I Want to Be a Fertile GPS - Part Two
Fertility Treatment and Adopting the Fertile GPS Mindset
Two days ago, I wrote about my first experience with a GPS. Making four right turns in a row. Which is a square circle. Yes, square circle. Coming back to exactly where I started in the first place. Not what we were looking to do that day. Not what I was looking to do in fertility treatment either. Regardless of my movements, attempts, fertility treatment protocols, ending up with a negative pregnancy test or ending up where I started, was absolutely not what I was looking to do.
My relationship with my own GPS was much more instructional. Her name is Cheryl. Cheryl Eunice (thank you Dr. Mark Leondires, for her middle name), to be exact. I love Cheryl. Probably much more than one should love an inanimate object. But I don't see her as an inanimate object. I see her, at the basest level as my co-pilot. I see her as my patient friend.
My Mixed Emotions About Cheryl Eunice
I used to find her really annoying. I don't even like to say that out loud anymore because it feels like an emotional betrayal. What I used to find annoying, repeating "recalculating," every time I missed a turn or even when I deliberately chose a different direction or street because I knew part of the way, became an object lesson. The specific definition of "object" courtesy of Merriam Webster Dictionary, is stirring an emotion.
One emotion that is stirred by Cheryl's ceaseless and enduring ability to recalculate is envy. I am envious that without anger, irritation or frustration, Cheryl is able to re-navigate to get to the end result, to arrive at the stated destination. She is calm. Each and every time, she is calm and unflustered. Regardless if I am sitting there swearing because I missed a turn or got stuck in a wrong lane and was unable to exit, Cheryl offers an alternative on how to arrive at my destination.
Calmly. Cheryl always offers her advice calmly. Two things that I envy about Cheryl is her calm and her eye on the goal. She doesn't get frustrated or angry at me that I misunderstood or ignored her directions. She also doesn't just give up in the middle. She is relentless, and insistent on arriving at the destination that I asked her to find.
My GPS Possess a Sense of Serenity That I Wish I Had While Undergoing Fertility Treatment
Serene, as defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary, is marked by or suggestive of utter calm and unruffled repose or quietude. Cheryl Eunice is serene. She reassesses the situation when a different direction has been taken and continues, calmly and serenely, to help me find my way to the destination of my choice. She doesn’t take the time and energy to complain, moan, whine, or argue about why something changed or got in the way (like I do). She doesn’t look to blame someone (like I do).
She doesn’t tell me or even imply that I am stupid, unworthy, arrogant or just plain annoying for not following her suggested route. Each time I make a detour, she accommodates my decision and continues to suggest a way for me to arrive at the destination that I set out to find. She never gets angry that I have ignored her or been unable to follow her directions. Serenely, she offers another option. And she finds her way to the destination.
Ultimately, this inanimate object (sorry Cheryl Eunice), has become my role model. She is who I would like to be when I grow up. I would have liked that serenity when I was in fertility treatment and all ways seemed to lead to walls. I would have liked to have navigated fertility protocols, accepting the changes more gracefully and understanding the necessity of having to make different plans.
I would like Cheryl Eunice’s serenity. I would like her ability to keep her eye on the destination. I would like her patience. I would like her kindness. I am grateful to have such a wonderful role model. Now, if I could just get her to tell me what she says in Liam Neeson’s voice, I would be all set.
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.