BONUS 308: Your Childhood’s Impact on Your Infertility Journey [PART 1]

June 18, 2021

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Today’s bonus episode guest is Marissa Nelson, a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist and sexuality educator at IntimacyIVF.

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Marissa and Heather discuss how your own childhood affects your infertility journey as a couple:

INTRODUCTION

  • I’d like to start by hearing a little bit about you. Tell us about your academic background and training, where you work, what the organization does, and what you do. [NOT your full career. Will be asked separately.]
  • I understand that you are an attachment-based therapist. Can you explain what that is?
  • Why did you choose this career?
  • Take us through the rest of your career and how you got where you are today.
  • I understand you went through your own infertility journey. Can you tell us about that?

YOUR CHILDHOOD & JOURNEY

  • How can a person become aware of his or her individual unmet emotional needs?
  • Once you have this awareness of your individual emotional needs and triggers, how does this relate to the couples dynamic during infertility?
  • Can you give us some scenarios of how this can play out?
  • One of the things couples talk a lot about is dealing with guilt and shame, which you say can be traced back to triggers in childhood. How can they start to manage these emotions?
  • Couples’ communication during infertility can really cause a breakdown in their romantic intimacy. What are some of the common causes of disconnection, and can you talk more in-depth about one of them?
  • Many times, external factors, like a parent or friend making insensitive comments, play a key role in couples’ distress. Can you talk about how this plays into the infertility journey?
  • Many of our listeners find themselves locked in the negative spiral of being emotionally disconnected. What are the first steps to turning it around?
  • I understand that you also relate attachment theory to a person’s individual sexual template. Could you talk about that?
  • Many couples find themselves stuck in a rut because trying to conceive can become routine. Can you talk about the sexual cycle?
  • Oftentimes, one partner can have higher sexual “appetite” than the other, and the topic of sex can feel like a tug of war instead of a mutual sexual connection. How can couples safely navigate these differences in desire?
  • What are a few tips that couples can use to co-create more satisfying sexual intimacy?
  • The two-week wait seems to be a time when couples’ distress peaks. Can you talk a bit about why that is? What advice do you have for couples at this stage?
  • I understand that many of your clients continue to see you even after they have a positive pregnancy outcome. Can you talk about why that is?
  • What is the goal of couples therapy after having a baby?
  • What issue would you like to see resolved either fully or significantly in the next 10 years?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?

WRAPPING UP

  • What words of hope would you offer to infertility warriors who are experiencing a disconnect with their partner?

References:

Thanks for listening!

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