Infertile Insensitive Me! I'm Sorry and Thank You | Infertility Emotions
Infertility Apologies and Gratitude
An overdue apology. And a thank you as well.
I was an insensitive clod while I was in fertility treatment. I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I didn’t ask more about what you were going through. I’m sorry that I wasn’t interested in your life or your experiences or your hardships. I’m sorry that our relationship was mainly about me.
Here’s what I believed and understood.
I believed that all my friends and family members and co-workers had to be sensitive and concerned about what I was going through, infertility--yet I rarely expressed interest or concern in what they were experiencing. Especially if it had anything to do with pregnancy, childbirth or parenting. I was not able to attend baby showers or if I did, it ended badly. (See blog about baby showers on PathtoFertility.) It was hard for me to attend birthday parties for my friends' children or to hear about first steps, first teeth, and first illnesses. While it doesn’t make up for my absence, I’d like you to know that it practically took my breath away to try to attend gatherings and so I made excuses and stayed away.
I apologize that I wasn’t there for you. I apologize that I really couldn’t be there for you.
I didn’t have any extra to go around. I didn’t have more brain cells than what it took to understand the medical procedures and medications that I had to organize around fertility treatment. I didn’t have the physical energy, after being at the doctor’s office at 7:00 am, four days in one week, before going and working a full day. I didn’t have the emotional energy after being on the roller coaster of managing my expectations about becoming pregnant or not, getting good results to tests and then disappointing news and then hearing yet more possibly good news.
I felt crazy. Crazier than I ever have in my life. Crazier than when I was in the midst of finals and couldn’t see straight for having stayed up four days in a row. Crazier than when my beloved grandmother died. Crazier than when my daddy died unexpectedly. Crazier and more out of control than all those things put together. An infertility roller coaster is a good visualization and metaphor for fertility treatment.
I am sorry. Regardless that I still feel to this day that I probably couldn’t have done it any differently, I am sorry that I was not your friend while I was in fertility treatment.
And thank you. Thank you for sticking by me anyway. Thank you for saying what you thought would be helpful, hearing that it wasn’t the comforting comment that you thought it would be and trying again. Thank you for realizing that you couldn’t actually say the right thing because there wasn’t any one right thing but there were a million wrong things in any given moment. Thank you for continuing to be my friend, for loving me anyway. For having faith that the relationship would right itself again, at some point.
Thank you for loving me despite my turning into someone you didn’t recognize and possibly would not have chosen as a friend. Thank you for holding onto the memory of me and keeping it steadfast in your heart. I appreciate that more than I can say.
Carrie Grossman, devotional singer, Kirtan singer, a wonderful light, shared this at a small intimate concert I attended:
please forgive me,
and thank you,
I love you
So I do want to also say I love you. All my family, friends and colleagues out there who had my back and front and sides throughout my infertility ordeal.
And who continue to be a light in my life.
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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.