Fertile Hope - Gladly Holding Onto the Typical
“If I just get pregnant, then…”
Then, I will have my baby. My family.
Then the nightmare of infertility and the arduous path of fertility treatment will be over.
“If I just get pregnant, then…”
I will feel the thrill of seeing ultrasounds that reflect my baby’s existence. See a sac first. Then a fetal pole, perhaps.
“If I just get pregnant…”
Then I will see and hear my baby’s heartbeat. Know that my body is finally, FINALLY, succeeding at holding a baby gently and loving and most of all? Safely.
“If I just get pregnant…”
It will be my turn to share the news and see the delight reflected in my loved one’s eyes. Their relief that my wait is over and their hope that I have returned to them, without the shadows in my eyes. My turn to show an ultrasound image of a shadowy figure that will become my son or daughter.
“If I just get pregnant…”
The changes that my body will experience will begin, first invisible from the outside. Perhaps the nausea which could be so challenging, yet welcome because a reminder that all is well and baby is developing. The expansion will begin to hold this tiny being and I will rejoice.
“If I just get pregnant…”
I will remember the pain of infertility and be watchful for averted eyes and the pause before a friend or colleague congratulates me. I will be sensitive and compassionate about how, where, to whom and when I deliver my long awaited news so as not to hurt someone else inadvertently.
“If I just get pregnant…”
It will be my turn to be celebrated; my turn to open lovingly wrapped gifts and see the love in each stitch of the handmade knitted blankets.
“If I just get pregnant…”
I will feel the joy of my little one moving around, resettling and getting comfortable; feeling an elbow, foot or head. Experiencing my family’s love for me as I grow bigger to include this new member of our clan.
Then it will finally be my turn.
To be a mom.
To hold my baby.
To continue our family.
To extend my heart in every single possible direction.
To leave fertility shots, ultrasounds and medical procedures behind me.
To begin again.
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A Former Fertile Yoga Student and Mother Gives Back to Those Struggling With Infertility
There are gifts to be had, even while dealing with infertility. One is learning patience.
One is finding out the strength behind your own commitment to creating your family.
Another could be finding the depth of your love for your partner or spouse.
In Fertile Yoga last week, the gifts were much more specific and concrete.
Once Pregnant, a Former Student Gives Back to the Community
One of our former Fertile Yoga student and RMACT patient, who was successful in becoming pregnant, wanted to give something back to the community. Wanted to offer a gift of hope, encouragement, love and compassion.
She came to me, wanting to know my ideas on a gift that she could give. We went back and forth with ideas, nothing being quite right. Lots of lovely ideas, but not quite what she was looking for; nothing that touched her heart or expressed what she wanted to say to those still struggling.
She and I didn't talk a lot about this. So I don't really know, beyond the superficial, why she wanted to give a gift to the current Fertile Yoga students. I know what she said. I elaborated what she said, in my own mind; to her offering support to those still struggling with infertility. For holding space, having been successful, for those who have not been yet.
The gift she discovered to share, was perfect. Absolutely perfect. I presented them to the class in Norwalk and they were immediately opened and placed on their wrists. They were touched. I was touched. Deep down in our hearts.
A Big Thanks to Our Former Fertile Yoga Student!
Thank you to our former Fertile Yoga student, who took a look behind her and remembered those women still in fertility treatment. Who remembered what it was like to feel fear, jealousy and not know if the outcome would be a baby and the family of our dreams.
The gifts were lovely but not nearly as lovely as simply being remembered. Being thought of; being cared for. That was the true gift.
"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples." — Mother Teresa
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In Many Different Opportunities Will You Find Fertility
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
Grow something. Nurture it. Find what is needed to nourish and sustain it.
Find your own fertility. Beyond becoming pregnant.
Lisa Rosenthal's Google+
OB/Gyn's Should Tell You That Getting Pregnant at 28 is Easier Than at 38 or 46
Maybe I've told this story here before. If I have and you've read it, please forgive me. It bears repeating. A good friend of mine, my running partner at the time, was furious at her Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/Gyn). She had been in for a routine visit, her yearly exam, and everything was going very well. At least for an OB/Gyn visit, which traditionally is not hugely fun. Nothing was wrong, all the regular tests were run. Questions were asked regarding menstrual cycle, birth control being used, fatigue level, etc.
Etc, though, ended with a few questions that upset my friend. The questions were "Are you planning to have a family? And if so, when were you thinking of starting?" My friend was pissed. Indignant. She thought he had a lot of nerve. That he was nosy. In her business. And she wanted me to agree with her. She expected that I would agree with her.
I didn't. In fact, I believe that my response surprised her even more than her physician asking her those questions did. My response? "The only thing I think horrible about his questions is that he hadn't asked you them twelve years earlier." She had been a patient of his for twelve years. At thirty eight, she had been seeing him since she was twenty six years old. Why on earth had he waited so long?
Just as her doctor had a responsibility to make sure that she was healthy and making good decisions about her reproductive health in other regards, so did he have a responsibility to ensure that she understood the time table about conceiving and creating her family.
The Simple Truth About Infertility
And the simplest truth out there, when it comes to infertility, is that it's far easier to become pregnant in your twenties, early thirties, middle thirties and even upper thirties than it is after that. It's not easy to become pregnant in your forties. It's even harder to become pregnant, on your own, with your own eggs, with a healthy embryo. So, yeah, I was also upset with her doctor. Not because he had asked her about her plans about creating her family. But because he had waited so long to do it.
