You always imagined what your pregnancy would be like. You imagined baby showers, a cute bump, and a lovely glow. You imagined things going according to plan and a seamless transition into motherhood. As the weeks and months go on, you're realizing that your experience isn't matching your expectations. You weren't expecting so many changes in your life beyond the obvious changes taking place in your body. It feels like everything is different and more difficult now. The changes in your energy level. The weird sensations in your body that spark unwelcome anxiety about whether or not your pregnancy is normal or if your baby is okay. The changes in your intimate relationship with your partner. Frequent headaches and feeling nauseous all. the. time. Feeling like you can't keep up with work. Trouble sleeping. Feeling flooded by a slew of different emotions. Changes to your social life. Maybe you're experiencing pregnancy after loss, and you're so worried about staying pregnant and reaching various pregnancy milestones. Maybe you've been through this before, but the same things you struggled with in previous pregnancies are resurfacing. There is something so unique about this time.There's no doubt about it - pregnancy is challenging physically and emotionally. Pregnancy has an uncanny ability to surface anything you've struggled with in the past, whether that's body image, anxiety, perfectionism, or difficulty with dealing with change itself. You just want to feel calm, confident, and like yourself. Imagine changing the relationship you have with this pregnancy and with this phase of your life. I specialize in helping women during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Through therapy, I help women explore their concerns and emotions while simultaneously helping them learn new ways of coping so they can be the mom - and woman - they want to be.
On the outside, you're trying to put yourself together and get stuff done. You seem organized and you do all of the "right" things for your baby and your family. You're trying so hard to live out what you envisioned for yourself after having your baby, but something isn't feeling right. You're trying to get back in touch with yourself again, but it feels like there's no time and no opportunities. Life looks so different now. You love your baby, and you're also feeling desperate for something to change. You find yourself wondering if what you're feeling is normal, or if it's postpartum anxiety or depression like you keep being asked about at your postpartum check ups and at your baby's pediatrician appointments. Even though you're struggling, you don't want anyone to think that you could be depressed, so you minimize what you're experiencing on all the forms you're asked to fill out. Since having your baby, you've been experiencing depths of emotion that you didn't know were possible. During pregnancy, you thought that your body had reached it's limits, but now you feel like your body is constantly depleted and there's more demand on it than ever before. You're really good at stuffing the anxiety and any other uncomfortable emotions down inside of you in order to meet the needs of your baby, but you don't feel present and engaged in your life. Before you know it, you've gone down the anxiety rabbit hole and you feel like you can't make the most of the little free time that you do have. You don't know how to connect with the present moment and let go of the thoughts that are stuck in your mind. At times, you feel really disconnected from your body. You are so uncomfortable with what feels like drastic emotional ups and downs. One minute you're gushing over how much you love your baby, and the next, you're grieving how your life has changed. You want to feel a sense of stability. Maybe old wounds have resurfaced and are dominating your emotional experience postpartum. Maybe returning to work after maternity leave is bringing up complex feelings about what it is that you're really desiring. Maybe your relationship with your partner feels strained because you're constantly seeking reassurance and comfort and they don't know how to support you. Maybe you're feeling intense anger towards your partner or baby, and it scares you because it doesn't feel like you. Even though you enjoy others seeing you as the mom who's "got it together", it's gotten to a point where you're overwhelmed by its costs. Imagine being able to let upsetting thoughts go just as fast as they appeared in your head. Imagine taking back control. Imagine finding freedom from the lie that you're not a good enough mom. Freedom from the lie that you're the only one struggling with this transition. Freedom from the lie that you're a failure if you need support. You want to learn how to allow your womanhood and motherhood to coexist. I can help you get to where you want to be.
You remember the time you used to spend together and the things you used to do. It seemed to be so much easier then. It's not that way anymore. Now, it's gotten so complicated. You don't know how you got to this place where it seems like everyone is living separate lives. There's fighting and hurtful things have been said. You toss and turn at night wondering what can be done to solve the problems. This is not the family you envisioned having. It feels intimidating to reach out for help when your family is struggling. You're worried about therapy not helping. You're worried about sharing the secrets. You're worried about confronting the issues that have been right under your nose the whole time. Confronting means that something will have to change. And that is a scary thought. It's normal for members of a family to have different reactions or experiences with something that has happened. Families come to see me so they can learn to get back in touch with one another; not only to get back to the way things used to be, but to also help them learn how to cultivate deeper, more robust relationships with the ones they love. The kind of relationships that are able to withstand even the most challenging of circumstances. I come from a huge family. I understand what it's like to stand up and speak your mind and also what it's like to get lost in the sea of opinions. I know what it's like when things get loud. These things don't scare me. As a Marriage & Family Therapist, I tend to think of problems in families as things that are maintained though the relationships of its members. In other words, whatever you think "it" is, I don't view as being any one person's fault. This is a common fear that keeps families from taking the first courageous step of reaching out for help.
Getting the support you need is more important than ever right now.
You want to connect with other women who understand what you're going through - friends, family, and even your partner haven't been cutting it. If you're struggling with intense anxiety and any form of intrusive or unwanted thoughts, join me on Zoom for an online support group specifically for moms who want more help with stress, anxiety/ocd, and safety behaviors. If you are interested in joining the support group, book a consultation so we can discuss details to make sure it will be a good fit for you. This is an OPEN group, so you can join at any time.
*See support group information flyer here*
If you're interested in joining the group, book a consultation so we can have a short phone call to make sure the group setting will be a good fit for you.
why does something so natural have to
be so hard?
you’re thinking back to times when your family seemed so happy
you feel so
mixed up inside
Stay tuned for updates on more groups and workshops