Why is This Happening to Me?
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this. Reproductive trauma is quite common and is caused by numerous factors. Statistics show that 1 in 4 pregnancies result in a pregnancy loss and infertility affects 1 in 8 couples. You are most certainly not alone.
There are no rituals or public ways in our society to honor the losses that are often faced, and people don’t often talk about it. People don't ask you how you're doing because they think you should be over it by now, or they're afraid of upsetting you. Or there's too much advice coming from the wrong places. Your birth plan was supposed to look a certain way and now you feel disconnected from your baby.
Some of the events that can lead to reproductive trauma include:
• Pregnancy-related complications (birth trauma)
• Stillbirth or neonatal death
• Delivery of a child not in perfect health
• Postpartum anxiety/depression
What Should I Know About Recovering from Reproductive Trauma?
Fertility issues, birth trauma and pregnancy loss can leave a person feeling anxious, depressed and can cause intense grief. People’s sense of self and their relationships are often deeply and negatively impacted. You may feel alone, hopeless, overwhelmed, angry and even fearful.
Recovery is possible. A key step to overcoming reproductive trauma is to understand the reality of the situation and accepting the experience or the feeling as it is. I help grieving mothers and their partners learn to cope with the many emotional, social and relational changes that accompany reproductive trauma.
Do I Really Need Counseling?
These types of traumas manifest in different ways for people. Denial and withdrawal from reality is often a common coping mechanism used.
Experiencing trauma may show up as flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, unwanted thoughts, anxiety and/or depression. These unhealthy coping strategies can lead to impairment in your relationships and take a toll on your own health and well-being.
People respond differently to the stress and grief and partners often experience problems with communication and intimacy.
How Will Counseling Help Me?
Through our work together, you’ll likely experience a greater sense of peace and hope with the difficult circumstances you're facing. The despair that you feel now is not permanent. You’ll learn how to cope better with situations that are outside of your control.
You’ll learn how to manage intrusive thoughts (thoughts you keep having that just won’t go away) and have more self compassion so you can stop blaming and shaming yourself. This isn’t your fault.