Infertility, Pre-Pregnancy, Pregnancy, Post Partum, NICU Concerns, and Loss
Planning whether to become pregnant, becoming pregnant, the duration of pregnancy and the postpartum period can all be exciting and/or difficult and frightening. There is a sense of planning and control, yet it is one of those situations where things seem very much out of our control and it can be a time to seek counseling support. Please click for more information:
Weighing this major decision, considering life choices, social/familial pressures, career concerns and timing can be challenging. It is a very personal choice yet there are layers of socio-cultural concerns that play a role. Consulting may be helpful to clarify intention and path forward.
Delay and Infertility
Trying to conceive and having difficulties/delay and finding out it may not be possible is frustrating, disappointing and heart-breaking when having a child is desired. It may bring up intra-personal and inter-personal conflict and stress. Breathing easy and allowing life to flow can become difficult as things seem to be in limbo.
This can be a difficult time, whether pregnancy was planned or unplanned. It is also a time for changes and planning that can come with stresses. Hormonal effects and other physical symptoms of pregnancy also add up. Stress relief becomes an important part of self-care at this time.
Post-Partum Depression and Adjustment
This also can be an exciting and/or stressful time. As having a baby is a major life change, it is easy to be frightened, disappointed and ambivalent. It is also a time when women are known to experience post-partum depression. Again, the hormonal shifts related to pregnancy/lactation and the adjustment can be particularly difficult. People often believe this happens immediately after pregnancy, but it can actually show up later as well. Click here for Mayo Clinic's description of PPD.
NICU Stress and Trauma
Having a premature baby or when your baby is struggling and has to stay in the NICU is one of the most difficult experiences. Each situation is unique and parents with children in the NICU feel very isolated and helpless. People have unique reactions, some find it more difficult while their baby is in the NICU whereas others seem to be more affected after bringing baby home. The prognosis of the child of course has an impact, but even when the child is completely healthy, the experience can leave a lasting impact.
Miscarriage, still birth and neonatal death can leave us reeling with emotions and very confused about life in general. Presence or lack of social support plays a role and often people close to us do not have a way to support during this difficult period because they don't know what to say and are afraid of saying the wrong thing. There is no solution to grief. It leaves us feeling helpless and paralyzed, or frantic and restless, or somewhere in between. The counselor also does not have a solution or way to change what happened, but it can be helpful to process your feelings, to not have to pretend to be okay, and to find avenues to transform.