NIAW - The Secret I Was Afraid to Say: I Might Never Become Pregnant
I Might Never Become Pregnant
I have sat in that chair. The white one, in the midst of all those blue ones. Being all alone.
I have felt like the odd person out. I have felt like the only woman in the world that was not pregnant.
I have felt like the only woman in the world that was never going to get pregnant.
I more than felt that way. Every time another friend would announce her pregnancy, I would know, in my secretest heart, that meant I would not.
I would be the statistic. The one who couldn't and didn't end up with a baby.
It terrified me.
Infertility Isolation and Fear
Infertility isolated me. I couldn't say out loud that I was the only one in our group of friends or the room that was never going to get pregnant, stay pregnant and have a baby.
That was crazy making feeling to me. To have this secret fear, what felt like knowledge, and not be able to say it out loud. Not to my husband. Not to my mother or sisters. Not to my closest friends. Not to my doctor.
That there was no one who would be able to hear me, and not judge me, not think I was completely crazy and negative and just plain awful.
While infertility felt awful and exhausting, there at least was something to do. A protocol to follow, instructions to be read, procedures, blood draws, ultrasounds and more.
The isolation was just a big, black cloud that followed me around, as though I were wearing it as a permanent set of clothing.
I didn't want to be the last one in the group who didn't become pregnant. None of us want that. We come together for peer support, we have dinner together. We chat, we laugh, we cry, we share so much. We don't want to be the one left behind.
We don't want to be the one without a baby in our arms.
Saying it out loud doesn't make it happen. It doesn't bring bad karma. It doesn't create something in the universe that suddenly shifts into place to create a situation where we have no baby.
A Peer Support Group Breakthrough
It's an expression of a feeling. Saying it out loud was a relief. I remember the first time I dared to say it out loud. In a peer support group.
You may know what happened.
Everyone shook their heads; yes. It was their fear too.
And I started to feel better. My secret wasn't so big and scary.
It wasn't so unique. It wasn't so shameful or pathetic.
I felt better.
Knowing that I was not alone. Not in my fear or my grief or my celebration of my own life.
Saying it out loud was a much better choice for me than holding it close to my heart.
Thank you, every one of you who listened and shook your head; yes, it was your fear too.
And thank you to all the women who continue to show up for Ladies Night In. We share our fears, our pain, our very twisted senses of humor. We laugh, we cry and then we laugh some more.
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.