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Which Fertility Team Are You On? Blog Feature
Lisa Rosenthal

By: Lisa Rosenthal on May 18th, 2016

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Which Fertility Team Are You On? "Don't Want to Know" or "What If?"

Support | Fertility Treatment

Fertility Treatment TeamsThe battle rages when you are in the middle of a fertility treatment cycle. Whether it’s an IUI or an IVF cycle, there’s a question that rears its head over and again.

Do you want to know the next step if this cycle doesn’t work? Or don’t you?

Can you even avoid thinking about it?

Do you want to discuss it?

Generally, there are two different teams here- one, DON’T WANT TO KNOW, the second, WHAT IF?

Fertility Treatment Viewpoints – Which Side Are You On?

DON’T WANT TO KNOW- On the don’t want to know team, the idea is to focus on the cycle that we’re in. To give as much positive energy as possible to having THIS cycle work. To go into each appointment, confident and hopeful, to see each procedure or blood draw as getting you closer to your goal. We see the cycle as self contained and holding the possibility of the ultimate success- an ongoing pregnancy. We hear comments that are either qualifying or downright negative and we decide that they will not apply in our situation. After all, a four percent chance means that four out of one hundred will be successful. We choose to see this cycle as working and therefore will negate the need to have appointments to discuss more fertility treatment options.

This may be a way that you look at your whole life. Or it may be a way that you choose to look at an IUI or IVF cycle. Maybe it’s something you’re trying on that is different and new because you want to try something different and new. Maybe the same old hasn’t worked so well, so why not try something new.

Whatever your reasons are for being on this team, know that we support this approach enthusiastically. Picture pom pom’s and people jumping up and down cheering!

What If? Considering Next Steps in Fertility Treatment

WHAT IF? How about our "what if" team? Are they the losers?

Far from it!

With fertility treatment, they see a broader picture. Not better or worse than our "don’t want to know team", just different. These team members want to know what the next step is if this one does not work. It soothes and satisfied them to know that this will not be the end of the game if this cycle isn’t the one that creates a pregnancy. It’s comforting to see the big picture and feel that no matter what, they are going to achieve their goal.

They are able to see each procedure and cycle as moving them towards their desired end result as well. They see “failures” as learning experiences and don’t expect every result to be the one that they want. They see it all as a part of a process.

This may be a stretch for people- perhaps they’ve often seen challenges the way that the "don’t want to know" team does. Maybe this time, this team, is able to see a different picture, with more pieces to the puzzle than previously thought. These team members are often able to put disappointing news into a different perspective- that each bit of information offers them a more complete view.

Perhaps these team members are a bit more reserved in their responses to information, both hopeful and disappointing. They see the long view and prepare for it and can even be surprised when a pregnancy occurs during a cycle that maybe looks less promising.

Do we cheer this team on too? You bet, we do. With equal enthusiasm and appreciation!

No Matter the Fertility Team, You Are Supported

Lots of generalizations that I am making here- and notice the similarities of these two different teams? Interestingly enough, these two teams can be interchanging constantly. One cycle you’re on one team, the next cycle, you’re on the other.

These teams have a lot in common. Balancing expectations, (also known as managing expectations), finding a way to be comfortable going through a process that is not all that comfortable.

Infertility gives you this gift, free of charge. Learning how to manage these times and situations that can be excruciating and confusing and oh, so frustrating.

Remember that you can feel comfortable on one of these teams and then realize you need to swap out to the other one. You can do that at any time. We will keep up with you, promise. We need you to trust us and to tell us what you need and we will be right there with the pom pom’s.

That’s our promise to you.

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.