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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Basics on Trying to Have a Baby - Medical Monday


Trying to Have a Baby - Medical Monday Basics

pregnant woman   medical monday basicsThere are basic questions that you need to know the answers to if you are trying to have a baby. Without the correct answers, you may not get pregnant even if nothing is wrong.

Sometimes it can be difficult to ask your physician about what you need to know. Sometimes, you don’t even know to ask or what to ask.

We make it easy on the RMACT (Reproductive Medicine Associates of CT) website. We spent a lot of time collecting frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) about pregnancy and fertility and then answered them. Who do we mean when I say “we” answered the questions?

Our board certified reproductive endocrinologists, who are sometimes also referred to as fertility doctors. But not all fertility doctors are board certified. Or reproductive endocrinologists. In fact, a physician can call themselves a fertility specialist without any specific training or skills.

The point here is that our doctors are the ones who answered these questions for you. Can you count on the answers being informative, helpful, accurate, clear and up to date? Absolutely. These are answers that you can count on to proceed with trying to have a baby.

Do you have some additional questions that are not addressed here? Please email me at FertileYoga@gmail.com or respond in the comment section of this blog. In either of those places, the questions will come directly to me so your information is secure and safe.

These questions and answers came straight from our website. I hope that they help clarify when and how to start trying to build your family. ~Lisa Rosenthal

Questions About Fertility

At what time of the month is a woman fertile?


The most fertile time of a woman’s cycle is just before or the of day ovulation. Ovulation usually occurs two weeks before a period starts, so it is necessary to count backwards from the anticipated start of the next period in order to find the most fertile time. Take the number of days in the usual cycle (from the beginning of one period to the beginning of the next) and subtract 14. For example, a woman with a 32-day period would likely ovulate around day 18 (32-14=18), while a woman with a 28-day cycle would ovulate around day 14 (28-14=14). We recommend every other day intercourse around the day of ovulation. That would mean days 12, 14 and 16 for women with 28 days cycles.


It is best to have intercourse before ovulation rather than afterwards, so a woman who ovulates on day 14 would have a good chance of conceiving if she has intercourse on either day 13 or 14. For women with irregular cycles you can extend the period of every other day sexual relations.


Alternatively, women with irregular cycles may want to use an ovulation predictor kit, which can be purchased over the counter at most local pharmacies. This involves testing your urine around the time of ovulation using a detector stick, which give you a visual reading. Additionally, there are electronic monitors which detect ovulation by tracking two hormones (estrogen and luteinizing hormone) starting with urine testing on day one of your menstrual cycle. The methods that utilize urine predictor sticks or urine ovulation detector machines are usually highly sensitive, accurate, and reliable.


How can a woman tell if she ovulates?

The simple, inexpensive way of finding out the approximate time of your ovulation is to take your basal temperature (that is, your body temperature at rest) every morning and record it on a chart. You can buy a Basal Body Thermometer at your local drug store. Save all your charts so you can review them with your doctor. Three or four months of charting should be adequate. If your temperature goes up after the middle of your menstrual month you likely do ovulate. In general you ovulate about two days prior to the temperature rise.


How often should we have intercourse?

It is a good idea to have intercourse every other day around the time you ovulate. Remember, every woman is different, and may not ovulate exactly on “Day 14.” And, just because you ovulated on “Day 14″ this month, doesn’t mean you will next month. It is preferable to have intercourse every other day rather than every day so that sufficient sperm will be available. To increase your chances of the egg becoming fertilized, do not douche or use lubricants immediately before having intercourse. See more pregnancy FAQs on RMACT's website.



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Bleeding in Pregnancy-CT Fertility Specialist Cynthia Murdock Speaks Out


Bleeding in Pregnancy

RMACT LogoSome subjects don't change quickly, or even look as though they are changing very much at all. Especially feelings. Medical treatments change constantly and sometimes very rapidly. Feelings tend to lag behind. 

One thing that hasn't changed in the twenty-five years that I have been participating in the infertility/fertility community is early bleeding in pregnancy. It still happens. It still happens often.

And I think it's safe to say that most, if not almost all of us, panic when we see the blood. There are women out there who do not panic and if you are one of them, so happy that you meet this type of situation with calm and equanimity. Would love to know how you have achieved that sense of serenity in your life, please share.

