Infertility and Pregnancy Loss
An interview with Tracy Gilmour-Nimoy, LMFT, PMH-C, on understanding infertility as well as pregnancy and infant loss. Curt and Katie interview Tracy, a certified perinatal mental health professional, on what the medical and mental health professions often miss related to reproductive health and pregnancy. We dig into the basics and common mistakes as well as the harm caused when therapists are uninformed. We explore trauma, grief, and the invisibility of these common struggles faced by some who want to have children.
It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.
Interview with Tracy Gilmour-Nimoy, LMFT and Certified Perinatal Mental Health Professional
Tracy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Perinatal Mental Health Professional. She has a group practice in San Diego, CA, where she specializes in working with individuals who have experiences of trauma, depression, anxiety, reproductive mental health, perinatal mental health, maternal mental health, paternal mental health, grief, loss, life transitions, and relational challenges, to name a few. In addition to her love of mental health, Tracy is an avid reader and writer. Her articles have appeared on her mental health blog and other public forums, such as Scary Mommy. She writes about varying mental health topics, as well as her personal experiences of infant loss, grief, and trauma. To learn more about Tracy, connect with her on Instagram @TGNtherapy
In this episode we talk about:
- What we missed in our episode about navigating pregnancy
- How hidden infertility and pregnancy loss is in society, how the conversation is taboo
- The lack of trauma-informed care within the medical field
- The problems of assumptions around fertility and whether people want children
- The way that common questions can be triggering and traumatizing
- How dismissive of the grief people are when it deals with infant and pregnancy loss
- The rose-tinted lenses that hurt women during the whole process of getting pregnant and having a baby
- How hidden it is and how little discussed are all the stages of women’s development
- The gaps in therapist training related to infertility and pregnancy/infant loss
- The focus on the baby versus the parent
- Ideas for advocacy within the educational and medical systems
- The discomfort with sitting with these types of experiences and losses
- The tendency of people wanting to fix it and move forward without accounting for loss and recognizing when it cannot be fixed
- The shadow losses and losses of an absence
- Holding space for grief and loss, for how horrible it is
- What therapists need to know about infertility
- The importance of understanding the medical terminology, the financial burden, the emotional implications of the fertility process
- The internal focus on how the body works and what to do for your body
- The identity aspects related to motherhood or not becoming a mother
- What therapists need to know about pregnancy and infancy loss
- The perception of the death of their child
- Traditions to honor the child who didn’t come home
- The importance of remembering dates for individuals who have infant and pregnancy loss
- Acknowledging loss, using language or names that are relevant
- Honoring how they view their parental status after a loss
- The importance of acknowledging the grief and the ability to manage your loss in our own way (i.e., not responding to people or not going to baby showers)
- The trauma of pregnancy loss and how that may show up in future pregnancies
- How women are dismissed by medical providers when they have a bad feeling during pregnancy and it often turns into a reality
- Ideas to support the non-pregnant partner and the differences in the grief process
- A brief discussion on how the pandemic has impacted the reproductive health process
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We’ve pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking below, we may get a little bit of cash in our pockets. We thank you in advance!
Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts–Karen Kleinman
Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts–Karen Kleinman
I Had a Miscarriage–Jessica Zucker
Infertility Counseling–Sharon Covington
Frozen Dreams–Allison Rosen, Jay Rosen
Coping With Infertility, Miscarriage, and Neonatal Loss–Amy Wenzel
The Trying Game–Amy Klein
Connect with us!
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Who we are:
Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at: http://www.curtwidhalm.com
Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also Past President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at: http://www.katievernoy.com
A Quick Note:
Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.
Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.
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