Back to School Hit Me Right Between the Eyes While Trying to Conceive
Trying to Conceive and Facing Back to School
When I was a kid growing up, school always started after Labor Day. I got to enjoy all of August, not even thinking of school beginning.
In some ways, I've always thought of September as the New Year. Certainly I thought of it that way when I was teaching in the New York City school system. And boy, did I despise having to start my new year in August. It was akin to getting up at 4:30 in the morning, which I also despise.
Two of my best friends are teachers and are already back in their classrooms. Many other friends who are teachers are not far behind. Some kids still do start school after Labor Day, but most public school teachers start in August.
The "Back to School" Media Blitz During Fertility Treatment
I hid from the “back to school” media blitz as best I could while I was teaching. Impossible not to see all the sales and hype around school starting though, and throughout fertility treatment it was a poignant reminder of what was not happening in my own life.
I was not buying my child new school supplies or clothes or finding out about bus schedules. I was not hearing the gossip about the teacher they were going to spend a year with or whether or not music and art were an integral part of the school’s curriculum.
It was a loss that felt almost as direct a hit as mothers’ and fathers’ day.
Another day that I was without.
Without a child to put on the school bus. Without a child to dress in carefully picked out clothes. Without the precious few hours without them that would feel like freedom.
When I could, I dreamed. I pushed away the feeling of “without” and dreamed.
New Dreams, New Beginnings
I dreamed of what the night before the first day of school would consist of in our home. Special meals? A dramatic way to end the summer, maybe? An earlier bedtime?
I dreamed of the excitement on my child’s face, retelling their day, in exquisite detail.
I dreamed of the utter exhaustion they might feel after what was one of the most exciting days in their lives thus far. Of sitting with them, all snuggled up, reading a book. Of them falling asleep, safe, warm and protected.
I dreamed and dreamed and dreamed.
And as the end of August approached and the days started to feel more like fall, I felt sure that my dreams would come true.
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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.