For a lot of us, panic is a very common reaction to seeing any blood, staining or spotting. You may not feel it. You may feel it very strongly. That sense that the pregnancy you have worked so hard for is slipping away. That a miscarriage is imminent. And that there is nothing that you can do.

Dr. Cynthia Murdock, award winning board certified reproductive endocrinologist at RMACT, and Castle Connolly Top Doctor in the field of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, talks to us here about what to expect if you are experiencing bleeding in your pregnancy.  ~ Lisa Rosenthal

CT Fertility Specialist Speaks Out

If I had to choose one single problem which causes the mostDr. Cynthia Murdock, Reproductive Medicine Associates of CT stress and anxiety among our patients, I would say that it is bleeding in early pregnancy. The official medical terminology for this is first trimester bleeding. Nothing is worse than working so hard to achieve a pregnancy only to discover that you are bleeding. The first thought that enters everyone’s mind is “I am losing this pregnancy”.


All bleeding should be evaluated with a blood test to check estrogen and progesterone levels, and an ultrasound to rule out any bleeding in the uterus. Most often when the bleeding is light we may not find a reason for the bleeding, but luckily most light bleeding episodes are limited to 1-2 days. Common recommendations are abstinence from sexual intercourse. In some cases of heavy bleeding we may ask you to decrease your activity level, but there is no evidence that this will prevent a miscarriage.


Luckily we have some positive news on this front. First of all, approximately 25% of all women have bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy. A recent large study of over 4,000 women revealed that of the 25% of women who have bleeding, only 8% have heavy bleeding (defined as more than a normal menstrual bleed). The majority of  women (92%) who have bleeding, have only light bleeding (less than a menstrual period) or spotting. The good news is that women with only light bleeding or spotting are at no increased risk for a pregnancy loss. The not-so-good news is that women who experience heavy bleeding have a 3-fold increase in the risk of miscarriage. The most important messages that we can take home from this study are that first trimester bleeding is common, and that greater than 90% of women with first trimester bleeding are at no increased risk for a miscarriage.


Remember bleeding is common, but luckily most of the time it poses no risk to the pregnancy. Call your nurse so you can be evaluated but don’t panic!


About Dr. Cynthia Murdock


Dr. Murdock earned a BA in biology at Cornell University and an MD at Creighton University School of Medicine where she graduated magna cum laude. She completed her residency at Creighton University Medical Center where she was named Berlex Best Teaching Resident. In 2003 she completed a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the National Institutes of Health.


An experienced researcher, Dr. Murdock has contributed to numerous peer-reviewed studies and presented at several of the most prestigious conferences in the field of reproductive medicine. The focus of much of her research has been on estrogen receptors, hypothalamic neuron function, and precocious puberty.


Dr. Murdock is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Dr. Murdock was previously an assistant clinical professor at Creighton University School of Medicine and a staff physician with Reproductive Health Specialists at Nebraska Methodist Hospital. She has also served as an Assistant Professor of OB-GYN at the National Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center.


Dr. Murdock is now a staff physician and a fertility specialist in Reproductive Medicine at RMACT. She is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.


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Fake Pregnancy Facebook Game - Not Funny


New Facebook Game Not Funny

Facebook pregnancy game from Flickr Creative Commons   jaycameronA new Facebook game is really, really getting under my skin.


Someone I know who is 46 posted that she was pregnant.


Her life and family history is none of my business so I’m not sharing it here.


I don’t even know how many responses she has gotten to the post.


Photo: jaycameron, Flickr Creative Commons


I do know that there was a decent amount of back and forth, including her giving some details about her ongoing pregnancy. Leading us down the garden path, I fell into it and congratulated her and wished her a happy and a healthy pregnancy. I thought she was happy about it and I was happy for her.


It turns out she is not pregnant. It’s a Facebook game to see how many people are REALLY reading your posts.


OK. I read it.


Not a fun game.

Fake Pregnancy - My Feedback

Here was my response to her about her fake pregnancy post:


"I'm going to speak out for the community that I work with, those struggling with understanding infertility. They hate Facebook because of all the images of pregnancies and ultrasounds and birth announcements. It hurts them because they are trying so hard and wanting it so badly. And I'm sure there are folks out there that will think I am over reacting. That's ok. I'm going to stick up for my women who want a baby so badly and it's not happening. This is not a fun game for them. It's hurtful. And what I know of you is that you are not a hurtful person. But I guarantee that this game is hurting people."