And please understand something. Not every woman wants to have a baby. Or is planning on having a baby. This isn't about forcing a woman who is not ready or who may never desire a child to have one. This is about being educated. And in this situation, education equaling power.
The power of choice. Wanting to have a family or not. When we wait too long, we have very different choices. Much more difficult ones. And sometimes completely impossible ones. Our doctors should be talking to us about our choices. And if you have a doctor who is doing so, say thank you. Education is power and choice.
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.
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
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.)
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.)
I'm here for you no matter what. (Estoy aquí para ustedes, no importa qué.)
I will not pry or ask too many questions. (No voy a curiosear o hacer demasiadas preguntas.)
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
Things happen for a reason. (Las cosas suceden por una razón.)
Maybe God doesn't mean for you to have children. (Tal vez Dios no significa para usted tener hijos.)
Relax and take a vacation, you'll get pregnant! (Relajarse y tomar unas vacaciones, usted quedar embarazada!)
Adopt a baby, and then you'll have your own baby! (Adoptar un bebé, y entonces tendrá su propio bebé!)
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.)
Not everyone is meant to have children. (No todo el mundo tiene la intención de tener hijos.)
Be grateful for what you do have. (Sea agradecido por lo que tienen.)
I'll give you one of mine! (Te daré uno de los míos!)
Have puppies, they're easier. (Los cachorros tienen, son más fáciles.)
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!
Top 10 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
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
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.
Pregnant After Fertility Treatment?
At Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT), we know that you have many questions after fertility treatment works and you are pregnant. Of course you want to make decisions that are good for you and for your baby. There's so much information out there though, that sometimes it's difficult to know who to listen to.
You can trust the information that you get at this seminar. Jocelyn and Carolyn work together to bring you the most up to date, relevant and proven information to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible.
Please do join us next Wednesday, May 23, 2012. And please RSVP. These events do fill up. So sign up and come find out what you need to know as you move along on your journey to become a mother.
“I am Pregnant, Now What?” | Ensuring the Health of Mother and Child
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 diet, lifestyle, morning sickness, constipation, anemia, gestational diabetes and hypertension will be addressed. Conducted by Jocelyn Crespo, RN & Carolyn Gundell, MS:
Location: RMACT Norwalk Office, 10 Glover Ave, Norwalk, CT
Date: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, from 8:00 am – 9:30 am
Please come early to register. Both partners are welcome to attend.
Kindly RSVP to Justine at 203-750-7484.
These medically-based seminars are considered as part of your treatment plan and will be billed through your insurance. Please bring your co-pay, if applicable. Patients who have high deductible plans will be billed through their insurance.
Pregnancy seminars are also scheduled at RMA Danbury. See our RMACT events calendar, accessible at www.RMACT.com.
I think Friday's my day for musing out loud. Today is about connecting dots and seeing how many heads the pony has. You know the game. In a coloring book, an illustrator designs a picture that you can't see; until you connect dot one to dot two to dot three and so on. By the time you've finished connecting the dots you have a picture of a pony. Or an elephant. Or a flower. Sometimes when you connect the dots though, you get a three headed pony. How come? Either the artist designed it that way, the artist made a mistake or you connected the dots in a very, shall we say, creative way.
And sometimes it just needs to be a three headed pony. Sometimes when you connect the dots, the answer doesn't make sense. Ok, so I had no idea where I was going with this, but in the back of my mind, I've been thinking about "failed cycles". I am going to take this opportunity and say that I do not like that phrase. In fact, I can't stand it. Maybe it's just semantics, calling a spade a spade and I'm over reacting. For me though, infertility is all ready tainted with "failure" and it adds insult to injury to call a cycle that you have poured all your hopes into a failure. I'll just go with the cycle didn't work, seems a little less emotionally charged than "failed".
Be that as it may, even when we connect all the dots; cut out caffeine and liquor, administer all the medications properly, show up for all the ultrasound monitoring, even when we do every single thing our doctors tell us, our cycles still fail. Follicles don't show up in the numbers we are hoping for or needing, they don't grow and develop, blood levels don't rise, eggs don't fertilize, embryos don't develop or thaw properly. All these things contribute to our cycles "failing". Connect the dots and get a pony, seems simple enough. Except when it isn't.
Even when you do everything right, the cycle doesn't always work, one doesn't become pregnant. The chances that you will feel lousy when this happens are very high. The chances that you will want answers from the doctor, the nurse, the embryologist and anyone else who can offer one, are also very high. Chances are you will second guess yourself. Maybe you didn't administer all the medication properly. Maybe you shouldn't have worked out in the gym quite so hard. Maybe you didn't eat as well as you should have. Maybe your stress levels were too high.
Mother Nature has about a %25 success rate of pregnancy for a woman who is timing intercourse properly and has no fertility problems. That leaves a %75 rate of "failure". Most good fertility clinics have a much higher success rate than %25, depending on your diagnosis. We improve on Mother Nature. And yet it still doesn't work.
Maybe you didn't get pregnant and there aren't any answers or reasons. We connect the dots and don't come out with a recognizable pony. There just aren't any answers. There aren't any reasons. The cycle just didn't work.
Sometimes there are no answers.