What I Did During Fertility Treatment (Even Though I Swore I Wouldn't )
While I never chose, or would have chosen infertility as my teacher, it nevertheless chose me. Grabbed me by the throat, chose me, just semantics, right? Little did I know that trying to conceive would be responsible for teaching me major life lessons that are still valuable almost 30 years later.
Just a few of the things I learned about myself while TTC
- That I could get my rear end kicked with disappointment after disappointment and still persevere. (Yes, persevere!)
- I shouldn't get too attached to a position, because holding on with both arms and legs wouldn't leave me available to seeing a different perspective.
- That swearing I wouldn't do something was fine for the moment I was in, but being receptive to changing that position was imperative to successful fertility treatment.
- I'd learned which of my loved ones could listen to my sadness without saying something that was well intentioned, but that hurt my heart.
Resilience is my default...who knew?
The focus for today is on flexibility and changing your point of view so that building your family can be a reality.
Being flexible in fertility treatment
Although I'm a huge proponent of yoga, especially Fertile Yoga, during fertility treatment, that's not the reason for the word flexible here. The focus for today is on points 2 and 3, though, which are all about flexibility and changing your point of view so that building your family can be a reality.
Kicking and screaming..."I'll never...!"
While I was in fertility treatment, my poor, beleaguered best friend had to hear this phrase over and over. Fill in the blank...take hormone medication, give myself an injection, have fertility surgery, do an IUI, do IVF.
Yep, that was me, kicking and screaming. I mean who reading this wanted to get pregnant without all of that stuff? Can you imagine? "No, I don't want to get pregnant having hot sex with my partner. Nope, not me! I want to go to a fertility clinic and have my doctors and my insurance company in the same.darn.room."
I wish I could remember the exact moment that the tide turned. Where I stopped swearing about all the things I would NEVER do, and I turned into the person who would do absolutely ANYTHING necessary to have a baby.
For many of us to reach that point, it's caused by one of three key reasons that people change. Looking back, I know for me it was that I had suffered enough.
I'm not the only one that said "I'll never...!"
Rather than rely solely on my own experiences, our fabulous women in the Ladies Night In Peer Support Group have given permission to share some of their stories of "I'll never".
"I have a long list. I will never do IVF - keep trying naturally or IUI, I'll never do a frozen transfer, will never transfer multiples, will never stop walking or exercising even during pregnancy, will never hide it from my family that I am pregnant, etc etc etc....... talk about making presumptions!" - FS
"I never thought about giving myself a shot on my butt. It scared me a lot.I always thought that on my belly I could do it but not on my butt. Then the time to get my first shot came and I asked my husband to do it but as soon as he took the needle in his hand, his face color changed and he almost fainted. I ended giving myself ALL THE SHOTS!" - MK
"I swore I would never go to a male gynecologist or specialist. And then I met Dr. Hurwitz. LOL. I never thought I would ever be able to inject myself with needles either." - FR
"Never thought we would consider spending the amount of money we have spent, but we have and will keep doing it till it works." - RB
"When our journey began, I swore I wouldn't do IVF because I was so scared of needles. Then I needed IVF. Now after 5 IUI's and 3 IVF's, needles are no problem." - WL
Why do this alone?
Do you hear a glimmer of your own voice in any of these sentiments? Chances are, yes. Adjusting our thinking, depends on a least one key point: acknowledging our feelings and having it be ok that we feel sad, frustrated, disappointed, even enraged!
At RMACT, Fertility Counselors,Lisa Schuman, LCSW & Melissa Kelleher, LCSW can help guide you through these confusing and distracting feelings so that you can explore if you're changing your mind in a direction that will help you to achieve your goal building the family of your dreams.
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.