There are folks who love my response. There are folks out there who hate my response. And there are lots of in between reactions as well. Many comments on over reacting, being over protective, restricting freedom of speech.


Hmm . . .


Takes me back to running Resolve of NYC educational symposiums. There, the debate raged. If one of our volunteers got pregnant, should she or shouldn’t she come to the symposium and work? There were two basic sides; there still are. One, that us infertile folks could have a day and a place where they didn’t have to deal with other’s pregnancies. Two, that pregnancies gave people hope and that shielding them from the realities of other’s pregnancies was unrealistic and even paternalistic.


I’ve always come down on the side of protection. That’s why the Facebook “game,” of announcing your fake pregnancy, did not sit well with me. (I don’t even know how or why it’s a game. I’m going to say it again, I think it’s stupid.)


Some of what I heard back was that anything you post will offend someone. Be optimistic and you offend the pessimists. And vice versa. I get that.


I do get that.


Maybe I am oversensitive and overprotective. Maybe, though, I help make up for those who are under sensitive and under protective.


Pain is pain. And to me, a joke is not funny when it’s hurtful. The pain of a joke, though, also depends on the person hearing it. Maybe some people will find the fake pregnancy game funny or at least fun.


What I know is that in the community with whom I’m so closely associated with, the group of men and women whom I love so dearly and respect so deeply, there is a very good chance that they will be hurt/disappointed/shocked/upset and more by this game.


Infertility Support & Advocacy


A dear friend on FB wrote this about my comment:


“I so want you on my side if ever I need an advocate. You are a strong, calm force.”


I don’t know about calm force. But I do believe that I’m a strong force. And yes, I do believe you would want me on your side if you needed support.  Although I do not believe in taking sides a lot because it’s alienating and isolating and it separates us, not unites us, I make exceptions sometimes.


In this case, I make an exception.


I do not now, nor have I in the past, nor will I in the future, support games that create pain for men and women trying with everything they’ve got to create their families.


Please take me off that invitation list.


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Pissed to Be Pregnant With Twins? Who's Judging Them? Not Me!


Pregnant with Twins: One Couple's Reaction

pregnant with twins from ivfBear with me, there’s a blog out there that I want to comment on concerning IVF and twins. Namely, the blog about a couple who is pregnant with twins and are “pissed off” about it. Being me, I have a few things I want to say first.


Becoming pregnant and having a safe and healthy delivery and beautiful baby afterwards.


Those are the goals when you are up against infertility issues.


A lot of us go through a period of wishing, hoping, and even praying for twins.




You have your baby. And your baby has its sibling.


And so you’re done.


Some of us stay in that phase and are thrilled when that is what comes to pass. Two babies at the same time. Twins.


Many of us move on to feeling that one at a time, or simply one is a safer, healthier, even saner choice.

IVF and Twins: Elective Single Embryo Transfer (ESET)

Certainly the infertility field and most board-certified reproductive endocrinologists and fertility programs are moving away from multiples with elective single embryo transfer (ESET). There are many reasons why conceiving, carrying and delivering a single baby is preferable to multiples.


Main reason: it’s safer for baby and mom. The outcome is more predictable with just one at a time.


Really. We all know this.


Thank goodness so many twins and multiples are born healthy and strong and vital. And that so many moms make it through just fine as well. That’s a huge comfort for any of us carrying more than one. Good prenatal care, eating properly, exercising moderately, sleeping and listening to your doctor’s advice carefully will help ensure a good outcome.


This is the longest preamble in history to talk about the blog on CNNHealth yesterday.


Title:  “We’re Pissed” to be pregnant with twins.


Here’s a quote from the dad to be: "To say we're excited would be an exaggeration," the dad wrote on Babble.com in an anonymous post that recently started trending on social media. "More truthfully, we're pissed. And terrified, and angry, and guilty, and regretful."


I know this is not politically correct. I know that we’re all supposed to be happy and thrilled because there’s a healthy, on-going pregnancy and that infertility has been conquered. I know that those of us who are still not pregnant could feel really resentful and angry towards this couple for speaking out about their upset.




I want to send them a thank you note.


What I have learned about human nature is that we are not unique. Well, we are, of course. We are all individuals and have our own DNA and personalities. Of course we do.


We also have a lot more in common with every other human being on earth than we do with any other species.


That’s a lot to have in common.


And in my humble opinion, there are folks out there that are relieved that this couple opened their mouths and said what they were not comfortable saying. Because it’s not politically correct or okay. And they said it anyway. They have voiced what some of us may have felt when we found out that there was more than one gestation.


