Many women and couples face challenges on their journey to become parents. Pregnancy Loss, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss often leave grieving parents feeling devastated and isolated. Family and friends often don’t know what to day – and what they DO say isn’t always helpful. Certain comments can sting especially while your grief is still so raw. Men and women tend to grieve differently. Counseling can help partners learn how to best support each other on their healing journey. Out of tremendous loss, comes the potential for a stronger relationship between partners who learn to turn towards each other in their grief.
Holidays, due dates, and anniversaries of one’s losses can be an especially challenging time. They can also be a time to develop new rituals that fit the changing needs of individuals, couples, and families. Counseling can help facilitate discussions about how to spend significant dates such as holidays, the anniversary of one’s loss, the “due date” of a child who was miscarried, or the anniversary of a stillbirth. It is important to take time to reflect on what one’s needs are and to be intentional about how to spend those significant dates in a way that will be meaningful and authentic for each person. What works for one person or couple, may not fit for another. Every journey is unique.
The infertility journey can be an overwhelming experience. Working with a compassionate and knowledgeable counselor who understands the infertility process can help reduce anxiety and can help partners learn how to support each other on this unpredictable journey. Counseling can also help partners communicate with each other to determine which steps to take next on their family building journey (i.e. assisted reproduction, adoption, donor egg/sperm). Sometimes partners need support in facilitating discussions to help them decide whether they want to STOP treatment and work on building a meaningful life without children.
Couples and Single Women sometimes get to a point in life when they must contemplate whether continuing to pursue the dream of parenthood is the best choice for them. If the answer is “no” then a period of mourning for the loss of parenthood must occur. For many it can be a very painful process and it is important to give one’s self the opportunity to grieve. Counseling can help people to grieve in a way that is both healthy and productive as people begin to envision and build new dreams for their future.