Archive for September, 2009

Inspiration for Overcoming the Fear of Infertility – Next Homework Assignment

September 19, 2009 | By:

Hi, it’s Liz again. We’re having some blog adminsitation issues and I wanted you to know it’s me . . . anyway, I blogged yesterday about being stuck and I decided to just surrender to being stuck and see if the inspiration would come. While I was watching the video that will be the subject of this blog and another video I will blog about momentarily, I received some inspiration that is helping me rediscover the joy in my business of helping people have babies. It may be that while I continue to draft egg donation and surrogacy agreements and the like, that I go back to writing books. My eBook on egg donation has been very satisfying and people have been asking me a lot about when my next book is coming out, am I doing an anniversary addition of the cult classic The Infertility Survival Handbook . . . I feel like that guy (we shall call him the dude and I mean no disrespect) in the parable where there is a giant flood and all these people come to rescue him and he keeps sending them away saying that God would rescue him. Then he dies and he is at the Gates of St. Peter facing God and God wants to know why the dude is there and the dude wants to know why God didn’t save him. God turns to the dude and says, what do you think those people were? I sent you a row boat, a police boat, and a helicopter. What the heck are you doing here?

I truly believe all the people asking me about my books and my writing is the little voice I have been trying to hear, telling me to focus on my writing and I will find my joy and bliss again. And then I saw this and another video (subject of another blog) avout Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke and her inspirational message and I got more inspiration (that almost exactly matches some ideas I had written down over a year ago and completely forgotten until today). No matter what brought you to my blog, this video clip is remarkeable and has some value for everyone. I urge you to watch it. And if you’re here to continue to talk to me about overcoming our fear of infertility and finding a more rewarding, peaceful path as we wait to become parents, this video will begin our next homework assignment.

Love and Light,

Liz (who is honored, blessed and inspired to be The Stork Lawyer)

Here is the video

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Jennifer Aniston might do a donor IUI, Katherine Heigl (sp?) adopts and I am STUCK.

September 17, 2009 | By:

Okay, I have been thinking a lot about Kate’s post about overcoming fear. It is particularly relevant to my own life since my mother-in-law passed away and my life has turned topsy turvy, I don’t know which way is up and I am NOT enjoying the rollercoaster. I am riding it just like I recommended, and I am surrendering to it . . . but I have so much work to do (my eBook on egg donation is nearing completion and while it will be free in the beginning, I am probably going to self-publish it as part of a three book series on family building, and sell it for under ten dollars), the problem is that I do not feel inspired, I do not feel motivated . . . I just long to curl up in bed and knit and watch re-runs of the West Wing.

But then I get trapped because each episode reminds me of some event from my infertility as my BFF and I marked the weeks of each cycle by the episodes, and then my BFF and I would anxiously await the following week’s episode as that would mean we were one week closer to retrieval or whatever. So I watch an episode of the West Wing and it fails to satisfy and it fails to bring back any memories. WTF?

I then realize that I am seriously and unforgivingly stuck but I have no idea why and no idea where. What happened? I resort to coping mechanisms other than the west wing. I clean my desk, I file outdated receipts, I almost completely catch up on client work, I am even blessed enough to get a few new clients. Still Stuck. Maybe I need to focus on the future?

I have a great conference call with my cybermarketing guru and my egg donor recruiter to discuss my plans to open an egg donation division of my office . . . all but one legal document to finish and where I should be celebrating and rejoicing that for ONCE I am on top of the work flow, that we are so close to being ready to launch the agency, instead I feel even more STUCK STUCK STUCK. So.

I listen inward for inspiration.
I read a knitting catalog.
I surf the internet to find out what is new in the world of adoption and infertility treatment (which provides today’s title as it seems quite the opposite of how I feel).
I print out flight schedules for an upcoming ABA meeting on asssited reproductive technologies where I am moderating a panel of experts and for my trip to attend ASRM’s annual meeting.
Rollercoasters do not go flat. They have hairbending, hair raising, vomit inspiring turns.
I wonder if it is my medicine for my back making me feel depressed.
I get into bed to rest my back which is responding to my internal stress and the rainy weather. Maybe less medicine and more rest (so it hurts less?).
I make a to-do list.
I write some of my eBook.
I make plans to update the website for the law practice. I realize I now have to talk about two different websites. Two different aspects of my life where I help people have babies. That’s cool. I smile and say a prayer to than the All-That-Is.
I take a look at the web copy for the new website for the agency.
I print out all the webpages for the storklawyer website so I can update them.
I work more on the eBook.
I do some research on the various ways to publish the eBook.

So I ask myself, what am I stuck in?
This it turns out is a very good question. I list the ways I feel stuck. My body is physically stuck. I seem to be stuck hormonally. I need to go see Dr. Chung because something is just not right in my reproductive system. I have gained 8 lbs in the last month, and it’s all water, NOT oreos. My engagement ring wouldn’t go on today. That has never happened before. I seem to be stuck worrying about moving to another state or part of the country (part of the reinvention plan I mentioned before). Maybe I don’t want to move so much after all. I seem to be stuck wanting another baby (okay ain’t NOTHING new about that one).

