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The Sink or Swim of Infertility - Do the Back Float! Blog Feature
Lisa Rosenthal

By: Lisa Rosenthal on September 12th, 2014

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The Sink or Swim of Infertility - Do the Back Float!

Support | Choice | Conception | Fertility Treatment

The Sink or Swim of Infertility

fertility treatment choicesThere are a heap of clichés about the ins and outs, ups and downs of trying to conceive, about infertility and fertility treatment. Heap being a good word to use as they pile up.


There’s the roller coaster, which fits quite well and has been talked about often. The traumatic ups and downs, even when starting to try to conceive at home. You don’t have to be in fertility treatment for this one. Each month, your hopes rise and you keep your fingers crossed NOT to get your period. Each month, your heart sinks with disappointment when you do start menstruating.


One that is not used as often is sink or swim. Maybe because the extremes level out to something different. With a roller coaster, there is always that hope for things to rise again. Sinking, when trying to swim, well, that’s just sinking. Drowning.


I like the metaphor for other reasons as well though. On a roller coaster, you hold on for dear life. And that’s pretty much it. You don’t steer, you don’t command it to stop and have that work. You don’t get to decide that some of the curves are too much or that some of the drops are too long. You are simply on it.


With sinking or swimming, you have some control. There are actions that can make all the difference.


Here are just a few actions that come to mind:


1. Paddle slowly

2. Float on your back

3. Do the dead man’s float, coming up for air frequently

4. Leisurely side stroke, one of my mom's favorite


Those are only examples if you are actually IN the water. If you're in a boat, that's a whole other matter. It's really a matter of extremes, isn't it?

Fertility Treatment Choices

You can make choices in fertility treatment. The choices may be rather awful. The choices may be really awful. The choices may be simply slowing down or taking a pause. Still, there are choices.


I know it doesn’t always feel that way. We all know that feelings aren’t facts though. You can take a minute and regroup. You can pause. You can even float on your back and close your eyes.


There’s more than one way to make a decision that is very challenging. Demanding of yourself that you make the decision while on a wild ride may not be the best way to do it.


Me? I like to float on my back. Let go of the struggle. For a moment or two.


Then decide.



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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.