Fur Babies Do Not Replace Human Babies, But They Make the Fertility Journey Much Less Lonesome
My fertility hero. Springfield. Not the city in Massachusetts, not the boulevard in Queens, although she was named after it.
Springfield was my dog and companion through fertility treatment.
Cats and dogs do not replace babies.
Let me repeat that.
Cats, dogs, birds, lizards, fish, turtles, guinea pigs, ferrets, snakes do not replace babies or children.
If you are reading this and have a friend who is struggling with conceiving a human baby, please don’t suggest any of the above to replace said baby. Some of us want fur babies and some of us don’t.
If you are reading this and are the one struggling with infertility, read on. Maybe you are in fertility treatment or maybe not. Maybe trying on your own.
Either way. You know the secret.
Pets Can Provide Comfort During the Fertility Journey
That our fur babies (or reptilian babies, bird babies, fish babies and so on) can be tremendous comfort on our fertility journeys. While they still do not replace our human babies that we are yearning for, they do supply the following, in abundance:
- Love– your devoted dog that acts as delighted to see you after you have gone out to get the mail as if you had been gone for weeks.
- The kitten who insists on sitting on your computer, your book, or anything else that you are currently doing, while upside down and hanging on by their tiny, little sharp claws
- The elegance and serenity of your fish, moving through the water, swishing one way and then the other.
- The “hello pretty” from your bird as you enter the room. Woo hoo!
- Any animal held gently while showing how delighted they are to be there. Warm blooded or not, there is something about holding a living being that reminds us that we are not alone.
How My Dog Helped Me During Fertility Treatment
My fur baby, Springfield was afforded lots of attention that she never would have gotten had there been an actual human baby in the household. As a fifty-five pound dog, she was pretty far from a lap dog for a woman who is only five foot, two inches tall. And yet, Springy, as she was affectionately known, was a lap dog. Granted, a quarter of her spilled off the front of me and a quarter spilled off the back of me, still, she was on my lap. And the patience that poor doggy had. I’m sure she might have been happier on her dog bed, or outside, but still, she kept vigil. She was there for the two miscarriages. She was there for every disappointment in my fertility treatment. She sopped up my warm, wet tears. And she never, ever judged me. I never overreacted for her, she was patient with how long I needed to grieve. She never gave me advice that made me hurt more and feel even more isolated. She was just there, offering warm fur, even breath and love.
Our fur babies do not replace the human one’s we are looking for, but boy, can they make the fertility journey a lot less lonely. Springy certainly did for me.
Fur baby or no, you are not alone. We are here for you. I am here for you.
If you would like, I would love to see your fur baby. Send to secure email address – FertileYoga@gmail.com
I will ooh and ah over every picture. Promise.
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.