It is not a comfortable place to be and I do not feel (even though I just read a fantastic article on dealing with fear) anywhere near competent enough to answer Kate’s questions about dealing with the fears surrounding infertility when I am so unbelievably stuck in whatever it is I am stuck in. The rollercoaster awaits, I am in the NOW, and I yet I feel as if my feet were stuck in cement.

I wish I had the excitement these ladies have in their life, a new baby from Korea, contemplating (perhaps that is overstating Jennifer’s comments to Ellen DeGeneres) doing an IUI with donor sperm.

I go back to my list. I think over the last six weeks of my life. Possibly the most bizarre and challenging and sad months since I was going through infertility treatment (but then I knew what was causing my problems). Is it possible that I am just in unknown territory? My world changed in so many ways this summer. My beloved MIL is gone, Danielle is working somewhere else, I have new staff starting in my office, the kids are back in school, we have a little tiny bit of money in the bank (normally we don’t have very much “extra” thanks to the economy) which will help us pay down some debt . . . life is actually very good in many ways. I miss my best BFF who I fear is no longer my best BFF but then I know relationships go in stages . . . maybe what I am feeling is just new and different and I am desperately trying to find something familiar? What is going on?
Is mercury retrograde or something?
Being Stuck stinks.
And I hate twitter.
sorry to be a downer.
if you have any suggestions or thoughts, I am open to hearing any idea that might move me in a more comfortable direction.


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What Next Syndrome and the Fear Factor

September 1, 2009 | By:

My August put me upside down. I don’t know about you but most of my friends had a lousy month too. My right arm in the office, Danielle, took a position at a law school that means she won’t be working in the office on a regular basis, my mother-in-law passed away, my vacation wasn’t a vacation, and I am way behind on several projects for the office including the first of my E-Books which is so close to being finished I might be able to give up my addiction to Oreos. As a result of the events of this summer and primarily August, my husband and I have landed in a place where we have decided to reinvent our lives. Whatever we have been doing hasn’t been making us very happy (except of course for my work) and so we need to change things. And so we look at each other and say “what next?” But for the first time as we discuss what next, I understand that I need to look at the the what’s after part too and just roll with it. I need to let the roller coaster just take me . . . What the heck does this have to do with family building you ask? Well it has everything to do with it. Because I’ve never looked at the what’s after part because just like every other infertile person, I spent my life working on obtaining the “next” part.

And I saw this in action this week and last week with two sets of clients, each of whom has adopted babies within the last week or so. Each couple is stuck in a hotel right now waiting for ICPC approval to go home and each couple wants to go home so badly (as we all do, there isn’t a lot of fun stuff about living in a hotel with a newborn), but what is really going on is that they are (and I mean this in the MOST loving way possible) freaking out that they are finally parents and they don’t know what to do next. Home is the logical next step, and they have been so focused on steps and process that they are missing the beauty of their honeymoon in a hotel with a newborn. Once they get home, they can never get this time back. They will have family helping with the baby, they will be fighting to hold their own baby, and they will hit the wall of sleep deprivation. But once they are home, there are no more “what’s nexts?” It is just the now. And that is the other thing that is freaking them all out and putting them square in the middle of a parenting version of Fear Factor (I hate reality tv).

Parenting is the ultimate act of Zen living. Your baby gets sick and you have to call in sick to work or find emergency child care. Your baby has colic and you are up all night with a screaming newborn. Your baby doesn’t have colic but has his days and nights reversed and you have 3-6 weeks (or something like that) of living with only re-runs of I Love Lucy to watch instead of Grey’s Anatomy. Or maybe you just can’t plain watch tv because the baby needs to be changed and burped and cuddled. There is no more schedule, forget what’s next or what’s after . . . it’s all about THE NOW.

And after years of waiting and waiting and trying and trying and answering calls from birth mothers or having blood tests and ultrasounds, going from WHAT’S NEXT to THE NOW, well that is one mind bending trip. I don’t blame them for freaking out or being upset. This is the most amazing ride of their life, they just didn’t realize it was coming. Being alone in a hotel with a new baby, of course you want to go home where it’s safe and familiar. But from today forward nothing, not even going home, is going to go as expected or fear familiar (at least not at first). The what’s next, the what’s after, the Now are going to be constantly changing. Lord knows the minute you think you have a schedule, the schedule changes.

So as I sit here and mull over my own “what’s Next” and “What’s After”, I have to remember that it doesn’t really matter. I need to just roll with it. I’ve been blessed to spend the last 7 years learning to roll with it. I am far, far, far from perfect at it . . . but I am much better at it than I was when I was stuck in a hotel waiting for my own ICPC clearance.

To all of you sitting in hotels waiting for ICPC clearance, or those of you about to be sitting in hotels. Relax, breathe and remember that this is going to be the adventure of your life and now is the time to let go of what your next step or plan is, and now is the time to just enjoy. This is your honeymoon with your baby. Enjoy it, and learn to roll with it. It will serve you well in the days, weeks, months and years to come.

I miss my own stays in hotels waiting for ICPC clearance just like my clients. I know this is all hard, and those of you who are still waiting probably want me to step the hell off my soap box now . . . but I am not going to . . . this is all a part of the journey, let go, surrender and roll with it. This is an important parenting skill and I truly think infertility treatment and adoption planning is the BEST boot camp for parenting there is.

Forget what’s next, forget fear factor. Rejoice on the rollercoaster.

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