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Infertility

Coping with Fertility Issues – Supportive Tips

Fertility issues: it’s something that is more common than you may think, but something that people often don’t talk about for fear of over-sharing, or appearing vulnerable or “broken.” The double-edged sword of this complex situation, though, is that often, people find it helpful to share their experiences with fertility complications, to discuss their struggles with people who have gone through similar issues. Coping with fertility issues isn’t something you have to do on your own. Here at the Blossom Method, we have a few tips for people who are trying to cope with infertility that can help make things easier on you.
Spend Time on Non-Pregnancy Activities
It’s easy to get wrapped up in baby-related activities. Whether you have friends or family members having babies, or you keep getting invited to baby showers and just need a break, remember that it’s okay to decline an invite if you don’t feel comfortable to attend. Struggles with infertility can feel magnified when you have to spend time with people who had no trouble conceiving, so don’t feel bad if you need to sit some parties or gatherings out.

It’s important to also spend time doing things you like, rather than devoting all of your free time to things like researching ways to get pregnant or stressing out by Googling all the potential things that you think could be keeping you from conceiving. Take time to take care of yourself and enjoy your hobbies; pursue your interests—though it’s easier said than done, trying to get your mind off of the problems can help a bit.
Get Infertility Support from Friends, Family and Counselors
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it can help to open up to those around you. Letting […]

Fertility Friends: Finding Support through Shared Experiences

At the Blossom Method, we are proud to inspire those who struggle with infertility issues to seek the support that they need and deserve. One of the groups we refer our patients to is Shine: A Light on Fertility. Today, we have a guest post from Katie O’Connor, the founder of Shine, about what the program strives to accomplish.
Friendship and Advocacy
By: Katie O’Connor, Founder, Shine: A Light On Fertility

When you are going through a hard time, a good friend is what you need most.  It helps if the friend has experienced a similar struggle as you, and that is where Fertility Friends comes in—a new mentor program by Shine: A Light on Fertility.  Fertility Friends is a matching system that pairs a new member with someone who has successfully completed their fertility journey.  This program provides one-on-one support that can help with the day-to-day stresses of fertility treatments, and acts as a supplement to group sessions.  It allows the new member a chance to ask personal questions and get support from someone who has experienced similar challenges.  Fertility Friends can lend support and guidance to help new members navigate fertility treatment procedures as well as talk through options.  Mentors are sensitive to the new member’s journey, because they can closely relate to their experience.

Being your own advocate is important when going through any life challenge, but combining that with knowledge and awareness creates empowerment.  Shine puts a focus on early education and taking a proactive approach to one’s fertility health through their Advocacy Initiative.  Every woman knows that when they turn 40, it means the start of mammograms, and we are taught even earlier to start performing self-breast exams.  However, there is nothing like […]

Asking Pregnancy Questions: Do You Really Need to Know?

It breaks my heart–week after week, I meet with clients who are struggling with getting pregnant, a recent loss, or maybe a new pregnancy after previous losses. They’re making progress, but are suddenly completely derailed by a simple (yet unnecessary) question or comment from a stranger. I’d believe more often than not, the stranger has no ill intention by commenting or asking a question, but I would like to challenge everyone to consider what others may be going through that you don’t know about before speaking up. Just think: how often you have asked, or have heard someone ask, “When are you due?” or  “Are you guys trying to get pregnant?” or comment on someone’s cute baby bump?
The Importance of Consideration
Recently, I had a client (we’ll call her “Sarah”) who had just delivered her baby at 37 weeks, but the baby passed away shortly after birth.  Although Sarah was prepared prenatally for the loss of her daughter, the grief and overwhelming sadness was a lot for her and her husband to handle.  Two weeks after losing her baby girl, she decided she needed to face the world again and went to the grocery store. In a mere 30 minute trip, Sarah was approached by two strangers who made seemingly benign, yet very hurtful comments, given the situation.  The first asked when she was due – she was two weeks postpartum, so she naturally still had a “bump,” but she sadly did not have the baby.   After tearfully walking away from that stranger, she tried to summon the courage to get through her shopping list.  Then, as she was paying for her groceries, the cashier said, “Oh, I love your little bump – enjoy the […]

Tips for Coping with Infertility and Finding Support

Infertility: it’s more common than we all think and for those who are dealing with it, it can be devastating. The pressure to have a family, for many people, is intense, and when it seems like that’s not possible, it seems inevitable that grief, depression, and frustration would be just a few of the emotions someone would experience. Many women struggle to feel truly happy for friends and loved ones when they announce a pregnancy, knowing that they are having trouble conceiving. Infertility, though common, is often kept quiet, for fear of bringing up a “sore” subject for someone.

