Infertility, Holidays Past and Baby Pictures. And a Green Boa
A Special Blog on Infertility, Holidays and Baby Pictures
Carrie Van Steen, RMACT patient coordinator and the force responsible for "Ladies Night In," wrote this blog for the 2012 holidays. With everything that happened, it never got published. (Here she is, on the right, with her beautiful green boa, at a special evening with none other than our own RMACT Medical Director, Dr. Mark Leondires.)
With some minor edits, here's what Carrie wanted to share:
The 2012 holidays past, as seen through the eyes of a patient coordinator and RMACT mom . . .
Every time we receive a birth announcement at RMACT, we hang it behind the door of our nursing office (to ensure our patients privacy). To me, it’s the best way to celebrate the success of our patients and staff. We are proud of all the RMACT babies we have helped bring into this world and always ooh and aah over the adorable photos. Every year by the time the holidays rolled around we run out of room behind the doors and take the old photos down to make room for the new ones coming in. Usually this is my job. This year was different though.
I no longer get to sit in the nursing office and enjoy the photos like I used to because of a shift in office space. After much internalizing (I do that well), I decided to leave the 2012 announcements up in the nursing office and start a holiday card wall over my desk in my new office. My collection started with about 3 photos. I happily taped them to the hutch above my desk, admired them and went about my day. Fast forward: today my 3 photos have now become 56 photos (including my own RMA babies). Staff who come in my office to visit get the special treat of seeing RMACT babies that were born in 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008--yes, that’s correct, five years of RMACT babies above my desk! I have basically run out of room.
What a pleasure that is.
So why am I going on and on and on about holiday cards?
Many of us struggling to have a baby hate getting them (I know I did).
But these cards are different, these are our babies.
These babies have a story.
As I look up at their faces, I remember booking appointments for all those moms. Whether it was an initial appointment when I was covering the front desk or a saline sonogram. Maybe it was a next steps consult after a failed IVF cycle. At many points in their journeys, I spoke to and met with these moms. I met with each of them after their initial visit. I calmed them when they were terrified of their upcoming HSG. Their faces were visibly relieved when they realized they had forgotten a dose of progesterone the night before and I assured them it was okay. I gave them hugs and tissues when they wept, screamed in joy when I learned they were pregnant and reassured them when they were spotting during their early pregnancy. I said goodbye to them when they no longer needed our services and got to be the first one to call them after they delivered their babies.
These cards mean something to me, to all of us here at RMACT:
They remind us of hope, faith, and to never give up. We just passed the time of year most infertility patients dread and that is why I wrote this blog. My gift to my patients this year is Hope and Faith and the strength to never give up.
Next year, I hope to hang their newborns pictures above my desk.
If you're out there, hoping for your baby, I hope I can hang yours there too.
Thanks Carrie... Join Carrie and I for Ladies Night In (peer support group), this Wednesday in Norwalk.
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.