On February 5, I spent this week’s noon hour tweetchat with my dear friend Stephanie Weiss, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). Michele specializes in infertility and perinatal mood disorders. She has been a tremendous help to me through multiple rounds of IVF treatments. We discussed her practice, and she offered some wonderfully helpful advice for couples and families undergoing IVF and for the loved ones who support them.
Here is an excerpt from our tweetchat. for the full summary, visit http://bit.ly/InfertilityTxChat
Steph: Why do you choose to focus on couples therapy and infertility?
Steph: I had a bad experience with one IVF program, so I left it for another, and succeeded. Do you find this common?
Michele: Absolutely. Thankfully, there are a lot of options now. Patients have a wide selection of care providers, and many paths they can pursue toward having children. I advise my patients to do a lot of research and to find the best program and route that works for them.
Steph: What are some common emotional and psychological challenges around infertility?
Michele: People often speak about the emotional roller coaster: anger, anxiety, depression, guilt, loss of self – these are just a few of the many emotions that people experience. Also, grief and loss; they have grown up with a fantasy of the child or family they would create. They have a concept of their life purpose revolving around being a mom or dad.”
We also discussed the importance of heeding premonitions and giving them a voice, my own survivors guilt and PTSD issues, some of the hurdles that survivors face, and received audience questions about being supportive to those who are struggling.
Michele even took a turn interviewing me about how my own life has been transformed, how survival can build bonds and help you grow, and how Michele’s own current pregnancy is affected by my experience – she tends to listen to her own intuition more acutely.
I hope you can join our tweetchats during midweek noon hours. Follow Twitter hashtag #afechat for our upcoming schedule, and subscribe to this blog to catch summaries of any tweetchats you miss on topics related to motherhood, fertility, coupling, and advocating for healthy moms and babies. Until next time!