As a practitioner I walk with my clients through them learning CrMS and support them in whatever way I can. Most often my clients are learning CrMS to see a NaPro Dr. for fertility issues. Often times they are dealing with infertility, miscarriages or crazy cycles. Being on the other side of the desk as the practitioner is much different than being the one learning. I remember our first few appointments with our practitioner and how lost we felt from not knowing why we could not get pregnant and why I was in so much pain. I remember wanting to shed so many tears and holding back so our practitioner didn't think I was nuts. I remember trying to understand my cycle and learn how to chart correctly all while trying to fix what was wrong. I remember how sad we were in having to switch our intention to postponing a pregnancy after Cecilia because I was at such high risk for another miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. I remember the feeling of spiraling down emotionally and physically and feeling like there was no one I could really talk to about it besides JJ. I remember it all.
Going through our own fertility issues is one thing but now I walk with my clients through their's. It really is surreal sometimes when a client is pouring their heart out about how difficult it all is. I can truly say, I know. I know the pain well. I know the feeling of your world falling apart and realizing you have no control of circumstances, just how you react to them. I remember that battle between jealousy and trying to be a good friend. Oh I remember it well because I still go through it from time to time. It has been an interesting transition though as I have moved toward peace and am crawling toward acceptance that I need to remember to have compassion for those just starting the journey or starting their NaPro journey after years of infertility. To be on the other side of the table teaching them correctly and sensing if this is all getting to be too much for them is a delicate balance.
Most recently one client took a whole cycle off of charting even though she is trying to get her hormone profile blood draws done. If you are a new user and are looking for NaPro treatment it is NOT a good idea to stop charting for an entire cycle. It slows down the process of your treatment. Well instead of lecturing her and questioning why she stopped charting I just said something like "oh ok we will just go over what we can then." After that she opened up and told me how hard this has all been on her: the charting, the Drs. appts., the diet changes, etc. So we talked about that for the first 1/2 hour or so of the appt. It was good to share my experience with her and assure her that she needs to do what is best for her sanity. I also learned that she was not doing as bad as she thought and she was being too hard on herself. I can't help but think that if I had gone the traditional practitioner route I would have missed an opportunity with her. I am pretty sure she left the appt. feeling less alone and encouraged to keep going. She even told me to write a book!
Another scenario was that I got an email from a client saying they wanted to discontinue follow ups and NaPro treatment. I was shocked when I got the email because they have been so good about charting and using the system. They were really wanting answers for their infertility when they started this journey. I had spoken with her over the phone about her upcoming surgery and answered all her questions to the best of my ability. So when I got the email I let her know I thought that she should look for answers to the pain she was experiencing. that was all of about two sentences and then the rest of the email was letting her know that I am walking with her through this. I let her know I respect her decision and that her marriage is valid whether they pursue treatment or not. I let her know she needed to do what her and her husband felt was best for their family.
I am not trying to say I am the best because I am not. I am just a toddler in the practitioner world. I just want to give an insight on what it is like to walk with these couples. I know there are some practitioners who are more stick to the script kind of people but I just can't, NOT when I know the pain they are going through. I don't just teach CrMS, I live it too. This is more than just a job for me, it is my way to give of myself and nurture women and couples. I hope my clients know I don't take their trust for granted. I hope they know I don't brush off their struggle, however they may be using the system. I hope my couples who are trying to space out their children know I care about their well being too. It is not my place to tell them how they should be using the system. That decision lies between God, them and hopefully their confessor/spiritual director.
As I sit behind the desk correcting charting, teaching about double peak, reviewing bio-markers and asking about SPICE in their marriage I am continually humbled. I learn so much from my clients and their life experiences. I get to see the good in people's marriages or future marriages if they are engaged. I also see the difficult things that come up between couples. I see when they don't talk about those difficult conversations about charting and how to use the system or if they do not agree. I accept those clients who are only coming as a marriage prep. requirement and the ones for whatever reason decide to discontinue using CrMS. I don't know everything and how to help everyone because I am not an expert. I only encourage and challenge them where I can and leave the rest to God. I have learned that I need to leave each and every client at the foot of The Cross where my expertise fails and His prevails. That is where Christ's Love will make us all whole.