Unloading Infertility Baggage – What I Found Room For Instead of Misery
Forced joy is no joy at all.
When what we’re feeling is disappointment, frustration, sadness, guilt and fear, where does joy have to go?
It’s like trying to fit one more thing into a drawer that’s already overfull. No room for anything else.
Imagine opening that drawer and examining what’s in it– are these all things necessary to hold onto? All things that you need to keep? All things that you continue to use?
Are there some items that are perhaps now too small? A few that don’t fit quite right or have shrunk in the dryer? Is there a piece of clothing or two (or more) that are now misshapen or stained or torn? Faded? Out of date? You simply don’t like and don’t wear anymore?
What are we holding onto that does not fit us anymore?
What Infertility Gave Me
While infertility serves up plenty of disappointment and sadness and frustration, it also offers a few other things.
Hope. If we didn’t hope, we wouldn’t stay in fertility treatment. We wouldn’t keep trying. We wouldn’t come back and we wouldn’t persevere.
Excitement. Is this the fertility cycle that will be successful? This could be the one that works. This could be our baby in the making. Woo hoo!
Love. For ourselves. And for others. That despite feeling broken or less than, that we still can try to become the parent we want to be. For others that say the right enough thing in the hard moments. For the people around us who we appreciate more than ever.
Courage. We are warriors to get through this! To learn this new language of fertility treatment. To accept that there’s a problem and address it and not hide from it. To show up at the doctor’s office for appointments and continue on our day and life. To inject ourselves with medication. To go through surgical procedures.
Acceptance. This isn’t punishment. This is a disease. It’s even just plain bad luck. I’m not the only one and I will persevere.
Unloading Infertility Baggage to Find Moments of Joy
While forced joy is not an option, perhaps moments of real joy are– taking that moment to see the beauty in your life. A few things that I’ve noticed this morning that are so exquisite that I’m going to share them with you:
- Birds at the feeder- cardinals, dark eyed juncos, downy woodpeckers, titmouse, nuthatches, finches and mourning doves. Just their names make me happy. Their activity, swooping in, eating, talking to one another lifts my spirits.
- The sun hitting the snow, reflecting light and creating sparkles.
- A warm house protecting me from the cold.
- My glass of warm water with lemon, warming me from the inside out.
Nothing huge. Nothing earth shattering. Just simple, quiet moments of my morning.
When I look into that over packed drawer, I see some things that I can remove. That I can let go of and when I do– I see my life in all it’s glory. The birds, the warm water, the sparkly snow.
What can you unload today?
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.