel these things though, don’t we? Sometimes?

 

  1. It is shameful to be unable to conceive the “natural” way
  2. It’s unnatural to have a baby using fertility treatment
  3. I need to accept that I am not meant to be a parent
  4. We are damaged
  5. We are less than men and women
  6. Fertility treatment will never work for me.
  7. I am the only one in my group to ever experience this

 

It comes down to this: myths are created for reasons. Sometimes to explain unexplainable things. Sometimes to try to understand things that are impossible to understand. Myths can become urban legends and persist or they can be proven to be untrue.

 

light on infertility mythsAccording to Greek mythology, Helios would drive a chariot across the sky, carrying the sun; allowing the sun to “rise”. We no longer believe that is accurate and still we say the sun “rises”, knowing that in fact the sun is stationary and it is we that are moving.

 

The myths that are out there about infertility and fertility treatment are very soft. They are disproved on an almost daily basis, even as new ones arise. That’s how fast the technology is changing.

 

Spreading Truth About Who We Are for NIAW and Beyond

 

When it comes to the heart though, we can examine our own beliefs and feelings. We can be open and talk about it and learn that we are not alone. There is comfort in realizing that this is a reproductive disease that attacks not only our reproductive organs but also our sense of us. Who we are is not defined by infertility unless we allow that; unless we don’t fight back with every fiber of our being.

 

We are not infertile. We are human beings, men and women, whole and complete, reproductively challenged or not.

 

And that is not a myth.

 

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National Infertility Awareness - Not Celebration, AWARENESS

  
  
  

Infertility Awareness, Not Celebration

Infertility Awareness   lightbulbEven those of us who are front and center in our lives cringe sometimes with infertility. It’s sometimes the infertility diagnosis or problem that pushes us from privacy to secrecy. Because after all being front and center in our own lives does not mean that we tell everything to everybody.

 

There are boundaries that we know about and erect and create ourselves. We know that we prefer not to share certain things, in certain ways with specific people so we don’t. And the boundaries that we create protect us, whether it is a change of subject or a shift in our tone or a blunt, “I don’t wish to talk about it”. Our boundaries are our shields. Sometimes though, they are more porous than we truly understand. The occasional comment strikes deep into our hearts without warning and penetrates to our cores.

 

Then there are boundaries that come up in the blink of an eye, as though blinking our eyes creates a new force field that is impenetrable. Unexpected. As shocking to us as it may be to the person who is speaking with us.

National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) 

RESOLVE's National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) is about awareness. Raising awareness about the intensity of the problems we experience with infertility. The medical, financial, emotional aspects of infertility are not necessarily understood unless there is a personal history with infertility. We hesitate to share our personal lives when it comes to infertility. It’s often a place where we find ourselves facing a brick wall.

 

A solid, impenetrable wall. Impassable.

 

We don’t want anyone or everyone’s pity. We don’t.  And we’re often afraid of sharing because we believe that’s what we will get.

 

Awareness is what brings light in. Infertility is too important to be kept in the dark. How can we do that? What is depending upon awareness?

 

Our children, our babies, our families. Our continuation of our heritage. Our lives as we imagined and planned them and desired them.

 

Maybe it’s time to reassess our boundaries. The stakes are just so high.

 

They are everything.

 

 

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National Infertility Awareness Week - Subfertility, Not Infertility

  
  
  

National Infertility Awareness Week and Medical Monday

 

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), we are looking at different aspects of infertility a little more closely all week. Asking questions and digging a little deeper. Since today is Medical Monday on PathtoFertility, I thought we would start with the basics.

What is infertility?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), we have the following clinical definition:

 

Infertility is “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse." 


The WHO had several other definitions of infertility listed as well, including ones related to demographics, epidemiology, disability and primary and secondary causes.

 

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) have collaborated and have identical infertility FAQ’s on their sites. They publish a list of quick facts, as well as a more wide ranging FAQ list, among many other resources for those having trouble conceiving. The first one that they list?


Infertility is NOT an inconvenience; it is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs the body's ability to perform the basic function of reproduction.


Subfertility - What's the Difference?

 

ASRM and SART give a more comprehensive definition of infertility, which could also be the definition of subfertility:

 

"Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs one of the body's most basic functions: the conception of children. Conception is a complicated process that depends upon many factors: on the production of healthy sperm by the man and healthy eggs by the woman; unblocked fallopian tubes that allow the sperm to reach the egg; the sperm's ability to fertilize the egg when they meet; the ability of the fertilized egg (embryo) to become implanted in the woman's uterus; and sufficient embryo quality.

 

Finally, for the pregnancy to continue to full term, the embryo must be healthy and the woman's hormonal environment adequate for its development. When just one of these factors is impaired, infertility can result."

 

While the American College of Gynecology (ACOG) has much of its information for their members only, it does have a non-vetted list of resources for high risk pregnancy, pregnancy loss and infertility information.

 

WebMD had an interesting view on infertility, in starting to define the difference between fertility and sterility:

 

Infertility doesn't always doesn't mean a person is sterile -- unable ever to have a child. Up to 15% of all couples are infertile, but only 1% to 2% are sterile. Half of couples who seek help can eventually have a child, either on their own or with medical help.


Just to round out these different points on what fertility, infertility, and subfertility, I went to the Oxford Journal on Human Reproduction. Their definition of subfertility was quite lengthy. Here is just the very beginning:

 

A common definition of sub- and infertility is very important for the appropriate management of infertility. Subfertility generally describes any form of reduced fertility with prolonged time of unwanted non-conception.


A good starting place for National Infertility Awareness Week is that most of us do NOT have infertility. We have sub-fertility. That is why so many of us do become pregnant with the help of a board certified reproductive endocrinologist.

 

Subfertility. I rather prefer it to infertility.

 

What do you think?

 

 

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NIAW - The Fertility Needle In the Haystack

  
  
  

Trying to Become Pregnant - Nope, It's Not All About the Medications

NIAW   Needle in a Haystack   How I Felt About Getting PregnantA 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.

 

More manageable.

 

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+

 

National Infertility Awareness Week Continues at RMACT | May Events

  
  
  

May Events Extend National Infertility Awareness Week

National Infertility Awareness WeekNews, 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

4:30-6:00pm

 

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.

 

Danbury:

Wednesday’s 6:00-7:30 p.m.

March 6, April 3, and May 1st  

 

Norwalk:

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 cvansteen@rmact.com. 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

March of Dimes   March for Babies   logo

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:

 

http://tinyurl.com/RMACTFairfield

http://tinyurl.com/RMACTDanbury

 

Lisa Rosenthal's Google+

 

 

What IF? An Infertility Patient Asks the Questions We All Ask

  
  
  


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. 

http://vimeo.com/11214833

What IF? A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.

 

 

 

Infertility Can Cause a Negative Feeling or Nineteen- NIAW and Rumi

  
  
  
  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.

Rumi

 

National Infertility Awareness Week~ Kristen Magnacca is our guest blogger!

  
  
  


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

 

 

 


Kristen Magnacca

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 info@kristenmagnacca.com and you will be entered.

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