Another Note to My Fertile Friends ~ I Am Not Broken
I Am Not Broken ~ Another Note to Fertile Friends
We create our lives according to our dreams. Some dreams simply appear when we are very young. A wonderful OB/Gyn that I had lunch with earlier this week talked about wanting to be a doctor since she was 8 years old. Delivering babies and being part of the birth process is her delight. Having birth be a process rather than treating it as a disease or a series of possible complications is her life’s work.
Some of us want to be parents from the moment we know what a baby is; a continuation of life. An extension of family. We revere the generations past. We are curious about our ancestors and know that we are just enjoying a momentary stop on a continuum.
We are eager to be part of that order; that continuation of family lineage. Our heritage is important to us; where our family originated and evolved from and we yearn to be part of that flow.
It’s why “just adopt” is a comment that is often greeted with stony silence from a man or woman who have been trying without success to conceive. We realize that adoption is a heart opening option and the perfect choice for many people. We get that. We hear and understand that there are children out there who need homes. We even know that the statistics on having an adoption work and be successful can be much higher than fertility treatment. We understand that too.
And we’re not ready. And we may never be ready.
And more than that, by saying that you are not meeting us where we are right now. In this moment, our focus is on a child that we are biologically connected to because that’s important to us. Important to us in deep down ways that are only partly explained by the first paragraph or two of this blog.
When you try to push us towards another option or even worse, make it seem as though another option is a simpler, healthier way to create our families, you are hurting us. You are not honoring that we have a right to make decisions that are right for us. You are not respecting that you do not have to understand our decisions and that perhaps you cannot understand our decisions, having never been in our situation. Many men and women who cannot conceive easily do turn towards adoption. In their own time and in their own way.
Family Building Options - Don't Presume
So please do not presume that I don’t understand my family building options. Do not give me information on other doctors or on adoption agencies. Do not tell me about your friends who became pregnant once they adopted and now have their perfect family. A lot of us know these stories and these types of families. Do not try to fix my situation as I am not broken. I have a sub-fertility problem which only my doctors and I can understand the intricacies of and we are working on overcoming them.
See me as I am. Someone in pain who is not broken and does not need to be fixed. Someone you love like or care about who is not looking for advice or an unpaid medical consultation from someone who is not a doctor.
See me as an adult who has not asked for help or advice and will if I need to, but is in very good hands and feels confident that I am doing the right thing for myself. I may be wrong. It may not work out that I have a child. It may take much longer than I thought. It may cost more than I planned.
It's My Fertility Journey
Still, it’s my journey. I would not presume to tell you how to live your life, what dreams were expendable or changeable. There are a lot of losses in going through fertility treatment, a lot of things that I have to give up or put aside.
Please don’t make our friendship one of those things.
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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.