Those who are experiencing it can feel very alone.  You’re not alone, though—and that’s something you’ve probably heard over and over. It’s true. Coping with infertility can be extremely difficult, but thankfully, there are methods and resources that can ease the pain, stress, and disappointment.
Don’t Blame Yourself
As with not being alone, you’ve likely been told, time and again, not to blame yourself.  However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hear it yet again. It’s easy to try and pinpoint all the things you’re doing wrong—

Are you eating the wrong things?
Or not sleeping enough?
What about stress? Is being stressed about infertility exacerbating the problem?

There are a million ways to blame yourself for being unable to conceive, and it’s important to resist doing so. Instead, try and feel centered in the moment – focus on what’s happening now, rather than what has already happened. Try and zero in on looking forward to the ways you can manage infertility, rather than criticizing yourself for being unable to get pregnant.
Set Realistic Expectations
If you’re struggling to conceive, it’s important to work with your partner to set realistic expectations of what you’ll do—will […]

The Blossom Method: Celebrating Hope & the Women of You Never Know

More than 15 amazing writers from around Chicagoland came together this week to share their stories of hope, sorrow and courage as part of The Blossom Method’s You Never Know campaign. Links to their inspiring journeys are below.

If you are experiencing reproductive challenges (infertility, pregnancy loss, genetic complications, complex medical diagnoses, preemies or postpartum depression) on your road to starting or growing your family, you are not alone. Reach out to us at 312.854.0061 or via email at info@blossommethod.com.

Blossom Method: Support For the Newborn Mom, Amina Bennett, Momma Mina

Unexpected Tragedies on My Reproductive Journey: You Never Know, Aviva Cohen, The Blossom Method

You Never Know, Sara Connell, Bringing in Finn

Losing a Twin During Pregnancy: You Never Know, Maura Deptula, Families in the Loop

You Never Know: Grieving the Loss of a Baby, Carrie Goldman, Portrait of an Adoption

When the Bottom Falls Out of Your Birth Plan, TJ Falletti, Chitown Mommy Mayhem

How to Support Friends Through Infertility, Lisa Hanneman, Hannemaniacs

When Your VBAC Goes Wrong, Jasmine Jaffarali, Healthy Jasmine

(Not) Alone in the Crowd, Erin Kuhn-Krueger, Will Carry On

You Never Know: Fertility Challenges and The Blossom Method, Katie O’Conner, Shine Chicago

You Never Know {The Blossom Method}, Samantha Shultz, The Peanuts Gang

You Never Know, Linda Szmulewitz, Chicago New Moms Group

The Blossom Method’s You Never Know Campaign, Dara Tarkowsky, Sharp Mamas

My Infertility Story: It Could Happen to You, Wendy Widom, Cheeky Chicago

You Never Know, Kim Wilschek, Chicago Pregnancy

You Never Know: Our Struggle With Infertility, Sara Youngblood-Ochoa, macaroni kid Chicago

Unexpected Tragedies On My Reproductive Journey: You Never Know

~By Aviva Cohen, LCSW & Co-Founder of The Blossom Method

When I tell people I work with women and couples struggling with infertility, loss, postpartum depression and other tragic scenarios during their reproductive journeys, I almost always get the same questions: How can you do something like that every day? Isn’t it depressing? My response never wavers. Providing support to women and couples is my professional calling and I am inspired by my clients each and every day.

Perhaps part of the reason I’m drawn to this work is because I straddle both worlds. I had my first three children with ease. I wanted to get pregnant, and poof, it happened. My pregnancies were relatively normal and the deliveries easy. Then I rolled the dice again and discovered just how lucky I’d been.

During my eighteenth week of pregnancy, I found out the baby inside of me had died. In an instant, my hopes and dreams for that unborn baby were dashed. I felt blindsided, confused, shocked and terrified. My doctor sent me to specialists, and then washed his hands of me. I was no longer a patient he wanted to treat. During this vulnerable time, I became lost in a maze of hospitals, doctors and nurses. I felt afraid and very much alone.

In my mind, I decided that if I got pregnant again before my due date, the pain deep inside of me would disappear. I quickly conceived again, but this time, at my nine-week checkup, the baby had no heartbeat. That was it for me. I had nowhere to go, no one to talk to, and no one who understood how I felt. When I tried to talk about the loss with friends or family, they told […]