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Love & Infertility
by Kristen Magnacca
Village Fertility Pharmacy had invited me to present my “Every Day Certainty: 21 Days to Change the Way You Live Your Life” workshop to the Reproductive Nurse Managers Association (RNMA) and I was seated at the dinner, admiring the food on my plate, when I glanced up and smiled at the woman about to sit directly across from me.
She looked so familiar. As I searched my memory, she said, “Kristen, I didn’t know that you were going to be here. It’s Chris.” My eyes immediately began to tear: It was Christine Carlson, my reproductive nurse from 1997!
Coincidently, I had recently had a discussion about the role reproductive nurses play in the patient’s fertility journey, how they are the glue that holds the system together, the unsung heroines.
The discussion had triggered memories I thought were long forgotten, but apparently they were just hidden, barely, under the surface. My thoughts had played like a movie and, within the clips, there were images of blood draws, ultrasounds, procedures, and orders shared over the phone, with Christine right there by my side. I had wondered what had happened to her, and then, lo and behold, she appeared across the table from me!
Reproductive nurses are a different breed of nurse. They are the front line in the dance between patient and parenthood. They are the hand holders, the cheerleaders, the sounding boards and on occasion, the recipients of the emotional outbursts from hormone-induced breakdowns.
With their professionalism and care, the process moves forward: our cycles are monitored, instructions are given, blood and ultrasounds are taken. And that’s only the part of the dance that we are typically aware of. What happens behind the scenes to create a completed cycle? Many conversations, much follow-through and documentation, prescription writing and the careful overseeing of the patient’s responses to the medication, tasks that often don’t get noticed or acknowledged.
In my case, Christine was the one who remained at the clinic with me after all others had left for New Year’s Eve celebrations to make sure I was stable enough to make the drive home after a “emergency” procedure. She was the one who called and ensured I would be able to get the medication that I needed on the way home. And she was the one who walked me out of the clinic with wishes for a better year to come.
Christine now works at Reproductive Science Center where she has 15 years experience as a reproductive nurse. Her passion and dedication exudes throughout as she goes about her job of supporting and caring for her patients.
Reproductive nurses are the medical overseers of the fertility challenge, the ones who help us negotiate the foreign terrain of the entire process. They should get more credit and recognition! Christine made a huge impact on my whole experience and I am so grateful for her.
Do you know a reproductive nurse who stands out? FertilityAuthority welcomes your stories. Just send them to the Editors and perhaps they’ll feature your story.
Kristen Magnacca is a mother, author, entrepreneur, speaker, life coach, and expert on the emotional aspects of infertility. She published her first book, Girlfriend to Girlfriend: A Fertility Companion, in 2000, followed by Love and Infertility, Survival Strategies for Balancing Infertility, Marriage and Life in 2004 which is the recipient of The Hope Award 2009 for Best Book from RESOLVE.
Kristen has been featured on the Today Show and in publications including Woman’s World, the Boston Globe, WebMD.com, About.com, and Pregnancy.org. Kristen and her husband Mark live on Cape Cod with their children, Grace and Cole. Kristen invites readers to contact her through her website at www.kristenmagnacca.com.