That they’re scared. And upset. And maybe they would have preferred childfree to two at one time.


I thank them because if it relieves guilt and shame for other people pregnant with more than one, then that’s a good deed.


Pregnancy Emotions and Honest Admissions


Admitting to mixed or even negative feelings is not easy to do. But it’s honest. And it’s not a predictor, by the way, about how they will do as parents. Feelings aren’t reality. Feelings can pass. They can change and shift, especially with the help of a mental health professional.


Many of us are thrilled to become pregnant with multiples.


But not all of us.


And for those of us who are not, I applaud this couple for speaking so frankly about what others may not want to say. It can relieve the shame and guilt of these feelings.


So please, let’s not judge them. They’re not asking you to feel differently. And they are entitled to how they feel and to say it out loud. I know it’s hard to hear. Still, they have the right to say it.


More tomorrow on how to make choices and avoid situations that truly are not right for you.


Lisa Rosenthal's Google+



A Pregnancy is Just as Sweet - No Matter What You Call It


Pregnancy Euphemisms

Pregnancy SuccessIt's amazing how many euphemisms there are to use instead of saying pregnancy. So many ways to announce the news that you want to share with the world.


Here are just a few:


  1. A bun in the oven
  2. In the family way
  3. Knocked up (a personal favorite)
  4. Preggers
  5. Preggo
  6. With child
  7. Pea in the pod
  8. Up the duff (British!)
  9. Caught short
  10. The rabbit died
  11. Eating for two
  12. Sperminated
  13. Incubating
  14. Gestating
  15. Updating the family tree
  16. Growing a person
  17. Glowing
  18. Expectant
  19. Expecting
  20. Storked


So many different ways of describing what we are longing for. Some more respectful than others, no doubt. Still, all saying what it is we want to be. Out of the infertility world, away from fertility treatments and finally pregnant.




Say it any way you want. Just be able to say it.


And give yourself a break if it takes you a while to get used to the idea. You may even feel a bit numb at first. After all, you’ve been on a mission, one foot in front of the other.


And now here’s the good news.


It’s true. It’s here.


You’re pregnant.


Say it any way you like.


Lisa Rosenthal's Google+


Infertility Comments That Hurt and That Comfort - Which Do You Want to Hear?


Infertility Support: The Most & Least Helpful Things to Say About Pregnancy

It's an oldie, but goodie. Unfortunately, some things don't change when it comes to dealing with infertility support. At least, not much. The places we get bombarded by pregnancy anouncements have expanded to social media. That wasn't true five years ago or ten years ago. These days there are very few places to escape hearing and seeing pregnancy news. Facebook these days even has ultrasounds of friends pregnancies. If you could use a little help about what to ask your friends and families to avoid saying, read on. There's something here for you, I guarantee it. 



Infertility Support - Comments About Pregnancy

If you having been reading this blog for over a year, the below lists will be unfamiliar to you. If you've read it, maybe now is the time to comment on it, or add to it!



In Fertile Yoga this past weekend, we discussed things that our friends, family and colleagues say that are unhelpful and things that are helpful. I figured now was a good time to reprint this as many of had not seen it. Below is a list similar to what my best friend and I formulated 20 years ago, 17 years ago, 10 years ago, 2 years ago. I remember copying the list and handing it to family members, whether in the words below or in a slightly different form. 


Infertile Support: 5 Most Helpful Things to Say

... from a family member or friend | 5 cosas más útil que decir-de un familiar o amigo

  1. I am here to listen, I won't judge or suggest or offer help. I'll just listen. (Estoy aquí para escuchar, no voy a juzgar o sugerir u ofrecer ayuda. Voy a escuchar.)

  2. Whatever you choose to share with me will be kept in the strictest confidence.  (Lo que usted decide compartir conmigo se mantendrá en la más estricta confidencialidad.)

  3. I'm here for you no matter what.  (Estoy aquí para ustedes, no importa qué.)

  4. I will not pry or ask too many questions.  (No voy a curiosear o hacer demasiadas preguntas.)

  5. If you would like some company at the doctor, I will be there for you. (Si desea alguna compañía en el Dr. estaré allí para usted.)


