Parenting After Infertility
I saw the first signs of fall yesterday. One tree, of so many green, that has the flaming colors of autumn. Orange, yellow and even a tinge of red.
Seeing the hint allowed me to enjoy the gorgeous weather of the summer in a more delicious way. The colors, the temperature, the breeze, the lack of a jacket; the pieces of summer that mean the most to me.
I am honored and privileged to know quite a few of my Fertile Yoga students for many years. Many of them are mothers now. And I know their babies. Some of them I watch turn into children, toddling about.
Do they enjoy their children more than moms and dads who don’t struggle with infertility?
Do they appreciate precious moments more?
Do they sigh over the milestones with a view to the past in their minds?
Do they love their children more?
Do they enjoy colic?
Do they enjoy cleaning up diapers when a baby is sick more?
So maybe the answer to the earlier questions needs a qualifier.
Yes, we have a different sense of parenthood when we are aware that it almost didn’t happen. Most things that we struggle with, we do appreciate more.
Do we love our children more?
Do we want more for our children?
Do we appreciate some moments in a different way?
A resounding yes.
And do we feel guilt?
For not appreciating every single moment because it’s what we wanted so much, so who are we to complain?
A simple way to put it, perhaps, but there is guilt that we heap on ourselves for being moms and dads.
Somehow what we expect is that because infertility came and stayed for a while that we will never be tired parents. Or exhausted parents. Or disgusted parents. Or resentful parents. Or parents who simply want 13 seconds to ourselves.
Fertile Yoga Parenting Truths: Glory and Exhaustion
And, oh, my Fertile Yoga students who have become parents will tell you this: once these wanted, desired babies get here, you will still get tired. And overdone. And overwhelmed.
You will simply be a parent. Infertility or not.
Once our babies, our children, arrive, we become parents.
In all its glory and exhaustion.
No guilt, moms and dads out there, who are feeling exhausted. You earned the right to feel tired.
When our children arrive, we feel those changes seismically. We see the season behind us and know that time has passed and we have become who we wanted to become.
Lisa Rosenthal's Google+
Becoming a Single Parent: New Group Invitation
We're doing it again at RMACT (Reproductive Medicine Associates of CT). Responding to the needs of our patients and the general public. And doing it for free!
Wouldn't you like to work with a group of people that are responsive to needs in the community?
I do. And what we've seen is that women who are considering or are committed to becoming a mother, without a partner or a spouse, have a desire to speak with other women who are in similar circumstances. That they absolutely crave conversations and input and support.
Thank you to RMACT and clinical psychologist Lisa Tuttle, PhD, for creating a group specifically for women who need it. Read below for details.
Single Women Pursuing Parenthood
Please join us for a discussion group and social gathering for single women pursuing parenthood . . . or seriously thinking about it!
Tuesday, July 23rd, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
RMA of CT at 10 Glover Avenue, Norwalk, CT
This is a chance to meet other women to talk about the decisions, anxieties, excitement and opportunities that you will face along the way to becoming a mother.
Possible topics may include:
• Choosing a sperm donor
• Talking to friends, family, and co-workers
• Creating a strong support system
• What do I tell my child?
This group is free of charge and open to the public. It will be facilitated by Lisa Tuttle, PhD, clinical psychologist. If you have any questions, please call Lisa at (203) 852-9099.
Light refreshments will be served.
RSVP to Cori at (203) 750-7492.
Lisa Rosenthal's Google+
Do any of you ever wonder if you deserve to be a mother or a father?
Is there some secret place in the back of your mind or heart that believes that infertility has affected you because you are not good enough, you did something wrong, something about you doesn't deserve being a parent?
If you have that nagging suspicion, you are not alone. You are so, so not alone.
I have been fortunate enough to not have had cancer or cardiac problems or respiratory problems or many other medical problems or conditions.
Maybe I would blame myself. Maybe I would think it was my own fault for something I had or had not done.
I don't know.
I do know that infertility was not my fault.
I also know that it's not your fault.
It's not your fault.
Not even if you had a sexually transmitted disease that caused your infertility.
Not even if you had an abortion that caused damage to your fallopian tubes or your uterus.
Or maybe it was your fault, as in it was an action that occured because of a choice that you made.
But here's the point. Whatever you chose to do or chose not to do, assigning blame isn't going to help.
Let's say it is your fault. You made a lousy decision or even a series of lousy decisions.
And now you're paying the price and you feel you deserve it because of the lousy decisions you made in the past.
That won't make you a lousy parent.
In fact, learning from lousy decisions will make you a great parent.
Punishment for lousy decisions is not lifetime exclusion from parenthood.
Doesn't that seem extreme to you?
Wouldn't it seem extreme if it were happening to someone else?
Would you consider forgiving yourself?
Would it be possible?
Could you consider forgiving yourself as you would forgive someone else?
Then get going with whatever fertility treatment you need to become a parent.
You'll be a great one.