National Infertility Awareness Week - #flipthescript
The theme for this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week is “Flip the script.” That means changing the way the story of infertility is told. For those with infertility, it’s ALWAYS infertility awareness week. What is usually on my clients mind this time of year though, is the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday. Yes, some women are already planning weeks in advance what they will be doing that day. I'd like to help those suffering with infertility to "flip the script" for Mother's Day.
For people trying to get pregnant, Mother's Day is a slap in the face, showing them everything they want but can't have. It's complicated, because there is a good chance they have their own mothers to celebrate, and those mothers often so desperately want to become grandparents and the whole thing feels like a day they want to skip over.
With the idea of flipping the script, I was inspired by the fact that Infertility Awareness Week begins on Earth Day. Now usually Earth Day is something people can get behind, but often its' celebration can get wrapped up in environmentalism shaming and people being made to feel guilty about their active participation in melting the glaciers. Guilt doesn’t usually have great actionable consequences, it usually ends up in hiding and inaction.
I invite you to flip the script this Mother's Day, and celebrate Mother Earth Day. If your Earth Day wasn't what you'd hoped it would be, and Infertility Awareness Week has left you even more aware of your infertility, you still have reason to celebrate.
After the obligatory phone call or brunch with your own mother, turn off the social media as planned, and go celebrate Mother Nature. If you’re not a tree hugging dirt worshipper, stay with me. Nature has a way of accepting you as you are. Being out there, away from the lives of others to compare yours to, you can start to breathe on your own. Everything just is.
The celebration of our typical holidays often can be depleting, forcing us to face the awareness that we don’t have what we should have or what everyone else has. On Mother’s Day this year, I want you to spend time getting replenished by Mother Earth.
1. Get outside. Invite your spouse, a childfree friend, your mother, or go alone. The more isolated you can feel and away from families taking Mother's Day hikes, the better.
2. Once outside, breathe. Become aware of all your senses, checking in with what you smell, see, and hear. Notice your body beginning to calm.
3. Look around to the ever changing parts of nature. Find gratitude for witnessing this place in time where everything is just as it should be.
Mother Nature is always ready for you, let this Mother's Day be for her.
Read this article on Forest Bathing to see additional benefits!
Allison Ramsey is a licensed professional counselor and fertility counseling specialist in the Asheville area. She’s a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and completed their certificate training in mental health counseling for infertility. Contact her to start feeling better.