Infertility Support: 10 Things Never to Say

10 cosas que nunca decir

  1. Things happen for a reason. (Las cosas suceden por una razón.)

  2. Maybe God doesn't mean for you to have children. (Tal vez Dios no significa para usted tener hijos.)

  3. Relax and take a vacation, you'll get pregnant! (Relajarse y tomar unas vacaciones, usted quedar embarazada!)

  4. Adopt a baby, and then you'll have your own baby! (Adoptar un bebé, y entonces tendrá su propio bebé!)

  5. You're lucky, you won't have to get huge or be up in the middle of the night. (Tienes suerte, usted no tendrá que conseguir enormes, o estar en medio de la noche.)

  6. Not everyone is meant to have children. (No todo el mundo tiene la intención de tener hijos.)

  7. Be grateful for what you do have. (Sea agradecido por lo que tienen.)

  8. I'll give you one of mine! (Te daré uno de los míos!)

  9. Have puppies, they're easier. (Los cachorros tienen, son más fáciles.)

  10. Have you tried this-treatment-this-doctor-this-herb, I heard it worked for so and so. (¿Has probado este tratamiento-esta-médico-esta hierba, he oído que trabajó para esto y lo otro.)

10 Things I Wish I Could Say About Getting Pregnant

10 Cosas que me gustaría poder decir que en quedar embarazada.

1. I wish I could be fat and pregnant.  (Ojalá pudiera ser gorda y embarazada.)

2. I wish I could be exhausted from nursing and being up all night.  (Me gustaría poder estar agotada a partir de la enfermería y está toda la noche.)

3. I wish I could celebrate Mother's Day as a Mother.  (Me gustaría poder celebrar el Día de las Madres como una Madre.)

4. I wish that I could have a child the old fashioned way.  (Ojalá que yo pudiera tener un hijo a la manera antigua.)

5. I wish that I could attend my best friends' baby showers and their children's birthday parties without crying.  (Ojalá que yo pudiera asistir duchas de mis mejores amigos 'bebé y los partidos de cumpleaños de sus hijos sin llorar.)

6. I wish everyone could understand how incredibly sad I feel.  (Ojalá todo el mundo podía entender cómo me siento increíblemente triste.)

7. I wish I could do the things that I know make me feel better.  (Me gustaría poder hacer las cosas que sé que me sienta mejor.)

8. I wish I didn't have to miss work/social engagements/family functions because I need to be at the doctors.  (Me gustaría no tener que faltar al trabajo / compromisos sociales / funciones de la familia, porque tengo que estar en el de los médicos.)

9. I wish I didn't have to have to experience another birthday or New Year's without a child.  (Me gustaría no tener a la experiencia de otro cumpleaños o Año Nuevo sin un niño.)

10. I wish my nurse would call and tell me that I'm finally pregnant. (Me gustaría que mi enfermera llamada y me dicen que por fin estoy embarazada.)


Thank you to Carrie Van Steen for revising this list and getting it translated. Carrie is also THE person responsible for putting together our Ladies-Night-Out evenings in Danbury and Norwalk. I love our dedicated staff!


What would you like to add? What did we leave out? Come on, you must have a suggestion!





Fertility Health - Top 10 Do's and Don'ts


Top 10 Fertility Health Do's and Don'ts

Confused by all the fertility health do's and don'ts?


Too much information.

In the guise of giving as much fertility health information as possible, to be as thorough and comprehensive as I can be, evidently for some of you, I may be confusing. PathtoFertility, the blog you are currently reading has recently celebrated it's third birthday. Five blogs a week, fifty two weeks a year, times three; there's a lot of information here. 



For those of you out there who would like to know the basic things to do and not do, it can be overwhelming. So, pared down, if you are not in fertility treatment or seeing a board certified reproductive endocrinologist and simply want the benefit of being as fertility healthy as possible, then here are the basics. If you become interested in any of the items listed, there are blogs on this site that will go in the why's, why not's, and other details. 



  • Sleep a minimum of seven hours a night

  • Take a good prenatal vitamin with folic acid

  • Excercise mindfully. Walk, don't run. Yoga, yes, not hot yoga

  • Eat a healthy diet, with plenty of colorful vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, fruit, good oils

  • Drink plenty of healthy, non-caffeinated, non soda fluids



  • Avoid refined foods with white flours and sugars and artificial sweeteners

  • Don't drink alcohol 

  • Minimize caffeine

  • Don't use recreational drugs

  • Don't smoke


These are your bare minimums. Think of it as your foundation. There are many other ways to enhance your health and improve how you are feeling. Without these foundational elements, nothing else that you will do will have a lot of efficacy. 


