infertility-support-1I always say that one day I will take pictures of before and after.

I would take pictures of people before and after Fertile Yoga or Ladies Night In.

Especially for those who have never been in class before. Even more especially for those who’ve never taken any yoga class before. Especially for those who are not sharing with their friends and family about their fertility treatment or have and been let down in the reactions that they’ve received.

Wearing Infertility Masks

There’s a definite before. Infertility can wear you down, hunch your shoulders up, make it hard to take full, deep breaths. Our faces before class are our polite masks. Strained masks. Although the masks are on, it’s not hard to see underneath.

They show the strain.

Our faces. Our bodies. Our minds. Our hearts. Our breath. They all show the strain.

We cover it up, don’t we?

We cover it up with, “I’m fine”.

We cover it up with, “I’m ok.”

"I'm Fine" – OK, I'm Not

When really, I am not. I am not ok. I am not fine. I am overdone with baby pictures, baby showers, baby announcements. Baby gender reveals. Intrusive questions about our baby making plans.

Really, I am not fine. I am not ok.

It’s a lot of work to pretend we’re ok when really we are not.

And Fertile Yoga melts those masks off, revealing ourselves.

Ourselves. Remember them? Our self, where we don’t edit our comments to make them socially polite enough.

Ourselves. The ones that had a sense of humor. In fact, a wicked good sense of humor.

The ones where we left our masks at the door because they simply weren’t necessary. There wasn’t a burden that we were carrying making it hard for us to show ourselves in public without a mask.

Ourselves. Comfortable within our own skin. Content enough with how we look, how we feel. Content enough with what we have. And what we don’t have.

Remember her? Or him?

That’s who I get the pleasure to know in Fertile Yoga and Ladies Night In.

Without your mask. At least for a little while.

Take Off Your Mask With Infertility Support

Last week at Ladies Night In, I really wanted to record a few moments of the time that we had together. I didn’t of course. I wouldn’t without permission. And I didn’t want to interrupt.

Here’s what you would have heard though.

Raucous laughter.

I am talking about down-the-hall, around the corner laughter. Not polite ha ha ha’s.

Loud, gasping out loud laughter.

That’s what I would have recorded.

Not a mask in sight.

Honesty, caring, compassion, educational, supportive, helpful. Yes, Fertile Yoga and Ladies Night In are all those things.

And they are also laughter.

That place to fling that mask across the room. To acknowledge how hard it is to wear and feel the incredible relief of taking it off.

If you have this idea that these groups are somber, serious or depressing, guess again. They are, we are, thoughtful, yes. We are compassionate and kind and generous.

And funny. And twisted.

Don’t believe me?

Try us.

You’d be amazed at the difference in our faces.

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Topics: Support, Yoga

Lisa Rosenthal

Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.

Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.

Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.

Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.

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