Fertility Support - Woman to Woman
Fertility Support - Woman to Woman
I don’t believe in being positive. Or positive talk. Or keeping a positive outlook.
I believe in being authentic.
Who decided that being sad, frustrated, disappointed, fearful, or angry were negative feelings? Aren’t they natural responses to sad, frustrating, disappointing, scary or angry situations? Why do we have to blame ourselves for having natural responses to upsetting situations? Especially when it comes to fertility support.
Are we supposed to feel happy that we can’t conceive on our own? Joyful when we lose a much wanted pregnancy?
Are you kidding me?
Our so called negative feelings are natural responses to infertility and failed fertility treatments.
Last night Ladies Night In taught me something new.
Let me set the stage, leaving out all names and specific situations, of course.
We were a group of women, diverse in their diagnoses and prognoses, as well as our personal situations. There was a lot of loss at our table. Fertility treatment cycles that hadn’t worked. Insurance coverage that was just awful, nonexistent even. Miscarriages of varied types of much wanted pregnancies. Genetic challenges. Partners who weren’t on the same page. Indecision about how and when to continue to try to build their families.
Women who shared openly, cried, cursed (a lot of cursing last night), shared their intimate fears, rage and sadnesses.
I openly declared my distaste of being positive. My reasons? That the concept shames us about expressing our so called “negative” feelings. Ignorant, really. Sadness is negative? Ignorant and shaming. A natural response to disappointment is sadness. I’m even going to go as far as to say, anger is a natural response to disappointment, loss and frustration. Fear is a natural response as well.
Why we have divided feelings, human feelings, into negative and positive, I have no idea. Tears are both therapeutic and healing. Are they negative too?
Anyway, I am digressing.
Something New at Ladies Night In
I did learn something new last night.
There was something else present at Ladies Night In.
Most of all though, laughter. A lot of laughter. More laughter than I have ever experienced in a Ladies Night In, especially with the struggles present in the room.
Laughing out loud. Laughing loud. Laughing with relief.
I believe that our expressing our “negative” feelings out loud lets us unearth the humor. That because there was no effort anymore in bottling up our feelings, we had freedom to laugh. Out loud. Really loud.
Not a fun night. But also a fun night.
What a relief to talk to other women who understood.
What a relief to say out loud how much infertility sucks. And it hurts. And it is isolating.
And when all is said and done, there was a lot of laughter there last night.
Three times a month, Ladies Night In meets (find it on our calendar of events). It's free, open to the public, with dinner.
And women who understand.
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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.