Counselling for Prenatal, Postpartum, and Fertility Struggles

Why didn't anyone tell me it would feel like this?

This is not how you pictured it. Pregnancy doesn't glow. Postpartum isn't blissful. And "trying" stops being fun after a few months. No one is sleeping, everyone is crying, and someone needs to give you some answers.

Prenatal and Postpartum Counselling

 

Whether it's your first baby or your fourth, whether you're pregnant or not anymore, emotions run high and lots can come up during this time of life:

  • Your desire to clean, organize, and have things "just so" goes a bit past the usual "nesting" instincts.

  • You are irritable, sad, euphoric, or cycling between these more than you think is helpful.

  • You have intense fears or nightmares about the well being of your baby or your loved ones.

  • Or perhaps you are re-living hard stuff from your own childhood, like a loss of a parent, sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, or a loved one not being there for you when you needed them as a child.

Counselling for Fertility Struggles

 

Whether you've been trying for six months or six years, trying to get pregnant can be emotionally devastating. If you or your partner have had a miscarriage, the pain is even more raw, because you have gotten your hopes up and then had them crushed. Fertility can be so devastatingly lonely.

  • Generally, it's not something you are sharing with very many people. 

  • No one is offering you time off work, and no one is signing up for a meal train. 

  • Even when you do bring it up, people are weird about it. No one knows what to say.

  • There can be a sneaky but daunting sense of shame; feeling broken, purposeless, or like a failure. 

Support for Non-Gestational Partners:

 

Yeah, we see you over there, too. You can't hide. 

  • You are trying to hold it all together for your struggling partner. You're doing a good job, but it's painful, tiring, and lonely.

  • At times you are unacknowledged (by others but also probably yourself) as a full participant in this process, as if you don't have your own hormonal changes, shame, loss of control, and hulking load of stress related to this process.

  • You are heartbroken, both seeing your love go through these struggles and dealing with your own grief. 

All of this is impossibly lonely and painful and hard. But all of it is totally normal, too.

 

Find space to grieve and start to find some hope again.

 

Grief. There's that word again. For those who have experienced the loss of a child or a miscarriage, grief seems obvious. But for the rest of us? Oh yeah, grief is still a huge part of this process:

  • Grieving the loss of becoming a parent, or of your idea of how parenting would be.

  • Grieving the changes in your body, your sleep, and your schedule, and your loss of control over all of it.

  • Grieving the shifts in your relationship with your partner and what role they play in your life.

  • Grieving the losses, hurts, and unmet needs that come up for you from your own past.

You get the picture. Though there can be beauty in the complexity that comes with babies, pregnancy, and fertility struggles, there is also a ton that we have to give up. This is something that is rarely acknowledged.

 

Healing comes through having a compassionate witness to your pain. Your therapist can help you name and process through these losses, even ones that you are ashamed to admit or haven't even admitted to yourself. Through exploring your present and/or surface level emotions and getting familiar and compassionate with them (because they MAKE SENSE), you will feel safer going a bit deeper to take a look at the connective tissue underneath.

 

If you need individual support, we will work with you on whatever part of this life stage is hitting you the hardest. If you are feeling distant, lonely, angry, or misunderstood in your relationship, come on in for Couples Therapy. If you're not sure, reach out and we will help you sort through it.

Sad, but not Hopeless. Weighty, but not bogged down.

 

Loss is loss. It shouldn't go away immediately, and if you've experienced loss, the sadness may never go away. The process of therapy should help you feel lighter, though. More in tune with your own needs. More compassionate or gentle with yourself. More connected to your partner and others around you. More able to feel what you are feeling without it shutting you down. THAT is the goal.

 

There are a TON of words on this page, but that means that if you've read this far, something is really resonating, and you're probably really needing some support. Let us help you through this. You don't have to do it alone.