What If? Breaking Down the Infertility Monster
Infertility Monsters: Breaking Down the What If . . .
Two words that make infertility and fertility treatment a monster.
A monster that can grow in proportion depending on what the what if is about.
So many things to choose from; like a menu at a diner, pages and pages long.
Could be the sexually transmitted disease you had six years ago. Could be much more benign; drinking too much coffee or having an alcoholic beverage once or twice a week. Maybe it’s having waited for your career to take off or buying a house, or staying on birth control longer than you would have liked.
What if can bite you right on your hind parts.
What if you had what you wished for?
Ladies Night In Revelations
That was what came up for me the other night in Ladies Night In. I was listening to our fabulous women talking about their husbands/partners/boyfriends. Mainly it was very loving conversation. We morphed from talking about how often they came to doctors’ appointments to what they actually had to do during treatment (and the complaints that ensued because of it!) and finally ended up with discussing how much conversation each partner could tolerate about infertility. Somehow it always comes down to that. How much each partner wants to talk, how often, how intensely.
The frustration was palpable. And after all, wanting and needing to talk about the fertility experience is part of the reason that Ladies Night In is necessary, effective, supportive and helpful. Because it’s so uncommon that each partner has the same level of desire to talk and process what’s going on that one partner is almost always feeling out of step with the other.
This can be true about almost anything. It’s so uncommon that really, it’s almost never that we each want to talk about infertility or any other subject for the same amount of time or intensity.
Certainly it’s true with infertility.
I wondered about the what if factor here.
Talking to Partners About Fertility Treatment
What if my husband had wanted to discuss and focus on the topic of infertility and fertility treatment as much as I had?
That’s actually a scary thought.
Who would have pulled us out of the morass and made sure we had some semblance of a life outside of fertility treatment?
Would it have been like being married to me? When I specifically and consciously did not marry someone like me?
Wouldn’t it have negated having the balance needed in our relationship to manage our lives?
It turns out that what if is closely related to “careful what you wish for”. I know for myself that I value the privacy and quiet that I can find within my marriage. There are many times that I wish that my husband was more talkative. Lately there are many more times that I appreciate the quiet. I have also learned that the quieter I am, the more he speaks.
It made me wonder if there is only so much space in a partnership where talking can exist. If this is true, I used an awful lot of that space up myself. It turned out that when there was quieter, there was also more conversational input from my partner. Interesting idea?
More thoughts about this tomorrow.
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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.