Finding Peace Through Labor Day Weekend & the Back-to-School Rush
We all mark and take notice of New Year's. Whether it’s celebrating on December 31st/January 1st or another holiday that turns you from one to the next.
Or whether it’s Labor Day weekend. The unofficial end of the summer and beginning of the school year. If you are waiting for your family, for your babies to come, Labor Day can be tough. Seeing the school buses, the back-to-school sales, pictures of other people’s children in new clothes with bright smiles, can be more than tough. It can feel like the perfect reason to dive headfirst under the covers and stay there.
Most of you are too mature, too emotionally healthy to do that. I wasn’t like that. I did quite a few nosedives back into bed while I was in fertility treatment. Avoiding Labor Day was not an option. I was a teacher so there was no avoiding the back-to-school images or ducking away from the feelings of something brand new beginning.
Back-to-School Fertility Blues
I was able to touch those feelings as well, sometimes. Sometimes it did occur to me that perhaps a brand new season, unmarred by IUI or IVF failure, was just exactly what my husband and I needed. I enjoyed going back to school and meeting my new students and their parents. I yearned to be one of them, letting their children go, feeling hopeful for them to have a wonderful experience in the new school year.
Sitting with a class full of children kept me grounded in how children really are, really behave. I had very few romantic images of the perfect baby or child, although of course, MY child would never misbehave. Hmmm. Maybe I had a few romantic ideas about my child.
Sometimes I would look out at my flock of children, sitting and doing their work, or listening enrapt to a story that they had heard a thousand times and wonder. What would my child look like? Be like? Would they be more like the child in the front row? Or the one half hiding behind their friends? Would they be the one with their hand up first or the one who knew the answer but didn’t want or need to share it with the class and the teacher?
Teaching children made infertility easier in some ways and harder in other ways. I loved being with the kids. It kept me firmly grounded on a moment to moment basis, which kept my overactive brain from the thoughts of fertility treatment while I was with my class. The harder part came from falling in love with these littler human beings and wondering if I would ever be a mommy to someone like them.
It was always the not knowing that was the hardest.
Finding Inspiration & Peace
The brightest moments of hope came from the children as well. Helping and watching them learn new things that they had never done before. Observing them, willing to fail, willing to pick themselves up, try again and again and again. Often with little resentment that they hadn’t gotten it the first or thirty-first time.
They inspired me.
I let their hopeful attitude towards life and learning fill me up. It turned the corners of my mouth up, lifted my heart from despair and fear. Their smiles brightened me. When I thanked their parents at the end of the day, I could see the parents questioning smiles back at me. I never explained to them how having their children helped me through my days and made those days so much brighter. Still I thanked them.
A favorite memory. Watching my class of first graders on the playground, simply running as a group. Swooping here and there, in unison, shifting without any formal organization. Feeling the full joy of their bodies and hearts. Transforming their running into soaring.
Like a flock of birds.
I’ve always found peace in watching birds.
Find your peace this Labor Day. If it’s diving into bed and staying there, so be it. If it’s turning your face to the sun with the corners of your mouth slightly lifted, so much the better.
May the fall season bring all of your dreams and hopes to fruition, like a late harvest.
Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) appreciates the teachers in our community. Instead of just words, we're putting our money, time and effort into helping support them. If you are a teacher and would like to know more about your fertility and your family building potential, come on in and have this simple blood test done. Please share this information with your friends and professional colleagues. All teachers are welcome.
For free. Our treat. And pleasure.~Lisa Rosenthal
Free Fertility Testing for Teachers in July and August
Giving Back to Those Who Teach Our Families.
Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) is pleased to offer free AMH testing for teachers during the month of July.
The free test is offered at the four convenient locations– Norwalk, Stamford, Danbury, and Trumbull.
What is an AMH Test?
A blood test is now able to tell women, more easily than ever before, about their potential to become pregnant. This blood test, known as Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH), is used to measure ovarian reserve, the quality and quantity of your eggs. This result helps doctors determine your chances of becoming pregnant now and in the future.
