I got a letter in the mail yesterday thanking me for attending a local educational seminar on infertility and the letter got me thinking about all the times I speak at these events, including the amount of time and effort (not to mention hairspray, make-up, and wardrobe) I put into these educational events (as compared to a podcast which I can usually do in my pajamas). I often want to duck out of these events simply because I know that I help people in similar ways without hair and make-up being necessary.
But this event – and this thank you note – reminded me how important the in-person events are in comparison to podcasts or other information provided over the internet (including this blog) and for which I don’t need to apply war paint. Don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of amazing information available online and which you don’t want to ignore. But the online stuff doesn’t always cut it. At least I no longer think so, and believe me, before I read this thank you note I wasn’t going to be the first in line to continue volunteering to ditch the pajamas in favor of the war paint.
I know when you are bloated and bleeding from Lupron, or otherwise hormonal and feeling like an RLB (my husband’s loving, short-hand reference to my becoming a “raving, lunatic, b**ch” while on Lupron or otherwise on the infertility roller coaster), the last thing you want to do is drag yourself to an event focused solely on the reason you are bloated and b**chy.
Why schlep when you can lie on your bed or couch in your fuzzy slippers and listen to me talk on your computer? Well my friend, there is a significant upside to attending these events and one that is important enough for me to do the whole hair and make-up thing, spend a couple of hours (or more) putting together a presentation, and giving up precious down-time on a Saturday or Sunday.
Now what would be important enough for me to do this you ask? What can drag this girl out of pajamas on Saturday morning? Well my friend, it’s the Critical Piece of Information (or CPI) that we all gain from in-person educational events and which is rarely provided even in the best of the webcasts, vlogs, or podcasts. The CPI could be the difference between a failed IVF cycle and a positive beta.
Yes, my dear friend, schlepping to these educational events and attending to the CPI’s in your life can, and does make a difference in your attempts at conception whether they be holistic in nature or the down-right and dirty Lupron-Down Regulation protocol that turns me into an RLB.
CPI is the golden nugget of information you cannot get without the opportunity to ask questions, not only during the course of the seminar, but one-on-one with professional folks after the event, or in the hallway outside. The face-to-face interaction you can get at these events can be huge. You might even score an intimate chat with an RE or reproductive lawyer (like me) where we listen to what you are going through and impart that CPI which turns your entire next monthly cycle on its head.
There is nothing that can replace your ability at these events to have an industry professional identify CPI’s in your infertility journey. When doing podcasts and other online stuff I am limited in what I can say and what you can tell me. No so at educational events and his is why I love them so much.
Interact, mingle, stop by someone’s table and schmooze. Get your CPI!
Let’s consider for a moment the thank you note I received. It provided yet another reminder to me of the mini-meeting I got to have with a lovely woman suffering from the NOvary™ but who still wasn’t getting pregnant using donor egg. We sat and chatted and during the course of our chat we identified a CPI for her. I can’t tell you what her CPI is, but I can tell you her physician put her on a new protocol. Her doctor is much more optimistic about her next frozen embryo cycle than he was before she attended this event, and at which she and I shared coffee. For other people the CPI isn’t about treatment but it’s about meeting another person with whom they can relate. Another single woman going through treatment with donor sperm. Another couple looking to adopt from Vietnam. Your new BFF.
CPI comes in all different forms. If you have just started your journey on the infertility roller coaster, the CPI available to you vastly exceeds anything you might expect. Freebies and goodie bags aside, the knowledge to be gained at events like RESOLVE New England’s Adoption and Donor Egg/Surrogacy Connect and Learn Seminars, will lay the ground work for your future success. If you are enduring a moment of RLB-ness then you might find out about a new medication protocol to suggest to your RE that might not involve such moodiness or modest weight gain.
There is a ton of CPI to be gained from going; everyone at these events wants to help you.
We wouldn’t have gotten out of our pajamas otherwise.