Infertility and How I was Wrong and Not Listening - Yippee!
Infertility Support: The Art of Listening
We're having this beautiful spring weather in the middle of January. I don't know how much higher than normal the temperature is than it should be for this time of year.
I do know it's higher than normal.
I was listening to NPR (National Public Radio) and there was a news report about climate change. There was a statistic quoted that if you are under the age of 27, you have never experienced a single month of colder than usual temperature. Not one single month.
We all know about statistics. And we all know that some month, sometime in the last 27 years, somewhere on this earth, that it was probably colder than normal.
I also am very clear that I was doing at least three other things while I was listening to NPR and could absolutely and definitely have heard it wrong.
Heard it wrong.
Why, a sane person would ask, would that bring up an infertility surgery from two decades ago?
My brain is a scary place, I admit that. If you've been to this blog before, you probably know that already.
So here goes. Yet another layer of my story.
Understanding an Infertility Diagnosis
Unexplained infertility is a pain in the rear end. That was my infertility diagnosis.
It doesn't mean there's nothing wrong; it means that even with all the scientific testing and procedures, that what is not working properly can't be pinpointed. It's discouraging because if you don't know, how can you fix it?
Well, not really. Many of the protocols that are designed for effective fertility treatment will compensate for things that are not functioning properly, even if they are undetectable.
In other words, if there's a little something that can't be detected between how an egg is released from the ovary and travels down the fallopian tube, it doesn't matter that it can't be detected. It doesn't matter because several different fertility treatment and procedures circumvent the problem. And if it's a little something that happens somewhere else in the process that can't be detected, there too, the fertility treatment will take over and make allowances for the problem.
What does this have to do with hearing things wrong?
I wanted answers. I was wrong. Bad answers are not better than no answers.
I was wrong.
It was ok that there were no answers forthcoming.
I woke up from the surgery and promptly burst into tears at the good news that nothing was wrong.
My Reproductive Endocrinologist Thought I Was Nuts...
My surgeon, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist, thought I was nuts. Because I knew her so well and she knew me so well, she told me so.
I explained through my grogginess from anesthesia and my tears, what my reaction was about: that we didn't know anything more now than we did before the surgery. She explained to me that she was now sure that I was a nut.
We didn't have more answers, true. And that is a pain in the rear end.
Of course, I think it makes perfect sense, that a surgeon was very relieved not to have found other major or even minor things wrong. Things that either needed more surgery or medication or extra procedures.
And of course we did know more. We know what the problems weren't. We know what didn't have to be fixed or addressed.
I was wrong. I heard exactly what she said, brought it into my brain and heart and didn't actually understand what she was saying.
She was saying, "good news, no endometriosis, no fibroids, etc." I heard, "we don't know any more than we did before and so fertility treatment will continue to fail."
I still need to listen more carefully.
Maybe we all do.
Moral of the story for me? I love being wrong sometimes. Don't you?
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.