When Can I Get Tested?
You can take the test while on the birth control pill or at any time during your menstrual cycle.
Just fill out this form and come to any one of our Connecticut locations Mondays through Fridays between the hours of 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM or 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM to have your blood drawn.
You will be asked to complete a lab requisition form and consent once you arrive in our office. One of RMACT’s nurses will call you with your results in 10-14 business days.
Get the information you need to plan for your future family. Must present valid teacher ID to receive free fertility test. This offer ends on July, 31, 2014.
Learn more about this offer here.
Listening to the birds this morning. I’m wondering what it is they are saying. I’m wondering that a lot lately. They wake me every morning, strident in their calls. They are outrageously loud outside of YogaSpace. So loud that last night while I was teaching, I turned off the music and we practiced with the sound track of starlings.
Right now there’s a male cardinal, bright red, sitting outside my living room window, balancing on a bush, as if to prove my point.
The male birds are brightly colored. To attract the females. I like that.
In our culture, we females tend to do the attracting, the dressing up, paying much attention to the superficial.
When I teach at the studio, I get there early to take advantage of their wonderful book selection. Lately, I’ve been reading Mark Whitwell’s, “Yoga of the Heart”.
Meandering through the book, or through the book collection. How do we choose a book? Not by it’s cover? Yes, often by its cover, at least to look at initially.
Don’t choose a book by its cover is what we are told. But haven’t you noticed how often you are attracted to another human being because of how they choose to present themselves? What they wear, how their hair is or is not, make up, jewelry.
Something about how they present themselves appeals to us or does not.
I’m not talking about attraction because someone is outstandingly beautiful. I’m talking about the little things that attract us or make us feel instantly connected to someone else. The little things that make us feel that we have something in common.
It is after the initial attraction draws us in that we see and experience more. That we look beyond the surface. That we hear what they have to say or feel their energy when they speak. Do they mean what they say or is it at odds with how they are saying it?
I know the birds are not calling to get my attention. I know that they are not speaking directly to me. I know that there is no personal message that they are trying to deliver.
I also know that there is a message coming through anyway. I’m choosing to listen.
More about this and book covers tomorrow!
Fertile Yoga starts again tomorrow. I hope that my students and fellow infertility travelers are looking forward to it as much as I am. Any of you who have ever taught or instructed anything knows the sense of satisfaction that comes from having done so. Give and receive.
Fertile Yoga is not the first class I have ever taught. I spent years teaching in the New York City school system, teaching art among other things. I loved that job, stressful as it was. Facilitating a student accessing their own learning style and watching them become able to learn something new was thrilling. Sitting in the classroom and seeing struggle after struggle and then watching children edge towards mastery, was, simply thrilling. Seeing that process unfold; watching their faces as material become clear and understandable, was similar to watching the sky clear after a rain storm.
Fertile Yoga is often like that. You all come into class and wear your emotional life on your faces. I see the gamut there, and as we talk, feelings move across, like clouds. Hope is a big one, you are holding onto that one. Even those of you who are feeling hopeless still show up, still are in treatment, still come to class, still have that tiny little bit, somewhere that this could work. There are lots of other feelings there too; fear, anger, frustration, sadness. Today’s focus is going to be on hope.
Hopelessness and hopefulness. Storm clouds passing, lightening and brightening the sky. The flash of the sun, still behind the infinite shades of grey, the movement and rush of one last downpour.
Our faces are invisible to us; we cannot see what those around see of us. I see in your faces all the infinite shades of grey in a cloud. You are not simply one feeling or another. You are the darkest feelings, the lightest, and everything in-between.
Allowing these feelings to roll through, allowing them to move past, allowing the sky, our faces to clear, and our hearts to become lighter.
Watching you in Savasana, final relaxation pose, a moment of peace, quiet. Faces clear and serene. Mind’s quiet. Body, heart and breath in repose.
Looking forward to seeing your beautiful faces tomorrow. Very much so.