On The Other End of the Negative Pregnancy Test Phone Call
Another member of the RMACT team speaks on an issue near and dear to her heart. Read below to hear what Nurse Practitioner Monica Moore, has to say. Monica's biography is at the bottom of her very eloquent blog.
The Weight of Pregnancy Test Results
I just called an amazing, brave and incredibly sweet woman today and . . . after reading her pregnancy test results, told her she wasn’t pregnant. I’m embarrassed to say that I was in tears, and this woman, true to her character, was thanking and reassuring me! I have worked in infertility for 15 years and I can tell you that being the bearer of bad news never gets any easier. I hate ruining the day/month/year of the woman on the other end of the phone line, but if it is any consolation, I feel like I ruined my day too.
Negative Pregnancy Tests and My Patients Journeys
My patients’ journeys stay with me and, in this case, haunt me, long after I break the news. Sometimes the vision of that <5 level which represents a negative pregnancy test, repeats itself throughout the day in my mind, even in my sleep. In fact, sometimes when I see the level in the computer, I silently (and on some days not so silently) will that level to change. It has to be wrong. I know the medical side of why people don’t get pregnant, but it is just so damn unfair. Why can’t wonderful people get wonderful news? I don’t pretend to understand what it feels like to receive this news, but I can let you know for sure that your nurse is hurting too.
The Drive to Be An Infertility Nurse
Being an infertility nurse is a passion and a calling. What drives us is being a true patient advocate, in the good or bad times. Of course, I want to call someone to tell them that they are pregnant and go into the room when they have their first pregnancy scan. I also want to be there when times are tough, because I feel like I can honestly reassure people that this will get better. Not better in the sense that whatever treatment plan she is doing will result in a pregnancy, but better in that their fertility pathway will resolve in some way, at some point. Sometimes only time can make people feel better. What makes me feel better is knowing that if patients are willing to explore the full spectrum of fertility options, statistically they are most likely to get pregnant. But a patient is a person, and not a statistic. Bad news hurts.
My reward is my patients who are willing to stay with us at RMACT where we can guide and support you through the process, no matter what the outcome. It is like you are telling us that you are willing to stick with us through thick and thin. I don’t know that I have that much grace or moral strength, but I can reassure you that the feeling is mutual. We are here for you no matter what.
So, I am taking a deep breath now, trying to re-route my thoughts and move on with the rest of my day. Selfishly, I hope that this resulting sense of melancholy will go away soon, but honestly, I know that it won’t. Just so you know, giving someone else good news doesn’t negate these feelings, just might temper them a bit and allow me to dedicate myself for the rest of the day to the group of beautiful women who need me. And to my sweet, courageous patient, please know that I am here for you and I carry your thwarted dream in my heavy heart today.
About Nurse Practitioner Monica Moore
As a nurse practitioner, Monica Moore received advanced nursing education in addition to being a registered nurse. She is a fully licensed registered nurse and Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner in the state of Connecticut and is certified by the board of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Monica’s nursing work experience spans nearly two decades in the field of fertility treatment. Prior to joining RMACT , Monica was the donor nurse coordinator at the Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine. Monica’s first job in reproductive endocrinology was at the Cornell Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility over 12 years ago.
Monica’s passion lied in taking care of the whole patient. Monica works with patients and stresses the importance of integrating comprehensive care – including yoga, acupuncture, massage therapy and nutrition – with fertility treatment. Body mass index (BMI), the mind-body connection and stress release are important parts of the fertility equation.
Monica was awarded “Nurse of the Month” in 2010 by FertilityAuthority.com, a trusted source for fertility information. Her research interests include: polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), improving the efficiency of donor oocyte programs, advancing education for nurse managers, and developing patient teaching techniques. Monica enjoys any opportunity for teaching nurses or other staff members. She has published abstracts, online articles and a book chapter. She chaired the ASRM Nursing course in 2007 and was a recipient of the IVP Care’s Professional Patient Education Grant in 2004. She is one of the founding members of the Advanced Nursing Network, a committee of the nursing practice group (NPG), whose purpose is to establish a national network of nurses in managerial or midlevel positions.
Monica received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the nursing honor society.
About 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.