Group therapy session #1

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Last night was my first group infertility/loss therapy session.  I left as soon as I got home from work, which left me an hour to get there.  To my dismay, the traffic was horrendous!  I found myself quite stressed out and banging on my steering wheel at some points because of the ridiculousness of it.  No accident, no construction, just idiot drivers constantly switching lanes and slowing the flow of traffic to a slow crawl.  Can you tell my normal commute consists of me sleeping on the train?  It ended up taking me over an hour to get there so of course I was late.  Not a good way to start off the evening.

I walked in to see a group of people, males and females, sitting in a circle.  Apparently I didn't get the memo that husbands were supposed to go last night!  Luckily I wasn't the only one who didn't get that snippet of info, but it made things even more awkward for me.  Sigh.

We spent the first half hour or so learning about the origins of the program and its founder.  The therapist, whom I had spoken with before, talked a little bit about her background with loss and infertility.  We talked about the connection with stress and infertility and how the course would help us learn how to cope.  Included in the program were 2 peer counselors who had been through the program before.  They spoke about their experiences and how much they had been helped as a result of taking the class.  Both of those ladies were currently undergoing IVF.

Next, we went around the circle (there were about 12 ladies total, plus most with their spouses) and gave some information about ourselves including our names, where we lived/were from, one interesting thing about us, and what we hoped to gain from the program.  As we went around the room and participants gave their information, I found that almost every single one of them had similar reasons for being there.  Some were Type A and stressed out.  Some needed help healing with anxiety.  Some had control issues that were being seriously tested.  Some people's intros were very teary and tissues were passed around freely. 

When it came to be my turn to share (I was last), I mentioned that I was the oldest of 7 with my youngest sibling being only 12.  I told them my main goal from the program is to learn better coping skills to deal with my intense jealousy of pregnant women.  I mentioned that I feel like everyone around me is pregnant or just had a baby.  When I said this, literally every girl in the group nodded.  How nice to be in a group where EVERYONE understands what I am going through.  I felt so much more relaxed after sharing.

After that we were assigned a buddy and had 15 minutes to chat with them and get acquainted.  This buddy is someone who we are supposed to check in with regularly through the week during the program and beyond.  Of course my buddy was the only one that was not there!  She was on vacation so I will need to contact here via email this week.  I spent the 15 minutes talking to one of the peer counselors during the buddy time.  She was shocked to learn that I was not currently undergoing IUI or IVF.  I told her that I was taking Femara with TI and she looked at me like I had 6 heads.  At first it seemed like she thought I didn't really "need" to be there.  Then I explained my 3 miscarriages in 1 year and she immediately changed her tone.  I think she almost felt bad for making me have to justify. 

We ended yesterday evening by going over the schedule and doing a relaxing breathing exercise.  We received a binder with all of the course material, a book that was written by the program founder, a relaxation meditation CD and an infertility yoga CD.  Overall I am excited for this.  I think (besides the dreaded drive) it will give me something to look forward to for the next couple of weeks. 

share this on »

6 Responses to “Group therapy session #1”

  1. This sounds really positive and I wish there was something similar where I live! Enjoy!

  2. Hmm... Glad you wrote this, I've been thinking about maybe maybe doing something similar but I'm not much of a feelings-talker (something in me gets in a room of people and I turn into a dancing bear) so so far I've been chicken about it... Maybe I'll find a little bravery, til then, I'll just live vicariously through you. ;)

  3. I want to thank you - reading your post made me wonder if there was a support group near my house and as it turns out there is! Meets once a month and I am going to talk to my husband about going!

    1. Yay! I am glad that you found something similar. I'd love to hear about your experiences if you end up going.

  4. Ugh to that peer counselor. You shouldn't have to justify yourself to anyone. I felt like I might be judged when I went to the fertile soul retreat since I had been trying less than a year and hadn't done anything with western medicine to address my problem. But I was taken in with open arms and hearts. You should be there if you think it can help you regardless of what treatments you are undergoing or how many miscarriages you have had. I still think it's great you are doing that for yourself though. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

  5. I'm so glad you're looking forward to future sessions. It sounds very similar to the group I went to last year. Is yours based on Alice Domar's research?

    I had a similar experience with feeling like I had to justify why I was there. I hadn't done any treatments at the time and everyone else was at the IVF stage. You definitely belong there and boo to the peer counselor!