(Ep. 19) The invisible grief of infertility with Mary

For this episode of Beyond Postpartum I had the opportunity to chat with Mary Gillis. Mary is a Register Clinical Counsellor who works with families experiencing infertility, pregnancy loss, infant loss, and birth trauma. In this episode she shares about her own journey through 9 years of infertility, the things that were integral to her healing journey, and the common struggles and emotions that come up for those experiencing infertility and loss.

In this episode we talk about:

  • The isolation she felt when she was experiencing infertility
  • The stigma attached to infertility
  • The grieving process that comes with infertility
  • Unhelpful but well meaning comments that come from friends and family
  • Feelings of shame that came up around infertility
  • Losing her first pregnancy
  • Not feeling like she could ask for help when she had tried so hard to get pregnant
  • Having a baby that just didn’t sleep
  • The judgement she felt because of her parenting choices
  • Reaching out for help from her doctor and it just falling flat
  • Feeling shame about struggling after trying so hard to have a baby
  • Externally looking fine but internally really struggling
  • How challenging it is now during Covid for new parents to get support
  • The importance of slowing down and connecting with yourself
  • The invisible grief of infertility and pregnancy loss
  • Her journey to becoming a counsellor
  • The ethics involved with fertility treatments
  • How she came to find PPPSS and how life changing her time was here
  • Common themes that come up in her support and counselling work
  • The power of connecting with who  you were
  • How small tasks that can give you a sense of accomplishment
  • Secondary infertility and the unique challenges this brings
  • The importance of self-compassion