** For anyone local–Stuart – Treasure Coast, FL— I am hosting a Resolve Peer Led Support Group, Third Thursday of each month at the Palm City (Cummings) Library, Trustees Room, 6:30 PM 2551 SW Matheson Ave, Palm City, FL 34990
This is a casual, confidential group for anyone trying to conceive, experiencing miscarriage or pregnancy loss, or seeking support during fertility treatment. We will offer information and support no matter where you are in your journey. This is hard. You are not crazy, and you are not alone. For more information, email me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Madison’s Miracles is also fabulous local support organization, whose primary mission includes providing grieving families of stillbirth Cuddle Cots and care baskets with related materials and resources.
There is a good amount of stuff out there addressing infertility, and the best place to start is RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association. They also have a HelpLine: Call 866.NOT.ALONE (866.668.2566).
Two Wonderful Support Groups On Facebook:
Beat Infertility– for those going through infertility (Note: Old posts remain here, but current activity has moved to the Beat Infertility App.) The website beatinfertility.co is also a good place to start.
Beat(en) Infertility– for those who have become pregnant and are navigating life after infertility.
You can listen to Podcasts addressing fertility issues in addition to the group support. Highly recommend these!
Reproductive Trauma actually addressed as such is a much tougher search if you’re not lucky enough to live near a rare clinic or practice specializing in fertility/reproductive issues (such as Center For Reproductive Psychology in San Diego or Fertility Counseling Center of South Florida in Miami.
The most comprehensive and personally helpful book I’ve found is Janet Jaffe and Martha O. Diamond’s Reproductive Trauma: Psychotherapy With Infertility and Pregnancy Loss Patients. As the title suggests, it is written for professional therapists and though I don’t practice, I have a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and was comfortable with the clinical components and terminology of the book. To lay people I would say go ahead and give it a try, or find a therapist willing to read and work through it with you. Alternatively, you may find Unsung Lullabies also by Jaffe and Diamond (and David J. Diamond) more helpful.
Other books I personally found most helpful:
Free To Grieve by Maureen Rank
A Time To Grieve by Carol Staudacher
Pregnancy After A Loss
by Carol Cirulli Lanham
Dropping the Baby And Other Scary Thoughts by Karen Kleiman and Amy Wenzel
Healing Your Grieving Heart After Miscarriage by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. – This book was published long after my miscarriages, but I sure would have liked to have had it. He has also written other books in this series pertaining to grief.
The Pursuit of Motherhood by Jessica Hepburn- a powerful infertility memoir.
Caveat: I might suggest that with any resource, sort of reading through your fingers the way you would watch a scary movie, and skipping as much as you can that doesn’t comfort or pertain to you. You have enough dealing with your own issues and trauma, you don’t need more worry or sadness bouncing around in your head.
Genetic Counseling: During the times I was hanging by my last fingertip, it was the genetic counselors who rescued me. Mine were through Genzyme (Deb Durand, Diane Abad, and Joanna Martin). If you have trouble reaching one or get bounced around in a system, keep at it until you get someone, they are worth it.
For South Floridians:
Reva Levine, LCSW– Tequesta
Karyn Rosenberg, LCSW– Boca Raton
Christopher Fichera, Ph.D. Boca Raton
Elise Linder, LCSW Miami.
Midwives and Doulas:
I believe there is a special place in heaven for Midwives and Doulas. Western medicine has essentially created an artificial atmosphere of pregnancy and birth that is based on fear. Midwives and Doulas are the true birthing experts and can be invaluable in educating, supporting, and reassuring you and, especially after infertility or pregnancy loss, restoring your confidence in both the birth process and yourself. Ditto Lactation Consultants regarding breastfeeding.
Abundant Life Birth House – Stuart, FL
The Palms Birth House – Delray Beach, FL
The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk by Diana West and Lisa Marasco