When starting a family our hope is for this to be a joyous time our life; however, this does not always reflect everyone’s experience around conception and pregnancy. About 10% of women in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. Unfortunately many women/families can be very private with these struggles but this can also be very isolating. The truth is that our reproductive story is strongly ingrained in our sense of self, when something goes awry, whether through infertility, premature birth, a pregnancy loss or, as it often happens, a combination of these events, it is a trauma that negatively impacts all aspects of a person’s life. Even moreso if we feel alone in this experience, watching those around us conceiving and having children.
A reproductive loss can cause deep heartache and despair in expectant parents regardless whether the loss occurs early during the pregnancy (known as miscarriage), later in the pregnancy (referred to as stilbirth) or in the short period after a baby is born. In many instances, this same set of emotions can happen when couples learn that their fertility treatments were unsuccessful.
Following infertility or a loss, you may experience emotions unlike those you have experienced before. You may no longer trust your body, your health or the belief that pregnancy and starting a family will be a given. You may feel helpless or out of control. These emotions can be intense and scary. Even when you gradually resume your usual activities and get back to your routine, you may be left with a sense that something in your has forever changed and wonder if you will ever feel like yourself again.