These Are Only Suggestions to Help You Get Pregnant 

Please note

Having a cup of coffee or a glass of wine will not mean that you will never become pregnant. Or even that you will not become pregnant during the cycle in which you have those things. Nor will having a cookie or a bowl of ice cream. These things, after all, are not birth control. They will not create a miscarriage or an unhealthy embryo or fetus. 



These are suggestions for you to be able to use as ways to create that stable foundation for a healthy pregnancy and baby. These are suggestions for you to become a healthier person, which is the foundation for a healthy pregnancy and baby.



We are all human beings. We all do the best that we can. Even with these foundation items, there will be times when you indulge. Forgive yourself and move on. In other words, do the best that you can. Be mindful.  





I Want to Be a Fertile GPS - Part Two


Fertility Treatment and Adopting the Fertile GPS Mindset

Two days ago, I wrote about my first experience with a GPS. Making four right turns in a row. Which is a square circle. Yes, square circle. Coming back to exactly where I started in the first place. Not what we were looking to do that day. Not what I was looking to do in fertility treatment either. Regardless of my movements, attempts, fertility treatment protocols, ending up with a negative pregnancy test or ending up where I started, was absolutely not what I was looking to do. 



My relationship with my own GPS was much more instructional. Her name is Cheryl. Cheryl Eunice (thank you Dr. Mark Leondires, for her middle name), to be exact. I love Cheryl. Probably much more than one should love an inanimate object. But I don't see her as an inanimate object. I see her, at the basest level as my co-pilot. I see her as my patient friend.


My Mixed Emotions About Cheryl Eunice 

I used to find her really annoying. I don't even like to say that out loud anymore because it feels like an emotional betrayal. What I used to find annoying, repeating "recalculating," every time I missed a turn or even when I deliberately chose a different direction or street because I knew part of the way, became an object lesson. The specific definition of "object" courtesy of Merriam Webster Dictionary, is stirring an emotion. 


One emotion that is stirred by Cheryl's ceaseless and enduring ability to recalculate is envy. I am envious that without anger, irritation or frustration, Cheryl is able to re-navigate to get to the end result, to arrive at the stated destination. She is calm. Each and every time, she is calm and unflustered. Regardless if I am sitting there swearing because I missed a turn or got stuck in a wrong lane and was unable to exit, Cheryl offers an alternative on how to arrive at my destination.



Calmly. Cheryl always offers her advice calmly. Two things that I envy about Cheryl is her calm and her eye on the goal. She doesn't get frustrated or angry at me that I misunderstood or ignored her directions. She also doesn't just give up in the middle. She is relentless, and insistent on arriving at the destination that I asked her to find.



My GPS Possess a Sense of Serenity That I Wish I Had While Undergoing Fertility Treatment 

Fertility Treatment and the Fertile GPS

Serene, as defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary, is marked by or suggestive of utter calm and unruffled repose or quietude. Cheryl Eunice is serene. She reassesses the situation when a different direction has been taken and continues, calmly and serenely, to help me find my way to the destination of my choice. She doesn’t take the time and energy to complain, moan, whine, or argue about why something changed or got in the way (like I do). She doesn’t look to blame someone (like I do). 



She doesn’t tell me or even imply that I am stupid, unworthy, arrogant or just plain annoying for not following her suggested route. Each time I make a detour, she accommodates my decision and continues to suggest a way for me to arrive at the destination that I set out to find. She never gets angry that I have ignored her or been unable to follow her directions. Serenely, she offers another option. And she finds her way to the destination. 



Ultimately, this inanimate object (sorry Cheryl Eunice), has become my role model. She is who I would like to be when I grow up. I would have liked that serenity when I was in fertility treatment and all ways seemed to lead to walls. I would have liked to have navigated fertility protocols, accepting the changes more gracefully and understanding the necessity of having to make different plans.



I would like Cheryl Eunice’s serenity. I would like her ability to keep her eye on the destination. I would like her patience. I would like her kindness. I am grateful to have such a wonderful role model. Now, if I could just get her to tell me what she says in Liam Neeson’s voice, I would be all set.







