Making Choices- When a Rock & a Hard Place Aren't All That Appealing
Making decisions- very simple when one option is go on a fabulous, fun filled vacation and the other is to stay home and scrub the kitchen floor. Truthfully, not a lot of thought needs to be put into that one. But we’re all too familiar with facing a decision based on choices that are only, well, kind of unpleasant. Bluntly put, yes, but sometimes that’s what it feels like, doesn’t it?
One Simple Infertility Fact
A simple, undisputed truth about infertility, that is quite definitely not a secret, is that no one has chosen to experience the struggle of ttc. It’s not a choice- if it were up to us, we wouldn’t need fertility treatment. Because really, no matter how wonderful a fertility program is, it’s not how, or where, we want to become pregnant.
So let’s talk about choices. And how we look at them.
When none of the options available are what we want, can we restructure how we see it? Let’s just state right here- this isn’t about talking yourself out of how you feel! You feel how you feel, keeping in mind that feelings aren’t permanent or facts. Thankfully, our feelings can even change mid sentences. Here are a few suggestions that may help the dreariness of choosing between options that are rather unappealing, especially as we hit the holiday season full stride:
1. One great idea for seeing choices differently, is to imagine that you’re advising a friend. It doesn’t magically change the options into a new set of wonderful, still it may put things in a slightly different perspective. Seeing the problem from a friend’s point of view may take some of the very high emotionality out of making a choice and remind you that you still do have choices even when they’re not all that wonderful.
2. What’s the silver lining? When it comes to empathy and sympathy, we don’t want to silverline things. When it comes to seeing the good out of situation, a silver lining might be the perfect solution. One RMACT patient confided recently that if she hadn’t had problems conceiving that she and her partner would never have realized that they were both carriers for an avoidable and devastating genetic disease. She did end up feeling grateful, in a very odd way, for the infertility that they experienced. Very frequently we feel sad, frustrated, angry, fearful. It’s also common to notice our own strength, resilience, determination and focus.
3. Making a change doesn’t have to be permanent. If this holiday season, you need to opt out of a holiday party or two because snuggling on the couch watching a wonderful movie is more appealing, do it! Big thanks to Lisa Schuman, LCSW (RMA of Connecticut’s Director of Mental Health Services) for this healthy reminder that making a change for this year doesn’t mean forever.
4. Carefully consider yes and no. Those two responses are in perfect alignment- saying yes to something automatically means that there’s another choice you’re saying no to. And vice versa. So while we think that saying yes to something is the positive response, truthfully, it might not be. Saying yes to one more holiday party will mean saying no to time alone, more sleep, quiet time with a friend or family member, reading a book- what ever it is for you. No thanks can be the most positive statement of the holiday season!
5. Not every invitation is created equal. Simply put- you may feel you have no choice about going to your best friend’s shower. Ok. But how about your second cousin, three times removed (is that even a thing?), that you met once when you were six months old, and that you have to drive 16 hours to attend? Suggestion- send a gift and find something fun or relaxing to do instead.
Of course, all these suggestions also apply to fertility treatment.
2 Fertility Facts We Can All Agree On
Fact 1- we would rather have hot sex with our partner than have to come to a fertility program to build our families. Got it.
Fact 2- your heart’s desire is a baby and fertility programs are excellent about making that happen. In other words, you’re in the right place for the outcome that you want.
While there may be no choice with infertility, there is choice in seeing a board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist, getting the help you need and becoming the parent you want to be.
Bottom line- even undesirable choices can yield the outcome that you desire- a family. We’re here to help you with all the choices that you are facing to reach that goal. Make a call.
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.