We've all had the experience of being angry at someone and believing that something that person has done is unforgettable and unforgivable. Sometimes we remain fixed in that position, certain over time that the transgression cannot possibly be forgiven. Then there are other times when forgiveness takes a different course: We find ourselves softening over time and surprisingly able to forgive and move on. When this happens, it often brings with it a sense of satisfaction and relief. We feel unburdened by being able to forgive.
What does this have to do with infertility? Whom might we forgive? What good might it do?
I've known people who were burdened by anger towards physicians, who told them “you're young, don’t worry” or who didn’t take them seriously when they felt there was something wrong with their pregnancy. I've also known people who were overwhelmed with feelings of anger towards their partners, who may have made them postpone parenthood or efforts to have a second child. However, what I want to focus on here is the person that some people struggle most with forgiving: themselves.
I don't dare to dream the way many do while (or sometimes before) trying to conceive. There are names I like, but I don't have any picked out for a future child. There's a rug I like at IKEA that would look really pretty in a bright blue room, but that's as far as my plans for a nursery go. Hell, I'd be happy to have that rug and wall color in a future library (which I will definitely have one day). I have never bought a tiny pair of socks just in case. I've never stashed away a cute baby blanket.
Baby fever is what they call the obsession some women develop over all the baby Stuff - the clothes, toys, nursery decor, name books - STUFF.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve woken each morning to news of the ecological disaster on the Gulf Coast. It feels particularly close to home since I’m an ex-Alabamian who spent many childhood summer vacations on the pristine sugar-sand beaches of the “Redneck Riviera.” Old friends own and operate the shrimp boats now called in for damage control. On top of this, I’m deeply immersed in writing a new book that focuses on how the physical and mental environment in which we live may be contributing to our infertility. Taken together, it’s a pretty dismal soup and an overwhelming one at that!
Like most people, I feel much better when I feel I am taking concrete steps to make a difference in whatever is troubling me.
Coping with the day your infertility's front and center
by Kristen Magnacca, May 7, 2010
Does the prospect of Mother’s Day make you feel as though you need to send out your own private distress signal?
The word "mayday" comes from the French “venez m'aider,” which means “Come (and) help me!” I remember feeling as though I so longed for someone to come and help save me from my infertility but instead I hid myself from others and tried to “deal” with the situation alone.
As a mental health professional, I know that “denial” is seldom touted as a good way of coping with challenging situations. We’ve all known people who were thrown for a loop when their denial “stopped working” and they were forced to face something they had heretofore avoided. Still, I’ve found that when it comes to infertility, adoption and egg donation, on occassion, a bit of denial is not always a bad thing.
Peel off those sweat pants and call out your inner Aphrodite!
by Kristen Magnacca, April 5, 2010
April in Greek means Aphrodite. Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, fertility and sexuality. She represents unabashed feminine energy. Unabashed is defined as “not embarrassed, disconcerted or ashamed.”
Would you describe your feminine energy right now like that?
Several years ago, when airports still had people at check in counters (and not machines), I had a delightful reunion with the check-in woman. I say “reunion” because I did not remember her, though she told me we had met. She waited until after I had checked in and then approached me in the departure lounge and said, “We met seven years ago at the _______ Fertility Center. I can figure out when it was by my daughter’s age. I met with you and I’ve always believed that you helped me become pregnant.”
I was flattered, but disbelieving. What could I have possibly said that would prompt this stranger -- whom I met once -- to feel that I had enabled her to become pregnant? When I asked, she said, “You told me I could adopt.” All the more puzzled, I asked how this helped her conceive. She said, “I knew, when I left your office, that I would be a mom.”
This is what I call a “light at the end of the tunnel” story.
Infertility can be such a long dark tunnel. It’s hard to imagine that you’ll ever emerge from it.
We sat down with Naomi to find out what drives her to laugh in the face of infertility. Here's what we found out: She's someone who always sees a silver lining . . .
What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?
When I first created my blog, I was doing it to help myself have a more positive perspective regarding my own infertility. As my readership grew, I was really excited to learn that I was actually helping other women along the way. Readers told me that my blog helped them feel less alone. Some told me it was the first time they laughed during their entire infertility process!
In a way, I feel lucky that I experienced infertility because it allowed me to be a more sensitive and strong person who can help others feel less alone.
Infertility will one day be in your past. Will you have other memories as well?
a blog by Ellen S. Glazer, Feb. 24, 2010
One piece of advice that I give to all my infertility clients is to “mark your calendars.” That may sound ridiculous to anyone who has dealt with infertility, since everyone knows how quickly one’s life can become ruled by the calendar. Months become “cycles” and cycles become measured by blood draws and ultrasounds. Some parts of the calendar are filled with appointments and activity; others slog by in waiting.
One thing is sure: infertility patients never forget their calendars. If they’re not planning cycles, they’re trying to figure out ways to avoid or cope with those dark spots on the horizon: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Passover, a big birthday, a small one—all the times that remind them of what and who they are missing.
So why do I advise paying more attention to calendars?