listen_fertility_message.pngListen Up is the theme this year for National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW).

And to honor that theme later this month, here is a PathtoFertility blog that published this time last year. We want our fertile friends to understand some things. Like how we want to be treated throughout this extended effort of becoming and staying pregnant. And we want you to think before you make announcements in certain ways, because since 1 in 8 couples have trouble conceiving, you may be hurting someone without even realizing it. 

Listen UP- NIAW, coming later this month. national_infertility_awareness_week-1.png

For Today, How Do We Want Our Fertile Friends to Listen?

How much do you want to be protected? How much do you want to know about baby announcements?

Does it depend on any given day? Or who the person is who is newly pregnant?

There are better and worse ways to be told, right?

Infertility & Pregnancy Announcements                 

Some general not-so-great ways to find out or be told about an incoming baby:

  1. Facebook ultrasound
  2. Group text
  3. At your birthday celebration

Some general tactful ways to hear it and say it:

  1. In a private place, in a private way
  2. A phone call
  3. Way, way, WAY before the birth announcement (!)

How Baby Announcements Hurt

Being protected can feel patronizing and make you feel even more isolated than you may already feel, “I didn’t tell you earlier because I knew it would hurt you.” Yes, we understand why you didn’t tell us earlier, but now it hurts AND we feel your pity. Whether it's truly pity or real concern for us, we can feel shame around needing to be taken care of in this way, at what we know is a happy time for you.

Protecting us adds to our feeling of being damaged and so fragile that we couldn’t possibly withstand your happy news. And you are right, it does hurt. And we often do feel damaged.

But infertility has an unexpected gift. 

We get up. We go to work. We cry. We laugh. We see movies. We take walks. We squabble with our partners. We go out to dinner. We find a core of strength that keeps us going. Keeping going is a strength that we may not have known that we had. We feel it– we are stronger than we realized. Our idea of ourselves, while challenged by the infertility label, also evolves to reveal the warriors that we are.

On a quest. Take no prisoners. We will get there.

Bloody. Bowed.

We get up. We do it again.

And, our secret weapon?

Each other.

We do not do this alone.

We do it with our sister/friends- our people, at our sides. Cheering us on when we feel cheerless. Providing hope when we feel hopeless. Reminding us that we can when we feel that we can’t.

Fertile Friends – Care For Us, But Don't Protect Us

So here’s what we want to ask.

Take care of us. But don’t protect us. We are not broken. We are not damaged.

Even when we feel that we are.

We are warriors.

And we will stop at nothing to build our families.

Don’t do it alone. Join us for support groups, accupuncture, nutrition and Fertile Yoga.

We’re right here with you.

 

Topics: Support

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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