Hello Fertility Community!
Whether you are new to the world of infertility or you’ve been hanging out here for some time, just know that Family Tree Wellness has got you covered!
Starting this Fall of 2021 we will have a Fertility Offering for every week of the month! Well, almost every week… there are those months with five weeks… but nearly EVERY. WEEK. OF. THE. MONTH!!!
Let’s break it down. First off, no one ever wants to meet the requirements for a support group. No one wants to share their most vulnerable thoughts, feelings and experiences with complete strangers. Understandably, for many of us, support groups are on that never-ending “to do” list- always pushed off from one month to the next.
As cringe-y as they may sound, support groups as it turns out - can be game changers for people who are suffering. So perhaps we start with this. If you answer “yes” to either of the following questions, it just might be time for you to consider a Fertility Support Group:
Are you feeling isolated… anxious, depressed, angry, sad, or hopeless because of fertility challenges?
Does your desire to build a family overwhelm and preoccupy you?
Our general Fertility Support Group is FREE and open to both individuals and couples (both primary and secondary fertility diagnoses are welcome) no matter what stage your fertility journey finds you in. Common themes discussed in this group include: coping with unexpected pregnancy announcements, disclosure of fertility challenges with friends, family and employers, coping with feelings of anxiety, hopelessness or bitterness, maintaining communication and intimacy with your partner, and what to expect with various assisted reproduction treatments and family-building options.
Not convinced? Perhaps you are currently living with a secondary infertility diagnosis and fear how you might fit into a general Fertility Support Group. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you might find yourself well supported in our Secondary Fertility Support Group:
Do you question where you fit into the world of infertility when you already have one or more children, but desperately want more?
Are you struggling to balance caring for your child along with the emotional, physical and spiritual challenges of fertility treatment?
Do you experience feelings of guilt, anxiety, depression, hopelessness and/or isolation?
Our newest fertility group, starting in September of 2021, the Secondary Fertility Support Group is also FREE and open to both individuals and couples living with a secondary infertility diagnosis at any stage of the fertility journey (new diagnosis, considering assisted reproductive treatment (ART), currently utilizing ART, or considering family-building options). This group will offer a safe space where those with secondary infertility can bypass the fear of judgment or guilt due to having one or more children while simultaneously navigating overwhelming emotions and experiences of fertility challenges and desire to grow one’s family.
Now perhaps you are intrigued by the Fertility Support Groups mentioned, but you can’t shake the feeling (or hope) that there could be an even better fit to meet your support needs? If you find yourself with an answer of “yes” to the following question, please consider joining our Fertility Support Group for Womxn of Color:
Are you feeling isolated… anxious, depressed, angry, sad, or hopeless because of fertility challenges AND identify as a womxn of color?
Our Fertility Support Group for Womxn of Color is a FREE drop-in fertility support group that focuses on intersectionality and the unique challenges that fertility challenges can bring to womxn of color. This group is open to people with both primary and secondary fertility challenges at any stage in the family-building process.
Okay, so maybe last month one or more of these support group offerings would have totally met your needs, however, this month you’ve finally found yourself pregnant?! If any of the following questions resonate with you, perhaps you’ll consider joining our Pregnancy After Infertility Group:
Are you pregnant after infertility?
Are you experiencing feelings of anxiety, grief or cautious optimism?
Does your identity feel in limbo?
(No longer fertility challenged - but not the average pregnant person)
Are you seeking community with other pregnant people who get it?
Our Pregnancy After Infertility Group is $45, open to California residents and is a monthly drop-in group for pregnant people who may be surprised by the sometimes confusing identity transformation from “fertility challenged” to “pregnant.” In this group we engage in mindfulness exercises; explore past grief and trauma associated with infertility and it’s impact on thoughts and emotions present during pregnancy; and explore coping strategies with regard to navigation of both self-imposed and societal expectations of pregnancy, overwhelming anxiety and fear, and transition from the fertility clinic’s (meticulously monitored) medical model to the civilian (“see you in four weeks”) OBGyn office.
Okay, so let’s recap:
1st Monday- Pregnancy After Infertility Group 6:30-7:30pm *
2nd Monday- General Fertility Support Group 6:30-7:30pm
2nd Thursday- Fertility Support Group for Womxn of Color 6-7:00pm
3rd Monday- Secondary Fertility Support Group 6:30-7:30pm
4th Monday- General Fertility Support Group 6:30-7:30pm
* The September Pregnancy After Infertility Group will meet Thursday, September 2, 2021 @ 5:30pm due to the Labor Day Holiday
If support groups aren’t your jam- not to worry! Family Tree Wellness is a group practice made up of mental health therapists with a passion for providing therapy for individuals and couples through the reproductive and family-building years~ for those trying to conceive, those with fertility challenges as well as those who are pregnant (including pregnancy after infertility). We all support through pregnancy and baby loss, postpartum moods, parenting and coupledom. You don’t have to do this alone. Seek the support you deserve today!
Written by Jamie Van Zanen, LCSW