Many people think the process of having a child is easy, and once the decision is made to conceive it just happens. Those that struggle with infertility know differently. So much excitement to start a family, only to be confronted by disappointment after disappointment and tremendous loss. Also feeling pressure as time goes on and your biological clock continues, to hurry through the process.
In assisted reproductive technology (ART), there is a saying that we have to “hurry up and wait!” I understand this struggle. I’ve been there and have lived it.
Grief and loss in our society tends to be a taboo subject often not discussed. Infertility isn’t acknowledged as a loss at all. This is often referred to as “disenfranchised grief” and this adds even more weight and isolation to what is already an inherently difficult process.
Until I lived it, I didn’t realize that infertility would look and feel so much like grief and loss. I worked in the field of end-of-life, grief and loss for 19 years. My professional role, while it gave me some insight into what I was experiencing, it didn’t make my infertility journey any easier. I have both personal and professional experience in helping others (and myself) heal through grief. Whether this means navigating the world of assisted reproductive technology, trying to figure out a diagnosis, managing stress, relationship issues, loss, or having to make tough decisions around a changing family plan, I’m here to help.
Multiple Issues Can Come with Infertility.
These may range from:
- Failed IVF cycle
- Failed transfers
- Relationship strain and/or stress during the treatment process
- Decisions around using donor egg, donor sperm, donor embryo, and surrogacy
- Having to come to terms with living child free or having to choose a different family plan
- Choices around adoption and working through emotions related to this
- Processing grief around multiple losses (miscarriage, failed transfers…)
- Dealing with multiple infertility diagnosis/issues including:
- Unexplained infertility
- Diminished ovarian reserve
- Egg/sperm quality issues
My Role as Your Infertility Psychotherapist:
- IVF support to help navigate the emotions and stress that come with this process
- IUI support to help navigate the emotions and stress that come with this process
- Helping to sort through decision to see an RE (reproductive endocrinologist) or next steps
- Decisions around third party reproduction (donor egg, donor sperm and/or surrogacy)
- Decisions around adoption
- Helping to deal with the stress of infertility
- Helping to deal with relationship issues
- Helping to process loss and cope with grief
- Pregnancy after infertility
- Pregnancy related issues
- Pregnancies after ART- helping to support this process
Do you recognize or relate to any of the issues above? If so, please don’t hesitate to reach out. It would be my honor to support you through this process.