A Fertile Path shows you how the gifts of mindfulness can help you to navigate the emotional and physical challenges of fertility so you can realize your dream of parenthood.
When confronted by the often-overwhelming stress that comes from infertility and its treatment, learning to stay present and maintain equanimity is not just important, it’s essential. Mindfulness can help you navigate the complex network of emotional and physical trials that infertility presents.
A Fertile Path is a step-by-step guide that offers strategies for the challenges on the road ahead and support to develop the resilience you need to stay the course of your fertility journey.
MINDFULNESS & FERTILITY
In its essence, mindfulness is learning to accept reality for what it is with a sense of peace and stability so that we can better deal with life’s challenges. And one of the biggest challenges that life can throw at us is infertility.
Though infertility is a medical condition, it’s experienced as a redefinition of self, challenging your core identity of what it means to be a man or woman. And, because infertility challenges the inherent assumption that we can have children whenever we choose—that procreation is a birthright—the inability to father a child or become pregnant becomes a personal catastrophe. Unlike many other challenges we face in life, making more effort doesn’t necessarily lead to success with infertility, and our attempts to gain control over a situation that is inherently beyond our control, only heighten our sense of insecurity and inadequacy. In the process, the very qualities most needed to meet the demands dwindle.
A Fertile Path offers a way through this paradox because it helps you to open to the present moment just like it is, whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant, without clinging to it or pushing it away. Through meditation and other exercises, Dr. Marotta shows you how to relinquish control not by trying to change, get rid of, or judge the situation—in this case infertility—but rather by changing your relationship to what’s happening. As you do this, you cultivate the cornerstone quality of acceptance: a state of open receptivity, a willingness to turn toward that which you resist. Paradoxically, when you accept things as they are, you are better able to assess the situation, find your strength, make wise choices, and take wholesome actions.
A PRACTICAL GUIDE
A Fertile Path is a guide for anyone attempting to conceive naturally and/or participating in fertility treatment. Drawing from the lessons of her own journey through infertility, and those of the women and men with whom she has worked, Dr. Marotta brings the teaching and practice of mindfulness to the challenges of fertility.
With the guidance of this mindfulness-based approach, you will discover how to:
- Develop present-moment “non-judgmental” awareness
- Turn on the relaxation response and self-soothe
- Rejuvenate physical health holistically
- Work with thoughts skillfully and emotions compassionately
- Approach challenging interpersonal situations with equanimity
- Find support in your intimate relationship
- Open to family-building options
- Reframe obstacles as challenges and crises as opportunities
This book was developed for anyone depleted by infertility, trapped in self-judgment, overwhelmed by interpersonal stressors, confused by treatment decisions, and motivated to seek health and healing. Applying these teachings, practices, and exercises will help you develop the resilience you need to stay the course of your fertility journey and realize your dream of parenthood.
“Dear reader, you are holding in your hands a treasure trove of wisdom and compassion that can help you with the extraordinary challenges of infertility. A resource like this on your ongoing journey is as precious as a life boat when your ship has struck a reef and can only be offered from the heart of a woman who personally knows the grief and despair of infertility and multiple miscarriages. If you or someone you love has been obliged to bear these burdens, you also know what enormous strength and courage it takes to try again and again.
Janetti Marotta is someone who has traveled and learned to navigate well in these perilous waters, and through the years of her labors, she has gained many precious mindfulness skills like loving kindness and self-compassion as well as emotional self-regulation and resilience. She offers these treasures here to you in abundance. Many blessings for this gift of love and compassion to all who find themselves on this difficult journey. Bon Voyage!”
—Steve Flowers, MS, MFT, author of The Mindful Path through Shyness and coauthor of Living with Your Heart Wide Open
“Infertility is a difficult journey and Dr. Marotta demonstrates a way to navigate through the associated stress and uncertainty. Infertility can cause an emotional reaction on par with any other serious life event such as a cancer diagnosis or loss of a loved one. Mindfulness can empower one to deal with all of life’s untoward events. You will derive strength and power through this book. Not only will it help throughout the infertility process, the techniques taught in this book will transcend infertility to help with all aspects of life. Mindfulness is more than a powerful support process; it is a way to improve your life. Dr. Marotta has both a compassionate, professional approach and the experience of someone who has gone through the infertility journey. She provides a unique and powerful perspective. I intend to recommend this book as a must read for any couple considering fertility treatment.”
—Hugh S. Taylor, MD, Anita O’Keeffe Young professor and chair in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine
“With such compassion and wisdom, Dr. Janetti Marotta offers in A Fertile Path an accessible set of holistic practices to cultivate deep resilience and mindful self-care to support you in all aspects of what your fertile path may bring you. It is clear that Dr. Marotta has intimately navigated her own fertility journey as her words tenderly capture not only the breadth and depth of the confusion, vulnerability, grief, and stress that this passage may contain but also the potential for deep surrender, healing, and transformation. Reading this vital book is like having a wise, loving friend and mentor walking with you, holding your hand as you find your way.”
—Deborah Zucker, ND, author of The Vitality Map
“The journey through the maze of infertility treatments can at times be quite overwhelming. In A Fertile Path, Dr. Marotta will provide any reader a blueprint of coping methods and practices that can help make an inevitably stressful journey more tolerable and ultimately more successful. The emphasis on a holistic, compassionate approach, frequently overlooked by patients and providers alike, underscores the importance of the mind-body connection. The methods addressed in this book may also be applied to many other stressful, challenging aspects of life. Whether you are struggling to overcome infertility, or dealing with any other stress inducing obstacles, I recommend the approaches outlined in this book.”
—Joel Batzofin, MD, FACOG, medical director of New York Fertility Services and author of One Step at a Time