Like many people, you may have a strong desire to become a parent. You may have assumed that conceiving and having a baby would be a natural, problem-free process. Receiving an infertility diagnosis or realizing that family-building will be difficult for you can be extremely distressing. You may feel that your sense of identity and life dreams have been taken away from you. You may experience high levels of stress or anxiety in the face of complicated medical procedures, difficult decisions, and the uncertainty of infertility treatments. You may struggle with grief and depressive feelings from repeated fertility trials and cycles of hope and disappointment. You may wonder if you are to blame, or you may feel angry, powerless, or overwhelmed.
Regardless of the specific emotions that arise for you, it can be difficult to share your experience with others. It may feel like friends and family do not understand, or are insensitive to what you are going through. Your relationship with your partner may be strained from the emotional, physical and financial burdens of infertility, and you may feel isolated and alone during a time when support and emotional care are especially important.
For many people, seeking the support of a fertility counselor can help. I offer individuals and couples a safe space to share their experience, to address difficult issues, to decrease emotional distress, and to enhance their resilience and quality of life. I have personal experience and specialized training in reproductive psychology, and I understand the emotional, medical, psychological and relational aspects of infertility and family building. I would love to support and help you on your family building journey.
Some of the fertility-related issues I assist clients with include:
- Coping with the stress of infertility
- Impact of infertility on relationships
- Improving communication and interpersonal skills with one’s partner
- Exploring infertility treatment options
- Support through IUI/IVF
- Secondary infertility
- Egg freezing/fertility preservation
- Exploring alternate family-building options (adoption, third party reproduction)
- Child-free decision-making
- Pregnancy after infertility
- Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders after infertility
Alternative Family Building
I also provide specific services for heterosexual and same sex couples, and single individuals, who wish to build a family using third party reproduction or adoption. Deciding to use a donor, to adopt, or to use a surrogate or gestation carrier can be an emotional process.
I offer consultation and support for intended parents that includes:
- Exploring different family building options
- Understanding the issues involved in non-genetic or gestational family building and parenting
- Grieving the loss of a genetic child, pregnancy, childbirth
- Help selecting a donor, surrogate or gestational carrier
- Help navigating the adoption process
- Guidance writing a letter to birth parents
- Working through expectations with extended family
- Addressing disclosure to friends, family, and co-workers
- Finding ways to talk with children about their conception
I also screen and administer psychological evaluations of donors and surrogates, and I facilitate collaborative reproductive arrangements (i.e. meetings in my office between donors or surrogates and intended parents).
Today, there are many ways to create a family. I am committed to helping you develop a family building plan that works for you!