I Want to Be a Fertile GPS - Part One


Using a GPS is Like Undergoing Fertility Treatment

I Want to be Fertile - GPS Part 1

The first time I used a GPS (Global Positioning System) was in Boston. My best friend, Pamela, and I were attempting to drive to Boston IVF. We were the Executive Director and Assistant Executive Director of The American Fertility Association at the time. We had taken the train up to Boston for the meeting and then rented a car. At the time, GPS's were very new and uncommon to have in a rental car.



Neither one of us knew the city of Boston from a hole in the wall. We were inexperienced at that time with traveling, but we were not intimidated by new things or new places. And Boston was an American city, so how hard could it be to navigate? We were both very experienced New York City drivers. We were confident. So off we went.  



Rented the car. Looked at a traditional map to get a vague idea of where we were going and found the car. If you have a GPS now, consider that the one we had was probably first generation GPS. And I do mean first. This trip was easily 15 years ago. Think big, clunky, not that easy to operate. We laughed ourselves silly figuring out how to enter the address and all other pertinent information. A conservative estimate of time would be twenty minutes to a half hour. Yep, we were laughing. We were also early so didn't feel the pressure of time.



Twenty minutes later, we're pulling away from the curb, confident that the GPS would guide us, which we were very grateful for as we had no real clue as to where we were going. And unlike NYC, Boston is barely on a grid system, with so many exceptions that there were no understandable rules about which way streets went or what to expect next. 



First direction from the GPS. Make a right turn. OK, so far, so good. We made a right. Next direction from the GPS. Make a right turn. OK. Made a right turn. End of block, next direction, make a right turn. OK, done. End of that block, next direction, make a right turn. OK. Got it? Yeah, we ended up exactly where we started.



We're going to skip the conversation about why we listened to directions to put us in exactly the same place we started. That's another story, for another day. This was my introduction to using a GPS. Not the most auspicious beginning. An interesting phenomenon for that point in my life. Moving ahead, step by step and ending up right where you started.



Negative Pregnancy Tests Felt Like I Was Driving in Circles 

Fertility treatment certainly felt like that. No matter what I did. Negative pregnancy test. After a while I stopped caring about the scenary looked like on the way. I stopped caring about the good news and the bad news. All I noticed was that I kept ending up in the same place. Negative pregnancy test. Or just to mix it up, positive pregnancy test one day, only to have a loss several weeks later. Either way, it was painful and frustrating. Either way, it was ending up exactly in the same place. Negative pregnancy test. At the beginning.



My fertility treatment felt like my first experience with a GPS. Only it wasn't nearly as funny or silly. I was much more attached to the outcome of fertility treatment than getting to a business appointment. Which leads me back to the title of today's blog. I want to be a Fertile GPS. Read tomorrow to find out why. Bet you have an idea or two all ready though. 




Infertility Basics- It Worked. You're Pregnant


Congratulations.describe the image


Everything you have wanted is coming true.


You're pregnant.


Everything is going well. You've seen a heartbeat. You have gone from seeing and being treated by your reproductive endocrinologist to making an appointment with an obstetrician who will see you until your baby is delivered.


Perhaps you feel overjoyed.








It can be challenging to go from a practice where you may have seen or spoken to a medical staff person several times a week to having an apointment once a month for just a few minutes.


You may even feel that you need to see a high risk obstetrian because of infertility and fertility treatment. Actually fertility treatment does not automatically put you into a high risk category. Unless you have a specific medical condition or advanced maternal age or a history of pregnancy loss, you do not need to see a high risk specialist. And so you will be seeing someone only a few minutes once or twice a month at most, at least in the beginning.


You will feel new and different things. You will feel pulling and twinges and you may even see slight or heavy staining or bleeding. 


When do you call your doctor and when is it unecessary? 


If you are worried, you call your doctor, especially when it comes to seeing any blood.


If it's not on that level, and still you're worried, and you're convinced that it's normal, what do you do?


Call a friend who's been through a pregnancy. Preferably a friend who's gone through fertility treatment and knows that your concern is based on the level of difficulty that you went through to become pregnant. 


Read the pregnancy books.


Put it into perspective.


Simply put, because it was difficult to become pregnant does not mean that the pregnancy is high risk or will be difficult. That's the good news. 


The other good news is that not every ache and pain or even blood means that the pregnancy is in danger or will end.


A lot of good news.


You are pregnant.


It's going well. 


This is the walking out of the dark tunnel into the light. 


Allow fertility treatment to receed behind you.


Your new mantra.


"I'm pregnant and it's going well. I'm ok and so is my baby."


What a great mantra.


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