Father's Day - Infertility Guilt and the Day After
The Day After Father's Day
I missed Father’s Day yesterday. I had planned to write about it on Friday; instead that wonderful article was released about Dr. Mark Leondires’ involvement in helping Maggie the Orangutan have her baby. And what a story it is. Made me feel especially proud to be part of the RMACT team.
Father’s Day is over for June 2014. We will see less “manly” ads for things that are traditionally bought for the dads in our lives, less sentimental images of daddy’s with their babies or grown up children. It will probably be a relief to see less of those things as they hit a particularly poignant note for those of us still without our children in our lives.
My sadness around Father’s Day was always wrapped up in infertility guilt. I felt, correctly or not, that it was my fault that my husband wasn’t a father yet. I wondered, as you may occasionally wonder, if my husband was with a different woman, would he be a father already? I also wondered, far less frequently, if I were with a different man, would I be a mother already?
These questions led me to face even more difficult questions. Like you may, I often pronounced that I would do anything I needed to do to become a mother. In fact though, I would not have given up my husband; I drew the line there. If you had guaranteed me that I would have had a baby but not been able to stay married to Bill, I would not have made that choice. It was a relief to realize that I would have had to find a different way or perhaps even, no way at all.
Bill was clear over and over again that was how he felt. His focus was on me and on us. He wanted a baby; he absolutely wanted a baby. But he was steadfast, that first and foremost, he wanted me. While I felt enraged sometimes by his calm insistence that I was more important to him than the baby we were yearning for, it was a calming thought as well. I was the point for him and we were going to do this together, however it turned out.
Our decision to create a family together made Father’s Day more bearable.
Our realization that we were already a family of two and that infertility presented the questions that made us see that was a gift.
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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.