How to Make Fertility Treatment Decisions
Our wonderful new addition to the Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) team, Lisa Schuman, has shared some thoughts about how to make decisions while in fertility treatment.
Her thoughtful blog just might be a place to start to shift your thinking from being desire-centered to healthy-centered. You'll know what I mean when you read it. Enjoy. ~Lisa Rosenthal
Another way to look at fertility treatment, it may be wise to think twice…
The process of going through infertility treatment is often difficult. In fact, we know that it can be incredibly stressful and even depressing. When we are in a stressed or depressed state it is hard to think clearly.
When we are stressed we often turn to things that will make us feel better or will quickly reduce our stressors. We may eat that extra piece of cake, have more to drink or skip exercise. We can also skip our appointments with our primary care physician because one more medical appointment is too much. Or we stop or delay fertility treatment. This is all understandable and of course we need to have room to be human and not judge ourselves. However, we can attempt to be thoughtful about our decisions by asking ourselves one important question: “What is in my best interest?”
This question is complicated. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we do what we feel, it doesn’t necessarily mean do what we “think” we need to do and it doesn’t necessarily mean we push ourselves harder, although it can mean any of these things. Confused? Lets look at our decision making from a different lens. Our goal can be to make the choice that requires us to think about our needs, our desires, our relationships and our long and short-term goals.
This requires us to pause and often make a collaborative plan with our partners. A plan that will explore all roads before making a decision. Therefore, if our doctor says it would make sense to try again and our partners want us to try right away but we are tired and want a break we need to consider that. But the thinking doesn’t stop there. If it’s a quiet time at work so we can get to appointments more easily than usual and we are concerned about our biological clock, we must consider that too.
Each element carries different weight. So if our partner has a strong feeling about moving forward, that carries a lot of weight. If we have many pregnant friends and we feel pressured to catch up then that would carry less weight--not in terms of acknowledging our feelings but in terms of taking action. Sometimes, in the moment, it is hard to distinguish the important from what feels urgent or immediate. It’s also hard to have respect for our feelings but not necessarily act on them. Yet if we are truly going to make good and thoughtful decisions about our choices then we need to think about what is in our best interest.
This process does not have to happen alone. We have a great team of social workers to help you talk things through and a great nutritionist, acupuncturists and Fertile Yoga teacher to help with stress reduction and the improvement of your overall health. We know that when we feel better it’s easier to have the peace of mind to work things through.
Ultimately, thinking twice by really thinking through our decisions is the best we can expect from ourselves. At the very least we know we can end each day having completed the goal of being the star player on our own team. There are very few right answers but if we think through our decisions we can be clear about the answers that are right for us.
Picking Lessons from the NFL Draft
Sports are in the air this morning, particularly the NFL Draft. I thought it was spring, flowers, warmer temperatures.
Nope. It's sports. The NFL Draft, which I don't even begin to understand except to know that players get traded around and end up new places.
Okay, still, what does this have to do with infertility or fertility treatment? Stick with me here for one more minute or paragraph or two.
The Boston Bruins are huge today in the news, which is interesting since they lost. Somehow I would have thought that would have put the Washington Capitols in the news since they won. Okay, just don't ask me what sport they play. Kidding. Sort of. Pretty sure it's hockey. I'll check with my husband later.
Is Understanding Infertility like Understanding Sports?
And where does this connect back to fertility treatment or understanding infertility?
In my mind, it started me wondering if my complete and abysmal lack of knowledge and interest in professional sports is what my husband (and maybe your partner) thinks about infertility. My eyes start to glaze over when I hear about defensive ends or what type of offense each team has.
I'm not trying to be sexist here. I know that there are many men who care as little about this as I do and many women who are huge and knowledgable fans. So don't worry about that piece of it.
My musings here are about languages that we don't understand. Whether it's about sports or art or infertility.
I have been married almost 28 years. I have tried to understand football. Ask my husband, I have tried. It's amazing how for a reasonably intelligent women, I just don't get it. To give myself credit, I just get very, very little of it. And it's not from lack of trying.
My husband is a good role model. He's kind and generous about the fact that I don't get it. He's okay about my watching occasionally because the view is sometimes good. (They do have some hot men in these sports!) He's okay that I don't understand and can't talk endlessly about plays, playoffs, goals and standings.
Generosity Around Infertilty Education
I don't recall that I've ever been that generous with him about what he doesn't understand or doesn't get--especially the infertility education piece. What was so hard to understand about hormone levels, medications, procedures and all the rest of it?
Did that question make you laugh? It did it for me. It's laughable to think that the language of infertility is simple or easy to understand.
My thought for the day. Let's be kind to our partners if they don't get it. Or they don't get it as completely as we do.
For me, a good reminder, is trying to make sense out of the sports page.